Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why Satan Recycles

Recently I have taken some heat by suggesting that perhaps the sole power to destroy this planet does not rest in our hands (or our aerosol cans). I was even called arrogant for saying that, which is funny, because I believe that real arrogance is believing that I can destroy the planet. So when I celebrated Earth Day by finally getting to that pesky burn pile in the back yard, I viewed it as a sign of my humility. Nevertheless, I felt like this would be a good chance for me to clarify my position.

Obvious point #1: Jesus will destroy this planet, not us. Read Revelation. People try to rebut this by saying that we should still preserve it. That is arrogance! Who are we to think that we can in any way affect God’s sovereign timetable?

Obvious point #2: God created this planet with a protective water canopy that covered the earth and filtered out the harmful UV rays. This caused people to live longer and be healthier, and it also made the planet ideal for plant and animal life. However, because of the gross sin of mankind, God destroyed most of the earth’s inhabitants with a flood; this was not natural rain, but God pouring the water canopy onto the earth (Genesis 6). This brought punishment to that population, but its effects are still felt today. That is the reason we are in this mess, and it has nothing to do with SUVs.

So the new Christian battle cry has become, “Stewardship!” We must be good stewards because God loves this planet. Over the past few months people have continually told me that God loves this planet and told us to preserve its beauty. That sounds nice, except it isn’t biblical.

In the first two chapters of the Bible God repeatedly calls His creation either good or very good, but then Adam sinned, God cursed the planet, and He never calls it good again. He never calls it beautiful. He never told man to preserve it. In fact, he told man to have dominion over it.

Now let me be very clear. I think that stewardship is a great thing, and I love this planet. I am thankful for this planet, and there is nothing wrong with doing things to help make it an even better place. I also have no problem with recycling. Neither does Satan.

See, for thousands of years Satan has employed different means to distract God’s people, and more often than not, the things that he uses are not sinful. When I was a student in Bible college I was always sad to watch as many of the young men around became distracted by video games. Halo was popular when I lived in the dorms, and guys would pull all-nighters playing it. They stopped doing their work and they started sleeping through their classes. One by one these guys who were studying to be pastors began to flunk out of school.

There is nothing wrong with most video games, but Satan can use them to be a distraction. I’m convinced that Satan loves Halo more than those guys did.

Satan also uses religious things as a distraction. He sits back and laughs when he gets churches to split over drums, dress code, and denominations.

He also causes distractions by making people focus on the wrong thing. A person can live an ungodly or immoral lifestyle, but they feel OK at the end of the day because they gave their tithe or they taught a class. Now Satan is doing the same thing with recycling.

I’ve noticed over the last few months how many Christians have become militant earth-savers, and they are quick to criticize anyone who doesn’t have their same passion. Here is the point: Satan has gotten us to care more about saving the planet than about saving souls.

Just like with the person who pats himself on his immoral back because he tithed or taught a class, I am finding that recycling has replaced Christian service. How many people did you tell about Jesus today? None, but I recycled!

Jesus left all of His disciples with the commission to make disciples of all nations, but the Great Commission of the church today has become, “Go and conserve water and recycle all materials.”

Don’t misunderstand me: I will be the first to recycle. In fact, I already have today. But let’s not fall into Satan’s deception and believe that recycling somehow replaces holiness and evangelism. You can recycle all you want to, but if you are not living a holy life, you will still go to hell.

Let’s focus on the things Jesus actually said to do, like showing love and forgiving others, and let’s stop inventing fake commands from Jesus, like recycling and carpooling.

If you want to recycle, have at it! But that doesn’t make you any better in God’s eyes than a person who doesn’t recycle. Satan wants you to think that it does. His new goal is to make you feel so spiritual because of your recycling that you don’t feel the need to pray, study God’s Word, or tell people about Jesus.

And this plan is working. Churches gather today in the name of being Green and not Godly. They emphasize recycling but not redemption. They preach conservation, but not Christ-likeness.

And here is the irony. These Church goers that feel right with God because of their planet saving stewardship will be the very first to criticize a real child of God who is trying to live right. “You don’t watch movies with cursing? You’re a legalist!” “You wear a tie to church? You’re a traditionalist!” “You still believe God created the world? Simple minded!” “You knock on doors and tell people about Jesus? Only because you think that makes God love you more!”

Recycling has become the new legalism. I firmly believe that if the Pharisees of the 1st Century were our religious leaders today, they would have us all recycling for admittance into heaven.

I don’t care if you wear a tie, wear flip flops, play the drums or just a piano. If you love Jesus and live for Him then we are on the same team, and I won’t let Satan use something petty to be a distraction. Let’s focus on the things that really matter, and in the minor areas, let’s live and let live.

Oh, and by the way, if you print this blog out, be sure to recycle it when you’re finished.


karenstacy said...

Love it! I only recycle because it puts money in my pocket and I believe that you shouldn't throw away cash.

Tommy Mann said...

Agreed Karen,

All my green intiatives are designed to lower my expenses.

I just saw a bottled water company brag about how their smaller cap is helping to save the planet. By their own logic, doesn't bottling water destroy the planet?

I recently saw a man wearing an Earth Day shirt, and he was smoking. Then he flipped his cigarette butt on the sidewalk. This going green movement is littered with double standards.

Jshetley said...

Satan is out to kill, steal, and destroy! Satan has led some to believe that it is by our own emission we will destroy the earth... good point! Just another way satan will work for good causes to distract us from serving God!