Why Every Day Should Be Earth Day If You’re A Christian

Why Every Day Should Be Earth Day If You’re A Christian April 22, 2015

earth day green grunge banner background 2

It’s April 22nd, which means it’s “Earth Day.” Much of the hype over this annual day seems to have dissipated in recent years, but I think it’s a crucially important day if you’re a Christian. In fact, every day should be “Earth Day” if you’re a Christian.

Growing up, the culture around me seemed to be highly suspicious of those who were advocates for the environment. Often they’d be labeled as “environmental extremists,” “tree huggers,” or some other term that let one know right from the start that they were completely outside the norm. Beyond a skepticism in the Christian community, environmentalists were often vilified by a certain secular political ideology popular among Christians, resulting in the previous generation often missing the boat on an issue that is absolutely central to the life of a God-follower.

You don’t have to read far into the Bible before one realizes the centrality of environmentalism to the life of one who wants to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives- it’s actually on the first few pages. In the Genesis narrative, as soon as God creates humanity he gives them their purpose for existing and their primary task: caring for the environment. Before anything else happens in God’s story, he tells them to care for the environment, the plants, the animals, the oceans… everything. In theological terms we call this the “Original Mandate” because it’s the first thing God mandates humanity to do.

God’s original, primary purpose for his people was and is to be environmental caretakers- environmentalists.

And yet, somehow this primary role God has assigned to us as the pinnacle of his creation gets not only overlooked, but outright discarded.

Out of all the roles, tasks, or purposes for our lives here on this Earth, scripture shows us that being environmental caretakers is at the absolute top of our list. Environmentalism isn’t the secondary mandate, it’s not a footnote, and it’s not optional– it is the original mandate and central to our entire reason for existence. And this is why every day should be Earth Day to a Christian: it’s the first job God assigned to us before anything else!

This means that any efforts to care for and protect the planet should’t be left to those we’d call tree huggers– any effort to care for, preserve, and protect the environment, should be led by Christians.

 Every time Sea Shepherd loads their boats to head to the Southern Whale Sanctuary to protect the whales against illegal Japanese poaching, the boat should be overflowing with Christians.

Every time there is a challenge to the practice of fracking which is damaging the planet and our water supply, that challenge should be led by a Christian.

Every time you find a person standing in front of a bulldozer protesting destructive deforestation, every time you visit an animal sanctuary and see a person nursing a wounded animal back to health, every time you find a group of people picking up garbage on the beach, advocating a reduction in harmful carbon emissions, or anything else to defend, protect, or preserve the environment and animal kingdom… you should find Christians.

Because that’s our job. It’s the original and primary job that God gave us. To ignore it, or worse– to defy it– is to defy the creator who assigned us the beautiful task of protecting and preserving His creation. In fact, God doesn’t simply articulate this mandate in the first few chapters of the Bible– he reiterates it in the last few chapters of the Bible with a stark warning: those who damage the environment will be destroyed when he returns to judge the living and the dead (Rev 11:18). So, if you want to talk sins that will keep one out of God’s kingdom– let’s not limit that to talk of sexual immorality– let’s talk caring for the environment.

For too long Christians have sided with big businesses (who don’t give a rip about the environment beyond financial profit) instead of God’s mandate for our lives, and this has led us into a chapter of human history where the future of our planet is actually in jeopardy– but it doesn’t have to stay this way.

The solution? Christians can rediscover and reclaim our chief purpose for existence: to be radical environmentalists who view protecting and preserving all of creation to be a central aspect of our identity and purpose.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Nathan

    Mr. Benjamin L. Corey, you are WRONG.

    Because, AMERICA.

  • Trev

    Correction: ‘Murica.

  • Every day is Earth Day for me.

    However, there are people who carry this too far, and I take “tree hugger” to mainly refer to those.

    I’ll give an example. It was several decades ago. We used cloth diapers for our newborn, and we laundered them ourselves to avoid the worst of high phosphate detergents being used in commercial diaper services.

    I recall the time that I was buying Pampers (disposable diapers) at the store. And I was harrassed by somebody taking it too far. The Pampers were for when traveling, not for ordinary every day use. The “tree hugger” mentality is one of excessive rigidity and lack of balance.

  • Ben,

    You’re correct to a degree. There’s a fine line between making earth an idol/god and subduing it. God’s word even tells us in:
    [Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground–everything that has the breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.]

    Caring for and managing the earth is one thing and yes, we should be taking better care of it, but to make earth a god and worship it is a sin.

  • otrotierra

    Where did Ben make earth a god? In your response, please quote Ben directly, line by line and word for word.

  • EXCEPTIONAL!? MUCH!?

  • paganheart

    He’s being sarcastic….I hope….

    This is a great piece, by the way. Could not agree more.

  • I don’t see a fine line at all. I see bowing down and literally worshipping the earth vs making environmentalism one of the highest callings and priorities of Christian living. Two totally different things that aren’t even remotely related.

  • Wolf

    Well said, Ben! :)

  • Trev

    I know. As I understand “Murica” as its use in its own sub-reddit http://www.reddit.com/r/MURICA it is a jokey way to refer to a hyper-nationalism mindset.

    Another good reference: https://youtu.be/DsbL45AdGEw

  • Trev

    As soon as you use a label to say Christians should be X, you have people on the opposing side accusing said proponent of being an idol worshiper or other some such extreme of the viewpoint.

    Christians should be pro-life–> You must support clinic bombers! They harass pregnant women! They are anti-women!

    Christians should want to help refugees –> You must support unregulated immigration! You must support illegal immigrants!

    Christians should support causes that protect the natural word –> You support earth worship.

    It goes both ways, and is for all issues. Christianity is authentically “un-cool” and profoundly counter-cultural.

  • Herm

    Do you think maybe that this would not be so if Christianity was actually Christ like? I’m wondering why we portray Christ more as a religion to protect as ours rather than a living attitude of altruistic love for the entire creation of God and God themselves.

    I know why we don’t have Gandhianity because Gandhi was real so we just learn from his teachings without feeling threatened or defensive. I honestly don’t know why we don’t accept Jesus as real and ready to teach us today. I guess it’s just too “”un-cool” and profoundly counter-culture”.

    Little old rebellious me loves to relate with Jesus, not in a separate worshipful awe but sharing all my stewardship chores with Him that I am graced with each day on Earth.

  • Andy

    People love them some straw men.

  • Trilemma

    The number one environmental problem facing the planet is human overpopulation. Unless the population stops growing, all efforts to preserve all of creation will ultimately be futile.

    I think there is a tendency among some Christians that believe we are in the last days to think that there is little need to worry about the environment because God is going to destroy the whole thing and replace it with a new world.

  • Trilemma

    Straw men are great. According to the Wizard of Oz, all you have to do to turn a man with straw for brains into a scholar is simply hand him a diploma.

  • Andy

    The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side!

  • Cercatore

    Love your site Ben! Awesome post – keep ripp’in it!
    Blessings

  • Have you read much Ellen Davis, Ben? She goes quite in depth with the agrarian meanings in the Old Testament.

  • Timothy Hawk

    Great post, Ben. I remember as a child the defense offered by Christians siding with big business; we were given “dominion” over the earth. What a perversion of the Genesis passages and concepts. We must rediscover our mission of tending to the earth.

  • yep until a few years ago I thot that too. so what is going to happen I wonder?

  • I try to use language so I am not shoulding all over ppl including my self. therefore I try to not use the word ‘we’. ppl can make up their own minds as far as I am concerned.

  • Alonzo

    Hmm. As I read the article, I asked myself, “Why must I accept a straw man false dichotomy with environmentalism on one side and “big business” on the other? The reason I call it a straw man is that neither one’s philosophical tenets and terms are well defined. The reason I call it a false dichotomy is because the article does not seem to offer other alternatives than these two when in fact there are alternatives.

    There are so many more alternatives to chasing boats or protesting fracking and deforestation as though these are the evil problems of the day. Actually, they are the effects of the human condition. Going after effects will never solve any of the issues we face with our world. After I arrived at the conclusion of the article, I understood why I could not accept the presented false dichotomy and straw man and side with the protesting he suggests. It was Corey’s chief purpose and mandate statements. I cannot accept either one within their respective contexts.

    I do not read the Bible as he does to walk away with either one. As I start at the beginning of the Bible, I do not see God’s first mandate as making humanity as caretakers of the earth. It is certainly important but not the chief purpose. That would place the earth above God and reverse everything. It is also divorcing the first couple of chapters of the Bible from the rest of it. If we move forward through the Bible, we find that woman and man sinned and strayed from God. That should give us pause as to the top priority God placed on relationships. Their sin broke the relationship and caused their spiritual death. Cory seems to ignore this in his assessment.

    As we walk through Genesis, we see that relational aspect played out with little discussed about care taking. In Exodus, we find the greatest commandment of the law: love God. Jesus said it was the greatest commandment. That is our mandate if it is indeed the greatest commandment. As we walk through the rest of the Bible, we see wayward people (the human condition) at the core of what Paul refers as the groaning of creation, not over the environment but over rejecting God and His greatest commandment to love Him. This core issue was the rejection of God and His authority and humanity following its own way. As we come to the end of Jesus’ life, He gives His disciples the greatest commandment and great commission, which really coincide: love God, love people, and call them to redemption in Christ. Nothing about the environment. Redemption faces the human condition head on. Redemption confronts humanity’s challenges of God’s and His authority as God intended it. Consequently, chasing ships and protesting are not solutions. Changing policy and gaining sympathy for a cause are not remedies. They simply address the symptoms and effects of the real problem – the human condition.

    The central aspect of our existence is our relationship with God and His grand purpose for us to glorify Him in all we do. The greatest commandment informs us of that, because it clearly states that He and not the environment comes first and foremost. Nothing stands up to the matchless visionary command of loving God and His love for us. Nothing is greater than calling people through the gospel to place their faith in Christ as their Savior from the sin that disrupts us in every way. Nothing, no nothing matches the priority of God as the highest and greatest goal and purpose of our lives and very existence. Yes, we are stewards of the environment, but to place it as our chief purpose of existence and to wrap our identity around it is to take a turn away from God’s purpose for our lives and to place something else above Him, the temporal instead of the eternally existent God who desires us more than anything. For these reasons I cannot accept Corey’s premise and must reject it on the basis that it leads to the two logical fallacies I pointed out.

  • DPWH

    Funny that in claiming a strawman, you commit one.

    Corey is not arguing that the environment is put ahead of God. Rather serving God holistically should spur us to steward His creation… and it is clearly His, not ours.

    By doing so we also act to love our neighbors. And we show our worshipful love to God.

    It’s all connected. Passages like Hosea 4 make that clear:

    Hear the word of the Lord, O children of Israel,
    for the Lord has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land.
    There is no faithfulness or steadfast love,
    and no knowledge of God in the land;
    there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery;
    they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.
    Therefore the land mourns,
    and all who dwell in it languish,
    and also the beasts of the field
    and the birds of the heavens,
    and even the fish of the sea are taken away.

    A holistic love of God, neighbor, and creation is what is called for. And Christ’s work allows us to live kingdom lives in these renewed relationships.

  • Alonzo

    >>>”Corey is not arguing that the environment is put ahead of God.”

    You read into my comments. I did not say he argues what you claim. You failed to read what I wrote about the straw man. I claimed that his straw man is in his failure to define his terms and in doing so sets up a straw man by claiming the Scriptures state a mandate and then cites “big business” as adversarial to the Scriptural mandate when by lack of definition one does not have anything to do with the other. At least he fails to show how this straw man and nebulous “big business” is doing what he claims.

    He also claims that the purpose of humanity’s existence and its entire identity is wrapped up in environmentalism. That is projecting back into history a modern (or postmodern, if you will) philosophical concept foreign to the ancient original culture of two people. He isolates the first two chapters of the Bible from their entire book, Torah, OT, and biblical context and read into them postmodern philosophical ideas and subsequently (wrongly so) calls his philosophical reading a mandate.

    He says nothing about “serving God holistically.” Those are your ideas and is nowhere found in his text. He does not mention neighbors or quote from Hosea 4. You are reading into what Corey wrote thereby making your reply to what I said a non-sequitur. That is not a reply on the merits but another logical fallacy.

    The other context you and Corey missed is that the charge God gave to our first parents as stewards came during their innocent sinless state. This is a very significant theological context, because His charge to them played no role in their disobedience against and rejection of God. Contextually, then, the whole purpose for the existence of humanity then as well as now is to glorify God and to live by faith in loving Him with our whole being and our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus made that very clear in quoting the greatest commandment of the law from Torah.

    Environmentalism plays no role in this relational context. To make it a role is to distort Scripture and to place environmentalism above God in terms of humanity’s purpose and existence as I mentioned in my first post. Such an inversion steps on very dangerous ground.

  • Nathan

    Only reason I’d be saving this earth is cuz it’s the only planet with ‘Murica on it.

  • DPWH

    Last sentence in the blog post:

    “Christians can rediscover and reclaim our chief purpose for existence: to be radical environmentalists who view protecting and preserving all of creation to be a central aspect of our identity and purpose.”

    Notice it’s “…a central aspect…” not “the central aspect…”. One small word makes a big difference.

    I quoted Hosea because it’s relevant, particularly to the idea of the relational context. Our relationship with God, with others, and with creation are tightly interrelated.

    That’s obvious throughout scripture, and it’s obvious in everyday experience for those who aren’t pre-biased against environmental stewardship.

  • Herm

    Your entire argument seems to be that God has primarily mandated us to just stop right where we’re at to be eternally warm, fuzzy, adoring, in awe, worship and obey. That’s it, we’re finally back in God’s good graces. Well thanks for that but if this is representative of my relationship with God you can have it I don’t want it.

    Did you have a childhood with mature parents or guardians who loved you? Did they set parameters to live in the home they provided along with chores? If yes to both do you think they did such to or for you? Were you called primarily to worship and obey your guardians or to live a full life?

    Our room is a mess!

