Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Going Green

Yep, we're going green. Ukrops, the world's greatest grocery store (seriously, moving here from KC I thought it was Hen House, but I now stand corrected), supplied the recycled poly-bags and we're using them in an effort to take care of the planet; less junk in the landfill and less bags for me to have to wrestle with every time I open the pantry door.

There are plenty of people out there in church-world who think this is just nuts and has absolutely nothing to do with the message of and about Jesus.

For instance, Perry Noble, speaking at the recent Whiteboard Conference (couldn't go, but read the notes) said he wouldn't be caught dead talking about the environment. He'll stick to the Gospel of Jesus, thank you very much. And he's a phenomenal leader and even better communicator.
Nonetheless, that's the common sentiment from people who think we've somehow abandoned the Gospel (apparently, using the phrase "the gospel" makes your point more valid when doing this) by also caring for the environment. But, frankly--and no disrespect to Perry meant--that's an ignorant and post-world-war-II-church-culture-bound reading of Scripture.

Here's a brief biblical rationale for caring for the planet.
  1. God created the world--the physical world we walk on every day--and said it was good.

  2. God gave us the earth and told us to fill the earth and care for it. Some translations say, "subdue it", which has lent itself to all kinds of "let's do whatever we want with the earth" kinds of readings and actions. But the original word means something like "to tend and care for in order to make it even more productive." It's basic stewardship.

  3. In the biblical story, this was all before sin enters the world. Again, this isn't a minor point. No sin=a good material creation + caring for the earth God made for us to care for.

  4. In the end, God doesn't junk this "test model" for a "better" disembodied existence somewhere else. He recreates it: A new heaven and a new earth. How you think everything will end up someday determines how you act today.

And here's the irony. Part of Perry's point is that he want to keep the main thing, the main thing. And I agree. The environment is not our God. It's not the whole gospel. But it certainly is an implication of living out the Gospel.

Because if we are really "preaching Jesus" won't that result in people who take the Bible seriously; who then care for the poor, visit the sick, speak up for the oppressed, and take care of the environment? And isn't that a really attractive way to live in the first place, thus making Jesus more appealing and "preaching" Jesus without having to drag people into a church service to hear about God? Aren't we living the Kingdom of God?

Plus anyway you look at it, I'm saving $.05 with every bag of groceries I take home in my new (and much roomier than a paper bag) recycled bag. And that means that in about a year, I'll have saved enough to stop at Starbucks for a skim venti, light caramel, Caramel Macchiato. :-)


Josh said...

nice coffee cup.

very nice that you're thinking of going green. it's a huge commitment...a change of life, actually.

aubrey and i read Serve God, Save the Planet by Matthew Sleeth and we were thoroughly challenged to take a biblical stance on creation and how to restore and care for it.

Bella said...

I think going green is something that everyone can agree is a step in the right direction toward building a better community, and laying down the foundations for which future generations can successfully thrive in a healthier environment. Plus, I think many businesses will benefit from going green, not only building a more acceptable public persona, but in the long run it really helps companies save money and be a positive contributor to the world we live in.

Another thing I want to talk about is bioheat, it’s just one small measure that people can take in order to start living a greener lifestyle.

Has anyone ever heard of it, or has switched to it? I want to start taking initiative in turning my home into a greener household, one way I have started is by switching out all my lightbulbs in my home to energy efficient lightbulbs. And I am also seriously considering switching over to bioheat as an alternative to regular oilheat. The thing that I love the most about it is that it’s completely clean burning, and is comprised of a b5 blend of oils which are derived from natural plant and vegetable sustainable resources such as corn, hemp, and avocados just to name a few. If you all want more information on how bioheat works, just go on to http://oilheatamerica.com/index.mv?screen=bioheat I work with NORA to bring this info to you all!

Scott said...

There are so many little things that can be done. Bulbs, bags, basic recycling. It's a whole different way to live indeed.

Bella - not many Virginia's have oil heat, so I don't know anything about bioheat. Is it an option when you use electrical heat??