Jesus Wasn’t a Treehugger

Do We Really Have to Care for the Earth?

landfill, dump, trash

I just watched Wall-E for the 1 millionth time with my son. He is seven and he gets a kick out of it. I personally don’t mind it either, which is why I can tolerate it once again. The premise of a world so filled with trash that humans must evacuate while robots clean the planet seems a little exaggerated beyond the realm of reason, but nonetheless, I enjoy the point being expressed so exquisitely in the film.

It is well established by certain portions of the population that we need to take care of the environment. They claim that we are destroying the earth. They claim we are causing pollution levels that are putting us at risk of needing to evacuate the earth or breathe with artificial oxygen, or some other exaggerated scenario. This is not to imply it couldn’t happen; I mean, I guess anything is possible. However, I don’t foresee the world getting as bad as shown in Wall-E’s time, at least not before God sees fit to end it and deliver the new Earth in its place.

While I don’t foresee things getting that bad, I find it positively shameful how we treat the gifts God has given us, especially Christians. I think most of the global warming scenarios were hype and generally disproven, and I think most pollution is generated by poor industrial practices that are generally accepted by the government, due to effective lobbying — not by me driving my seven kids in a van to a field trip once a week.

jesus wasn't a treehugger environmentalistHowever, Americans are wasteful consumers as a whole. The liberal, mother-earth-worshipping segment of society has taken environmentalism to an extreme, and as a result Christians have swung that pendulum hard back in the opposite direction, refusing to take any responsibility – refusing to steward the earth that God has given us to take care of. And this is a grave mistake.

The term treehugger entered the English language many years ago, as a derogatory term for environmentalists, those people who tie themselves to trees to prevent them from being cut down. Ironically, my husband has owned his own tree removal business for nearly 20 years, and often asks the treehugger sort where their toilet paper comes from. I, on the other hand, often elbow him in the gut and respond to him that they probably use “family cloth,” which he has never heard of, but immediately insists he doesn’t want to know.

We, Christians, have gotten so complacent in our job as stewards of the earth, simply closing our eyes to the mountains of trash we call landfills and praying that God’s Kingdom will come, hoping that this earth will be burned up and a new Earth will replace it soon. But God demands better than that – and I am here to remind you.

we close our eyes to the mountains of trash and pray God’s Kingdom will come Click To Tweet

God gave us the Earth. He created it and all that is in it. He made it for us to use, but not for us to abuse. While I think cutting trees down is right and proper within reason, my family also aims to reduce our reliance on things that are not sustainable. We try to minimize waste. We try to reduce our reliance on plastics. We use almost no harmful chemicals that could end up in our water system. I care where my products come from, which natural resources are being depleted. I care about the bees. I care about the polar bears. I care about the trees. And we all should.

Jesus wasn’t a tree hugger Click To Tweet

Jesus wasn’t a tree hugger. In fact, there are a few stories in the Bible where God and/or Jesus actually killed a tree. Certainly, He is no treehugger! But God also created trees. He designed the landscape, placed those natural resources under the ground, on tops of mountains, in deep oceans, and on the surface of the earth. He gave them to us as gifts, but He also gave them to us as a responsibility to use them wisely, with discretion, and with a nod to the future.

To complicate matters, I don’t always believe the popular approaches to environmentalism are the best approaches. Any government environmental program that has no issue with poisoning our vegetation, has no real regard or credibility as stewards of the environment, in my opinion. Yet, I still think there are a few simple things believers should being doing as a regular practice.

Any government that has no issue poisoning earth, has no credibility as stewards of it Click To Tweet
  1. Reducing waste. Recycling has its good and bad sides, but reducing waste is always good. Stop buying disposable items. Stop buying things that will never decompose. Make better choices. Rather than use seran wrap, choose a silicone lid or beeswax wraps. Rather than buying endless disposable water bottles, invest in a water bottle you’ll keep and re-use. Even go a step further and get stainless steel or glass containers rather than plastic.
  2. Stop using harsh chemical cleaners. While I love a clean home, I hate knowing that all those chemicals end up in our water supply. Yes, they are even in our drinking water! In fact, our drinking water is terribly contaminated with chemicals that just don’t go away. And that means, we are consuming them and they are entering our bodies and making us sick. Instead, choose natural cleaners – there’s so many options now – or make your own.
  3. Plan better. I understand the need to go to the store or drive to work. Of course, you have to do those things, but what if you could simplify and save gas and money by going to the store on your way home from work! What if you could ask your boss to work from home to save on gas consumption. I realize this isn’t always possible. I don’t live in fantasyland, but there are ways to reduce the miles on our cars and the amount of gas expended, without going electric, which has it’s own set of social and environmental issues like cobalt mine depletion and the child slaves used to work those mines.

Caring for the earth, God’s beautiful creation, is important and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Buy less. Plan better. Waste less. Love more. But for heaven’s sake, for Earth’s sake, do something. Buy less. Plan better. Waste less Click To Tweet

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