  • Alonzo

    Corey can speak for himself on this, but either he is not communicating clearly or you misread. I believe it to be both since he fails on numerous occasions to define his terms within the context of theology. I will not quibble over words, because theology and proper exegesis is far more important. The very fact that that Corey emphasizes that “‘our chief purpose for existence” is to be radical environmentalists is the very thing I contested. “Radical environmentalism,” whatever he means by that is unclear (he fails to define his terms) is NOT our chief purpose of existence. Environmentalism is a postmodern philosophy unknown to the biblical authors and therefore unbiblical.

    Corey also states, “God’s original, primary purpose for his people was and is to be environmental caretakers- environmentalists.”

    Get it? God is primary, which means nothing else is. For Corey to claim what he did is to make God secondary and to reverse roles by placing environmentalism first. That closes in on idolatry.

    Jesus does not make it that. Jesus made our chief purpose by declaring very succinctly that it is to love God (Deuteronomy 6:4-6). Corey’s is postmodern theology and not in keeping with biblical theology. Furthermore, he has not performed exegesis on the salient passages to which he refers indirectly. He does not address any specific passage, and in doing so fails to give biblical theology but reads into Scripture what is not there.

    You can qualify it all you wish, but you still have not addressed and rebutted my main points. In quibbling over the article, whether it is indefinite or definite opens another can of worms for you. If you insist on the indefinite article, then you place more than one thing at the center, and God will have none of that. God alone is central to our lives, and He allows nothing else to displace Him or to share His central position with Him. This truth is the grand theme of all Scripture from beginning to end.

    By the way, simply quoting Hosea does not bring out its meaning. You never gave an exegesis of the passage, divorced it from its context, and read into it a modern philosophy Hosea never knew.

  • Alonzo

    >>>”Your entire argument seems to be that God has primarily mandated us to just stop right where we’re at to be eternally warm, fuzzy, adoring, in awe, worship and obey.”

    Herm, if what you said is your conclusion of what I wrote, then you have misread it and wrongly read into what I said. Because you read into what I wrote, you missed my points entirely. Your description is hardly a biblical characterization of God’s desire for humanity. In fact, it is another straw man, both of how you characterize my argument and also humanity’s relationship with God.

    The biblical theology of redemption is that we can do nothing to gain God’s grace[s]. The Scriptures say, “While we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6), and “For by grace you are saved through faith, and that of yourselves. It is a gift of God and not of works…” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The biblical record is clear for everyone to understand. However, some choose to read their own ideology and philosophy into it rather than accept context and the author’s intent. You do this with your analogy and assumptions.

    Your example is a logical fallacy of false analogy by assuming that it correlates to my argument. That is incorrect, because all it does is raise still another straw man by assuming God is the same way. Therefore, your final question is irrelevant.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you D.J. for your logical, sensible, and biblically-sound observations. Refreshing.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Herm! Responsibility, stewardship, and accountability sure are unpopular!

  • Herm

    Books,

    straw man – noun – a person compared to a straw image; a sham.

    A straw man is a common reference argument and is an informal fallacy based on false representation of an opponent’s argument. To be successful, a straw man argument requires that the audience be ignorant or uninformed of the original argument.

    It is you that is arguing as if we were ignorant of the original argument which is the article above by Benjamin L. Corey.

    Your pseudo intellectual and biblical scholar argument is a sham.

    “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 (NRSV)

    “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:50 (NRSV)

    Books, if you cannot see that we are called to be children of God as children of Man are in the image of you are lost.

    I proclaim to you the good news that the Kingdom of God is here, right now. Jesus, our elder brother of Man and God, has been given all authority over Heaven and on Earth in force right now. When we are yoked with Him we serve as His disciples (students) to heal the world.

    Books, you miss that we are family when baptized by the Holy Spirit, as the Spirit of Truth, we need not consult the scriptures for we know the Word by heart. As the Advocate of God, the Holy Spirit, is residing in our heart and mind we are one with the hearts and minds of our Father and all of the Family of God. We have chores and are provided shelter, clothes and nourishment that we may grow to a full life of relationship with the entire Kingdom of God, from now to the end of eternity. We love because we are loved and we do not love to be loved. We are loved little children expected to be adorable imperfect erring children who love our Family.

    Jesus fulfilling His mission, given to Him by the Father, had the ultimate chore to do and that was to save us from ourselves, to become altruistic in our love and to quit making God in our image as self centered vindictive siblings constantly in the throes of rivalry.

    We are not left orphans when in the Family. We show our love for our Family by keeping our graced room clean and in order. Our Family shows us Their love by helping us where we need help. We are little children growing toward, but eons away from, being able to fulfill our given tasks all by ourselves.

    “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:12-15 (NRSV)

  • DPWH

    “Jesus made our chief purpose by declaring very succinctly that it is to love God (Deuteronomy 6:4-6).”

    Well, to love God is to follow His commands. One of His commands (and, as Corey points out, His first command) is to take care of His creation.

    Doesn’t seem complex to me.

  • DPWH

    I’m always amazed, when this topic comes up, that some seek every possible way that they can to avoid the responsibility that it implies.

    Well, maybe I shouldn’t be amazed. That’s a part of human, sinful nature I suppose. And we all do it in different contexts.

    “Well surely this doesn’t apply to me. Surely I’m not being called upon to change my lifestyle in some way. Let’s see how we can obfuscate this simple concept…”

  • otrotierra

    The amount of intellectual energy invested in refusing responsibility to others and to the world around us is staggering.

    If they want to follow Ayn Rand and Anton LaVey rather than sound biblical teachings, I’d have more respect if they’d just openly admit it.

  • Ben:

    You said it right there yourself: “worshipping the earth”. That’s idolatry! We’re commanded to only worship God, the creator.

  • See my reply to Ben’s comment to me.

  • Alanna

    That is dreadful. What does he mean by that. That flies in the face of ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”.

  • Alanna

    I personally don’t like any of Coreys’ articles so far but then I have only read two. But this is fairly crap and the comment down below that Kimberly has highlighted says it all.

  • I was simply pointing out that we are commanded in His Word:

    Deuteronomy 5

    7 “You must not have any other god but me.
    8 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 9 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 10 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.

    Deuteronomy 6
    4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.

    The earth “is not” God! Our devotions should only be to God. Yes, His world tells us to manage the earth, not worship it.

  • Alanna

    It is important to take care of the environment and it is definitely our responsibility to do so. But, God should always come first and foremost, before the environment. Colossians 1:16-17 – “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

  • Alanna

    Well said. Thank God there are Christians like you who know the Truth.

  • If we don’t stand on the truth then the alternative is a slippery slope out of God’s will and purpose.

  • Alanna

    Would you mind me asking you, would you consider yourself to be a conservative Christian or a progressive Christian? Its ok if you don’t want to answer.

  • Alanna

    Hey Strawman.

  • Alanna

    Oh that’s what happened with you.

  • Paul Schlitz

    AFBooks convinced me to be irresponsible. Now I feel better

  • Alonzo

    >>>”To be successful, a straw man argument requires that the audience be ignorant or uninformed of the original argument.”

    Not so! A straw man can take a known argument and twist it for one’s own benefit. That is called deception and not an argument on the merits.

    >>>”It is you that is arguing as if we were ignorant of the original argument which is the article above by Benjamin L. Corey. Your pseudo intellectual and biblical scholar argument is a sham.”

    >>>”Books, if you cannot see that we are called to be children of God as children of Man are in the image of you are lost.”

    Ad homenim and name-calling. Not an argument on the merits.

    I was waiting for the personal attacks and knew they were coming. Sure enough, there they are. Those who are bankrupt in reasoning and logic resort to personal attacks, for they have no more to say in support of or in defense of their claims. When one cannot reply to and defend one’s own ideas, name-calling becomes the weapon of choice. That does not work with me, and I will identify them when I recognize them.

    >>>”we need not consult the scriptures for we know the Word by heart.”

    You surface one of the salient issues of the ages – authority. Do you then dismiss the Scriptures as your final authority? The Holy Spirit does not speak, disclose, or illuminate apart from the Scriptures. If they are not the final authority, there is then one authority left – humanity.

    It is nice the you can quote Scripture after you admit that you “need not consult the Scriptures [sic].” Why quote them if you belittle their importance and need not do so? We could do Scripture quotation battles all day, but that is not worthwhile when you admit that you “need not consult” them and then consult them and use them as a battering ram against someone.

    By the way, what you write is really non sequitur, for it has nothing to do with the article but unfortunately goes off on rabbit trails by means of logical fallacies.

  • Andy

    Hey there! I love you too.

  • I don’t mind at all. I do not label myself as the world labels people. I’m a God fearing Christian who takes God’s word literally. I don’t add to God’s word or take away from it. I am open minded to allow myself not to be judgmental, but to make sure God’s word isn’t twisted into something it is not. I hope that answers your question.

  • M85

    Good stuff. Sadly you didn’t seem to mention the livestock sector, which is the BIGGEST CAUSE OF ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION WORLDWIDE. Check out the documentary “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret”.

  • M85
  • Alonzo

    Hasty generalization. I do not read love associated with the environment as you express it. You might want to reread Jesus’ teachings to His disciples. Such an expression of love you give is foreign to the Bible. To extrapolate from the quotation I give as an interpretation of it is out of context.

    You are missing out on the whole orb of God’s love expressed in the Scriptures – a love that expresses itself fully to the eternal God for the sacrifice He made in sending His only Son to die for our sins and to reconcile us to His Father. There is a deeper and grander love here well beyond the scope of our temporal world the Scriptures call on us to exhibit. In the same manner, we are to love others in like manner, especially our spouses, as Christ loved the Church (for husbands), a sacrificial and deep abiding love again that is greater than our temporal world because we exist now in a temporal tent. And love goes far beyond that.

  • Alonzo

    >>>”Little old rebellious me loves to relate with Jesus, not in a separate worshipful awe but sharing all my stewardship chores with Him that I am graced with each day on Earth.”

    So, is Jesus God and worthy of worship? Do you not worship Him? Is He the incarnate God who descended from heaven and took the form of man, died on the cross, rose again, and went to be with His Father to make intercession for us?

  • Noah

    Skipping over things said past your initial response (and albeit skipping some of the initial post)….I think Ben is just pointing out that -before the fall- our ‘only’ job was to care for God’s creation. I mean, it can’t really be more up front?

    But I agree, post fall things are different. The business analogy is just that. An analogy. Things are changing because the public is demanding more environmental care.

    You mentioned: “I do not see God’s first mandate as making humanity as caretakers of the earth.”

    What was the first mandate?

  • Noah

    Jesus is coming back and everything will be restored? Shouldn’t we be part of that now?

  • Alanna

    Yes I agree with you. God Bless you.

  • Noah

    I think you misunderstood?

    He said: I see bowing down and literally worshipping the earth vs making environmentalism one of the highest callings and priorities of Christian living. Two totally different things that aren’t even remotely related.

    He supports the latter, not the former.

  • Noah

    I’ve been environmentally focused as long as i can be aware (well before faith). Ever since finding out we’re supposed to tend creation (and yes till it, create things (in his image)), I’ve been mostly saddened by Christians lack of advocacy. (and mine at my church – I’ve been fanatical, but haven’t created a system/program that I know I’m the guy for it)

    Overall I think it’s a basic lack of awareness of what we were designed for and what was going on before the fall. As well as improper theology, imo (restoration, not recreation).

    Especially sad what our environmental and business policies have done to so many people, not to mention living things.

    As M85 points out, we are torturing animals, even those with ‘easy’ death. I’ve stopped buying eggs because of it. Working on everything else, sorta. Maybe once I have steady income again.

  • Alonzo

    Glad you asked, Noah. God’s first mandate, which was from the beginning, was and is,

    “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deut. 6:4-9).

    Just because it does not appear in Genesis 1:1 does not mean it was not from the beginning. Jesus made that clear in John 17 when He spoke of the love He shared with the Father before the beginning of time. Paul also made it clear that love is eternal (before and after time) in 1 Corinthians 13.

    It was the first and greatest command ever given to humanity, the first mandate, the first and highest priority. It spans time and eternity. Nothing is more central than love for God. To substitute something else in its place is to commit idolatry, because it places some cause, philosophy, religion, or ideology before God and love for Him.

  • Maybe so Noah… but, we must be very careful with it. If I misunderstood it then other people will too.

  • Alanna

    It wasn’t very clear to me either.

  • Herm

    I worship Jesus and my Father in Heaven as the most divine Family ever from my graced position as a little adored and care for child. We’re too busy doing things together for we only have, at most, an eternity to do so.

    What do you plan on doing for an eternity should you inherit such? Do you actually plan on bended knee worhipping at a distance in song and praise for our Father and Brother without ceasing? … or sit on the proverbial cloud strumming your harp forever more?

    The Kingdom is here now and the Holy Spirit is our Spirit of adoption into the Family of God. As a family we do things together like work, play and share together in the savor of life. That’s the Gospel Truth.

    You are welcome!

  • Alanna

    “So, is Jesus God and worthy of worship? Do you not worship Him? Is He the incarnate God who descended from heaven and took the form of man, died on the cross, rose again, and went to be with His Father to make intercession for us?” Yes but your problem is you follow God, other people follow men.

  • Alanna

    Gosh you have a fan base that follows you. If you said ‘Ahaaaaaaa’ you would get an up vote. Lucky you!

  • Noah

    Uh, that’s before the fall. So it’s certainly not the first. If Adam/Eve (us) didn’t disobey God that wouldn’t be necessary. Not eating of the tree was another mandate before that one.

    It certainly is our mandate, but it wasn’t the first one.

    Regardless – what do you do with God’s creation if you love him?

  • Noah

    In a quick glancing, me either. But looking at it (which we should do before making judgement?) it’s a bit more obvious?

  • Herm

    Books, I have learned from you speaking to Corey. I am no more calling you names than you have spoke down to the author of the original article. I am truly sorry you do not know the Word.

