In a news release this past week, our federal government---the Environmental Protection Agency--- EPA put out an alert suggesting Americans "show their love for the earth" this coming Valentine's Day.
The strong suggestion is followed by a long list of ways you can "show your love for the earth."
In reading this, I wondered if the government was trying to establish a religion---a state sponsored religion.
Or is the government merely attempting to advance an old one?
Earth worship is a religion---a very old religion.
It's difficult to see the government's list of suggestions as merely "helpful hints."
A glance at the government's comments affirms that this is not an effort directed at better understanding biblical stewardship of the planet. Or even a commonsense approach to managing the environment.
But the narrative parallels that of religion. Is the State only separated from the church that teaches"biblical Christianity?"
In reading their missive carefully, I'm thinking it's not about "God's" Creation, but rather an extension of an ancient religion that Al Gore, the United Nations, the Christian left or "Emerging Church Movement" and many others are advancing as a noble cause to save the planet. And as an alternative to biblical Christianity.
This movement is not only religious in nature, but anti-Christian.
Renee Dubos, with the Planetary Citizens, an author and frequent speaker on college campuses has said, "Since the roots of our trouble are largely religious, the remedy must also be essentially religious, whether we call it that or not. We must rethink and refuel our nature and destiny."
Al Gore and, unfortunately, the "Emerging Church Movement" are actively advancing the notions of Earth Worship as an alternative to biblical Truth.
This belief is regularly taught in the public school classroom and advanced through a thousand efforts such as the latest "newsletter" from our own government...the EPA.
The EPA is encouraging Americans to think outside the flower box this Valentine's Day.
Not to worry that if people follow their lead, it will crush florists on what is normally one of their busiest days of the year.
The government is also asking Americans to not visit a card shop---scratch Hallmark off your shopping list.
They are suggesting you send an electronic greeting or resend an old card. They also recommend you make a card from scrap paper.
Many are already opting to use email and Ecards, but are we comfortable with the government giving us leadership in these kinds of activities? When will these suggestions become a mandate?
They are also suggesting you skip buying candy for that special someone.
Well, to "show how much you care about the earth" and to"avoid packaging waste."
The list is rather extensive including "thinking green" on President's Day by using reusable bags on shopping trips, "buying clothes that are made from recycled soda bottles" and "sneakers made from recycled rubber soles" and "clothes made from recycled cotton scraps."
There's more...much more. You can read it all at the link above.
My point is not whether these government suggestions are good ones or bad ones---although I have some thoughts on that as well, but rather, should the government be trying to exert that much influence on how we celebrate Valentine's Day?
These and similar thoughts regarding the earth and the environment are part of the narrative of a very old religion. This religion is being presented in a number of venues including public education, news and entertainment. Now the government has joined the cadence.
Al Gore explained its importance in his book, "Earth In The Balance." He said, "The spiritual sense of our place in nature...can be traced to the origins of human civilization...The last vestige of organized goddess worship was eliminated by Christianity...It seems obvious that a better understanding of a religious heritage preceding our own by so many thousands of years could offer us new insights..." (p. 260).
Dubos says, "The earth is literally our mother, not only because we depend on her for nurture and shelter but even more because the human species has been shaped by her in the womb of evolution."
Al Gore has written, "Native American religions, for instance, offer a rich tapestry of ideas about our relationship to the earth. One of the most moving and frequently quoted explanations was attributed to Chief Seattle in 1855. 'Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother?' This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all" (p. 259).
This is the pantheistic worldview. In this view, God is not personal, nor transcendent, but is subject to the very laws of nature he/she created.
This is exactly what the Egyptians and others were practicing in Old Testament history. They were sacrificing to the gods of nature, seeking their blessings.
Thomas Berry wrote the book, "The Dream of the Earth," which was the first volume in the Sierra Club's series on nature and philosophy. In it he explains how "a new type religious orientation...must emerge from our new story of the universe."
Berry and others are saying that spiritual connectedness to the earth is man's only hope of survival.
Berry's and other similar books are regularly used in the classroom.
The earth does not belong to man. God says that man is instructed to "subdue the Earth" and was given "authority and dominion to rule over all living things" (Gen. 1:28).
An important part of eco-religion is that man, animals and nature are all equals. That they are interdependent on each other and no creature is above another.
Another application of the redefined idea of "Equality."
This is not only a false premise, it's a destructive one. How can all creatures be equal when there are no ethics or morals in nature? The next time a hurricane is coming, try to reason with it to stop.
Gore reflects the general doctrine of the movement in this, "We should actively search for ways to promote a new way of thinking about the current relationship between human civilization and the earth."
This is the heart of the religious movement that is being advanced under the guise of environmental responsibility.
The "Emerging Church Movement" is merging the church and biblical teaching with old pantheistic beliefs .
There is an abundance of examples. This is one of them.
Richard Austin was a leader in this movement. He told the Earth Care Conference a few years ago, "Christ is fully God and fully Earth...He came to save the world...I hear the Bible calling us to redeem from destruction the Creation."
Another example: Leonard Sweet, a leader in the "Emerging Church Movement" says in his book "Quantum Spirituality," "In an ecological model of the church, the earth is not separate from us; indeed, we are all in symbiotic relationship with the earth."
Lynn White Jr., a professor at University of California and frequent speaker on college campuses says, "As we now recognize, somewhat over a century ago science and technology...joined to give mankind powers which...are out of control. If so, Christianity bears a huge burden of guilt ... Our science and technology have grown out of Christian attitudes toward man's relation to nature...no new set of values has been accepted in our society to displace those of Christianity. Hence we shall continue to have a worsening ecological crises until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man."
Leonard Sweet, White, Dubos, Corrine McLaughlin, Gordon Davidson and hundreds of other philosophical and so-called spiritual "leaders" are simply advocating a return to the ancient religion of Gaia.
In brief, Gaia is the idea that the earth is alive, working with intelligence. She is interacting with all living creatures. The earth is more than men realize, she is sacred and considered to be a goddess.
At New York's Episcopal Cathedral of St. John The Divine, the Gaia Institute has a female "Christa" displayed on a cross. They explain, "The purpose of the Christian Church is to worship the creation, not the Creator."
Man cannot reverse the earth's fallen condition, only God can. While we are called to stewardship of the earth, we are not called to be "at one with it" or to "worship it. " The earth is not a living organism, producing life. Darwin was wrong. Those who follow him are wrong.
Nature is not intelligent. Nature is amoral. And the earth is not eternal.
Mankind would be better served if we were to focus on what happens after we leave the earth. Eternity.
Scripture teaches that a kind of global warming will come. It will be administered by God not man.
Paul told us in his letter to the Romans that a time would come when men would worship the creature rather than the Creator.
Biblical Christianity does not eliminate our responsibility to the environment or nature, but it certainly does not call us to worship it. Or to "show our love for it."
Hebrews tells us that, "He, God, not nature, upholds all things by the Word of His power."
Once again the gulf between biblical Christianity and so called "progressive" ideas is significant.
Should the U.S. Government be advocating for a religious belief? Would someone please call the ACLU.
And remember: "You alone are the Lord; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas, and all that is in them, and You preserve them all" (Neh. 9:6).
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Bold. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.