But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility... Eph. 2:13-14

Monday, April 27

On Being a Christian Planeteer

This is from a note I wrote for Facebook, and I feel that I should give a brief explanation so that no one is left in the dark. I was talking a lot about Earth Day and Arbor Day on Facebook this past week. This should be expected, because I'm building a reputation as a Planeteer on there. I have several friends who tell me of environmentally destructive things they've done just to get on my nerves and stuff like that. It's fun. But with my extra talk of Earth and Arbor Day, a few things were said and implied that made me feel that I should defend my celebration of these holidays. I really do care about taking care of our planet, and I feel that Christians should take extra care of it. Read on...


Alright, people, here it is.

Let's imagine for a moment that I inherited some money, and that you and another friend of mine were both in desperate need of a car. Since I now had money coming out of my ears, I decided to buy two identical cars and lend them to you for a while, free of charge. My only requirement was that you use them and take care of them, and that when I got back from my trip to Scotland I'd get them back.

Well, since my friends tend to be slightly... different, the other recipient of a car decides that nothing can happen to the vehicle. He keeps it carefully stored in a garage, polished to perfection, and in perfect running condition. He goes to great lengths to avoid ever having to use it, and when he does, nearly goes insane if so much as a speck of dust touches it.

Now you, correctly assessing that my friend is most likely insane, and not wanting to appear insane yourself, decide that you're gonna use this car for all it's worth, which is great, since that's why I gave it to you. You drive it everywhere: to the store, to your job, to a game, to a movie, off-road (even though it wasn't really built for that), and for midnight runs for munchies. However, when the time comes to keep it clean, change the oil, or replenish the gas tank, you look over at my OCD friend and decide to do as little as possible. After all, you don't want to be like him.

So the fateful day arrives. I show up with 5,000 pictures of sheep and castles, bearing souvenir kilts for both of my dear friends, and asking for my cars back. When I go to my first friend's house, I find my car looking just like the day I bought it, and my friend no better off for having it in his garage. This, of course, offends me, even if it doesn't surprise me. I spent good money for the vehicle, and expected him to use it, even though I knew he wasn't quite right in the head.

Disappointed, I go to your house, and boy do you have stories of what a great time you've had in my car! I hear all about your fun and accomplishments, and am very glad. At least one of my friends got some use out of my gift. Then I take the key out to the curb (you didn't bother keeping it in your garage) and nearly faint. The dinged-up piece of junk sitting before me is nearly unrecognizable as the brand new vehicle I left you with. After I slide into the cracked leather seats and manage to slam the door hard enough that it stays closed, I force the key into the ignition and turn, only to hear a sound that would make the guys on Car Talk cover their ears. Once it finally does start, I'm barely able to get it to my house, partially because the smoke billowing out from under the hood obscures my view of the road - and it should be noted that I live just around the corner.

Am I happy about the way you've treated my gift? No! Why? Not because I needed the car. If I didn't have one of my own, I could use the one that my OCD friend never used. As it stands, I'd intended to donate both cars to Ranken Technical College for the automotive students to learn on. But I'd trusted you both to take care of and appreciate my gift, and neither of you did.

I know that this is a poor illustration. I mean, what do you expect? It's 2 AM. ;) But I hope that maybe this helps to explain why I get so excited about Earth Day and Arbor Day.
It is not my intention to ever worship the earth. If you ever catch me singing the praises of a plant or animal without mentioning its Creator, give me a good, sound slap across the face.*

But if I'm singing with the twenty-four elders in Revelation 4, "Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created" because I've seen God's glory unfold in a leaf, then join me!

If I'm trying to be a better steward of what God has provided by recycling or planting trees, does that mean that I'm worshipping the creation over the Creator? Christ said that one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much. Is being wasteful being any more faithful than worshipping the earth?

Before I finish, I want to acknowledge the fact that I talk a lot about Global Warming, planeteers, endangered species and such on Facebook. That's pretty much all a joke. I don't really believe most of the Global Warming hysteria, I think the planeteers were rather extreme (not to mention that whole "Mother Nature" junk), and so far as endangered species go... well I'd like to see them stick around, but people come first. Hopefully I make it pretty clear when I'm kidding, but if you're ever confused then please feel free to ask if I'm serious or not.

Please understand that I'm not trying to get people upset or anything like that. I just felt that I should try to explain where I'm coming from when I celebrate these holidays, especially as there seems to be a lot of confusion about this subject.

God made the seed, that made the tree, that made the cross that saved us.**

*By "singing the praises of" I hope you realize that I don't mean saying that someone's dog is cute or something. Don't just be looking for an opportunity to slap me... ;)
**Taken from Caedmon's Call's version of Mystery of Mercy.

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