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How did we miss that?

Aversion to politics is not a good excuse for not equipping the saints...

I read a report over the weekend (now I can't remember where) to the effect that Christian pastors do not teach their members how to think about the environment.

Wow. How'd we miss that?

There are two reasons for this, neither of which is acceptable. First, matters environmental (think: Cap and Trade) are typically bound up with politics, and pastors rarely venture into that stream. It's alienating (they suspect) and their tax-exempt status could be put in jeopardy if they are reported to IRS as meddling in politics.

This aversion to matters political is not a very good excuse for not instructing Christians about the teaching of Scripture in a most fundamental area of human life.

The second reason pastors don't teach about the environment is that they don't see how this has anything to do with the Gospel. Pastors preach the Gospel and the Gospel, as it is preached today, is about salvation, forgiveness, healing, and going to heaven when we die. What does that have to do with the environment?

Such a narrow view of the Gospel is not really the Gospel of the Kingdom but a form of "near Christianity" which gets the faith almost, but not quite, right. Jesus Christ is Lord and the earth and everything in it belong to Him. Should we not suppose that He would have some interest in the way we use and care for His planet and its creatures? Indeed, He does - it's right there in His Word.

But an aversion to politics and a too-narrow view of the Gospel are keeping the majority of today's Christians ignorant - or at best, poorly informed - about a wide range of areas, the environment being but one of them.

How will this ever change? It will change when Christians begin to demand that their pastors equip them for every good work, and not just those that keep their church programs buzzing and their church budgets healthy.

T. M. Moore
T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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