Christian Environmentalism

Last night I mentioned a new ad campaign attempting to link religion and environmentalism, What Would Jesus Drive? It’s a slick idea, and about time. In my experience the church has been pretty anti-environment. Christians often mistrust tree-huggers as whacked out new-agers who care more about plants and animals than people.

But those fundamentalist ideas are dying. A casual poll of my youth group shows that pollution and environmental problems are seen as the biggest issues in the world today. The next generation cares about the planet, and it’s about time we returned to Biblical values. Psalm 104 reads like any nature writing from the 20th century: “You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, giving drink to every animal; the wild asses quench their thirst. By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches. From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work,” (Psalm 104: 10-13, NRSV).

Environmentalism is also getting another boost, from nationalism as well as from simple human compassion. I’m eager to see if in the next 50 years or so we’re forced into caring about the environment or if it’s more of a gradual shift that comes about because people want it to. It’s a lot harder to say you love your grandchildren and have gone the route of the first option.

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