Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Should Christians Celebrate 'Earth Day'?
Earth Day was envisioned by Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin in 1969. It came about when the focus of society was not on the environment, but on war. In 1970, there were no warnings of 'global warming', in fact, many scientific minds of the day feared a new 'Ice Age' was imminent as asserted in 1972 by British scientist Hubert Lamb.1 The environment was not at the forefront of social conscious rather it was our nation involvement in the quagmire known as the Vietnam War. Daily news was filled with students in protest over what they believed to be an unjust war in Southeast Asia. The year 1970 also marked the high water mark for the hippie/flower-child movement within our society and from within that movement came the modern drug culture and 'free love'.
In 1970, our nation was enduring a youthful rebellion against what was considered the societal norm. Senator Nelson saw this rebellion, which included protests and a radical anti-establishment element, as the vehicle by which he could use to get his message of environmental protection to the nation. He hired Denis Hayes as his national coordinator and they began to plan the very first Earth Day. From that planning spawned a movement that roused millions to turn out for that first Earth Day, April 22, 1970. This event spurred awareness from within government, and from it the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts were brought to Congress and passed into law. President Richard Nixon also was led to create the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that same year. Since 1970, Earth Day has expanded from a national awareness to a world wide movement seeking to protect the planet on which all of us inhabit.
I want to give Sen. Nelson the benefit of the doubt and believe that his concern was legitimate and reasons pure. I want to believe that he had no other agenda other than the protection of the environment. I believe protecting and taking care of what God has created to be a good thing and I believe all Christians should partake in such an activity. Unfortunately, most associated with this event generally do not believe in a loving and caring God much less that our world was created by Him.
Many within the current environmental movement subscribe to what is known as Gaia Theory, which is the worship of "Mother Earth" as a living super-organism. The current Gaia Theory is actually a revival of the "Earth-goddess" found in many ancient pagan religions. The title "Gaia" is derived from the Greek goddess of the earth. The most current Gaia Theory members are a diluted mixture of science, paganism, eastern mysticism, wicca and feminism. Sir James Lovestock, author of the book, Gaia: A New Look at Life wrote that all life on our planet is part of Gaia (spirit goddess that sustains life on earth). Those who believe in 'mother earth or Gaia' teach that she must be protected from destructive human activity. Humanity is seen as an infection and global warming is seen as a fever seeking to destroy the infection. Gaia worship is at the very heart of the Global Green Agenda...(is) a part of the Gaians mission to save 'Mother Earth' from her human infestation.2
Dangerous beliefs such as these permeate the modern environmentalism movement pushing an agenda that desires to eliminate any form of industrialization or human progress. Their focus is reported to be that humanity is the disease that must be eradicated from 'mother earth.'
Now, with such groups associated with this event, I have often thought, as a Christian, I cannot support any movement with these ties. I do not believe in a mother earth goddess' named Gaia, nor do I believe that humanity is the enemy and in need of eradication. So the question remains, should I celebrate Earth Day? It seems pretty cut and dried that I should stay as far from this movement as I possibly can, right? Well, I do not believe the answer is that simple.
While, I reject every part of Gaia Theory and do not accept the premise that humanity is the enemy that needs eradicating. I do believe we should love and care for the planet that was created by the God of Creation. In Genesis 1 and 2 we read how God spoke all forms of light and life into existence. We also read where God declares His creation as good. The creation He declared to be good was then placed in the hands and responsibility of Adam (humanity). In Gen 1:27-31 God creates humanity and gives humanity dominion over all things created, which includes the earth itself. This appointment by God was not a license to do as one pleases, but rather a charge to nurture, protect and love what He had created. I do not accept the assertion that humanity can destroy what God has created. I do, however, believe humanity has found ways to pervert and twist God's creation in seeking our own agenda and desires. I believe we can do harm, but we cannot destroy the earth.We should always seek clean air to breath, clean and safe water to drink and to take care of what God has created. Our duty, as part of humanity, is to nurture and protect God's creation because this has been our charge from the beginning.
To sum up, I believe the Bible to be the infallible Word of God. God's Word calls us to go forth and multiply (to grow, not be eradicated) and to care for and nurture all of creation. What God has created as good, we are charged by Him to love and cherish, not mistreat or do harm. I firmly believe that the One who created Earth is in full control, in that, "...He [God] established the earth upon its foundations, so that it will NOT totter forever and ever..." (Ps 104:5-NASB).
So, do I 'celebrate' Earth Day? I do not wish to be associated with any who pervert God's creation nor any who refuse to acknowledge Him as Creator. So I choose not to participate in any Earth Day activities. However, I do care deeply for what God has created and believe I am called to nurture, love and protect it. Therefore, I as a Christian, I will not worship the creation, but rather I will worship the Creator alone, and follow His charge to protect, nurture and love all He has created.
1 http://newsbusters.org/blogs/julia-seymour/2015/03/05/and-thats-way-it-was-1972-cronkite-warned-new-ice-age, accessed April 21, 2015.
2 paraphrased from "The Green Agenda" http://www.green-agenda.com/gaia.html, accessed April 21, 2015.