Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Eco Day- What Causes Environmental Harm?

The overall topic of Christians and the Environment really needs to be approached in a logical progression of articles/ chapters that build on each other. However, that isn’t the way a blog works. Readers are unlikely to search back to earlier entries to see how I got to a certain point. So I’m going to try to create entries that stand on their own, while staying true to the topic.

factory smokestacks
by Alfred Palmer, Wikipedia Commons
What would you list as the primary causes of ecosystem devastation? Global warming? Industrial dumping? Cutting the rainforest? As science (not a dirty word to this Christian) explores the relationships between dynamic systems on our planet we learn more and more about the interdependence of all the parts.

Just this week we’ve begun to learn that there are two inches of oil on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico for a radius of about 70 miles around the point where the Deepwater Horizon rig was located, and that there is no evidence of worms, crustaceans, anything, in that layer. How long will it take for those food sources for fish and other sea life to return? And the blame game is just beginning. As the blowout preventer is examined, we will be certain to hear in detail whose failings caused every little portion of that disaster.

These are very modern problems, so it would be quite a surprise to discover that the Bible had anything specific to say about habitat destruction and pollution, wouldn’t it? Try this on for size.

Zechariah 7:11, 14– “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry.

"'When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,' says the LORD Almighty. 'I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.'"

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not proposing that companies who do illegal dumping should not be held accountable. I’m all in favor of studying the correlation between weather patterns in Europe and the shrinkage of the South American rainforest.

But, at its core, the cause of the devastation is... that when God called to us, we did not listen. Pretty basic stuff, eh?

Think about when the world was perfect, in the Garden of Eden, before the Fall. Why do we call it before the Fall? Because there was no sin on earth yet. And what was one of the primary consequences of that first sin? Humans were banned from the perfect garden, and the ecosystem began a long slide toward desolation.

Backing up through history to the time when nature was in perfect harmony turns out to correlate to the time when man and God were in perfect harmony. Is this a coincidence?

Zechariah 7

1 comment:

Mar Matthias Darin said...

Science isn't a dirty word for me either.

I personally believe our ecological problems are a plethora of many bad social behaviors, including all that you mentioned, driven by greed and gluttony.