It's Getting Hot In Here...

So I get home from work and my son informs me that he has something important to show me. And I, being the involved father that I am give him my attention. He leads me into the living room and flops down his January 2007 edition of Ranger Rick magazine on the recliner.

Ranger Rick is a magazine put out by the
National Wildlife Federation, who's mission is to "Inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future." It's usually filled with interesting articles that have educated my son about such animals as the wood frog, who has chemicals in it's blood to keep it's body from freezing solid, and then there's the deadliest frog in the world, the Phyllobates terribilis, aka "Mr. Terrible", or the Matschie's tree kangaroos that live in New Guinea.

He says, "Look at that, Dad."

I say, "What is it?"

He points to the open magazine page and says concerned and matter-of-factly, "Right there."

I look, and find on page 10 this two column article about global warming:

My first reponse to him was something akin to what I heard John MacArthur say once:
"Son, you think the Earth is messed up now, wait 'til Jesus comes back...He's really gonna make a mess!"

True enough, even though it dripped with sarcasm.

Now I had to come up with something meaningful to say...something spiritual...something fatherly...something that wouldn't shatter his ongoing quest for knowledge and yet enough to temper his loose zeal to save the earth.
[Aside: this wasn't the first time he went all greenpeace on me...after putting up our deerstand this year, he rebuked me for trimming the top out of a pine tree...said we needed that tree to help us breathe or something...I told him to stop over-reacting that he was acting like a tree hugger. I think I used the MacArthur line then too - it's so funny!]
So anyways...what do you say?
Well, I told him that I was glad that he was concerned about taking care of the earth - for it was created by God & we should be good stewards of it. However, we must remember to never value creation over the Creator, nor should we consider animals or creation as being more important than people.
I have a friend who loves the Lord and also loves God's creation - Zach truly believes that (in his own words) "all things were created to scream back at His worth and faithfulness!!" While completing his Master's degree he's had the privilege of taking two trips to Madagascar to observe the Aye-Aye monkey. He's spent months living in a tent, in the jungle, during the rainy season, covered with leaches in order to fulfill his observations & complete his thesis for his Master's program. He truly saw God's glory in creation while there and values it greatly - for what it was meant to accomplish. He also saw the pitiful condition of the people in the local village - children running around naked and starving. These villagers have had to cut into the rainforest to survive and Zach understands that and knows that this is necessary and that people are more important than trees. He also knows of unnecessary practices that go on - such as killing gorillas, cutting off their hands and feet and leaving the carcass in the jungle to rot.
And why? Ashtrays.
Now, I'm not out to find the missing link - not even interested in signing this . I'm just curious as how to find the balance in this area of stewardship of creation. There's got to be a balance in here somewhere. How can we be enviromental without being an enviromentalist?
Any suggestions?


tnfpb said...

hmmm, your question, "How can we be environmental without being an environmentalist?Any suggestions?"

What do you mean by "environmental?"

from the wiki page, "Environmentalists sometimes protect wildlife to the point of placing the environment above humanity."

Pretty obvious from that little bit what is wrong with that bit of thinking. I don't know what you mean exactly by environmental though.

Aaron said...

How far do we go in being stewards of God's creation before we fit the wiki definition of "environmentalist"?

Or what about global warming? Al Gore & others say it's a problem, others say "Big whoop! Just wear shorts more often."

tnfpb said...

"How far do we go in being stewards of God's creation before we fit the wiki definition of "environmentalist"? "

I don't know... maybe as far as we can-? I guess stewardship means different things to different people at different times in history?

On global warming... ummmm, yeah. That whole topic is so politically charged I don't know where to listen or what to believe. There seems to be evidence-a-plenty on both sides.

jigawatt said...

Back in the 70's (i.e. Aaron's younger days), Francis Schaeffer wrote a book on Christianity and the environment. It's called "Pollution and the Death of Man"

I have not read the book, but from the reviews and synopses, it seems like he stresses the importance of taking care of the environment over against MacArthur's view.

David said...

Global warming is a farce, my friend. It's only been a generation since the future ice age was shoved down our throat. In fact, the whole "global warming" belief is steeped in man -centeredness - it's ridiculous to believe that we, mere men, could "destroy" the earth if we tried.

That said, of course we should be good stewards of this beautiful creation in which our Father has given us to live.

Aaron said...

"Pollution and the Death of Man"

Thanks for the recommendation, Jig.

"Global warming is a farce..."

That's pretty much been my view all along, David. I guess I just hate to be the typical naive Christian...you know...the kind that also think Republicans can save our world. :o)
Do you know of any reliable sources on the myths of Global Warming? I'd sure be interested.
I found one scientist's website that set out to debunk GW, but you'd have to have the degrees that Jigawatt has to understand it all! :o)
Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Interesting post, Aaron. It is an interesting subject. I, like you, don't know quite what to think. I think that if we are indeed warming up the earth rapidly, and we could stop it without too much effort (I suppose it does all depend on degree - how fast the earth is warming, how much effect it will have on things, and how much it will take to fix it), that we should stop it. But who knows? I guess we just need to learn more.

I think that it is no question that we should be "good stewards" of the earth, but, what does that mean, really? I actually take an extreme view that if chopping down a tree in the middle of the forest makes me and the rest of the villagers laugh and we enjoy it, then so be it, that tree has served it's purpose.

I'm pretty sure it's no question also that man could destroy the earth if he wanted to (and God willed it..) with the nuclear bombs that we have right now.

Thinking about global warming makes me think also of where Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. I don't know why though, it may be totally unrelated. Also, if I remember right, Jesus did curse a tree and make it wither.

But seriously, I think we may have to do something in the next few years about Global Warming. I mean not ruin our whole economy and way of life to save the polar bear, but apparently there is strong evidence that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is trapping heat on the earth and melting the polar ice, which supposedly is going to raise the sea level a bunch. If that is true and millions of people are at risk of dying, then I do think America should take the lead in cutting down on emissions (China and India would have to follow), so long as it doesnt completely ruin our economy - in the face of not a ton of hard evidence that people will die if we don't.


David said...

Here are a couple helpful resources. Remember, less than a century ago we were "warned" of an impending ice age! If environmentalists were really concerned about stopping man-made "global warming," they would go after third world countries and other nations who pollute far worse than the United States. No one has higher pollution standards in the world, yet they make the U.S. out as the big polluters! Me smells politics...and the typical anti-America bashing from the left that we have become so accustomed to.

"Two New Books Confirm Global Warming is Natural; Not Caused By Human Activity

Two powerful new books say today’s global warming is due not to human activity but primarily to a long, moderate solar-linked cycle. Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years, by physicist Fred Singer and economist Dennis Avery was released just before Christmas. The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change, by Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark and former BBC science writer Nigel Calder (Icon Books), is due out in March."

Aaron said...

Thanks for the book recommendations David. Now, you said in your first comment that "Global warming is a farce", but your second comment seems to agree that there is something legitimate about GW, but people aren't the problem.
Am I reading you right?