    “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NRSV)

    I use the scripture as I am led to by the Counselor to assist those who don’t know God personally in their heart and mind. If the scripture was the final authority how could the old testament be used by church authorities and scholars to justify the killing of God in God’s name? How could the New Testament be use as the final authority by church authorities and scholars to justify the many crusades financed by rape and pillage?

    I can only testify that the Spirit of Truth exists and is available to all who come to God as naive little children, not church authorities or scholars.

    “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent. “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” John 5:31-47 (NRSV)

  • Noah

    True, but on a slower read it makes more sense?

  • Noah

    He’s saying -don’t- do the former. Do the latter because we love God. Take care of his creation. As he planned for us.

  • Alanna

    Still don’t agree with him as he does place more emphasis on love of nature than love of God.

  • Noah

    He doesn’t mention love once in the article, to nature or God. (word search)

    This isn’t his whole theology, it’s a blog post pointing out that Christians have an awful track record when it comes to doing what God first commanded us to do.

    Posted on Earth Day.

    If memory serves me correct, he’s pointed out the materialism of the West/US/Christians on Christmas (and in general…especially regarding Christmas, around Christmas.

    Is that elevating materialism over the birth of our savior?

    I do see how you could see it, but from what I’ve seen people who follow him know these are individual blog pieces, part of his/others theology. Not a grand work.

  • Paul Schlitz

    I think creation care is simply not as fulfilling as bigotry towards gays, Muslims and immigrants

  • Alonzo

    >>>”If the scripture was the final authority how could the old testament be used by church authorities and scholars to justify the killing of God in God’s name? How could the New Testament be use as the final authority by church authorities and scholars to justify the many crusades financed by rape and pillage?”

    There is an easy answer to that: ignoring context and author intent, to two most ignored principles of interpretation. Those from the first century forward have done this to their detriment. From the 1st through the 3rd century there have been heated discussions about who God really is, the Trinity, the Scriptures, authority, the extent of humanity’s sinfulness, to name a few. We have hundreds of denominations for the same reason. The reason there were and are so many disagreements is because people choose to ignore sound biblical principles of interpretation and read into Scriptures theology that is not there. As I stated, the two major principles are context and author intent. There is the historical context, cultural, textual, and so on. Also, many read the Bible without giving to studying it in the original languages.

    Since you do not accept the whole Bible as final authority and word of God, you then must cherry pick what you want to be authoritative for you, which actually makes you the authority, since there are only two basic authorities: God or humanity. Many scholars have also taken that approach. Nothing is new under the sun, and I have seen a lot of interpretation before that goes on in this discussion.

    Those down through the centuries have done the same thing as you, cherry picking Scripture and reading into it what is not there and then using it as a battering ram on others in finding fault with others by calling people “pseudo-intellectual.” This is a personal attack whether you wish to admit it or not.

    Anybody can quote Scripture. It is easy to cut and paste. The hard work is working through it in context and discovering what the author says and means. You fail to do this in simply giving citations. You do not get to the meaning and application of Scripture according to the author’s intent.

  • Alonzo

    Go through all the Bible and read all the places where love is mentioned, and you will have your answer.

  • Noah

    What do -you- do with his creation?

    I imagine it would be what Mr. Corey is advocating here.

  • DPWH

    Frankly if anyone thinks that this article is a call to earth worship, then they are not reading for comprehension.

    I mean really… in the comment from Corey above he says explicitly and specifically :

    “Two totally different things that aren’t even remotely related.”

    I’m not sure how much clearer that could get.

  • Trilemma

    I don’t believe that our purpose is to love and worship God. If God created us for that purpose then God is narcissistic beyond comprehension. I believe God would have created us for the purpose of receiving His love.

    Being commanded to do something does not assign purpose. If I command my children to respect me it does not mean that’s the purpose for their lives I had in mind for them when I decided to have children. Being commanded to love God doesn’t mean that’s our purpose for being created in the first place.

  • He is saying that “bowing down and literally worshipping the earth” and “making environmentalism one of the highest callings and priorities of Christian living” are two totally different things that aren’t even remotely related. Nowhere in Ben’s article did he say we should join a pagan religion and begin worshipping nature. As a Christian, he places a high priority on God’s command to care for the planet. I agree that we should be making sure that humanity can continue to live on the earth by keeping it healthy and not simply consuming it for our pleasures. Nothing “worshipful” in that. Simply obedience to one of God’s commands.

  • Herm

    “But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” Exodus 21:23-25 (NIV2011)

    “Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injured in the same manner: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury.” Leviticus 24:19-20 (NIV2011)

    “The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Deuteronomy 19:20-21 (NIV2011)

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Matthew 5:38-42 (NIV2011)

    “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:27-31 (NIV2011)

    “At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Luke 10:21-22 (NRSV)

    AFBooks, the Spirit of Truth has not been revealed to you or you would be proclaiming the Good News. Jesus refuted every scripture authority who maintained the Lord God is the same today as yesterday and will be the same forever more. Either the testimonial admonitions in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy were changed with Jesus or they did not come from God in the first place. You have read that to know the Son is to know the Father.

    The vocal fundamentalist conservative right christians seem to have glommed on to “straw man” as some secret reason why they do not understand Jesus speaking through His disciples. I truly do hope you realize that your biblical scholarship is inadequate to the knowledge of God. God cannot be contained in the Bible but the Bible can point to God for us to come to learn directly from God.

    I will try one more time and maybe you can tell me why this scripture is not apropos and why you ignore responding to this scripture. Go to the Scriptures and read it in total context and tell me why it does not say that there is more that Jesus has to say to us well beyond the Bible, like for an eternity’s worth. Please, be specific to this scripture as otherwise we’ll be stuck with this cherry picking scriptures to try to explain too broadly for a comment section of a blog.

    “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:12-15 (NRSV)

  • I’ll have to go back when I have more time and take my time reading it again. I like what Ben shares. This post hit a raw spot in me because idolatry is so rampant in society today.

  • Andy

    Let’s test that theory, shall we?

  • Andy

    Ahaaaaaaa

  • Andy
  • Noah

    True. (of course, when hasn’t it?)

  • Jim Braman

    Kimberly, this is not written directly to you, but to whomever it fits …including myself :)

    There is a point to which one can come where fear of not having perfectly balanced priorities begins to squeeze out Love of God. It becomes in itself a way of earning his approval. Same goes for those who need a verse for everything that is said or felt. This is not a trustful walk, but an independent one that relies careful self management, rather than listening to the Spirit and receiving grace in time of need. Fear of mistakes may be causing you to miss the very love you are trying to earn from God by straining out gnats. Stop looking only for what is wrong. Be loved by God, and let him take care of other people’s gnats so you can get on with living a life of love that reflects the Spirit God longs to pour out into your heart.

  • Alonzo

    I put it in its proper place and perspective. That is the purpose of a worldview. A worldview begins with tiered essentials, which consist of the nagging issues most discussed in philosophy and theology throughout the ages: God, authority, the human condition, and the remedy for the human condition. Unless we get a grip on these issues, we cannot view all their subsets properly.

    First, who is God: theistic, deistic, polytheistic, atheistic, or unknown. Unless one settles this issue, one cannot progress any further.

    Second, authority: God or humanity? And in what respect? The biblical worldview takes the Bible as the final authority communicated by God. To the extent that it does not, human authority assumes authority.

    Third, the human condition. Unless we deal with the human condition according to how the Bible treats it, there is no hope, and there is no use going to the next step, because the next step would be humanistic. The world we live in is the by product of the human condition (See Romans 8:18-25). WHile we are stewards of the earth, God is sovereign over it and is the one who placed a curse on it and subjected it to bondage because of humanity’s disobedience to Him. Unless one accepts the fallen condition of humanity, then one must reject Paul’s assessment of present day creation. The whole story in Romans 8 is redemption, first of humanity then all creation.

    Environmentalists ignore God as the solution or accept a polytheistic, pantheistic worldview. In turn, man become the authority and a very heavy-handed one. Environmentalists have a very different take on the human condition: some are evil (“big business”), some are victims and innocent. It is not about rebellion of all against God but however one wants to define evil so that the heavy hand falls on them the most. Environmentalistic philosophy has its own worldview hat is opposed to the biblical worldview. That is the reason I referred to Corey’s “radical environmentalism” and his examples as a false choice. I do not have to accept it or the reading into the Scriptures to accept it. The remedies consist of taxes, regulations, fines, prison. Those are not God’s remedies, that of redemption.

    Unless one see all creation through the biblical worldview, an approach to creation will always be human-centered.

    Fourth, remedy for the human condition. I noted some humanistic remedies above.

  • Noah

    So you completely ignore the question.

    What do -you- do in regards to your love for God with his creation that he has called us to tend, till and care for?

    Or, are you just throwing out God’s initial blueprint?

  • Alonzo

    I answered it and am giving you food for thought. Apparently, you have expectations for an answer, and it they do not fit your expectations, you assume the question is ignored. The answer IS the biblical worldview as I laid it out. Read it again. THINK. What do you want, a book? I have to allow you to think for yourself. I am in the process of developing a seminar around what I wrote.

  • Alonzo

    CONTEXT, CONTEXT CONTEXT You ignore context. Again, you simply throw out quotes without comment and without exegesis especially since you considered Scripture not that important to consult. So it applies to others but not to you. Got it! You have not learned yet, I see. You are still using your battering ram. Why don’t you put it down and be calm? Your method is not working. Bye.

  • Noah

    No book needed. Just what you, personally, do to support God’s initial intention for us in regards to his creation.

    I’m not supposed to guess what you do.

  • Alonzo

    In your mind, what is that “initial intention for us in regards to his creation?” You must have something in mind behind your statement. Flesh it out. I am not going to play gotcha games with you. I went to great lengths to explain my theology of creation and God’s purpose. What is it you do not understand in all that I have written?

    Now you have two question before I can continue.

  • Herm

    AFBooks, you ignore questions or discussions you cannot participate in as judge, jury and executioner. Your authority is flawed if you make statements and cannot back them up. Enjoy your scripture for most of us have had as much or more of an in depth relationship with scripture. I’m happy I found from them the much greater reliable source of relationship in the Lord. I can only wish the same for you. I trust in Jesus’ authority much more than yours. Bye.

  • Herm

    AFBooks, your egotism in no way allows God in. We’re capable of being children in God’s eyes no more and no less. I feel sorry for the attendees of your seminar for what you write is purely out of your brain. That is the true human centered you keep talking about. Jesus is dead to you as the reigning and only Rabbi. Most here would prefer to be His students and not yours. Good luck on your intellectual blind leading the blind scenario you are left with without the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit available to your heart and mind to see the Truth.

  • Noah

    Tend the garden. I’ve mentioned it and it’s obvious.

    I didn’t understand because you’ve said nothing of what you personally do.

    It sounds like you don’t care because the earth is fallen, apparently.

  • Alonzo

    Shhh…quiet, your judgmentalism is showing through again. Put away the stones.

  • Alonzo

    Did you read and digest Romans 8 as I suggested? I don’t see answers to my questions. I do not see any reply to what I said about the four truths I outlined and the philosophy of environmentalism. Did you not read that? Did you not read what I said about being stewards of the earth? I have said that numerous times. I have heard nothing from you and your theology of God, authority, the human condition, and the remedy for it. Further, all I have read from Corey’s article is the remedy of protest with nothing about the theology of God, authority, and the human condition. So please begin…

  • Noah

    Alright, don’t answer in any real words.

    God says tend my creation. There was a fall. Love God – what’s your response to the earth? Concrete response…your own. Too much to ask I guess.

  • Herm

    Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.

  • Alonzo

    I did, but you are failing to read or understand what I have written. You fail to understand Romans 8, the biblical theology of a sovereign God, His authority of the entire universe He created, the human condition of humanity and its results, and God’s remedy. You fail to understand that any approach toward all creation begins with the proper worldview on the above truths, a worldview that rejects a human authority approach that usurps God’s final authority in His word.

    You do not want any answer that does not fit your worldview, because all you would do is criticize. That is not God’s way but the Pharisee way, always criticizing Christ and always ready to pounce on Him because He would not answer them on their terms. Neither will I because you are not seeking biblical truth. I hope and pray that one day you will take Him seriously and seek Him with your entire heart through the only means He has disclosed to us – His word found in the Bible. That is the greatest mandate and commandment He gave us. Walking by faith leads to obedience to Him in ALL things. However, He alone gives the grace to do this. Those who walk by faith will live by His grace. He will take care of the rest through His sovereignty and make all things right. Good bye.

  • Alonzo

    Herm, please put down the stone. The thumping you do with your Bible makes it hard to hear you.

  • Alanna

    See. Except you didn’t get one for the last comment, probably because I highlighted the fact that you get up votes for practically nothing. Furthermore, you didn’t get that up vote from your usual fan base.

  • Alanna

    Maybe you should accept other peoples opinions.

  • Alanna

    Maybe you should take your own advice. ‘Sin no more’.

  • Alanna

    Exhibit number 2. Do you every think that maybe when you put posts like this up that they actually might hurt other peoples feelings.

  • Noah

    Way to deflect.

    What is your approach? Concrete actions through your biblical approach?

    For instance, do you use natural or synthetic compost? Do you grow anything at all? (I don’t at the moment)

    Do you seek to use less resources than you might want to? Especially as it affects other people.

    Do you think about Creation as ‘good’?

    Your faith is worthless without feeds.

  • Trev

    Is Christ a “living attitude” or a “living God”? I think it can be both, but it flows from the latter–otherwise you have an Easter that David Cameron describes, in which the meaning is essentially nothing.

    I think you can be bot worshipful, but also relational. I think St Francis of Assisi is a good example of this. He clearly had an amazingly deep love for the Blessed Sacrament, but was so conformed to Christ’s sufferings and living the Gospel that he was marked with the Holy Stigmata. There are countless other saints that fit this model too.

  • Herm

    Alanna, define sin, please.

  • Andy

    Oh, I got it. I was trolling you.

  • Herm

    My attitude is the portrayal of God who lives in me. I am the lamp. What is in my heart and mind is the abundant energy of light and love that shines from my graced being as a focal point to draw the lost out of the darkness.

