Attempts to be less wasteful and have less of a negative impact on the earth are not direct attacks on you, Jesus Christ, or Christianity.
A few months ago I heard a Christian respond to a list of suggestions that a movie star made about simple things you could do to benefit the earth. He scoffed at this celebrity’s list including the suggestion to only run your dishwasher when it is full. To this suggestion he replied, “I will run my dishwasher whenever I like.” He called the celebrity out on his use of private jets for travel. That is probably a legitimate gripe. However, the list was intended to suggest simple things – as to not cause you inconvenience or the need to alter your lifestyle – which could help the environment. And, in my opinion, in a country where we pretty much get what we want, when we want it, we could all use the experience of being inconvenienced every once in a while.
Not only was his comment foolish, he was taking pride is being wasteful. In “churchy terms” that would be “not being a good steward.” It seemed incredibly irrational to me to take such personal offense to a list of simple suggestions, none of which were heretical. The man was mostly offended because this person was probably of a different political party than he was and, therefore, not interested anything they had to say. This is just one of several instances over the past few months in which I have seen a Christian take offense to a reasonable suggestion to be more environmentally friendly.
I am not endorsing the worship of nature but a simple respect for creation. I would not really call myself an environmentalist but I do think that conserving energy, recycling, and being less wasteful in general are good principles. I think most Christians understand this but there are a few who have embraced an anti-earth stance because the “tree-huggers” are on the other side of their politics.
This is just another example of what happens when faith and politics get confused. When we overly identify our faith with one political party, it becomes very difficult to see truth. In a world that we are supposed to be in but not of, it is hard for me to understand why Christians believe there is a “correct” party. Nothing about what Christ taught makes me believe that we belong in this world. One of my absolute favorite verses is Colossians 2:8:
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
I pray that every time I am considering my opinion on something, that I would measure it up against that verse. The teachings of Jesus Christ do not fit neatly into the platforms of a major political party. Why? Because they are the philosophies of man. I understand that this makes voting difficult but I don’t really care because it is not supposed to be easy for us to live here. We should not be surprised when our beliefs and our morals are challenged in politics and popular culture.