Sunday, August 21, 2011

Church Mission: Save the Planet, Go Green

"Brother, are you saved?" asked the traditional Christian evangelist, but today . . .

In churches — and synagogues and mosques — across the country, saving the planet is becoming as important as saving souls. Nearly every religion, and almost every denomination, has added protecting the environment as a religious tenet.

For background, read Evangelicals Warn of Cult of Environmentalism

-- From "Saving the Earth is new mission at more churches" by Jeff Kunerth, Orlando Sentinel 8/14/11

The greening of the church comes at the same time that concern for the environment is becoming a part of the cultural mainstream. Driving hybrid cars, unplugging household appliances, replacing disposable plastic water bottles with reusable metal ones, and separating household trash into recyclables and garbage are no longer the intellectual property of hippies, tree huggers and communes.

"The surprising thing for me is there seems to be some consensus. We are seeing very conservative Protestant denominations embracing Earth care, and you are seeing some mainline, more-liberal denominations," said Darby Ray, associate professor of religious studies at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss.

In many ways, the change in the culture has produced a change in theology — a rethinking and reinterpretation of Scripture from a belief that God intended mankind to exploit the Earth for its own benefit to mankind's obligation to protect and preserve the Earth that God created. Much of the push for going green has come from the people in the pews rather than the people behind the pulpit, said Gerald Smith, religion professor at Sewanee: The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Green Fever at U.S. Churches" by Amanda Winkler, Christian Post Reporter 8/17/11

From a religious perspective, some congregations believe that global climate change is a moral crisis.

Members say if churches reduce their environmental impact and save money, it is an effective way to minister to the world. It also allows good stewards to live a happier, healthier life – without the guilt of excess. This, in turn, is what God wants us for us, that through Him is a life we can live more abundantly.

Organizations are getting involved in the "green church" movement including the Eco-Justice Program (EJP) at the National Council of Churches of Christ, which is an organization that urges Protestant and Orthodox communities to place a higher value on God’s call to protect His creation.

. . . most churches have incorporated “going green” into their spiritual teachings.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Pagans, Liberal 'christians' Celebrate Earth on Good Friday