    The wounds of Jesus are for the disciples who already know what to look for to see and feel as their cross also. The peace and joy Jesus wishes on all children of Man is a gift of God we can share with all who will receive, from all walks of life and out of all nations, as did Jesus during His walk on Earth.

    Thank you Trev for your most considered thoughts in love that I truly appreciate. Love you!

  • Andy

    I fail to see how a joke about opening a bag labeled “Dead dove – do not eat” and finding — surprise! — a dead bird could offend anyone.

  • Herm

    The very first command recorded from God to Man:

    “God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Genesis 1:28-31 (NRSV)

  • Alonzo

    >>>”Way to deflect.” Nope.

    You have it wrong because you fail to read and you fail to understand the gospel, the gospel of the “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Let me make it simple for you. God is not a one agenda God as you and this whole blog claims (with the wrong agenda to begin with). His agenda is not the same as yours, because His is redemption. His claim on the heart and spirit is far more important to Him than anything in creation. But you fail to get this.

    His top priority is relationship with humanity. When you live by faith, all other things fall in place. Because of my biblical faith, I look at all Scripture and not at cherry-picked portions to meet a certain agenda of man. And because I do exercise biblical faith, I am a good steward of all the gifts God has given me, not just a single item but ALL things.

    Humanistic environmentalism rejects His ways, because it worships man and Gaia with a few other gods thrown in. In doing so, man and his philosophy is responsible for the destruction of the environment while thinking that it is saving it. Environmentalists are not conservationists nor do they care for what is inside man. They look on the outward appearance, the way things appear to them through their tiny lenses of the temporal rather through the eyes of God.

    Consequently, they are destructive by nature in their call for punitive regulations, taxation, and no growth policies. These harm the environment more than help it, because it destroys the economy and innovation for maintaining the environment. Because environmentalists are so narrow in their approach, they are blind to what they are doing toward the destruction of progress and the livelihood of good people who depend on jobs from those whom environmentalists consider evil and bad. They have on blinders and fail to see the larger picture beyond those blinders. Environmentalism is a failed and destructive philosophy that calls for the destruction of so many lives for an idealized and utopian socialist dream, a Malthusian replica from yesteryear.

    Therefore, as I said earlier, I do not answer according to your agenda and narrowed focus. There is a wider and grander picture in God’s economy, one of relating to Him now through to eternity.

    Liberal Christianity has bought into syncretism rather than letting stand the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of all things and who also holds all things together (Colossians 1:16-17). He is Lord of all (Matthew 19:28).

    >>>”Your faith is worthless without feeds.”

    While you judge by outward appearance, God judges the heart, the heart because that His His top priority, the heart because it is devious and misled until He alone creates a new one. No more from me to you.

  • Alanna

    Totally agree with you.

  • Alanna

    “I fail to see how a joke about opening a bag labeled “Dead dove – do not eat” and finding — surprise! — a dead bird could offend anyone” You’re not dim. You know full well.

  • Alanna

    You’re losing your touch since you started to talk to me, less people are voting for you. Ha.

  • Noah

    This isn’t the only issue, it’s one. Not his or my total theology. Just one part.

    What are some concrete ways you are taking part in the redemption of this earth?

    If you were to ask me how am I lowing my neighbor, I wouldn’t say you don’t understand the Gospel or that you attack Christ.

    I’d give you an actual example.

  • Alanna

    “An immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.” Everyone has sins and therefore must deal with them.

  • Andy

    You mean fewer people.

  • Andy

    I don’t. Why don’t you enlighten me?

  • Alanna

    It would be better if you told me why you placed that post in that position in the thread, when people were discussing their understanding / lack of understanding of Corey’s comment.

  • Alanna

    This is a blog not a test. “People love them some straw men”. Would you say that is good grammar.

  • DPWH

    To be perfectly frank, I don’t get why it’s particularly offensive either. It’s sort of funny in the context of simply reading or reading for deeper understanding (as exhibited by action).

    Anyhow: https://robfergiealoud.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/charlie-brown.jpg?w=209&h=209

    (That goes for everyone, in fact! :)

  • Alanna

    The joke wasn’t directed at you. So why on earth would you find it offensive? It was only directed at those who misunderstood Coreys post.

  • DPWH

    I’m not sure if it was directed at anyone in particular or, rather, at a general concept/observation being made by the poster.

    In any case, even if it was directed at someone, it doesn’t really rise to the level of what what I’d normally call “offensive” in terms of what I often see in internet forums. Unless, I suppose, we are going to set that threshold bar extremely low.

    (As the reply was @ me, it sort of was directed at me anyhow, if we want to argue semantics.

    Maybe this will help everyone feel better: http://www.uhhospitals.org/rainbow/about/~/media/uh/images/about/rainbow/bo-the-take-care-bear/bo-the-bear.png

  • Herm

    That’s what I thought you might say.

    googled SIN – noun – an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.- “a sin in the eyes of God” – synonyms: immoral act, wrong, wrongdoing, act of evil/wickedness, transgression, crime, offense, misdeed, misdemeanor;

    Greek Strong’s Number: 264

    Greek Word: ἁμαρτάνω

    Transliteration: hamartanō

    Phonetic Pronunciation: ham-ar-tan’-o

    Root: perhaps from (as a negative particle) and the base of

    Cross Reference: TDNT – 1:267,44

    Part of Speech: v

    Vine’s Words: Sin, Trespass

    English Words used in KJV:

    sin 38

    trespass 3

    offend 1

    for your faults 1

    [Total Count: 43]

    perhaps from (a) (as a negative particle) and the base of (meros); properly to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), i.e. (figurative) to err, especially (moral) to sin :- for your faults, offend, sin, trespass.

    Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

    What is the prize? Luke 10:25

    What must we do not to miss it? Luke 10:27

    What must we be to inherit from God? John 1:12, 13 and John 12:50

    How can we be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect? Matthew 5:43-48

    Pray on this, please. That is the sin I am speaking to and we are free from sin when the Holy Spirit is one with our heart and mind. As children of God we will still err, as all children are expected to do, but we cannot miss the mark.

    Immoral, unethical and even the abominable change when related to the games we children of Man play. What offends (a sin against) God the most is ignoring His Spirit offered to us. In counsel with His Spirit we know to even love empathetically and compassionately our enemy. The “Good Samaritan” in Luke 10:25-37 was an enemy and was offensive to the lawyer and Jesus said that the “Good Samaritan” was the merciful neighbor to the lawyer he must love as himself in order not to miss the mark.

    It really is most simple when in everything we do to all others as we would have all others do to us. That includes God and God includes us before we include Them.

    I would suggest you do the same and you will live! Your choice. Love you, truly!

  • Andy

    No, I would say that’s rhetorical. You, on the other hand, omitted a comma and put a period where you ought to have used a question mark. Unless you were making a point to deliberately misuse punctuation, which was not obvious.

  • Trilemma

    I wonder what will happen too. Will the competition for limited resources lead to another world war? Will deforestation and melting ice uncover ancient pathogens we have no immunity to? Will famine become widespread?

    John Calhoun did some interesting population density tests with rats and mice that show possible psychological aspects of overcrowding.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_B._Calhoun

  • Alanna

    Some parts I agree with and others I don’t. However, what annoys me is when people mock other people just to support one another. For instance, in your posts (I have read some of them) you support people who put down other people. You either up vote them or you contribute to the unkind remarks. Would you say God would approve of that?

  • Andy

    Okay. @D.J. H. said the following:

    “I’m not sure how much clearer that could get.”

    The meme I posted was meant to echo that same sentiment. The sign on the bag says “Dead dove – do not eat” and yet he opens the bag, presumably expecting to find something other than a dead dove. The bag could not have been clearer as to what was in it, and yet, in that context, he basically ignored the sign.

    On second thought, this one would have been slightly more apropos: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ls45geIZvC1qb4kjno9_r2_250.gif

  • Alanna

    Wow. Your Christianity shines through. Incidentally, I didn’t find your original post offensive. I was trying to make a point that is clearly wasted on you.

  • Andy

    I felt it was most appropriate as a pithy follow-up to your comment, as it echoes the “it’s pretty clear” sentiment. It never occurred to me that someone would take offense to it. As I said in another comment, even more appropriate — and from the same show, even — would have been this: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ls45geIZvC1qb4kjno9_r2_250.gif

  • Andy

    And what was that?

  • Alanna

    I already told you.

  • Andy

    Well, this conversation has been very edifying. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me.

  • Alanna

    I doubt it. You tend to like mocking people. So, it is likely that you got far more enjoyment out of it.

  • Andy

    And you tend to make assumptions about people. Oh, wait…

  • Herm

    I agree that you should not write to be voted up. I understand that something is making you uncomfortable enough to speak out. If you were to review, again (thank you for caring!), in full context you would see I was supporting those who supported others against an outside attack. The mocking is childish but it serves a purpose of venting among ourselves who see something together that others clearly refuse to see beyond their attacking nature. I am not perfect at it but I do make every attempt to respect the attackers as sincere. I want to be supportive of everyone but I have to draw a line when it doesn’t support what I know in my heart and mind as constructive and/or productive.

    We were not privy in the Bible to all that Jesus did or lived during His walk on Earth. He had to have had a real live life working, playing, struggling, and being a perfectly complete Son of Man. There were the last three years of real life struggles, peace and joys shared with His closest disciples every day and every night that we know the most of.

    Love does not mean being warm and fuzzy all the time. Love means most being honest and if our feelings are hurting we need to mercifully share our hurt. Love means, also, the opposite when we are joyous we need to share our feelings of joy honestly.

    I learned with God, who loves me and I Them, that I can share honestly even in mocking and unkind remarks as long as I don’t ignore Them or shut Them out. I rely on the Holy Spirit to know the fragility of the heart and mind I am sharing with as to how I respond and the words I might use.

    To the recipients Jesus said many unkind words because He loved them. He did everything He could to draw them out of their darkness even to pick up the cross for them.

    As a child in each public school I attended I had one out and out fight with the school yard bully because I would not submit to intimidation, manipulation or subjugation. After each fight respect for each other was gained and I could step between any bully in that school and his/her victim to stop any further attack. Old habits are hard to unlearn especially when my heart goes out to the victims first and then to the attackers. God hasn’t told me to unlearn that habit yet.

    I must believe God approves of that when what is interpreted as an unkind remark is in fact Truth.

    Does this make some sense?

  • Alonzo

    Noah, you nor I can redeem the earth. According to the Scriptures, only God can redeem all of creation, and He will. You are using redemption in the wrong way and misapplying it. I suggested to you to read Romans 8, but since you have not addressed it, it appears that you are ignoring it.

    Again, you are concentrating on your own agenda and are ignoring what I say because you see redemption through the eyes of your own agenda and not through the Bible. What application does Paul make from Romans 8 about creation? Do you not understand that creation includes humanity? Since it does, how are you addressing it? Feed it compost? What about the environment of your spirit and soul? The environment of your intellect and will? How do you apply what Paul is suggesting in Romans 8? Give specifics.

    What is the grand theme of redemption throughout Scripture? What is your part in this grand theme of redemption as the authors explain it? See Romans 8 again. What is the gospel and its application to you? What are you doing with the gospel? Give specifics. What does the Bible tell us about walking by faith and the environment of faith? How does that apply to you? Give specifics.

    What does Paul mean by “new creation” in 2 Corinthians 5:17? What is its environment? Are you taking care of this new creation? How? Give specifics and steps you are taking?

    Once you answer these questions and all preceding ones I posed to you, then we can continue. However, it seems that you want the discussion to go one way, your way according to your agenda. That is not the way discussions work. So if you wish to carry on a one way conversation, then find someone else to discuss it with, one of your environmental friends. You have not replied to anything I have said because you ignore it or do not understand what I wrote.

    That means you really do not have answers to the things that are important to God. Your thinking is far too narrow to know the thing important to Him. Now answer ALL of my questions or the discussion with you ends. GOT IT THIS TIME?

    Your agenda it not the only one on the table. So do not attempt to be evasive by turning the discussion into a one way soliloquy. Otherwise you will end up simply talking with yourself.

    So start giving examples.

  • Alanna

    Thank you for sharing. I agree with some of what you have said. But, I don’t believe that God would approve of mocking others. Having studied psychology for 5 yrs I know that taunting and insulting people never gets good results. It only serves to provoke people (in general) and make them rally all the stronger against you. God Bless.

  • Alanna

    “And you tend to make assumptions about people.” Never start a sentence with ‘And’. Yes, I do make assumptions about people. I normally presume that people are good. I’m sure you are, but I don’t like people mocking me. Forgive me for that. “It wasn’t very clear to me either.” This comment was above and therefore your post mocked me. Incidentally, don’t come back to me with some comment on grammar or spelling as you were the one who started that in the first place. I normally don’t pay much attention to detail (as concerns spelling and grammar) in blogs.

  • Andy

    There’s a difference between writing rhetorically and writing sloppily. Taking linguistic liberties, which many authors do, isn’t the same as using the wrong punctuation or word.

    And I’m sorry you felt that way about my comment(s).

  • Alanna

    I will take the apology, even though it wasn’t genuine.

  • Andy

    Why do you think it wasn’t genuine?

  • otrotierra

    When evangelicals tire of hating God’s children and tire of falsely accusing Benjamin Corey of “EARTH WORSHIP!”, perhaps then they can tend to the business of following Jesus.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you Enesvy! Reading comprehension is important. Without it, adult conversation simply isn’t possible.

  • Alanna

    Are you not getting really bored of this conversation? I am. I accept the apology.

  • Paul Schlitz Jr.

    good thought otrotierra. We all know which one is harder to do

  • otrotierra

    Taking Benjamin’s biblically-sound exhortations seriously leads to accepting responsibility to others and to the world around us. That’s hard.

    But refusing Benjamin’s challenge by falsely accusing him of “WORSHIPPING THE EARTH!!1!”… Wow, cowardice sure comes easy.

  • Alonzo

    “I don’t believe that our purpose is to love and worship God. If God created us for that purpose then God is narcissistic beyond comprehension.”

