Thursday, April 22, 2010

a green bible for a green god

From Lawrence Vance at

It is made of environmentally friendly materials: a cotton/linen cover, recycled paper, soy-based ink, and a water-based coating. It was manufactured in a green friendly environment where all air is purified and all water is purified and recycled. It is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. It is endorsed by an ecumenical group of Christians and individuals in prominent environmental organizations.

In case you haven’t seen it, let me tell you about The Green Bible...based on the New Revised Standard Version, it adds some features to make this Bible an environmentalist one.

First, there is the foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in which he chastises us for being "wantonly wasteful through our reckless consumerism" and devouring of "irreplaceable natural resources" instead of being "responsible stewards preserving our vulnerable, fragile planet home."...

In order to highlight the words of Jesus, some Bibles print the words of Christ red. This practice dates from around 1900. In order to "highlight the rich and varied ways the books of the Bible speak directly to how we should think and act as we confront the environmental crisis facing our planet," The Green Bible prints certain passages in green...There are some themes found throughout the supplemental material in The Green Bible:
  • The earth is fragile and delicate.
  • Man is ruining the earth.
  • There is an environmental crisis.
  • Global warming is a fact.
  • Everything should be recycled.
  • Governments need to do more to protect the environment.
  • To be environmentally conscious is to be closer to God.

These themes all have one thing in common: they are all bunk. See the work of Floy Lilley....

The writer of the preface claims that there are "over a thousand references to the earth and caring for creation in the Bible." This statistic is meaningless. Actually, the words earth and land appear in the Bible almost three thousand times. There are very few times, however, when any of these instances actually refer to caring for creation.

Some of the biblical passages highlighted in green mention pollution. For example:

If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man’s wife, will he return to her? Would not such a land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? says the Lord (Jeremiah 3:1).

The land here is polluted because of moral activity, not because someone put toxic waste in a dump. Examples could be multiplied to show that many of the "green" verses in The Green Bible are not green at all.

What we are never told by any of the contributors to The Green Bible is that the two biggest environmental catastrophes in the history of the world – catastrophes that dwarf anything man has ever done – are both deliberate acts of God: Noah’s flood in the past (Genesis 7:4-10) and the burning up of the earth in the future (2 Peter 3:10)....

God’s charge to man concerning the environment is found in the first chapter of the Bible:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth (Genesis 1:26).

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t care about air and water pollution, soil erosion, garbage disposal, overfishing, and depletion of natural resources, but neither does it mean that we should be environmentalist wackos who think we should recycle everything, reduce our carbon footprint, stop driving our cars, join the global climate change cult, and make a god out of the earth.

No, God is not green. But he is holy (1 Peter 1:16). And he has magnified his word above his name (Psalm 138:2). The Green Bible is a corruption of the word of God (2 Corinthians 2:17). A landfill would be the most appropriate place for it.


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