By Jan Markell
Olive Tree Ministries
What kind of theology could attract a half-billion people from 180 countries? Nearly every school in North America will observe this day. Churches will emphasize it all week. Some of you will probably bow out of the hoopla April 22, but tens of millions won't. They insist on bowing down to "Mother Earth" on Earth Day.
Sen. Gaylord Nelson got this launched forty years ago, and you would think with that kind of long history, more would have figured out that church participation in the event is an outrage. In keeping with the tide of the 1960s, he first called it a "National Environmental Teach-In."
All movements and campaigns have their own "bible." For the Earth Day crowd the 1970 book The Environmental Handbook, is their guide. The book states that each tree and stream has its own guardian spirit. And Christianity is hugely at fault for environmental woes. They think we believe that it is God's will to exploit nature (p. 20-21). Thanks to Christianity, we will see a worsening ecological crisis (p. 25). The book also says, "No technical solution can rescue us from the misery of overpopulation. Freedom to breed will bring ruin to all. The only way we can preserve more precious freedoms is by relinquishing the freedom to breed." (p.49, Garrett Hardin). That's called population control. Just like the global warming crowd, they want a whole lot of us to go away.
On page 324, the book promotes polygamy and group marriage. It pushes for a "revolution of consciousness" and enlightenment while praising Gnostics, hip Marxists, Teilhard de Chardin Catholics, druids, Taoists, witches, Yogins, Bhikkus, Quakers, Sufis, Tibetans, Zens, Shamans, Bushmen, American Indians, Polynesians, anarchists, and alchemists. (p. 331).
But here's the worst news. Take a look at the sacred earth prayer found in this book:
"Mother, Father, God, Universal Power - remind us daily of the sanctity of all life. Touch our hearts with the glorious oneness of all creation as we strive to respect all the living beings on this planet. Penetrate our souls with the beauty of this earth, as we attune ourselves to the rhythm and flow of the seasons. Awaken our minds with the knowledge to achieve a world in perfect harmony and grant us the wisdom to realize that we can have heaven on earth."So why are evangelicals lured into this? The direct reference to "Mother Earth," "Heaven on earth," and prayer to a "Universal Power," should be huge red flags that "Earth Day" and some related ecology events are pagan events to be shunned. Instead, we have Web sites representing evangelicals who are promoting this big time. One is "Blessed Earth: Serving God and Saving the Planet." According to the Bible, we are to be good stewards of the Earth, but we cannot save it. Only God can.
The Bible says, "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs" (Romans 8:22) as it waits Earth's real liberation - the return of Christ. I guess we "end-times watchers" continually mess up various agendas, including honoring the cause of the "Blessed Earth."
One Christian ecology site states, "I found God's Holy Spirit is convicting and calling Christians from all over the world to repent for the damage we have done, and to care for God's Earth." The "Blessed Earth" site folks want us to "wake up on Earth Day with a whole new spirit of serving God and saving the planet." But why are Christians being asked to unite with the darkness represented in some of the above-mentioned statements? Aren't we supposed to separate from them?
In the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) March e-newsletter, the leadership encourages us to participate in the "Blessed Earth" activities, including the "Blessed Earth" live Web cast on April 21.
The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has a wide source of Bible studies based on saving the planet from environmental destruction. I maintain we need Bible studies on saving people from eternal destruction.
Then we have the Green Bible. It boasts that there are twice as many Bible references about Earth as there are about Heaven! I can't make things like this up! It has testimonials by spiritual giants Brian McLaren and Desmond Tutu.
Make no mistake that "Earth Day" does represent a "religion." It is the religion of "Mother Earth". This is not a kind of faith that evangelicals have paid much attention to until the last 15 years.
God cares about the creation and does not want Christians or anyone else abusing it. His care didn't stop after six days. It says in Psalm 104: 5 and 24, that,"You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken - O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures."
The command that human beings are given to steward or manage the Earth is both a huge privilege and a great responsibility. It carries with it immense power for good or evil.
Creation is something good. It reflects the goodness and character of God. He made it. He loves it. We need to treat it properly. But what I am reading makes "creation care" the number one issue on which some organizations wish us to focus. Nowhere on creation care sites do I read of evangelism programs or how to grow in the faith. I see only the exaltation of the planet and how we must intervene lest it destroy itself, or worse yet, mankind destroys it.
I close with wise words from Berit Kjos:
"I wanted to be part of God's team of Earth stewards who helped take care of His creation. I still do. But finding like-minded team members in our fast-changing culture has become complicated. The beliefs and practices associated with ecology stray far beyond biblical bounds - even in the church. My first exposure to unbiblical environmentalism under the banner of Christianity came in 1990. I had driven to a mainline church some distance from my home to see how God's people would celebrate Earth Day. Watching the worship, I wondered if the Creator Himself would have been welcome. At one point, the members of the youth group stepped forward to present their offerings."Kjos concludes,
One stated, "I bring to our Mother, the Earth, the gift of a new beginning..."
"The congregation responded to this strange ritual with a standing ovation. Did these people know whom they worshiped? Had environmental concern swung church doors wide open to paganism? Could this really be happening in a supposedly conservative church?"The pains on the earth stem from the Fall in the Garden. We are waiting for Him to solve the problem of the global curse with His return. In the meantime, let's be the best stewards of the Earth that we can be.
Pantheism, pledges and earth worship - Let Us Reason
The High Holy Day of the Environmental Religion - Right Side News
How should a Christian view environmentalism? - GotQuestions.org
Balancing the Christian Life - Charles Ryrie (Book)
A Bible study on environmentalism - WorldNetDaily (Joseph Farah)