    REALLY!!!???

    So you do not believe God when He says so? So how do you read the following:

    “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28)

    “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24)

    There are so many more in the Bible. If you reject the Bible, you also reject God.

  • Alonzo

    Out of context. Show in Deut. citation where it mentions taking care of creation. You are reading into the text.

  • Alonzo

    We are and God is doing the restoration.

  • Alonzo

    >>>”The number one environmental problem facing the planet is human overpopulation. Unless the population stops growing, all efforts to preserve all of creation will ultimately be futile.”

    Oh, the old Malthusian argument that has been refuted a thousand times over.

    So if people stop producing offspring, we will see a decline in population. There will be no next generation. No one to fill jobs for productivity. All technology will cease. We will return to the stone age until all human life disappears. Nice argument. NOT.

  • Alonzo

    THE SKY IS FALLING!! MOVE!

  • Andy

    Alrighty then.

  • Alanna

    You do believe in taking care of the environment, don’t you? But, you believe that God should come first and foremost. Am I right or wrong?

  • Trilemma

    Both these verses simply give instruction on how to worship. The first says to worship in reverence and awe out of gratitude. The second says to worship in spirit. Neither of them says people were created for the purpose of worshiping God.

  • Trilemma

    I did not say that people need to stop having children.

    The world population is currently 7.31 billion. How many people do you think Earth can support? Ten billion? Twenty billion? Fifty billion?

  • Alonzo

    It is apparent that you neither know Greek nor how to read a sentence. In both places, the author holds God up as the object of worship. You missed that. You also stated that. If God is not the object of worship, then the modifiers would be irrelevant. There are a plethora of Scripture on this that seem to escape your notice.

    Your contempt for God in calling Him a narcissist forms your worldview that rejects God.

  • Alonzo

    >>>”Unless the population stops growing…”

    How does the population stop growing if people bear children? Euthanasia? Are you one who advocates that practice? Again, you reply on the old refuted and fictitious Malthusian philosophy. He became a laughing stock of his generation.

  • This Is afbooks blog I think!

  • Alanna

    Why? Are you jealous?

  • Yes I think all of the above repeated in a well established pattern that mostly I read in the minute implications and details by studying hitler, nazism, history of nazi germany, the industry of extermination as deployed by existing corporations at the behest of nazi political/military institutions & the creativity of artists employed to glamorize propaganda.

  • Yes, worshipping the earth would be idolatry- that’s what I said. Taking care of the earth isn’t the same thing as worshipping it. I take care of my house because that’s the responsible thing to do, and because it’s really important to my wife. That doesn’t mean that I worship my house.

  • The first commandment and first mandate are totally different things. Not sure how to help you on that one.

    You can’t love God with all your heart while without simultaneously loving and caring for his creation. They can’t be separated into their own neat boxes as you’re trying to do.

  • Funny how God’s blueprint is used in marriage discussions, but somehow when it comes to environmentalism that would be “idolatry.”

  • Can’t say that I have.

  • I may be a bit of a fanboy; she was my OT professor in seminary. Her book that’s most relevant to this particular discussion is Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible. As the subtitle makes obvious, the book is concerned with the theology and ethics of land use, as explored through Biblical exegesis.

    I actually usually recommend Getting Involved With God for people not familiar with Dr. Davis’ work, but it doesn’t have quite the same narrow agrarian focus that would make it the most relevant for this particular discussion. Anyways, if you happen to have the time, I cannot recommend Dr. Davis’ books enough. I’d even be willing to loan you my copies, if you’re okay with waiting for them to get there from Virginia :-P

  • Alonzo

    Benjamin,

    And you cannot cherry pick Scripture and call things what they are not while projecting modern concepts as “radical environmentalism” on ancient history to a foreign culture. Please show “radical environmentalism” from the author’s intent and the language that author used. Please also show the author’s intended application from his intent and the context. Please show in the Hebrew where the Bible calls “radical environmentalism” a mandate. You engage in eisegesis rather than exegesis and remove passages from context without even identifying any passage. Afterwards, your application of protest is foreign to the ancient authors and culture of that time.

    There is a Hebrew word some translations render as “mandate” [מִשְׁמַרְתּ֗וֹ, transliteration: miš-mar-tōw], but you will not find it in Genesis. It does not appear until Numbers and appears only three times in the Scriptures, and it has a very specific context the original readers understood.

    The environment, as I mentioned earlier, includes people. So, yes I can love God with all my heart, mind, and strength as He informed us throughout Scriptures without catering to “radical environmentalism” or for placing the environment as top priority. Jesus said that the second greatest commandment is to love one’s neighbor. If you wish to talk of mandates, however, there is one that Jesus declares that is first when He states, “Seek first His kingdom and righteousness…” (Matthew 6:33). Seeking the kingdom of God is living righteously before God. If you want to understand the word righteousness, then look at the context.

    Each time the greatest commandment is shown in Scriptures concerning loving God, the author has a specific context. You cannot read into every context a “radical environmentalism” and ignore what the surrounding passage says. It is an exegetical fallacy to do so. You cannot connect a “radical environmentalism” to the love of God unless the authors of Scriptures inform it. That is the fallacy of false association.

    For example, when God spoke to the Israelites through Moses in Deuteronomy 6, He gave them what Jesus identified as the greatest commandment: to love Him with all their being. There is nothing in the passage that mentions the environment. He was very specific concerning what that love encompassed in the preceding chapter when He reiterated the Ten Commandments. When Jesus reiterated that command to the Pharisees and Jews, they clearly understood the context of Deuteronomy. To read “radical environmentalism” into that or other similar passages is to misread and distort the text. It is reading your own meaning into Scriptures and ignoring the Scriptural authors.

    So, Benjamin, that is what you do. Furthermore, to distort the passage of Scripture, is to take away from it your own reading and to distort what God Himself declared. That is standing on very shaky ground that the Scriptures warn against. It also displaces God’s authority for your own and challenging His authority in the Scriptures through reading your own meaning into Scriptures. So I disagree for the above laid out reasons.

  • DPWH

    Wears called to be “radical” in our love. For God, others, and creation. That’s because we are images of God who has radical self-communal love (Trinity), radical love for humanity, and radical love for His creation.

    The three go hand in hand. Love for God is love for others. Love for God is love for His creation. Love of creation is love of others. And love of others is love of his creation. Love of His creation is love of him, Love of others is love of him.

    Three points of a triangle. Three interactive aspects of love. The concept is not complex, and your attempts to make it so speak to a wish to deny its reality and necessity.

  • DPWH

    Within contemporary Christendom, earth-worship (even in the reductio ad absurdum sense) barely exists, while dollar-worship (and related creation despoiling) is rampant and real.

    That’s the irony here.

  • You can’t love God without loving the environment, you can’t love your neighbor without caring for the environment, and God goes as far as warning that those who don’t care for the environment don’t go to heaven- just like the liars, thieves, and immoral. So, disagree all you want, but if you’re not caring and protecting the environment scripture warns the outcome isn’t pleasant.

  • Alonzo

    Who or what is “Wears?” What is the context? What is his/her/its source of authority? What do the Scriptures say? In CONTEXT? According to the biblical author’s intent?

    If the Scriptures are the final authority for faith, life, and practice, then all the words of others must be judged by that authority. If the Scriptures are not the final authority, then man makes up his own authority, and philosophy goes with the wind or whatever the flavor of the month might be. Which will it be, sir? Chocolate or Vanilla? Or you can mix flavors. We have one over here called syncretism.

    As I said to Benjamin, Scripture has context and the intent of the author. What does the author mean by…? God appointed the authors of the Scriptures to speak for Him. Ignoring them is ignoring God. What is the context of this passage when it speaks of love? What did the author mean, and how did he mean for us to apply it? I gave an example. Did you read and understand it?

    If your illustration is not according to context and the author’s intent, it is a false analogy, and you read into Scriptures – eisegesis.

  • Alonzo

    Benjamin, did you not read what I wrote? You keep repeating yourself after I already refuted what you said without any rebuttal Repetition is not a rebuttal. I already replied to your first sentence as a false association. I see no Scriptural citation for your claim.

    It also seems that you believe in a works salvation while making still another false and unbiblical association. If you believe people are not going to heaven because they do not take care of the environment, then you have created salvation by works and rejected the atonement and redeeming work of Christ, which is outright unbiblical. Your false association is that of “liars, thieves, and immoral.” There is no shred of evidence in Scripture for your claims.

    I never said I was not caring for the environment. You raise a straw man. You change the subject and have read your own meaning into what I wrote. Did you not read where I mentioned several times about being good stewards? I am not challenging being a good steward of all God gives us (including, by the way, His Word in the Scriptures, His spiritual gifts, and all we own).

    I challenge the priority you place one it and that you call such a priority a mandate without evidence from Scripture. I refuted your “mandate” and your lack of evidence for it from Scripture itself. In fact, you have yet to give any citation from Scripture to support anything you write. You also make an unwarranted judgment not in accord to Scripture.

    So, yes, you are wrong biblically and have not supported anything you claim. Now, if you write that your claim is your opinion, that would be an entirely different issue. But you wrote as thought the Bible itself testifies to your claim. It does not, and you have shown nothing to support your claims.

  • DPWH

    sorry, typo autocorrect. “Wears” =” we are”

  • You haven’t refuted anything- you’ve cited a commandment from later in scripture and argued that was the original mandate, which it wasn’t. The funny thing is, even ultra-fundamentalists believe that tending creation was the “original mandate” (some call it the “dominion mandate”). It’s not even something that’s being debated- other than by you.

    So, have fun debating yourself. It doesn’t change the fact that the purpose God assigned to Adam in the Genesis narrative was to tend and subdue creation. It’s not nearly as complicated as you’re trying to make it. If you get a chance to go to seminary in the future someone might be able to explain it to you in a way that you can understand.

    Oh, and there’s all the evidence I need to associate those who harm the environment with the other types of sinners I listed. Since you affirm the authority of scripture, I’d point you to the verse I referenced in scripture where God warns that he’s going to destroy those who destroy the earth.

    I’m assuming you believe folks like the sexually immoral will be left out of the Kingdom since Paul says it. I simply assert that those who harm the environment get left out too, since John says it. Consistency.

  • Alonzo

    Noah, I am waiting for your answers to my questions.

  • Alonzo

    Benjamin, what are you talking about? Non sequitur.

  • Alonzo

    Guest,

    I have mentioned several times now that humanity is a steward of all that God has given us. Jesus’ parables on stewardship teach us that directly fro God Himself. However, nothing in them refers to the environment. Jesus teaches us that loving God always comes first (Matthew 6:33).

  • Alonzo

    D,

    Please cite the Scriptural text, especially the Greek in place where love is mentioned. You won’t find it. You read into Scripture teachings that are not there.

  • Alonzo

    >>>”It doesn’t change the fact that the purpose God assigned to Adam in the Genesis narrative was to tend and subdue creation. It’s not nearly as complicated as you’re trying to make it. If you get a chance to go to seminary in the future someone might be able to explain it to you in a way that you can understand.”

    Please cite the passage to which you refer, give an exegesis (and not an eisegesis) of it, showing the meaning of the Hebrew for “mandate,” and PLEASE be contextual and cite the intent of the author. These are only a few of the many exegetical errors you have committed, leading you to a total misinterpretation of Genesis. Of course, you have cited no passage yet to support your theological point.

    Complicated? Another straw man argument.

    Benjamin, I did earn my Master degree from seminary with high honors and do have a sense of what I am talking about.

    >>>”Since you affirm the authority of scripture, I’d point you to the verse I referenced in scripture where God warns that he’s going to destroy those who destroy the earth.”

    I do affirm the authority of Scripture. However, I do not affirm or agree with your interpretation of it. You cherry-pick Bible passages, remove them from context (or refuse to cite them), ignore the intent of the author and the author’s application, and read backwards into another time and culture meaning never intended or foreign to the authors. In terms of the single verse you quote from Revelation, you missed the context entirely and what John is actually referring to when he makes the contrasting statement. Proof texting is no way to perform exegesis.

    Please place Revelation 11:18 back into its context and explain it from what John intended. The primary theme is judgment, and the object of that judgment are the “kingdoms (kings, rulers) of the earth.” You will find this phrase within the context of 11:18 and numerous other places in Revelation. It is a key phrase for John, because he wants to show that there is one King who will judge all the kings of the earth and condemn them to perdition. See the following references: 6:16; 10:11; 11:15; 16:12, 14, 16; 17:2, 9-18; 18:3; 9.

    A good exegete would have observed the repetition of this phrase and continued references to the kings that oppose Christ and His kingdom and the judgment that God will bring upon them. It is the kings of the earth who destroy the earth, because they follow their father Satan who is the prince of destruction. Destruction is what those who oppose Christ do and refuse to submit to Him as their King. The passage you cite belongs in this larger context of the entire book. Your proof texting removes it from this context. John is prophesying about the judgment at the end of time and is showing how He will save those who place their faith in the King of Kings and judge all those who reject Christ. This is the larger context.

    Environmentalism is not even a theme in Revelation and would cause John to scratch his head if he were alive today to hear it. No such thought of environmentalism would ever come to the mind of his audience.

    You missed the context and ignored John’s message and totally misread Revelation if you really believe that Revelation 11:18 speaks about anti-environmentalists. That is the farthest thing from John’s mind and message.

    I suggest you go back and reread Revelations, especially the passages I cited from it to pick up one of the major themes in the book: God’s judgment on the kings of the earth and final redemption of all those who place faith in Him. All of those passages are a lot for you to overlook for reading into a single verse a meaning never intended. Your exegetical skills are poor at best. Did you take a course in hermeneutics?

    >>>”Oh, and there’s all the evidence I need to associate those who harm the environment with the other types of sinners I listed.”

    Where?

    You still have not replied to a whole host of my refutations of your claims. Just to say I have not refuted your claims does not make it so. You have failed to show it or adequately rebutted them except to repeat yourself. As I said earlier, repetition is not refutation or rebuttal.

