Saturday, April 14, 2007

Not a poem!

I've been posting a lot of poems and not much of anything else these past few weeks. So here's a post on something other than poetry!

I was browsing amongst the blogs I often read and came across a link to this post at This is Life!. I read it and found it interesting. More than just that, it sparked a contemplation of my own feelings on the subject. So this post won't really be about the original post but since it inspired me I thought I ought to give credit where it's due. (I just wrote "doe." Good grief.)

I firmly believe, and have for a long time, that each one of us has a responsiblity to care for God's creation, that we should protect nature because the Lord made it and made it for us. The world itself is not God and we should not worship it or fall into the New Age "mother earth" mentality. But, in its own way, it is one of the talents that the Lord has given us and we should guard it.

I said each one of us for a reason. Perhaps it is simply my personality or the way I've been raised, or both, or neither, but I distrust the mass environmental movement (even if it were Christian in fact and intention, which it is not.) In fact, I distrust most large movements because it makes it so easy to donate ten (or a hundred, or a thousand) dollars whenever you feel like it and feel that you have "done your part." On the contrary, without some personal, every day committment you have not "done your part" at all. I'm not totally against mass demonstrations (civil rights is a good example) but we can, in one sense, only care for where we are. Wendell Berry says almost exactly that, although possibly in a different context: "To help others, that is, we must go beyond the coldhearted charity of the 'general good' and get down to work where we are." (Home Economics, "Two Economies") I think that Orthodoxy only supports this view. Simply in looking at the decentralized structure of the Church we can see that it is the place where you live that is where your salvation is worked out. Likewise, going to church once in awhile is not enough--salvation takes an active participation for each one of us. Apply these principles to any movement and it becomes clear that the large movements should give way to the desire of a community, a family, a person, to serve God and honor His creation.

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