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Topic: Q for Christians: Jesus' return and personal responsibility for the earth

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Subject: Q for Christians: Jesus' return and personal responsibility for the earth
Date Posted: 4/22/2008 9:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,452
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I hope no one takes offense to this.  I don't mean it that way.  So, I hope this comes off right.

My sister-in-law is a born again Christian (she goes to a Presbyterian church).  She is a kind hearted person.  I've noticed though that she doesn't care much about the planet, recycling, leaving something behind for her kids, and so forth.  The other day, we were talking about doing what we can to make sure their is something left for the kids to enjoy.  My sis-in-law replied "It doesn't matter.  Jesus is returning in about 7 years.  He will put everything right again". 

The response blew me away.  It wasn't so much her belief that Jesus was returning and she knew when.  But, the philosophy that because Jesus is coming we do not have to do anything to keep the planet going or take personal responsibility for our actions.  We could mess up the planet all we wanted because Jesus would fix it all in 7 years.

Is this a common philosophy for different Christian groups?  Do some Christians think that they don't have to take part in protecting the planet because it will all be done by Jesus (or God) eventually?   Does it not matter?

It made me wonder about personal responsibility.  Flippantly, I thought "Well, wouldn't Jesus be a little irritated with what we've done with the planet if he returns and we have just made a mess of it?"  Regardless of whether you believe Jesus is returning, how soon, or how far, I would think you'd still want to leave the world a better place than when you first entered it.  That's how I try to live anyway.  I want there to be a place for my nieces and nephews to grow and I want them to do their part as well.

I have been reading alot on Jim Wallis website about the resurgence of environmentalism amongst young Evangelicals.  So, it makes me believe that, at least, in some evangelical groups, taking care of the earth is not a top priority.

What do people think about this?  Is my sis-in-law's view widely held? 

Anyway, I do not mean this to be offensive, so I hope it isn't taken that way.  It just something I couldn't make heads or tails of.

Thanks!

 

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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I am a born-again Baptist.

I believe that we are to be good stewards of all that the Lord provides, including the planet. So, I disagree with your sister-in-law. We aren't to obsess over it, because we are not to be of this world, but we are to use wisely and be frugal. I see waste and gluttony very similarly.

Date Posted: 4/22/2008 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2006
Posts: 141
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Born-again Christian here, too, and I agree with Michelle. We're supposed to take care of God's creation.

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 2,689
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"I believe that we are to be good stewards of all that the Lord provides, including the planet. So, I disagree with your sister-in-law. We aren't to obsess over it, because we are not to be of this world, but we are to use wisely and be frugal. I see waste and gluttony very similarly."

I second this opinion!!!

 

 

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 10:47 AM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2006
Posts: 462
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I've heard the same thing as OP from a lot of Christians...even on a show on PBS!!  I was appalled, and am glad that not that not all Christians think that way...

 

The show was about preserving land for endangered owls and a bunch of people in the area were like screw the owl, let the loggers go in and clear the land they need jobs and Jesus will be coming soon (some other guy said the world was going to end soon) anyway so why worry about it.

 

I was shocked and appalled.  I find attitudes like that to be so ignorant and I get all kinds of disgusted...it's not just old people that I have heard that from....

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2006
Posts: 1,069
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I agree with Michelle too.  Well said!

Date Posted: 4/23/2008 4:52 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,452
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Thank you all for responding!  I appreciated your thoughtful replies.

As I said my sister in law is not a bad person by any means.  She's got a soft heart and is a big push over.  But, I've noticed that she doesn't do anything like recycling (even though we have mandatory recycling pick up in this county).  I guess if she feels Jesus will just clean it all up then that makes it all alot easier.  To me, it seems like a little bit of a cop out.  Sort of like a child who doesn't clean up their mess because they know Mom is going to do it anyway. They know better, but what the heck she'll do it no matter what.

Thanks again!

Date Posted: 4/24/2008 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 6,358
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I agree with Michelle as well.

And just to add that I think a person's view on the environment just depends on the person.  Just because someone is Christian, doesn't mean they are environmentally concious.  A lot of it depends on where you live, too.  Where I am, the leaders of the community don't actively endorse recycling...a few towns away, they do (even providing a seperate bin for them to be picked up in).  so i think it depends on the person and the people around them.

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 1:13 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
Posts: 161
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It's all going to burn....'

*Disclaimer* I realize that religion can be an emotional and personal subject. What I am writing about is the way I was raised. I was raised in a Christian home. I will not name the denomination because I know that even within a group of believers views and beliefs are different.*

 

I was raised to believe that there was no need to care about or conserve any of Earth's resources because the world was evil and it would end soon with the return of Jesus Christ. I was given at date and a time. 'It's all going to burn' was a rebuttal to my environmental concerns.

 

 

Date Posted: 4/26/2008 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2007
Posts: 12,382
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Melody, I don't think your post was offensive at all! Jesus will be returning, but no man knows the hour or the day, so I'm not sure where she gets the seven year idea from, although it (very seriously) could be at any time.

Meanwhile, I think as you do that we should take good care of what God has created. He didn't make it for us to trash it, but originally for His own pleasure; we just reap the benefits of His beautiful creation by being here.