  • You’re correct in that I am a horrible exegete. But here’s what’s awesome about that: in all my years at the academy studying under some of the best theolocal minds the west has to offer, no one ever caught on. To this day, I’m still excited about that, because it’s too late for them to revoke my credentials.

    But anyway, just fyi, the last book in the NT cannon is actually “Revelation” not “Revelations.”

  • Alonzo

    Thanks for your confession (tongue in cheek it seems). Thanks for catching my one typo in eight or so places. That is the reason I have my wife read my manuscripts for publication. I like writing but not editing. I have published two books myself in two disciplines: corporate finance and apologetics. In addition to my Master degree from Western Seminary, I also have an MBA from Pepperdine University. I am working on two more Christian books, which I have to balance out with another the publisher of my finance book wants me to do. I favor writing in apologetics and teaching it since I retired two years ago after over 30 years in corporate finance.

  • Noah

    Funny, that.

  • Noah

    That’s all I was looking for. God is doing the restoration, but we’re part of it, no? He includes us and uses us?

    3, maybe 2 options: Do good, do bad, do nothing (could be seen as doing bad).

    We’re certainly empowered by God in the good we do, but he’s also working in/with non-believers as well (law unto their own).

  • Noah

    I see, I think, what you mean by redemption. Obviously that won’t happen fully until God does it.

    Yes, creation is groaning. Here’s the thing, we can make it groan less (at least for creatures) and/or we can make it ‘groan’ more. Why choose that?

    This isn’t about an agenda – this is a blog post about being good to creation. No need to try and make this a total theology, as I’ve pointed out. Talking about one thing does not mean that is the only thing ever talked about.

    The general point of this particular blog entry is that we should be good to God’s creation –especially– as it affects our fellow humans, believer and nonbeliever alike.

    “Now answer ALL of my questions or the discussion with you ends. GOT IT THIS TIME?”

    Wow. That’s pretty angry.

  • Alanna

    Yes. Sorry. I do actually agree with you. I didn’t have time to read all of your posts.

  • Robert Mark Wade

    The LORD God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden in order to have him work it and guard it. Genesis 2:15. The NET Bible seems to be telling us we have a stewardship responsibility for the Earth. Too many “Christians” think this original command doesn’t apply, when it still is a responsibility for us today as well.

  • Alonzo

    Noah,

    What I mean by “God is doing the restoration” is that He creates IN us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). That new creation is “…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). We are not saved nor do we go to hell by those things we do or refrain from going. Our doing of good works have nothing to do with our salvation. If they did, we could place the demand on God to let us into His kingdom. Salvation or reconciliation with God is by His doing alone through His inward regeneration of spiritual life through the Holy Spirit.

    God does not lay on us any mandate He Himself does not accomplish through us. And as I shared with Benjamin earlier, there are only three places in all of Scriptures (the Hebrew) where scholars have translated the Hebrew as “mandate,” and not one of them appears in Genesis. Each time it is used, God’s audience was Israel.

    If we love Him or others, we do so by His strength and wisdom. Jesus Himself told His disciples that without Him they (and we) could do nothing (John 15:6), and that “nothing” according to context is loving and living righteously, that is the outworking of the inner life of the spirit.

    As believers in and through the New Covenant, everything changed. In the Old Covenant, the outward was emphasized (the Ten Commandments and corresponding laws to Israel) while in the New Covenant, the inward was emphasized, the change of heart and God’s love. Jesus summed up the entire law in two commandments: love God and others.

  • Alonzo

    Agenda and worldview arises out of theology beginning with God first. I never said nor implied we should not do good things. This issue Benjamin claimed made the environment first and foremost and determined one’s salvation. That, and not taking care of the environment, is what I contended.

    Interesting that you can read emotions over the Internet and project specific feelings and emotion on another.

  • Noah

    Ok, not sure what that has to do with not prioritizing creation? Loving God and loving others mean we prioritize creation care, no?

    Again, not the only thing. It isn’t hard to prioritize more than one thing.

  • Noah

    I don’t think he ever claimed it to determine one’s salvation as the only thing.

    When you capitalize, it shows emotion. Especially when saying ‘GOT IT THIS TIME?”

  • Alonzo

    dicentra,

    I write under my publishing business name (abbreviated) Action Faith Books Press. You can read articles on my blog and reply at this link: https://actionfaithbookspress.wordpress.com/.

    My first book was a business books from my experience in corporate finance. Its title is “Customer-Driven Budgeting.” My second book was “Nothing Budget the Gospel: Can We Be Saved Through Creation, Other Religions, or Human Philosophy.” Both can be published through Amazon.

    I am working on a third book about sharing hope in the area of apologetics. It will explain how one’s worldview will determine one’s philosophy of God, authority, the human condition, and the remedy for it and how Christians can offer biblical answers for each.

  • Alonzo

    Noah,

    A good way to start in terms of priority is to read through the New Testament, especially all those passages dealing with God’s love and determine the context to understand how God wants us to love. God is very specific in those passages. Read Matthew 6:33 and its context and see what Matthew wants you to apply. Then go to other like passages.

  • Noah

    I don’t get the continued desire to shift attention away from the fact that Christians are called to care for God’s creation?

    Seek his kingdom. Yes. Care for the created. Human first, obviously.

    Loving our neighbors also means we don’t mess up their land (BP oil spill, the need to restore fisheries and such for commercial purposes, etc.)

  • Alonzo

    Dicentra,

    You are very welcome. My publishing business profile reveals that I have a biblical worldview, focused on honoring and glorifying God with His word as revealed in the entire Scriptures in the 66 books it contains, which rightly understood and interpreted according to the historical-grammatical principles of interpretation that focuses on the author’s intent and the various contexts of each and every text those books hold reveal the redemptive will of God for a life of faith and its practice.

    These Scriptures not only reveal God but the human condition and the remedy for it.

  • Alonzo

    >>>”I don’t get the continued desire to shift attention away from the fact that Christians are called to care for God’s creation?”

    A false assumption on your part, Noah. Have you examined the suggested Scriptures? I also see no answers to the questions I posed to you previously. You easily go on rabbit trails.

    >>>”Seek his kingdom. Yes. Care for the created. Human first, obviously.”

    You can hold the above cited position if you dispute the words of Jesus, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

    >>>”Loving our neighbors also means we don’t mess up their land (BP oil spill, the need to restore fisheries and such for commercial purposes, etc.)”

    Logical fallacy of false association.

  • Alonzo

    Noah,

    Below is what Benjamin wrote,

    “You can’t love God without loving the environment, you can’t love your neighbor without caring for the environment, and God goes as far as warning that those who don’t care for the environment don’t go to heaven- just like the liars, thieves, and immoral.”

    This statement not only claims that Benjamin believes that one who does not take care of the environment will go to hell. Not only does he believe this, but he also believes a works salvation, which is the opposite of what the Bible teaches. This rejects the atonement of Christ and the biblical testimony of redemption and replaces Him for works.

  • Realist1234

    My view, for what its worth – it seems to me God is supposed to be first in our lives, but love for Him means obedience as Jesus said. Obedience is not just limited to the New Testament teaching by Jesus and the apostles, or the ‘law’ in the Old. It is the Bible as a whole, and goes right back to Genesis. In the same way that Jesus used the Genesis account of marriage to describe God’s original purpose for that relationship, we also need to take seriously his original purpose for man to take care of the created earth. I dont believe it was his primary purpose, but one of his roles. As such I think we are supposed to limit environmental damage, the current one being climate change, which the vast majority of scientists believe is primarily man-made due to the industrial revolution. It is clear this is already affecting communities around the world, particularly in poorer countries. Though it should be noted if mankind had not developed technology 7 billion people would still be burning wood for heat with all the carbon dioxide that would be producing, not to mention the number of trees cut down. In my view the main question we need to ask ourselves is, what am I personally doing to reduce our carbon footprint? Do I have solar panels to generate electricity, rather than using fossil fuels? Do I drive an electric car, or at least a hybrid? Have I cut down on my heating and electricity usage in my own home? Do I cut down on my air travel – Ben you just travelled to Jordan from the US! lol Until we make it personal to our own individual lives, it means very little.

  • You don’t believe that sinners must repent as a condition of being welcomed into God’s Kingdom?

  • Eva

    Do you? Or is it just the ones you deem to be sins? Homosexuality is a sin, but you appear to approve of that.

  • Trilemma

    The way I see it, humans were not created for the purpose of taking care of the planet. The planet would have been just fine, if not better, without humans. The planet existed for billions of years before humans came along to take care of it. I think the creation story says that the environment was created for humans. To be healthy, humans need something to do in order to have a sense of purpose. Adam and Eve were to find that sense of purpose in taking care of the garden that was created for them.

  • Realist1234

    You have a valid point, though the ‘garden’ has now expanded to the whole earth and we’ve made a bit of a mess of it. Although the Lord will ultimately create a ‘new’ heaven and earth, it will still be very much a physical earth and I tend to think the earth as it is just before then will continue in some sense, even whilst it is being transformed.

  • Alonzo

    Benjamin, what prompts your question in response to what I wrote earlier? How does it relate to what wrote? What is your thinking leading up to the question? It appears to come out of nowhere. Once you tell me, then I can answer your question in a more appropriate manner.

    Also, why ask the question in a negative way, making an assumption about what I do not believe?

  • I’m asking because you’ve accused me of believing in works based salvation.

  • gimpi1

    The population stops growing because people have children, they just have only one or two children, thus not fully replacing themselves. Also, some people elect not to have kids, (hi there!) choosing to adopt or devote their energies to other things.

    You know that, right?

    Tossing out euthanasia is just goofy. Trilemma never said people shouldn’t have kids. She suggested we might want to think twice before having lots of kids. That’s a profound difference.

  • Alonzo

    >>>”God goes as far as warning that those who don’t care for the environment don’t go to heaven- just like the liars, thieves, and immoral.”

    I was citing what you wrote. Caring the the environment is a work. Those who do not care for the environment, according to you, are going to hell.

    Please explain how one could not come to the conclusion that not doing good works, as caring for the environment, will go to hell, unless somehow you do not view caring for the environment as goods works. If it isn’t, what is it? I see nothing about faith in your statement.

    By all means clarify your statement. In addition, I would like to read how you view one’s entrance to the kingdom of God (salvation, eternal life with God, etc.).

  • Alonzo

    No what I said is not goofy but simply the philosophy behind population control – the old Malthusian argument that we will run our of resources. He said that over 300 hundred years ago, and what he said has not happened. We do not have a lack of resources. Environmentalist have led to such scarcity by promoting regulations to prevent their use and to tax and regulate capital for greater productivity for producing the equipment to get to those resources.

  • gimpi1

    Well, if you regard recognizing any physical limits that living on a finite planet entails as Malthusian, I can only say that you’re mistaken.

    The earth’s resources are finite. Malthusian limits specifically failed to understand the way advances in technology – especially agriculture – would affect production. However, Peak Oil is quite real. Diseases caused by pollution are quite real. Cities where the very air is almost unbreathable are real. There are real limits to what the earth can produce. There is real damage that we are causing to both the environment and to ourselves.

    One example where I live, the OSO landslide. The area that the OSO housing-development was built in was understood to be slide-prone. It was not zoned for construction for years. However, a combination of a developer putting pressure on local government to open the area (where he owned property – bought cheaply due to the zoning regulations) and housing pressures caused by growing populations made local government back down. The development was built (against the advice of geologists) and, eventually, the rains came in hard – as they always do in this area. The development was destroyed and many people died.

    I bring this up because the developer who argued for the relaxation of zoning rules used your argument, “Environmentalist regulations have led to scarcity by promoting regulations to prevent their use…” He claimed the regulations were just an attempt to drive up housing prices. He was wrong. The regulations were there for a reason, the geology and climate of the region. Both the passion for deregulation and population pressures contributed to their repeal, with tragic results.

    We live on a finite planet. That’s physical reality. Physical reality has a way of enforcing its limits.

  • Alonzo

    Economically he was right and you are wrong because you do not seem to understand economics. Limiting resources do drive up prices for consumption. The economist Thomas Sowell has written extensively on the topic of how restricting land use has led to high housing prices. He devotes an entire book with empirical evidence that shows that when you restrict land use, you have higher housing prices. It is only economic common sense and aligns with the law of supply and demand.

    Yours is the logical fallacy of false association by equating my statement to a specific situation and at the same time drawing faulty logic of hasty generalization. You unequivocally assume that repealing regulations were solely responsible for the situation.

  • gimpi1

    I understand economics. I also understand geology, soil-hydrology and climate. The situation I described is what happens when physical reality takes a back-seat to economics. If the zoning-regulations had not been repealed, the development wouldn’t have been built, and when the landslide came, the people living there wouldn’t have died. Economics were presumed to be more important than physical reality. However, physical reality always wins in the end.

    Without land restrictions building-codes and such, you have situations like OSO. You also have situations such as Nepal is currently undergoing, where buildings built on the cheap, in disaster-prone areas, collapse and kill people, people who wouldn’t have been driven to move into such unsuitable areas without population pressures.

    That said, this has gone on long enough. You clearly are unwilling to understand the unforgiving nature of physical reality. I clearly won’t ignore it. I see no reason in continuing to talk past each other. Fare well.

    Edited for P.S. Take this as a reminder to kick in for disaster-relief for Nepal! The situation is dire, and these people need our help.

  • Alonzo

    I do not buy into liberal fiction.

  • gimpi1

    So geology and soil hydrology are fiction? Liberal fiction specifically? Well, I can’t wait to tell my husband, he’s a geologist. I guess Jon Stewart was right, reality has a known liberal bias.

    (I know I signed off. I just couldn’t believe someone calling basic geology, geology that lead to a tragedy because it was ignored a “liberal fiction.”)

  • Jeff Preuss

    MINERALS ARE OBAMA’S LIES. GEODES WERE PLACED BY SATAN TO MAKE BABIES GAY. ROCK STRATA WERE PAINTED BY PAGANS.

