What would you think if I told you to hug a tree or think of a buffalo as your brother?
If that sounds weird, new-agey, and just plain off the wall, well, give this sermon by Brian Zahnd a listen. I was challenged by what he said, and am curious to know your reaction as well.
What is your view of environmentalism?
Would you consider yourself an environmentalist?
In this sermon, Brian Zahnd shows us that taking care of the environment, of the animals, the plants, the oceans, and the air, is the very first vocation given by God to mankind, is the vocation redeemed by Jesus in His resurrection, and is also the vocation to which we are all called as members of the Kingdom of God. In other words, taking care of God’s creation is one way to participate in God’s Kingdom.
Yet far too often, some Christians accuse and condemn those who want to take care of the environment and the endangered animals as worshipping the created thing more than the creator. But isn’t taking care of God’s creation one way to worship the God who created it? Especially if it is God Himself who told us and instructed us to take care of His creation? I think so.
I don’t think I will be hugging any trees any time soon. But I will admit, I get quite upset when I hike up into the mountains to see a beautiful lake only to find piles of trash lying around when I get there. I am saddened when I hear of animals being abused or streams and lakes being polluted.
I do think, sometimes, that environmental concerns can go too far, and so, just as with everything else, there needs to be balance. Sometimes it seems that concern about wetlands or grasslands or some endangered butterfly causes the lives and livelihood of some humans to become endangered. Finding the right balance is extremely difficult.
What sort of approach do you use with the environment? How do you find that balance between having dominion over God’s creation without letting it have dominion over you?