Under Construction

In a men's bible study I attend, the facilitator from Campus Crusade for Christ's mens ministries (formerly called Executive Ministries) used Genesis 1:26-28

And God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
"Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
to say it was OK to destroy habitat in the northwest in order to provide jobs for the loggers/lumberjacks who were more important than animals.

The fallacy of this argument is:
1. Clear cutting causes damage to local and state economies, resulting from loss of fishing and agricultural jobs near clearcut forests and high potential for eventual damage to the tourism industry.
2. Most logging is done with large machines which cut, trim and stack the logs with minimal human labor.
3. Most of this lumber is shipped overseas, so there is no benefit to the average citizen from lower prices. The only ones who benefit are the large timber companies and the politicians who benefit from their support.

They also quote Genesis 8:22, "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease." to say it was preticted in the Bible.

They ignore, Genesis 2:15 which says:
"The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."

Another time he claimed that 'Environmentalists spell tree with a capital "T"', worshiping nature over God.
And yet another, "Natural Global Warming is predicted in the Bible."

A National Council of Churches 2005 News Release: Theologians warn of 'false gospel' on the environment announces the release of an open letter titled:
"God's Earth is Sacred: An Open Letter to Church and Society in the United States", which calls on Christians to reject teachings that suggest humans are "called" to exploit the Earth without care for how our behavior impacts the rest of God's creation.

Presbyterian Church USA:
At the 2012 General Assembly (The governing body of the national church) they passed an overture advocating the use of sustainable farming practices, claiming that "protection of the environment is an essential part of the Christian Faith"

See the Environmental Ministries -- Mission and Ministry -- Presbyterian Mission Agency at the Presbyterian Church USA.

The Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church in New Jersey, which I was active in for 30 years, left PC USA, because of this and other progressive stances taken by the main body.

In a talk at the 2005 Sierra Club Summit, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said:
"I don't believe that nature is God or that we ought to be worshiping it as God, but I do believe that it's the way that God communicates to us most forcefully. God talks to human beings through many vectors. Through each other, through organized religions, through wise people, and through the great books of those religions. Through art and literature and music and poetry. But nowhere with such force and clarity and detail and texture and grace and joy as through creation.

We don't know Michelangelo by reading his biography. We know him by looking at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. And we know our creator best by immersing ourselves in creation. And particularly wilderness, which is the undiluted work of the Creator. [applause] And you know if you look at every one of the great religious traditions throughout the history of mankind, the central epiphany always occurs in the wilderness. Buddha had to go to the wilderness to experience self realization and nirvana. Mohammad had to go to a cave in the wilderness. Moses had to go to the wilderness of Mt. Sinai for 40 days alone to get the Commandments. [Exodus 24:12, 18] The Jews had to spend 40 years wandering the wilderness to purge themselves of 400 years of slavery in Egypt. Christ had to go into the wilderness for 40 days to discover his divinity for the first time Mark 1:9-13.

His mentor was John the Baptist, a man who lived in the Jordan Valley dressed in the skins of wild beasts and who ate locust and the honey of wild bees All of Christ's parables are taken from nature. I am the vine; you are the branches. The mustard seed, the little swallows, the scattering of seeds on the fallow ground, the lilies of the field. He called himself a fisherman, a farmer, a vineyard keeper, a shepherd. The reason he did that was that's how he stayed in touch with the people. It's the same with all the Talmudic prophets, the Koranic prophets, the Old Testament prophets, the New Testament prophets. Even the pagan prophets like Aesop, they did the same thing. They used parables and allegories and fables drawn from nature to teach us the wisdom of God.

That daily connection to nature gave them a special access to the wisdom of the Almighty. Christ was saying things that were revolutionary like all the prophets. He was contradicting everything that the common people had heard from the literate sophisticated people of their day. They would have dismissed him as a quack, but they were able to confirm the wisdom of his parables through their own observations of the fishes and the birds. And they were able to say, he's not telling us something new; he's simply illuminating something very, very old. Messages that were written into creation at the beginning of time by the Creator. We haven't been able to discern or decipher them until the prophets came along and immersed themselves in wilderness and learned its language and then come back into the cities to tell us about the wisdom of God."

See Also:
Conservative Christians and Republicans
Religion and Politics

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last updated 30 May 2008