  • Alonzo

    Realist,

    I agree with your statement of the Bible as being wholly the word of God. One thing I do not read from you is context. When Jesus used the Old Testament (or Torah), He did so to reply to those who either questioned His authority, to rebut His opponents, or to expand on the divine meaning of certain truths.

    When he discussed marriage, it was for a very specific purpose. You must pay attention to the context to gain His meaning. For example, when referring back to the beginning, God’s pronouncement of the first marriage, Jesus addressed divorce. To go beyond the intent of that passage is to remove it from context. The same applies to other passages in the New Testament where the authors discuss marriage. Simply to make a statement about a certain issue without considering context and the author’s intent is to be misleading.

    It is also the logical fallacy of false association, which many here are guilty of using. False association is accepting that the a certain syllogism is universally applied in whole for all arguments, and that what is true for one argument must be true for another. False association could also mean that what is true for one thing is true for another.

    Just because Jesus argued from the Genesis account for marriage in support of a rebuttal to an argument does not mean that the same argument applies to the environment. That is false. Arguing in such a manner could also be a fallacy of composition – i.e., applying an argument to completely separate set of circumstances when it is not appropriate to do so or one does not have anything to do with the other.

    That is, marriage and the environment have nothing to do with one another. They are categorically different. Furthermore, Jesus never framed a like argument about the environment. Therefore, you cannot use the argument for marriage for application to the environment.

  • Alonzo

    So, the logical conclusion of your argument is that God made a mistake in creating humans. Bad argumentation.

    >>>”To be healthy, humans need something to do in order to have a sense of purpose.”

    You ignore several truths outlined in the Scriptures:

    1. Humanity is created in the image of God, and God endowed in us the purpose of glorifying Him and enjoying His fellowship now and in eternity
    2. Our purpose is to walk by faith and to be holy and He is holy.

  • Alonzo

    >>>”So geology and soil hydrology are fiction?” We were speaking initially of limited resources. Now go back and read my original post.

    You have a difficult time reading, eh?

  • Guy Norred

    Re-read his comment. He said that that is not what a Christian should do.

  • Alonzo

    >>>” though the ‘garden’ has now expanded to the whole earth and we’ve made a bit of a mess of it.”

    Again, another logical fallacy of false analogy. You misapply metaphor for your own purpose and read the metaphor into a meaning not found in Scripture.

  • gimpi1

    Index-fossils are of the devil! Subduction is a lie from the pit of hell! Erosional patterns make Baby Jesus cry!

    (This is fun.)

  • gimpi1

    Geology tells us that resources are not unlimited.

    Peak oil is a geologic concept. So are slide-zones and other geologic actions and formations that limit development. Limits are part of life on a finite planet.

    And I read quite well, thank you.

  • Alonzo

    Again, you redirected from the primary premise. You failed to read. Bye until you read rightly.

  • It’s almost unreal, except it’s not.

  • Hey- we agree on something. Jesus wasn’t talking about marriage in that passage, he was talking about permissible situations to divorce. Exactly why the passage can’t be used to condemn LGBT people, because it’s a post about divorce, not the definition of marriage.

  • Alonzo

    Corey,

    We are far from agreement on biblical theology and you are far from the topic you started by going off on a rabbit trail.

    1. Jesus affirmed marriage as God originally intended between a man and woman so that the passage can be used to affirm the marital relationship as God intended, because the theology of marriage is central to the Torah passage and flows through Torah. Jesus quoted from Torah – the Law of Moses. You are wrong once again.
    2. To distort the original intention of marriage is to distort God’s plan of redemption, also; for that plan came to be reflected in Christ and the Church as the Church is the Bride of Christ, which was intended from eternity
    3. Jesus’ agreement with the Law proves you wrong. He did not have to say anything about homosexuality to be against it, because it violated the Law of Moses, and He, as God gave that Law to Moses, and the moral law was never abrogated.
    4. The acronym you give is a modern construct foreign to the ancient Jewish people and Jesus Himself.

    Your post is a non-sequitur. Unfortunately, it reveals your theology, a departure from biblical authority for establishing your own authority.

    You will hear no more from me. You have refused to respond to posts I have made, gone off a rabbit trails numerous times, and showed that you really do not understand the Bible inasmuch as you attended seminary for that purpose.

  • Point proven: you’ve been telling everyone for days that they don’t understand “context” so I presented you with a passage on divorce… and drum roll please… you did what I imagined: you took it out of context (divorce) and read into it modern debates on the definition of marriage. People will talk about “context” all day long until it comes to their pet issue, at which point they’ll dump context- which you just did. Thanks for participating in the illustration.

  • Alonzo

    Your point was not proven. Your worldview biases you. In fact, you prove my point that you engage in eisegesis rather than exegesis. Corey, you removed the passage from its biblical context and in doing so read into the passage (again) by projecting backward into ancient times and culture and reading into the passage your liberal theology never intended, which demonstrates again that your exegetical skills are liberal and that you attempt to play gotcha games by claiming “you did what I imagined,” showing that you engaged in intentional deception. You did the same thing with the Revelation passage by ignoring salient passages related to 11:18 and the theme of the “kings of the earth” (to which you have not replied), demonstrating your lack of observation.

    That does not surprise me given your responses to what I have written. You ignored salient points I made and continued to changed the subject. Therefore, I assume that you accept those points I made you left unchallenged.

    I was right on context, but you do not seem to understand (or do not want to admit) that there are several contexts: the immediate contexts, the wider context, the cultural context, the historical contexts, and so on. You also do not seem to understand that a truth can have many applications. You ignore these contexts, especially concerning the context out of which Jesus spoke (Torah). Then you dump the entire context and give your own reading (eisegesis) and pose your own authority. You are again wrong. I was not echoing any “modern” rendition of the text for marriage but performing an accurate exegesis of the text that you missed, because you ignored all Jesus said and taught.

    In fact I did acknowledge the context of divorce when I replied to Realist, while also acknowledging the contextual truth Jesus taught in the passage of marriage between a man and woman, a context you wish to ignore. Apparently, you failed to read what I wrote. Jesus brought out one of many applications from a single overarching truth with many sub-truths: “Have you read that He who having created them from the beginning made the MALE and FEMALE. On account of this (or “Therefore”, the man will leave leave father and mother and will be joined with his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. Therefore, what God has put together, let no man take apart.”

    The application Jesus made from Torah is, “Therefore, what God has put together, let not a man separate.” You also forgot one of the cardinal rules of basic reading. Whenever you see a “therefore” or “wherefore” (or “on this account” as a literal rendition of the Greek), you must see what it is therefore. Again, you forgot to see what the “On account” (as translated) was therefore. Go back and reread it. Jesus stated that God from the beginning made them MALE and FEMALE. The entire argument that Jesus used against the Jews had its basis in the manner God created humanity – MALE and FEMALE (adam), two genders for the purpose of coming together in ONE FLESH. That is the reason Jesus drew His counter argument to divorce. Therefore, Jesus’ argument was not just about divorce but about God’s grand purpose of His creation of humanity in His image. Oops, you missed that big truth, did you not?

    Here are the truths you missed:

    1. God made them MALE and FEMALE from the beginning
    2. A man is to leave his father and mother
    3. He shall cleave to his wife, according to the manner God created them
    4. and the two shall be one flesh

    CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT!

    Jesus made an application from the fourth truth. You overlooked and missed it.

    You do not seem to understand the difference between a truth, its meaning, and its applications, that they are separate. You also ignore Paul’s application from the same Genesis passage in Ephesians 5 concerning Christ and the Church: Christ the Bridegroom with the Bride being the Church. This illustrates exactly what I said earlier about the same truth can have a number of applications. Jesus applied to the contextual discussion he had with the Jews concerning divorce. Paul applied Torah in a similar fashion to the more grand and higher purpose – Christ and the Church.

    You ignored Jesus’ audience and his rebuke of them for their error on divorce and God’s intention from the beginning. The Jews missed the truth about how God created humanity: MALE and FEMALE!! It would not make sense for Jesus to cite the second truth the Genesis passage revealed about leaving parents. Rather Jesus focused on the fourth truth.

    Paul did not narrow his argument to just one of the truths, but took the whole in terms of the entire relationship of marriage and how it aligned with that of Christ and the Church as a mystery. You ignored this second usage and its context. Rather you surface irrelevant and foreign doctrines of men (LGBT) and subject to it what Christ and Paul state to make the passage say what you want it to say. Again, your skill of observation is not very keen and is about as bad as your exegetical skill. You create your own theology apart from biblical truth.

    Thank you for illustrating that you really do not understand biblical contexts and theology and are taking the postmodern definition of marriage that has no standing in the Bible. So you can accuse another all day long of being wrong when you fail to properly acknowledge context and biblical truth.

    Farewell, and have fun preaching to your choir.

  • Realist1234

    I didnt say Jesus said anything about the environment. I was making the point that we cannot ignore God’s dealings with mankind, right from the beginning and what we are supposed to learn from that. I would be interested to know what your views are on man’s stewardship of the earth the Lord has given us. Do you think the Lord is happy the way we are treating it, or a little angry? In the end it is people around the world who will be adversly affected by our behaviour, as well as ourselves. I do not believe God wants us to ignore that.

  • Realist1234

    Its a bit disingenuous to say He wasnt talking about marriage. He clearly states the original intention of marriage to explain why divorce is not approved of. And you cant have divorce without marriage! Its like talking about the resurrection without reference to the cross, you cant have the latter without the former. And I think you already know my views on gay ‘marriage’ etc.

  • Herm

    There is no marriage in Heaven.

    The cross, like marriage, is symbolic relative to what we know. Any death as persecution by Godly authorities for being Jesus’ disciple is no different than the cross. The death remains a child of God murdered in he name of God.

  • Noah

    He cites Revelation 11:18 as the source. Scripture also promotes those who do ‘works’ will receive eternal judgement.

    It’s using scripture to point out that God cares if we care (or don’t).

    Based upon everything else I’ve seen him say, he absolutely does not believe in a works salvation, but alone of Christ.

  • I believe in salvation by grace through faith– but also point out that we must contend with passages that list certain behaviors which keep people out. Thus, it is my theological opinion that true faith is a faith that leads to repentance. I think he would agree, since there are passages such as “all liars will have their place in the lake of fire” and Paul’s famous list of those who will not inherit the Kingdom. I simply point to Rev 11:18 as a verse that certainly seems to indicate that those who do not properly care for creation are among the unrepentant. His position, if I understand it, is that caring for creation is a nice thing to do, but that there are no consequences if we resist God’s design and refuse to do it. Unfortunately, I doubt he would feel that way about those Paul claims do not inherit the Kingdom.

  • Trilemma

    Mistake? What mistake? How would you know if God made a mistake?

    Has God endowed in Hindus the purpose of glorifying Him? Agnostics and atheists lead happy, fulfilled, purposeful lives without feeling their purpose is to glorify God. Are only the elect endowed?

    I agree with you when you say our purpose is to enjoy God’s fellowship.

    In another reply, you accused me of calling God a narcissist. God is not a narcissist but you seem intent on making me believe he is. If a husband demands that his wife love and worship him and threatens to beat her if she doesn’t, then he is an abusive narcissist. If God actually demands that people love and worship Him and threatens those who don’t with eternal torment in a fiery Hell, then God would be an infinitely greater abusive narcissist. I believe God is not an abusive narcissist and therefore He does not demand that we worship him and that there is no Hell. God did not create humans so that He could have an army of worshiping minions who do nothing but sing, “Holy, holy, holy,” throughout all eternity. That would be hell for both God and the minions.

    In another reply you said that if I reject the Bible then I reject God. The Bible is not God. They are two different things. I can reject the Bible without rejecting God. The Bible reflects an Iron Age world view that condones rape. Since you embrace this Iron Age world view, you shouldn’t think rape is that big of a deal and wouldn’t see a significant problem with the continuing rape of the environment.

    If God told you something, and it didn’t agree with the Bible, which would you reject? Would you reject the Bible? Or would you reject God?

  • Alonzo

    Then why bring up the environment at all with regard to marriage? That, as I said earlier, is the logical fallacy of false association. One has nothing to do with the other, and I explained that.

    In terms of stewardship, that is an entirely different matter than marriage. I thought I made it clear throughout my postings. Let me begin at what should be a beginning: worldview.

    The worldview of biblical theology is not a single agenda. I said this early on. When God created all things, He made humanity His crowning achievement (Psalm 8; Hebrews 2:6-8), because He breathed life into them Himself in creating them in His image. No other part of creation bears the image of God. That places humanity highest among all creation as part of creation. Therefore, when speaking all the created things of the earth, humanity is included. I have read nothing in this entire discussion that associates humanity with the environment, but perhaps I may have missed it. If so, please point it out.

    Let me return to worldview a moment. Environmentalists also have a worldview. Unless it arises from the biblical worldview, it is different. However, in my readings and observations of a vast majority of environmentalists, they reject the biblical worldview of the biblical God, His authority, the human condition, and the remedy for it. Many, as Benjamin pointed out in his article have the remedy of protests, restrictions, and regulations. The latter two require the heavy hand of government intervention. That brings government as the authority for environmental conditions and their remedies. A lot of environmentalism carries a pantheistic worldview with Gaia as the overseer (Al Gore). They deny the Bible and its God, They deny the biblical portrayal of the human condition, and offer a different solution, which really leads to economic destruction and eventually environmental ruin due to the resistance to the knowledge and resources to maintain the environment.

    So what is my view? It is holistic and not narrowed to a single agenda. It is spiritual that leads to spiritual and physical reformation and transformation. It is redemptive. It begins with humanity and what is inside him/her rather than the environment and the external. The heart of the individual must first undergo change, a reformation, conversion before one can become a proper steward of God over the things He has given humanity.

    Let’s review that biblical stewardship that has been overlooked here.

