Saving the Earth?

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

earthdayDid you miss it? Wednesday, April 22, marked the now annual celebration of “Earth Day.”   People around the world gave some speeches and reflected on the need to take care of the planet in better ways. Even President Obama managed to use the day to speak about the need to stop global climate change, which he said presented “no greater threat to our planet.” Few seem to agree whether man-made climate change is really even happening, but we are being told by our President and others that it is a “threat” to all of us and needs to be fixed. Of course how you “fix” the planet’s climate is not easily spelled out, but like many government ideas you have to pass legislation BEFORE you find out what it is all about.

Whatever your view of some of these environmental issues, the real story is not being reported at all. The real story about Earth Day is what it represents on a spiritual level. Earth Day is really a worldview, a belief system... a religion, if you will. People may not think of this environmental movement to “save the planet” from human sin as a religion, but it drives many these days much more than going to church on Sunday and thinking about saving souls. Whereas the Bible is clearly more concerned about saving people, these folks just want to save the planet.

In my job as a pastor, I have the privilege of talking about the Lord Jesus Christ as our wonderful Savior from sin, the real threat down here. In their worldview we hear about the terrible sin of having too large of a “carbon footprint” that comes from using too much energy. Since I drive a Chevy Suburban that only gets about 10 miles per gallon, I have realized that I may be a threat to saving the planet. Repentance with this worldview seems to be selling your Suburban and buying an electric car. However, the problem with electric cars is that they are so expensive that only fairly wealthy people can buy them. Now if only rich people can buy them then the poor are left out and that sounds like a possible sin to me. It’s complicated saving the planet, after all.

All of this comes down to a battle that is going on today between naturalism and supernaturalism. Naturalism says all that matters is Nature and the natural world. Supernaturalism says there is a God who created Nature, who is above Nature, making God the Supernatural God. Another name for Supernaturalism is Christianity. Biblical Christianity believes that God is above Nature and that He has given it to man to control it and use it for our good and God’s glory. This is not something you hear much about on Earth Day. What we do hear about is how human beings need to save the planet. The idea that only God can save the planet is just not a part of the discussion. Now if God can’t save the earth, then people have to become god to get the job done. That starts to sound a lot like the Lie in the Garden that created all these terrible carbon footprints in the first place.

The Bible’s answer to Earth Day is simple. If you save the people from their sins the planet will be saved. The Bible starts with the real problem and treats causes, not just symptoms. Let’s not get confused by today’s politicians and environmentalists. The greatest need in this hour is finding a Savior from sin. How thankful we can all be that His Name is Jesus.