So, while I was out at the park today with my lovely little girl, my wife was visited at home by one of those nicely dressed Bible-and-magazine toting door-to-door evangelists.
No, no…not the Latter Day Saints (aka Mormons).
The other ones…the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Nothing new there. I’ve had dozens of such visits in my lifetime from them (and from the LDS church too), both before and after I became born again. The nice thing now is that I can tell them, “I already know Jesus. Thank you.” and send them on their way without guilt. It sure feels nicer than slamming the door in their faces after flipping them the bird or telling them to get the f**k off my porch.
But what was special (read: annoying) about this visit was that the Jehovah’s Witness to whom my wife opened the front door was apparently operating on an Earth Day theme (or, rather, anti-Earth Day). That is, she gleefully informed Mrs. Blue that we don’t have to worry about tending to the planet or being environmentally aware/concerned or celebrate Earth Day or anything like that.
Because the Bible says that the Earth is forever and is in no danger.
Hmmmm. Missed that in my Bible. She did tell my wife to take comfort in Psalm 104 as the source of this bit of wisdom. I can only guess that she must have meant this bit from the fifth verse of that psalm:
Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
Does anyone else think that’s kind of—oh, I don’t know—flimsy? This particular psalm takes a lot of time to revel in the glory of God as expressed in nature. Beautiful stuff, really. But as a way to support irresponsible treatment of our planet? I think not. In fact, the Bible states in many places that we are to be wise stewards of what God blesses us with, and that would certainly include the earthly resources we enjoy. I won’t go into all the various passages that talk about more environmentally specific stewardship, but an article at a site called Tomorrow’s World breaks it down nicely. (I don’t agree with everything in that article, by the way, but it does do a good job of gathering together passages that speak to our need to treat the planet well.)
The fact is that our resources are not all renewable and they aren’t limitless. And piling up garbage in ever-higher mountains of filth doesn’t seem very godly. Not to mention all the toxins we let go into the ground and the water that poison not only our neighbors but also the animals and plants.
Fact is, there will be a new Heaven and a new Earth one day, after Jesus returns. I’m sure God will fix our damage then. But, ummmm, that could be a ways off. We are told in the Bible that no one but God knows when the end of days is coming. Not even Jesus is in on that secret; he’s busy in Heaven tending to his duties and wishing he could come down here and give Satan the final kick in the ass that he’s so been deserving all these eons.
So, for all I know, this sick old world could putter on for a few hundred or few thousand or tens of thousands of years before God pulls the plug on the old Earth and settles all the accounts temporally and spiritually. So, given that, do I really want to mess up this planet that my kids and grandkids and so on will inherit? Not really. I know a lot of people want to believe that global warming and similar concerns are just overblown paranoia, but I’m telling you, we’re wearing this planet out. And if we don’t watch out, we’ll be ringing in the end of days wearing animal pelts and living in caves again. Though I’m sure we’ll find some way to keep reality TV going in spite of that.
Bottom line: The Bible tells us to treat the world with respect. Don’t let a confused young Jehovah’s Witness or George W. Bush or Rush Limbaugh or anyone else tell you differently.
Happy Earth Day. Now throw the damn bottle in the recycling bin.