    1. 1 Peter 4:10 – Be faithful stewards of God’s grace (charis) and the gifts God has bestowed.
    2. 1 Corinthians 4:2 – Be faithful and trustworthy, stewards of the mysteries of God (as Paul saw himself)
    3. Luke 16:2-4 – Accountable for all God has given us toward the kingdom of God (context)
    4. 1 Corinthians 9:17 – Paul did what God entrusted to him – the preaching of the gospel (See entire context); see also Ephesians 3:2, 9 (steward of the truth); Colossians 1:25

    Notice a trend in these passages. The work of reformation begins internally and works its way out. It begins with God and His authority (delegated, also).

    The Bible speaks plenty about the spiritual and internal environment of man/woman, how that must be remedied from its fallen condition. Stewardship begins there first and foremost. The entire Bible attests to this.

    We all have our gifts and the work God has given us according to our gifts. We use them for the betterment of ourselves and others to God’s glory. That includes using the resources God has entrusted to us for His glory. We grow wonderful roses and other flowers for the bees. We plant drought tolerant plants. Our electric bill is much lower than most, because we have a patio cover, ceiling fan, and sprinkler drip system. But most of all, I look after my neighbors and build good relationships with them. I share the gospel with people. I teach the Bible. I live by faith and remain faithful to God. I used to teach businesses how to manage their money and oversaw their finances and CFO and controller. These are all stewardship items.

    There are a lot of things out there people can do, but they are narrowed by their gifting, time, energy, and profession. However, unless one manages oneself, one cannot be in the position to aid others. So I also manage my own health (good diet) and fitness (running long distance) and keep my mind sharp. Those are also God’s gifts to us for which we are accountable. That is a holistic and balanced approach to life and not a one-sided and single agenda approach. That is the biblical worldview. I hope that answers your question.

    I am not a postmodern “environmentalist,” because I see that as a very different philosophy and worldview that rejects the biblical worldview.

  • Alonzo

    “Mistake? What mistake? How would you know if God made a mistake?”

    You suggested it by claiming it would have been better if humanity was not on earth.

    “Has God endowed in Hindus the purpose of glorifying Him?”

    You confuse religion and people. God endowed PEOPLE with the capacity to glorify Him, and they have turned aside to other self-made religions while rejecting Him.

    “Agnostics and atheists lead happy, fulfilled, purposeful lives without feeling their purpose is to glorify God.”

    So what? Happiness is not the purpose God has given us. God wants us to place faith in Him through Jesus Christ. Agnostics and atheists reject God. Happiness is irrelevant and only a human goal. It does not last.

    Calling God a narcissist is name-calling and false attribution because He does not fit into your way of thinking for Him. God is much bigger than any attribute you assign to Him. Your “if’s” arise out of your narrow worldview about God. Therefore, you set up a false dichotomy for Him. On one side, if He is a certain way (your straw man), then He deserves to be the name you assign Him. The other option is that He fits into your worldview. That is a false dichotomy. Your reasoning operates on logical fallacies and false notions of God.

  • Jim Bush

    If what you say were true, everyone who does these environmental
    activities is a Christian (Christ-like), because being Christ-like is something
    you do not something you are. Then again if a government declaration makes you
    a Christian, that is to Catholic for a fellow Baptist?

  • gimpi1

    MY premise is that population-pressures can force governments to back down on land-use and other regulations, allowing people to move into dangerous areas or contractors to cut corners on construction.

    With lower population, there would be less expansion of housing into slide-prone or otherwise dangerous areas. There would be less pressure on housing-supplies, with less incentive for developers to build unsafe housing or local inspectors to look the other way. There would also be less pollution, less disease, and damage to the environment. No one seriously questions this. I believe the environment is the original topic of Ben’s post.

    I have no idea what your premise is.

  • Alonzo

    Premise? You state an opinion, which is confusing at best. What is a “population-pressure?” You mean the government can be forced? Government force allows? That’s a new one.

    You state an opinion, but you fail to back it up so that whatever syllogism you were attempting to construct collapses.

    How do you know these things? Where is the data to support what you state?

  • gimpi1

    I use the term population-pressure to refer to a population higher than the area can easily support. When there are more people than an area can provide housing for in areas that can be safely built up, it puts pressure on housing. That pressure in turn can cause local governments to turn a blind eye to potential dangers. It also brings out developers who sometimes cut corners in construction, to build faster and cheaper. This is what happened in OSO.

    The government caved in to a mix of property-rights lobbying and developer money and rezoned a slide-zone. They also allowed the same property-rights and developer interests to log above and around the area, increasing the risk of a slide.

    I know these things because I live in the area. I know about the geology of the area by osmosis, my husband is a geologist, and we discuss things. I saw the OSO slide, know people affected by it, and my husband was involved in analyzing the Lidar images before and after the slide. The Seattle Times covered the slide, the logging and the development extensively. If you’re interested, just google OSO landslide. Ben prefers people not post links.

    If you want me to back up my statements, I suggest you do the same. You could also use a refresher-course in manners. For that reason, again, I’m off. I won’t waste any more time on this.

  • Alonzo

    >>>”I use the term population-pressure to refer to a population higher than the area can easily support.”

    No you didn’t use it in that manner.

    >>>”When there are more people than an area can provide housing for in areas that can be safely built up, it puts pressure on housing.”

    Now you are using pressure differently. Which is it: “Population” or “housing?” Your argument is not making sense, especially in the manner you are using “pressure.”

    That is a misuse of the term. Then you use an acronym without defining it (OSO). Besides, given all the variables in a given situation, are you telling me that only one variable was a cause and nothing else was? Where is your evidence?

    Besides, again, you are speaking on the micro level and drawing the logical fallacy of hasty generalization in extrapolating it generally and contextually. Bad argument.

  • Trilemma

    I didn’t suggest that God made a mistake by claiming it would have been better if humanity was not on Earth. You made a logical fallacy.

    “You confuse religion and people.”
    I didn’t confuse religion and people. Hindus are people. You made another logical fallacy.

    “God endowed PEOPLE with the capacity to glorify Him…”
    This is true. But to make this true statement, you had to change the word, “Purpose,” to the word, “Capacity.” The previous version still doesn’t make sense.

    “Happiness is not the purpose God has given us.”
    I’m sorry to hear that you are not happy.

    “Calling God a narcissist is name-calling…”
    I’m not calling God a narcissist, therefore your whole last paragraph is a logical fallacy. What makes you think your worldview is better than mine? What makes you think your notion of God is the correct one?

    If God told you something, and it didn’t agree with the Bible, which would you reject? Would you reject the Bible? Or would you reject God?

  • Alonzo

    >>>”I didn’t suggest that God made a mistake by claiming it would have been better if humanity was not on Earth.”

    That is the logical conclusion of your premise. You cannot read.

    You are wrong on all the rest since you misread what I wrote. All your quibbling is getting you nowhere with your argument except in a maze.

    Hinduism IS a religion, and those who practice it are called Hindus in the same manner that Buddhism is the religion and those who practice it are Buddhists. The largest nationality to practice Hinduism are Indians (from India in case you have questions).

    >>>”If God told you something, and it didn’t agree with the Bible, which would you reject? Would you reject the Bible? Or would you reject God?”

    Perhaps in your theology the above event takes place but not in mine. You assume that I believe the manner of your analogy, but I do not. Therefore, you create a straw man of my faith. The Bible is God’s word. God does not contradict Himself by speaking apart from what He spoke to the authors of the Bible. Therefore, there is nothing to reject. You also assume I must accept your analogy. False.

    Now, do you have anything to contribute to the topic other than rabbit trails? If not, then I have no need to reply to your rabbit trails and their loose ends.

  • Trilemma

    “That is the logical conclusion of your premise.”

    My premise was that the planet would have done just fine, if not better, without humans. Since God does not make mistakes, the logical conclusion is that humans were not created for the purpose of taking care of the planet but were created for a different purpose. To get to the conclusion you reached you must believe God makes mistakes.

    “…He spoke to the authors of the Bible.”

    If God actually spoke to the authors of the Bible then the four Gospel accounts should be identical. How can you tell which parts were actually spoken to the author by God and which parts the author came up with on his own? Which version of the Bible accurately represents the actual words God spoke to the authors? How can you be sure the meaning you get from the Bible is the meaning God wanted you to get? There is absolutely no way you can be 100% certain the Bible we have today is 100% God’s word.

  • Alonzo

    Now you are changing your tune about your premise, and just making stuff up.

    >>>”If God actually spoke to the authors of the Bible then the four Gospel accounts should be identical.”

    >>”“…He spoke to the authors of the Bible.”

    You deceptively removed what I said from context.

    False. Witnesses report different accounts all the time. Your conclusions in your questions about the Bible show you have never read it or studied the doctrines of revelation or inspiration of Scripture concerning how God interacts in moving the authors through the Holy Spirit. You seem to latch on to the old refuted dictation method of revelation without realizing it, because you have never engaged in reading scholarly works on the Scriptures. You need to pick up a book on systematic theology and read the parts on biblical inspiration.

    In terms of version, they are irrelevant. The original books of the Bible were written in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. God inspired the authors in the languages in which they wrote and not in the translation.

    The meaning is NOT what I get from the Bible or what you get or anyone else gets. An accurate reading of the Bible depends on what the AUTHOR meant. The reader always seeks to discover what the author intended. That is according to basic reading skills.

    Concerning certainty of what we have today, there is a very high degree of certainty because of the thousands of manuscripts available to confirm translation. There is far more evidence for the books of the Bible than virtually any other book in ancient history. Therefore, your statement is false and arises out of lack of research and lack of knowledge on your part.

    You cannot support anything you claim. So do not even attempt to, because you are way over your head considering the statements you have made.

    Before you ask any more questions, do your research. Besides, you do not know how to pay attention and read properly.

    I will not reply to anything you write until you do, and that may be a very long time because you do not know what you are talking about.

  • Trilemma

    “Witnesses report different accounts all the time.”
    This is a false analogy. The witnesses you refer to don’t claim to be inspired by God. This is your mistake, not mine.

    Repeating your quote, “…He spoke to the authors of the Bible.”
    You said God spoke to the authors. That’s dictation. You’re the one who latched onto the old refuted dictation method of revelation without realizing it. That was your mistake, not mine.

    It would be expected that the events described in one witness’s account would not necessarily be described in another witness’s account. When the witnesses describe the same thing then they must be identical or at least one is false. For example, the genealogies in Matthew and Luke do not match so one of them must be wrong. That means the Bible is not inerrant. There are many books on systematic theology. None of them agree with each other and none of them changes the fact that the Bible has errors. Books on systematic theology are interesting to read but they are nothing more than someone’s opinion.

    “In terms of version, they are irrelevant.”
    The different versions do not agree with each other. For example, the KJV has Acts 8:37 but the NIV does not. Either the KJV has an error of inclusion or the NIV has an error of omission. Version does matter. You made a false assertion.

    “An accurate reading of the Bible depends on what the AUTHOR meant.”
    False. An accurate reading of the Bible depends on what GOD meant. You made another false assertion.

    The Bible was written by unknown authors, edited by unknown people who may have had an agenda, copied by unknown people who occasionally made mistakes, and translated by people with theological biases. The Bible is clearly not inerrant. When the Bible and God disagree, you obviously would reject God.

    The Bible condones slavery and rape. Since you believe the Bible is God’s inerrant word, you must condone slavery and rape as well.

  • Alonzo

    >>>”Repeating your quote, “…He spoke to the authors of the Bible.”

    OUT OF CONTEXT!!! Now place it back into context.

    Moses is an example and so are the prophets. To others He moved them by the Holy Spirit to write. You missed that one did you not? Speaking to and dictating are separate actions. Speaking is also a metaphorical expression but you don’t seem to understand metaphor. Just because God spoke to some does not mean that they wrote every word verbatim. You confuse terms.

    Now in the prophets, you will read, “Thus says the LORD.” At other times there is no such statement.

    You are wrong again one everything you say. Now go read the Bible because you have not read it in its CONTEXT. You write from ignorance. Bye until you read the Bible, get back on topic, and learn how to read what people write.

  • Alonzo

    Didn’t know I had that much power over you. WOW. At least you seem to have a conscience since you got “convinced.” Your next step is to change your ways from being irresponsible according to your own confession and stop allowing your feelings to lead you.

  • Paul Schlitz Jr.

    To the tune of Children of the Heavenly Father

    Children of X generation
    Late onset your maturation
    Baggy shorts and lots of piercings
    Make them less not more interesting

    SUVs go miles in minutes
    Lots of horsepower that’s in it
    Chasing roadkill
    Tossing beer cans
    Make us feel fulfilled as humans

  • Trilemma

    I’ve been reading and informally studying the Bible for over 30 years. The context I currently read the OT in is that it is a history of Jews and their perceived relationship with their god, written by Jews, for Jews. It contains mythology, legends, poetry, fictional history, and historical events. The context of the NT is the rejection of Judaism and the worship of its narcissistic god of war.

    I’ll stay on topic if you respond to my comments in a manner that indicates you actually read what I wrote. Which topic would you like to continue with?

  • Alonzo

    With all your reading, you have learned little.

    Now prove your claims. I’m still waiting for any evidence to support and prove all claims you made.

  • Trilemma

    Pick one claim.

  • RD707

    Baloney… Within REASON, irresponsible management and exploitation of Earth’s resources should be discouraged. Environmentalism and the whole Environmental Movement does absolutely nothing within reason. Earth’s resources were specifically put in place to serve Man, and God very specifically instructed Man to responsibly subdue the Earth, to be fruitful, and multiply.

    Environmentalists don’t like to hear that kind of talk, because they think Man is here to serve “Mother” Earth, which totally contradicts and distorts God’s intended purposes. But that’s understood because it’s an affront to their Religion and in true Liberal fashion, their problem has always been, and continues to be with God…

  • Alonzo

    Jim,

    False dichotomy. You establish an and/or situation. You also establish a straw man Christianity. Biblical Christian faith teaches salvation by faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Good works arise from the one who expresses faith in Christ not before or at the same time, but after. And even good works are those that the Holy Spirit brings about in and through us. As for as “Christ-like,” that again is something God does and refers to internal transformation and not external works. Perhaps you may be thinking of the Pharisees.