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Wednesday, April 23, 2008 

Another Inappropriate Response to Earth Day

In my last post, I noted two inappropriate ways to respond to Earth Day. Ethics Daily yesterday gave us yet another inappropriate way to respond to the environment - TheGreenBible.org. This is from the article announcing it:
The site, from Baptist Center for Ethics and EthicsDaily.com, is a warehouse of information on the biblical mandate to care for the environment--and what people of faith can and should do.
"The Bible is God's green book," Parham said. "The green Bible gives us the responsibility to guard the garden. The green Bible calls us to love our neighbors. And my friends the only way we can love our neighbors across time is to leave them a decent place to live."
Did you catch that last sentence? "[T]he only way can love our neighbors across time is to leave them a decent place to live." I beg to differ. The way we love our neighbors across time is not by refocusing all of the Gospel on a social directive aimed at combating the supposed effects of "global warming." It is by making sure that we hand off the Gospel to each generation - by being dilligent to preach the same Gospel that the apostles, the Early Church Fathers, and men like Wycliffe, Hus, Knox, Luther, Calvin, Owen, Fuller, Spurgeon, and Graham preached. For in that way, we truly love our neighbor. Seriously? What does it profit a generation to save the planet, yet not preserve the very thing that could save men's souls? Our goal is ultimately not to save a dying planet, but to glorify God through preaching the glorious Gospel that Christ came in human flesh, died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and was raised on the third day. That, my friends, is how we love our neighbors across time.

HT: the big daddy weave

I'm going to assume the use of "only" there is rhetorical. I will also assume that such strong wording was chosen because there is so much apathy or outright denial toward an obligation to be good stewards of God's creation among Christians.

But if I am wrong in my assumptions, then pounce away!

Your ignorance knows no bounds. To put your words and assumptions in God's words is evil and forbidden as it makes you a false prophet. God created the heavens and the earth. Try to take care of our planet, God's gift to us!


I would agree that "only" is rhetorical, or even hyperbolic. My problem is that either way he is emphasizing creation care to the exclusion of (or at least making it secondary to) the Gospel. Or, stated a different way, he places the emphasis on the act of creation care and it's penultimate effects, rather than the ultimate purpose of that act.

Creation care is not an end unto itself, nor is its ultimate purpose in loving others by giving them a better place to live in the future. No, creation care is but one small part of furthering the Gospel and ultimately glorifying God. And Parham has cheated his hearers of this by using such language.

Additionally, I wonder if Parham uses Genesis 2-3 to defend his position, since there it seems creation care is done by multiplying and filling the earth and by subduing it. Then again he would only deal with part of the issue and leave his hearers ignorant in the process.

Sweet Kim (or should I say "Sour"),

I am not sure how they do things down in Houston, but up here we back up our accusations that one is putting words into the mouth of God and that one is a false prophet with some sort of Scriptural or reasoned evidence.

While I agree that God did create the heavens and earth and that we should take care of the planet (and that it is God's gift to us), I don't agree, nor do I see how I am putting words in the mouth of God. Perhaps you would like to show me. I would, however, ask that you did so without posting anonymously, as that suggests that you are cowardly. And I don't want to make any assumptions, despite your accusations of me.

Additionally, perhaps you should read my previous article before you comment further. You may find that I am much less ignorant than you have presumed.

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Thanks Betty,

Maybe one day I will decide to update it again and add some more post. It used to be that I would have a hundred or more visitors per day, but these days that's down to about 15 straglers. Thanks again, and I hope I can bless you in some small way.

Soli Deo Gloria,

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About me

Paul was not interested merely in the ethical principles of religion or of ethics. On the contrary, he was interested in the redeeming work of Christ and its effect upon us. His primary interest was in Christian doctrine, and Christian doctrine not merely in its presuppositions but at its centre. -- J. Greshem Machen.

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