Studies in Genesis: Environmentalism Print
Written by Calvin Fox   
Friday, 21 November 2008 11:34

The Study is based on the One that precedes it and addresses today's "Environmentalism"

The Wilderness: tohu [toe-WHO]

People, including Christians, tend to idealize or romanticize the “wilderness”.  But here is a little known but important truth about the Wilderness.  When the prophets warn of God’s judgment, or describe that judgment, upon sinful nations, it is often expressed as civilization returning to the wild: the wilderness overgrowing the cities.  This punishment would be the process of “uncreation”.  This is very important: “uncreation” is regression from order to chaos- from fertile and productive to dry, arid wasteland -- returning to wilderness, e.g.-
 
Edom- for the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion's cause. 9 Edom's streams will be turned into pitch, her dust into burning sulfur; her land will become blazing pitch! 10 It will not be quenched night and day; its smoke will rise forever. From generation to generation it will lie desolate; no one will ever pass through it again. 11 The desert owl and screech owl will possess it; the great owl and the raven will nest there. God will stretch out over Edom the measuring line of chaos [tohu] and the plumb line of desolation [bohu]. 13 Thorns will overrun her citadels, nettles and brambles her strongholds -Isaiah 34:8

Jerusalem- at that time this people and Jerusalem will be told, "a scorching wind from the barren heights in the desert blows toward my people, but not to winnow or cleanse; 12 a wind too strong for that comes from me. Now I pronounce my judgments against them." 14 O Jerusalem, wash the evil from your heart and be saved.  How long will you harbor wicked thoughts? 16 "Tell this to the nations, proclaim it to Jerusalem `a besieging army is coming …because she has rebelled against me,' " declares the Lord. 19 …; I have heard the battle cry. 20  disaster follows disaster; the whole land lies in ruins. 23  I looked at the earth, and it was formless [tohu] and empty [bohu]; and at the heavens, and their light was gone [cf Gen 1:2 darkness] 26 I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert- Jeremiah 4:11

do not be angry beyond measure, o Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look upon us, we pray, for we are all your people. 10 your sacred cities have become a desert; even Zion is a desert, Jerusalem a desolation.- Isaiah 64:9
Babylon- the land trembles and writhes, for the Lord's purposes against Babylon stand--to lay waste the land of Babylon so that no one will live there.  41...what a horror Babylon will be among the nations! 43 her towns will be desolate, a dry and desert land, a land where no one lives, through which no man travels.- Jeremiah 51:29
 
 
The lesson here is that we must value, but not romanticize the Wilderness.  People and their welfare come before the Wild.  It is to be developed and maintained for the good of Humanity.  We obviously require clean water and air!   Conversely, I fully agree that the Wilderness is not to be raped and exploited for the short term benefit of a few and the long term harm of Humanity.  No argument here about any of that. But-

I am very skeptical, to say the least, about today’s popular “Environmentalism” and the particular crusade being conducted incessantly by many to remedy “Global Warming” .  I see in this Movement the very romanticizing the Scripture warns about.   More than that, I see what looks to like pagan worship of Nature.  All Biblical Christians must be concerned about that.  We also see an irrational opposition to global economic development via Free Market Capitalism.  To some of us, the latter is a Biblical and essential means to improving both the World and the Planet.  (It is interesting to see ”progressive” entrepreneurs and companies  plunging into the “Green” business in order to make a profit for themselves.)
 
Furthermore, we see in the Movement an almost virulent anti-Americanism (or more probably, a virulent anti-current Republican Administration-ism).  No matter what statistics about the Environment and Global Warming are thrown around, and there is plenty of room for debate about them, these issues I have outlined greatly influence our thinking and must be addressed to our satisfaction before we join the Movement.
 
 


 


 

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