Ordo creatio (or, why every Christian should be a radical environmentalist)

4 thoughts on “Ordo creatio (or, why every Christian should be a radical environmentalist)”

  1. Ben,

    Wonderful post. It strikes me that this is part of the understanding behind our Ash Wednesday liturgy (we come from the earth, and will return to it.) Many thanks.


  2. Well, I think like so many things, it’s a matter of priorities and proper balance. Environmentalism is an very popular idol in our country, placed higher than God sometimes in words, more often in actions, and so the Church has naturally and properly reacted against it.

    When I moved to Michigan and got my first electric bill, I found a *mandatory* surcharge for renewable energy. And, *optionally*, I could have a surcharge added to help the poor pay their electric bill. That’s screwed up. But it’s a sign of how high of a place environmentalism holds in our culture. Too high of a place.

    That said – God didn’t create the planet just so we could go smash it up. Anything he makes should be treated with care and some humility. Adam and Eve tended the garden and so should we.


  3. This is a timely discussion and the Church should be engaged in a vocal and powerful way. It pains me to hear politicians try to use the “dominion” argument as justification for continuing full speed ahead stripping Earth of its resources. And as for those who believe the end is near, so we should milk this planet for all it’s worth… That sounds more like a rock band trashing a hotel room because they know they’ll have a new one soon than it does a Christian earnestly praying for God’s will to be done and for His kingdom to exist on Earth as it is in Heaven.

    Unfortunately, environmental activism gets lumped into a drawer labeled “RADICALLY LIBERAL” by those who would seek to suppress it. There are voices currently attempting to throw nutrition in that drawer, too. It’s mind blowing that the Church as a whole is so relatively quiet on such fundamental issues as taking care with God’s creation including our bodies.

    As for these issues being raised to a level that is inappropriate or idolatrous, I think a lot of that concern is probably brought about largely by the fact that our society tends to pay attention to the radical voices and ignore the reasonable, nuanced ones. Basically, the examples of environmentalism that draw a lot of attention are bound to be the ones that “shout” instead of whisper. Likewise, my wife and I spending a day picking up trash along a river with about thirty people from our church – while we would have never been accused of “putting the creation above the Creator” – we certainly didn’t make the news.

    Thanks for being one of those nuanced voices, Ben.


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