Commentary: The Global Environmental Ethic (Part Three)
Martin G. Collins
Given 17-Jan-15; 14 minutes
In 2014, 4,344 professing Christians were martyred for their faith. That’s almost double the number in 2013, and very little is even mentioned about it by the news media. This is a true indication of society’s low assessment of Christians.
One of the main activities behind this Satan-nstigated persecution is the zealous, Christian-hating environmental movement, which has been taking the world by stormy deceit. Environmentalism is one of the main religious tools used by the United Nations.
Various dictionaries define “religion” as, “A pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.” Another one: “An interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group.” And just one more: “A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.”
Environmentalism is a religion without any stretch of the imagination.
Carl Teichrib, in his very thoroughly researched article, "Cult of Green: The United Nations Environmental Sabbath and the New Global Ethic" (November 27, 2012), says,
It's in the context of the World Environment Day that the United Nations Environmental program (UNEP) launched the UN Environmental Sabbath, specifically designed to fall on the weekend closest to the World Environment Day. As one writer for the Earth Island Institute noted,
"The approach of World Environment Day also signals the return of another unique UN-conceived event: the Earth Sabbath, a day of worship that transcends denominations and welcomes all faiths to participate in a day of global reverence for the Earth.
Although UNEP adopted the Earth Sabbath in 1986, it wasn't until the following year that the program went public. According to John J. Kirk, co-founder of the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment, an organization established by UNEP to work on the [Environmental/Earth] Sabbath, the target audience was initially North American churches. Out of the whole world, that it what they chose to target initially. Mr. Kirk said,
It began in the fall of 1986 when a few of us met at UN headquarters in New York with leaders of several faith communities. With guidance and support from the United Nations Environment Programme, we began developing a project that would inform North American congregations about the serious environmental problems facing life on Earth.
In June of 1987, our first Environmental Sabbath kit went to congregations across the United States and Canada. The goal was to create a sabbatical for our beleaguered planet — an Earth Rest Day to be celebrated annually by faith communities.
Noel J. Brown, the UNEP Director during the 1990 Earth Sabbath, presents us with deeper reasons than just informing North American congregations. In a letter to the churches, dated March 28, 1990, Brown wrote,
Once again, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) is pleased to invite you to join us in celebrating the 'Environmental Sabbath/Earth Rest Day' in your ceremonies, rituals and prayers.
Less than six months before his letter went public, Brown was candidly seeking the complicity of religious leaders in his quest to create a new global ethic. Consider these statements made while the UNEP Director was visiting the Los Angeles Interfaith Council:
Now we need to work more closely with the religious and spiritual community. We need to create an ecumenical movement. I call it an 'eco-menical' movement in the service of the Earth. It's time for us to think again, and to think anew.
We would also like to suggest other challenges that you in the religion and faith community might help us with. … We need also a new legitimacy, a new ethic, and new metaphors. [That "new metaphor" idea is really interesting. Listen to this:]
One of the new metaphors that I am eager to produce and promote is that of a covenant—a new covenant with the Earth [Satan's deception; his counterfeit]. You in the religious communities can help us do that.
At the time of the 1990 event, Christian denominations sitting on the Environmental Sabbath interfaith board included the American Baptist Church, the Protestant Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, and the United Church of Christ. Moreover, a special Earth worship resource book was prepared by UNEP for the [Earth] Sabbath, suitably titled, "Only One Earth." This is interesting because this is the UN’s religious terminology for what is religiously comparable to the “One World Order” political and economic label. We know of the "One World Order," which refers to the political and economic side of things, but now this "Only One Earth" is the code term for this Environmental Sabbath.
Focusing on changing the current religious paradigm towards a new ecological way of thinking, "Only One Earth" was a source book filled with meditative readings, prayers, and songs for congregational use. Even worship service suggestions were included. Here are some of the excerpted recommendations—this is what pastors are encouraged to do.
During the sermon:
- "Describe the [earth’s] crisis. Use scientific data. Highlight the urgency of the situation."
- "Speak of the essential earth-human relationship. What is it? What is our responsibility to it?"
For the service (in preparation of it):
- "Decorate your sanctuary with photographs of the Earth as seen from outer space, and with other Earth images."
- "Invite guest speakers or 'representatives' from other species, i.e. plants and animals."
- "In regular services, insert a portion that focuses on reverence and care for the Earth."
- "Organize an interfaith ceremony."
- "Organize an Environmental Sabbath concert or festival"
For religious leaders who were so inclined, churches could participate through a variety of listed meditations and reflections. Hindu, Buddhist, Judaic, North American Indian, Islamic, and Christian prayers are suggested (all within the same service), all with an Earth-centric and/or mystical tone. Topping it off, at the back of the UNEP Sabbath worship book was the Earth Covenant, a type of "citizens' treaty" that could be copied and distributed to the worshipers.
The response to the Environmental Sabbath of 1990, the kick-off year of "Only One Earth," was noteworthy. Not only did many churches and groups embark on this Earth-first journey, estimated at 25,000, it added real momentum towards acceptance of an environmental theology. And over the years, the program has spawned "more than 130,000 religion and ecology projects worldwide." This is no small movement; this is huge.
Granted, the Environmental Sabbath never reached the tremendous general popularity held by the April 22nd Earth Day (which is also Lenin's birthday, so that ties the Communist agenda in with this). But it wasn't designed for the general public. Rather, the Environmental Sabbath program was target-specific: religions and spiritual leaders, churches, and entire denominations.
Today, New Age eco-spirituality is sweeping through the mainstream Christian community, influencing para-church organizations, local congregations, and up into the leadership of entire denominations. If one were to catalogue the situation only in North America, it would take an entire book to list all the ministries and churches that have adopted this ideology either by naivety or by consent.
Seeing the handwriting on the wall, Robert A. Sirico, president of the Acton Institute, penned these words regarding the Earth Sabbath, paganism, and the embracement of these ideas by religious leaders:
Consider the 'confession' of environmental sins offered by the National Council of Churches (NCC): 'We are responsible for massive pollution of earth, water and sky. We are killing the skies: as the global atmosphere heats up from chemical gases, as the ozone layer is destroyed.'
Scientists say most of these concerns are overblown.
Only if we jettison traditional teachings can we agree with the words of NCC's eco-celebrant, who says in one proposed prayer: 'We must say, do, and be everything possible to realize the goal of the Environmental Sabbath. We cannot let our mother die. We must love and replenish her.'
Describing the earth as our living mother either constitutes a pagan form of earth worship or comes dangerously close. An 'Environmental Sabbath' isn't a Christian goal, even though the United Nations has a program to promote it. Neither should we attempt to create an 'Eco-Church.'”
The Genesis account of creation provides enough theological evidence to counter the greening of theology. After God created man and woman in His image, He said,
Genesis 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish and the sea, the birds of the air and all the living things that move on this earth."
We see there what God commissioned mankind to do: fill it, subdue it, have dominion over it.
And in Genesis 2:15, we are told what mankind is to do with that dominance of the earth, beginning with the Garden of Eden:
Genesis 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
That is our Christian responsibility.
The earth has not been given dominion over people. We humans need spiritual salvation; stones, trees, owls and beavers do not. We have been given the gifts of reason and revelation; plants and animals have not. There are right and wrong ways to have dominion over God’s Creation, which the God-fearing mind can discern.
God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen in Creation and we should certainly study, appreciate and properly use this wonderful, physical, God-given home. We are to tend and keep it.
In closing, the apostle Paul wrote,
Romans 1:22-25 Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things…. who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
We in God’s church should certainly appreciate and care for this wonderful creation that God has created for us to tend and keep.