Happy Earth Day! Or As we Evangelicals Like to Call it, Monday! (My Green Monday Morning Confessional)

YouTube Preview ImageEvangelicals can be somewhat prone to conspiracy theories. In the late 80s we were all reading Frank Peretti books. He had us scared about demon armies, Eastern Mysticism, meditation, and spirit guides. It was just a short step  from there to fearing the New World Order folks, The Tri-lateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations… and you did not want to get us started on the U.N.

We still have a fair number of folks in our tribe who deny the idea that climate change is even happening. Many think it’s happening, but humans aren’t contributing to it. Although many evangelicals are waking up to Creation Care and the responsibility we have in regard to taking care of the planet (Genesis 2:15), we’ve still got quite a few who are not so sure about this global warming mumbo-jumbo. It always mystifies me, because it seems to me that Christians should be at the forefront of any conversation about stewardship.

Global warming is not quite as funny to me as the other issues. This is one of those things that you really don’t want to get wrong, especially not if you want your grandchildren to be able to live above ground. So this Monday Morning Confessional is brought to you by the letter “E” and the color green:

I confess that I hardly walk anywhere, even though it’s literally one city block to our grocery store, a good Chinese food place, four convenience stores, four fast-food places and two banks. I confess that I will always walk to drive over walking if it is at all possible.

I’m a huge water-waster. I run the water in the kitchen the entire time I’m doing the dishes. There’s no reason for this, I just leave it going instead of turning it on and off as needed. For the first 35 years of my life, I ran the water the whole time that I brushed my teeth. I take long hot showers in the winter and I water my grass in the summer.

I confess that in the summer months, I like to keep it cool enough in the house that it feels like wintertime. I’m a heat-weenie – as I have confessed many times before – and I like it cold inside when it’s 100 degrees in Kansas.

I confess that I keep my office extremely warm in the winter. I’m fairly sedentary when I’m working, and it can make for poor blood flow to just sit for hours behind a computer screen – so I’m guilty of overheating my office. The space heater is my means of choice.

I don’t take the environment into consideration when I’m choosing the foods I eat… and I eat a lot of red meat.

I confess that it would be so easy to have a rain barrel and a compost bucket at my house, but we have neither.

I confess that I worry a lot about what kind of climate we will be leaving for our children and grandchildren, but I don’t do very much about it. I confess that I think climate change should not be a liberal/conservative issue, and I often refuse to speak up on the issue if I know someone is prone toward the conservative side of things, because I don’t want to offend them. That global warming is considered a liberal issue causes tension for me because I don’t consider myself to be a liberal, and think that if there was one thing we should all be on the same side of it should be the stewardship of all resources natural or otherwise.

I confess that I’m bothered by all of the plastics in the packaging of consumer goods – especially toys for my kids – but I have never refused to purchase something because of the packaging.

I confess that I think perhaps the funniest things about the above video is that there actually is an SUV on Mars (the Mars Rover), although I think it runs on solar energy so we’re probably good there.

I confess that I love those giant Styrofoam airplane gliders – they can’t be good for the planet, but they are a lot of fun.

I confess that I’m a terrible waster of paper. I print things out just to avoid reading them on a screen. I print things out to proofread them. We get both the local KC Star and the NYTimes delivered every day, even though we could just as easily read them online. I am responsible for many handouts and scores of bulletins, all of which are marginally necessary.

I confess that often my feelings about energy conservation and climate change border on apathetic despair. I think I often feel as though there’s not a lot I can do about it, so I don’t do much of anything.

I confess that I consume enough diet coke and food with preservatives, it’s likely that my body will never decompose.

I confess that I’m proud of my wife for leading us toward a few changes in our household. We have a green approach to cleaning now, including these freaky cloths that don’t need products in order to clean your stuff. These things work so well that I swear they are powered by voodoo or black magic of some kind. We now recycle far more than we throw away. Unless we’ve done some special purge, there are many weeks when the Suttle’s only have one bag of trash for the four of us. I’m working on lowering my water usage, although sometimes I still take longish showers. I’m also trying to print things out a little less often. I have some ideas on how I can get better at this and I just need to follow through.

About Tim Suttle

Find out more about Tim at TimSuttle.com

Tim Suttle is the senior pastor of RedemptionChurchkc.com. He is the author of several books including his most recent - Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), & An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals.

Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. The band's most recent album is "Straight Back to Kansas." He helped to plant three thriving churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.

  • http://www.Yeshua21.com Wayne

    Thank you for that confession, Tim. My sense is that you may or may not follow through with all those good intentions. But not to worry! When you hear what I’m going to suggest, I think you and your whole family will be so excited you will ship your pants! Not only that, but your most enviromentally senstive friends and neighbors will be green with envy!
    I ask you: how many times does your family flush the toilet each day? Think about how much wasted water could be eliminated if you began– even part of the time –to use a saw-dust toilet composting system. I did this, personally, for several years, and can guarantee that it is both pleasant and practical. And by the end of the 2nd year, you will have a constant supply of compost for your yard and garden. Just think how much fun you and your wife and/or kids can have building this toilet and compost bins! Here’s the poop: http://humanurehandbook.com/humanure_toilet.html

    You will be happier if you so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God. :)


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