Is God green? Is there any way to find the mind of God on the environment, climate change and our relationship to this earth we live on? These subjects are some of the most controversial and perhaps the most pivotal in our times. Not surprisingly, powerful forces fight for control of the dialogue and even the facts on this issue. This is seen in the media worldwide every day.
For me, long ago I escaped the “left-right” dichotomy. This has helped me to more easily recognize the agenda-driven narrative that dominates the present debate on the environment. But what saith God? The vast majority would gladly say that we should just leave God out of it, if they even gave a thought of Him in the first place. Big mistake.
But… there is a God, there is a spiritual world, God’s got a whole lot going on this issue, as well as knowledge of how it all should and will turn out. We can see this plainly if we turn briefly to His Word, the truth He’s given His prophets and messengers for thousands of years. One of the most poignant and (to me) relevant things God has spoken concerning the present boiling debate on the environment is found in the last book in the Bible, called in many languages “The Apocalypse”.
In the book of Revelation we find the angels speaking to God in the very last days of this age, saying that He should “destroy them that destroy the earth.” (Revelation 11:18) Someone is going to be destroying the earth in the final days of this age? And God doesn’t like that?
“Mark, surely you won’t use that verse to support an idea that God is green!”
Well, there are more like that. God spoke to His disobedient people through the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah, “I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof. But when you entered you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination.” (Jeremiah 2:7) And in the laws of Moses they were commanded to not cut down all the trees in a land “for the tree of the field is a man’s life.” (Deuteronomy 20:19)
Again in the Apocalypse, we find strong references to our physical earth in the final days of this age, for example where it says of those times, “a third part of trees was burned up, and all green grass.” (Revelation 8:7) So I believe it does matter to God what we do with this earth. His original commandment from the beginning in the garden was that we were to “dress and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)
But don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that I think God is green the way the present Green movement often turns out to be. Those on the political “right” worldwide, often called Conservatives (and where many Christians feel they should align themselves) will say that God gave us the earth and it is ours to profit from, to use for our necessities and to further the progress and wealth of mankind. There’s some truth to that and plenty in God’s Word to indicate that this is His Will, within reason.
In the Green movement, there are “techno-optimists” who believe that mankind can find solutions through technology and ingenuity to make it through the changes that are upon us, if enough effort is made. But many other Greens are not optimistic. They’re already in a thoroughly apocalyptic view that it is too late, that the Rubicon has been crossed and the die is cast. They often end up having a similar view to the millions of “Preppers” here in the States who feel it’s only a matter of time before social collapse and the end of this world as we know it happens. But the Green apocalypse people see this coming through ecological devastation.
And it’s a little ominous to note what those on the edge of the spectrum in the Green movement see as our only hope. They say that some of their fellow Greens mistakenly are “trying to save Capitalism.” Chew on that a little. You mean the only way to save the earth from ecological extinction is to overthrow Capitalism? And replace it with…? Some form of neo-Marxism or State-controlled totalitarianism?
Wonderfully, I’ve found that there is a God who is above all this, more powerful than we are, infinitely smarter and more able as well. As bad as some things are getting, as uber-polarized as things get day by day, our Father in heaven is neither asleep or even sick. I don’t doubt at all that part of the curse on this earth and its inhabitants for their sins in these last days is because of the exploitation and destruction of this earth that’s come to pass through the greed in man’s heart for centuries, which is now coming back to bite us throughout the earth in the ecological changes going on.
Most Christians will tell you that we are not to “defile the temple of God” which we now consider our own bodies. “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” (I Corinthians 3:17) Equally, God is not going to let us get away with defiling this earth we live on through greed, lust and lack of concern for His creation.
So I expect that in the coming final days of man’s rule on the earth, before the return of Jesus to set up God’s Millennial reign through Him, we will see the increasing collapse of our beloved earth itself as it groans under our sins of greed and thoughtless exploitation of the environment.
I think God is green, at least as far as it comes to caring for this earth He created for our benefit. Sin is at the root of the environmental crisis, and yes there is one. Is there time enough left to pull the cookies out of the fire? Like so many things, I believe it will ultimately take the coming of the Lord to save us from ourselves.