An interesting question was posed to me last night. What is the dividing line between caring for the earth and earth worship? Hmmm. I remember nearly twenty years ago when I took my daughter to a Subway sandwich place. In the kid’s meal was a small comic book starring Captain Planet (A Ted Turner production). The evil doers in the comic books were corporate polluters (couldn’t see THAT coming!) and the Captain Planet team had to call on a special power named Gaia to help them. Yes, that Gaia — the old earth spirit revered by countless New Age moonbats.
I wasn’t pleased that this was considered appropriate in style and content for a six year old.
I remember the first "save the earth" fad. In the 60′s we all learned a new word — ecology — and were bombarded with news about the evils of pollution, smog, trash, and wastefulness. Fact is — that was an important wake up call. We needed it. While those younger than my 12 string guitar (31 years old this year) would gasp in surprise at this, our cities, air and water are far less polluted now than they were then. All those people with flowers in their hair made a difference, at least environment-wise.
Over the years many Christians have grown so suspicious of the more radical environmentalists and their "science" that they (the Christians) have nothing to do with trying to care for and clean up the earth. I think that’s sad. I wouldn’t join Greenpeace if they offered me a free whale, but I recycle my papers, glass, metal, and pop bottles. I wouldn’t think of littering and I drive a fairly "green" vehicle.
But my focus is not on the earth, not on fears of it overheating, being overwhelmed by population, or being struck by a meteor. My focus is on Christ. He says he’ll destroy it, not us. When I care for the planet, I do it in His name; out of appreciation for the gifts He gave us in creation. It is not a political statement (most environmentalists and I wouldn’t last long in the same room) nor is it a spiritual one. It is a response engendered by love.
Some would throw humans over in a heartbeat in an attempt to save the snail darter, spotted owl, or three legged peafowl (I made that one up). They would rob a person of the use of their land, rendering it useless and valueless just so a "wet area" could be declared there. That gets perilously close to earth worship — valuing things and dirt more than people who are made in the image and likeness of God.
So — love the earth, but worship God. Can’t say simpler than that.