By Charles Goodrich
Foolishness has reached a new height in popular environmentalism, and a fierce battle is being waged for Christians minds and hearts all over America. Nowhere is this battle more apparent than in Brevard county where we witness the bizarre spectacle of “dueling” letter to the editor quoting the Bible on opposite sides of the “environmental” question about buying land for “preservation” in Brevard. Ironically, this may be the only place where one can read Scripture in Florida Today!
Many Christians are discerning enough to reject the agenda of extremists like Ted Turner who think the world’s population should be cut to 250 million people (so far, he hasn’t yet volunteered to lead by example.) Radical environmentalists go as far as to suggest that we should be “biocentric” that is, equally focused on all life forms. Ingrid Newkirk, founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, says, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.” And Michael Fox of the Humane Society of the Untied States, declared that “the life of an ant and the life of my child should be granted equal consideration.”
According to this logic, all life forms, even a microbe, should have equal weight in our thinking. But this is absurd! Human life would become impossible because even the vegetarian kills microbes when he eats, walks or brushes his teeth! Since human life causes massive death of other organisms, suicide is the only choice consistent with this philosophy. As we read in Proverbs 8:28, “All who hate Me (God) love death.” Biocentric philosophy is obviously both God-hating and a human death-wish.
Many Christians reject the radical agenda, but still seem to think that mainstream environmentalism represents a genuine concern for good stewardship of creation. Loren Wilkinson, a professor at Regent College, feels compelled to repent for seeing man as the center of creation – he calls this “species-ism.”
He apparently thinks the word “stewardship” is arrogant: implying that God made man the lord over nature. Wilkinson says rather that “we (humans) are fellow creatures in a great interconnected web of all that God has made….” Biblical Christians should argue that man has a unique place in God’s creation.
Psalm 8 says: “You made him (man) a little lower than the angels … You made him ruler over the works of your hands … the birds of the air and the fish of the sea….” Clearly, God intended that nature serve man, not that man serve nature. Yet other Christian thinkers are hopping on the environmental bandwagon. Eugene Peterson, when translating 1 Corinthians 6:9 for The Message adds “those … who use and abuse the earth” to the list of reprobates who will not enter the kingdom of God.
In Brevard County, a fierce struggle is taking place over the proper application of God’s word to local issues such as the purchase of land for “preservation,” restrictions on development to provide “greenways,” and care of threatened species. Letters to the editor have appeared quoting Jesus Christ in order to chastise “selfish” land owners for being unwilling to donate their property (or substantially restrict its use and resulting value) in order to achieve these politically correct goals
Christians must be able to discern that selfishness or generosity is not the real issue – rather the proper Biblical role of government. Clean air and water are goals Christians support as well as a proper environmental role for government limited to restraining defilement of air and water to the detriment of one’s neighbors.
Environmentalists, however, want to use the power of government for the very unbiblical goal of restricting human use of creation in Brevard county. The Bible is very clear that pleasant surroundings and community harmony are a result of the action of the gospel on individual hearts and lives. No good end justifies any and every means, and no group of citizens – no matter how lofty their goals – can expect to achieve community peace and harmony through the oppressive, micro-managing hand of big government.