Livestream: Is Environmental Justice Possible?

Hi @Interested_in_TrendingQ,

Media headlines are filled with climate conversations ranging from apocalyptic to denial. Environmental issues are quickly spun into political issues. Passionate calls for change often don’t appear to suggest practical solutions to the problems they decry. Demands of what should be done often don’t clearly address why they should be done.

If it is true that “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24), then the people of God should have a voice in a conversation desperate for justice and hope.

How do Christians make sense of this? Nathan Rittenhouse–RZIM speaker who adopts an ecologically aware lifestyle–proposes the issues at stake aren’t fundamentally social, or political, but rather theological.

During the event, please feel free to add your questions and comments as a reply to this Topic. We expect all comments to meet our Terms of Service.

Date and Time:

7:30–9:30 p.m. ET
Friday, March 13, 2020

Additional Information:

Visit the RZIM.org website for more information.

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On time @Nathan_Rittenhouse!

Carson, environmental issues are a very sensitive topic. Your avoidance to the term climate change is noted. I don’t know whether or not I am able to tune in on the original board cast, but may catch it later. I’m not even sure if you’re interested in general feedback or not. First, let give a personal observation. My profession has had me engaged in Green Buildings. What I have observed about many of the enthusiastic promoters of green buildings is that it is as much of a religious movement as other genres. Where I believe that Christians enter the discussion is one of being a good steward. We begin in Genesis in the Garden of Eden. The first profession was husbandry. Adam and Eve cared for the garden and creatures. Stewardship is cared throughout the scriptures [Genesis 2:15, 9:20], into the parables of Christ [Matthew 20], and of the gospel [1 Corinthians 9:15-18]. Unarguably, Christians are called to be good stewards of the earth we live on, the temple we live in, and the message we carry. Was this reply warranted? In Christ, Doug

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Doug, I think you are spot on. Notice the salvation language in the movement “Save the planet,” or “The earth is on fire.” Then throw in the ethical statements “Do this…don’t do…” It has all of the elements of a modern religion with the great news that we can be the savior! On a more serious note, why we should save the planet, other than anthropocentric reasons isn’t clear. Which is odd since we are told anthropocentrism is the root of the problem! The reality is that humanity, animals, and the rest of the planet only has intrinsic worth if it is of value to a transcendent being who has a plan and a purpose for it. Christianity (a belief in an eternal physical future) is actually the best place/religion for starting this conversation. I’ll stop rambling, I just wanted to affirm your observation!

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Nathan, you can ramble as long as you wish. You honor me with your thoughtful reply. Let me ramble a bit. You do not have to response. One thing has always captivated me - talking about our Lord. Do you think that these anthropocentric thoughts combined with the green building movement, the introduction of The Green New Deal and the like are just a manifestation of the Renaissance ["man was the measure of all things] in this post-modern era? I like Solomon’s observation, “There’s nothing new under the sun…” I prefer the humility of scripture to anthropocentrism.

Philippians 2:3 (NASB)

3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

Finally as we here that mankind must be the savior of this world, I recall hearing a sermon a long time ago by the home preacher that the end of this world is reserved for His judgement -

2 Peter 3:12 (NASB)

12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!

I’ll let you have the rest of your day. Again, thank you for replying to me. Please do not think me trying to show-off. It’s how I think and I love your apologetic.

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So looking forward to this talk given my educational background is around climate change🙂

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The livestream is now posted above! You can send in Q & A here using passcode TQ0313. We’re live! Any Connect community members out there watching?? Give a shout out! Welcome, everyone!

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Awesome thank you @Lizibeth I could not take it down in time :handshake:

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Haha yeah Shawn talks fast! definitely send in any questions. Great to have you online with us tonight @brianlalor!

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I love the planet and hold to an eschatology that when Jesus returns we will be working together to repair the damage we have done :thinking:

“The growing possibility of our destroying ourselves and the world with our own neglect and excess is tragic and very real.” —Billy Graham

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That is a fabulous testimony about the stadium being clean.

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The idea that we should care for the earth seems to me such an obvious idea that it transcends politics. Why do you think this concept has become so politicized?

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That’s fascinating, Brian. I think about God’s great renewal of the cosmos (earth included!) and our participation in that project, but I have never thought about that exactly as repairing damage…but that is interesting.

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Good question @Joshua_Hansen could it be that governments are very much involved in industry which is often opposed to environmental justice as it often involved plundering the planet?

I thought that was a valid point. I’ll have to write that one down.

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Which point, @joncarp? Please share! And welcome to the livestream chat:)

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“We are not the saviors of the world, but we have real responsibilities…the blessed hope does not negate discipleship.”—Nathan Rittenhouse

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I like the quote “You can’t ground morality in the ground.”

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