Tuesday, April 8, 2008
More On The Air
It's been a week since I got back from Seattle, flush with the success of my appearance on The Thor Tolo Show on 820 KGNW, and I haven't completed this post. The message of A Very Convenient Truth appears to be resonating, which is very encouraging. The message needs to get out, because I see more and more evidence every day that Satan is dragging people into a maelstrom of worry and confusion and strife ... none of which is "of God".
One of the highlights of the interview was this letter from a woman named Dani in Port Ludlow, Washington. She is a supporter of Al Gore's local "Step It Up" campaign ...
While I do not agree the verdict is in, regarding the absolute cause of global warming, the debate is over, regarding the need for widespread community action in protecting the environment. Regardless of the actual cause of global warming – cyclical, human activity, animal flatulence, or a combination, thereof – it's a no-brainier that we should all do our part in maintaining our shared surroundings. This is particularly true for me as a Christian; first, because I love God and he created it; second, because God made it very clear "in the beginning" that man, alone, above all earth's creatures, was created in his image and is solely responsible for the earth's maintenance. While there are philosophical differences about the application of this stewardship, such as land use, there should be no question about the mandate to care for our natural environment. To do otherwise is contempt for God.
I applaud Step it Up for its effort because, in principle, it points us in the right direction. So what if there are a few detours (disagreements) and we hit a pothole or two (conflicting information and antidotes); let's resolve to lay aside any differences, political or otherwise, and cooperatively work with others in developing local solutions to an undeniable global phenomenon. At the very least, let's demonstrate our personal support for our neighbors and future generations, as we dutifully preserve that which has been entrusted to us.
Port Ludlow, WA
To which I replied, that, if you get people committed to resolving the issue God's way -- as opposed to the world's way -- it doesn't matter what their political stripe is: get them together in a room, all praying and listening for guidance from the Holy Spirit, and they will all come up with the same answer ... the right answer.
This morning, I woke up with a word in my head: "guilt".
That's one of the main motivating factors behind the whole environmental conversation ... and, in fact, has been a motivator behind much of human action in the past century. We've been motivated by guilt to do something about human rights, residential skills, the Komagata Maru, the Chinese Head Tax, Japanese-Canadian internment, native land claims, feminism ...
The problem with being motivated by guilt is that it, too, is not "of God". Guilt is Satan's way of preventing us from repenting and receiving our forgiveness, by making us believe that we always have to Do More to make amends. That inevitably leads to Satan jumping over to the other side -- whomever has been wronged -- and constantly raise the stakes, demanding more or claiming that whatever is done is Not Enough. (What's that favorite line of the environmentalists? "A good first step ... but much more needs to be done.")
(Thinking over that guilt-motivation list above, one incident stands out as an exception: the Saint-Louis. This was a ship, which brought a load of Jewish refugees over from Europe just before WWII broke out. But Canada was one of a number of countries that turned them away, sending them back to Europe and, for many, ultimately to the death camps. Many churches of the day supported turning them away, reflective of the attitude "Christian" churches held towards Jews at the time. In 2001, a group of evangelical leaders from across the country met in Ottawa with Jewish leaders -- and many eventual survivors from the Saint-Louis, since some did make it through the Holocaust. The Christians asked forgiveness. The Jews gave it. They prayed together. There was a measure of reconciliation. And life continued. No guilt: just Conviction; no demands to Do More; no demands for compensation; no political posturing: just "Please forgive us - We forgive you - let's pray". And that's as it should be.)
When it comes to the Very Convenient Truth about the environmental discussion, we need to realize that guilt and recriminations won't get us anywhere. When we realize that the whole issue boils down to our personal relationship to God, we realize that we have a responsibility to follow His leading in consuming and enjoying Creation -- as He intended -- while not going beyond our ability to replenish it (Gen. 1:28). Healing our relationship with God means receiving forgiveness for our failure to be His managers (see the previous post about "Hiding in plain sight") and then committing to getting back to the job. We have to stop listening to the guilt trips -- all from the enemy -- and remember that assuming responsibility is not the same as wearing the blame.