Quite some time back socialists realized that they could not openly promote and implement their ideas into government…at least not in the West. Their decision was to use the ‘green movement’ as the medium to accomplish their desired end state. In my opinion they have been fairly successful in their endeavors. The idea of socialism itself contradicts Biblical teaching on economics, which I have detailed in past posts. But there are some other fundamental issues with the way progressives such as Obama look at the environment.
The first is the idea that somehow using the earth’s resources is in itself inherently evil. It is a similar argument they use with the idea of wealth. But is this really the case. To be honest I had never really looked at this part of the argument and then some time back I read some of Grudem’s work. Here are some of his points that I thought were helpful.
First, God put us here to work the earth:
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)
Second, God commands us to subdue the earth and has given us dominion over everything he created.
“And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)
“what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,whatever passes along the paths of the seas.” (Psalms 8:4-8)
Third, God has given us everything for us to enjoy
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” (1 Timothy 6:17)
Putting these three ideas together, it is pretty clear that using the earth’s resources to better our lives is not inherently evil. God put these resources there for us to use and to enjoy. He specifically tells us in the Bible that we are to work the earth. Doing what God has told us to do cannot be wrong in itself. One reason I think sometimes this can be lost is because we forget that we live in a fallen world.
“And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)
The natural world is not perfect…that ended with Adam’s sin. When we use the earth’s resources such as coal or oil, we are not ruining an ideal environment. These resources are used to make things better. Creation is not greater than the creator. While saying this, it is also important to note that we should not abuse the earth…we do have a certain responsibility.
“Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.” (Proverbs 12:10)
“When you besiege a city for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an axe against them. You may eat from them, but you shall not cut them down. Are the trees in the field human, that they should be besieged by you? Only the trees that you know are not trees for food you may destroy and cut down, that you may build siegeworks against the city that makes war with you, until it falls.” (Deuteronomy 20:19–20)
“And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)
Outlined here are ideas such as do not destroy resources for the sake of destroying them. Don’t shoot things just for the sake of shooting them…if I may throw in a hunting lesson. And ultimately it is an issue of keeping your fellow man in mind, both now and the future. You do not have to go to the extremes that those in government go to in order to be responsible. It is why we recycle and why my family makes fun of my low electricity bills. I think there can be some healthy debate on where this responsibility line should be drawn. One thing is for certain. We are more valuable to God than anything else he created. This is a point that I believe progressives forget. Possibly because many of them do not believe in the Bible to begin with.
“He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:11-12)
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26)
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)
This is an area where Obama’s ‘green energy’ policy has failed the American people. When it comes down to it, the real issue is neglecting the welfare of the people in order to fulfill an agenda this administration is beholden to. There is the crony capitalism of giving taxpayer dollars to green companies started by friends of the administration. There is an anti-oil campaign that has caused the rise of gas prices, which mis-proportionally hurts the poor. There is putting a political agenda ahead of proposals that would create much needed jobs for the unemployed. Remember the purpose of government is to promote good.
Obama’s record shows that his policy decisions are agenda driven in an effort to shore up political support and political power. They are not based upon the welfare of the people. Here are several examples:
- One of the most obvious examples was Obama’s choice for Energy Secretary, Stephen Chu. This is a man who openly stated that we need to find a way to get gas prices to European levels in order to promote green energy. Not only that, this past year he stated again that the government should not attempt to lower gas prices. This appointment explains Obama’s anti-oil, anti-natural resource agenda that has driven up energy costs. High energy costs drive up everything to include private and public transportation and basic necessities such as food. This disproportionally affects those in poverty and also has a major effect on the middle class.
- Obama’s elevation of the delta smelt as more important than the citizens of California is very disturbing. He turned off water to the rich farm lands of the state in order to protect a particular species of smelt. This led to drought and unemployment rates as high as 40%. A congressman from California presented a bill that would return the water back to the region, but the President promised he would veto it. Mind boggling.
- A similar thing was done here in Texas with the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard. They elevated the status of this lizard threatening the oil business in West Texas as well as other surrounding states. With energy prices rising and people needing jobs, this was not putting people before the environment.
- Of course this was not Obama’s only attack on Texas energy. EPA coal regulations threatened jobs and energy prices as well. They were trying to mandate some extreme changes that were not realistic and during a time when our energy producers were already strained due to the record temperatures.
- This should not have surprised anyone though because Obama is seen here on video describing his cap and trade proposal that he says will bankrupt the coal industry.
- This article has links that outlines Obama’s anti drilling agenda. This affects both energy prices and jobs. Also highlighting this is his refusal to allow the Keystone Pipeline. And we should not forget the horrendous response to the BP Oil Spill and the fact that they used the incident as an excuse to expand their anti-energy exploration campaign. If you remember the administration was eventually held in contempt of court for refusing to adhere to a federal court order to resume rig permitting.
- On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the Obama administration giving out billions of taxpayer dollars to their political friends in the green energy sector. Solyndra has been the poster child of this failed policy, but there are 30 other similar companies who took this money and now are either in bankruptcy or are heading in that direction. Here is a list of them.
There are many other examples but only so much time to cover them. The bottom line is the rationale behind this is to protect the environment at all cost, even if it means hurting those made in God’s image. Sadly, I believe that some of these decisions are even more shallow. They are not made to even protect the environment, but rather to maintain a powerful lobby as a political base and to enrich a few friends along the way. As Christians we must remember that God put these resources here for our use and as we have proven; he has created a pretty resilient earth for us to work.