Wednesday, June 25, 2008

THE GOSPEL OF "GOING GREEN"

Paul wrote, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!" - Galatians 1:8.

It's pretty risky business to be changing the Gospel. But I know there are some people who don't mind tweaking it a little if it will increase the worship attendance. A crafty person could seize the moment and build what I will call a "Green Church". With a little ingenuity and financial backing, they could carve out for themselves a niche that would appeal to a special segment of society having heightened environmental sensibilities. They would preach Jesus', only slightly modified to mean to save the planet from man's waste and pollution. "Green Churches" would tout their earth friendly, carbon neutral, bio-degradable buildings that use only natural lighting (like when men lived in caves). When Jesus called for His disciples to be good stewards, He was talking about caring for the planet, right? They would assemble committees and sponsor efforts to save the environment. Aluminum can drives and car washes would finance mission trips to plant Mango trees in the Amazon or to save the bears in Alaska. They would regularly preach eco-friendly messages causing the congregants to repent of their wasteful, evil practices of the past. And, they would have their own Bible. Right next to the Student's Bible, and the Split Pea Soup Bible, and the Max Lucado "Inspirational Stories" Bible, would be the the newly produced "Green: an environmentally-sound" Bible, with the words of Christ in green (not red) and the cover would be manufactured from soul-cleansing hemp. This will happen, but make no mistake of thinking that they are preaching the true Gospel. A "Green Church" with a "save the environment" message will be a perversion God will not approve. Don't get me wrong, if a church can lower the lighting bill, all power to it. But these "green churches", fostered by a movement to be environmentally friendly, will avoid "Baptism for the remission of sins" and "repentance from dead works" and they will not save a soul.

No one is for polluting the air and water, but what really pollutes the world are the lies, deceptions, and hypocrisies of those who twist and distort the facts for their own devices. And they will use the Bible if and when it is convenient. Examples abound where politicians suggest that the Old Testament emphasized saving the planet and that the Gospel was primarily concerned with government programs to feed the poor. The world is polluted when the Truth of God is diluted with man-made doctrines and traditions. It is polluted by those that "suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness" (Rom. 1:18). It is polluted by the vanities of men who exalt themselves or the creation above God. "For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator,.." (Rom. 1:25). There is spiritual pollution in our world that only the cleansing of the Gospel can take away.

There are many false prophets who preach the pseudo religion of our day. Because of the efforts of political figures like Al Gore and Hollywood icons like John Travolta, our psyches have been bombarded with the urgent message of saving the planet, Mother Earth. Interestingly, these prophets of impending doom do not live up to the message they preach. John Travolta owns five jets, and he pilots around the world in his own Boeing 707 aircraft. That plane, if normally configured, would hold 150 people, but Travolta sometimes flies alone.2 And former V.P. Al Gore has admitted recently that his scheme to have people purchase "carbon credits" is lining his own pockets. People are saying the whole thing with planting trees to offset our "carbon footprint" is just a money making scheme. Mr. Gore, like Travolta, do not live the carbon neutral lifestyle that they preach to the world. Like the Pharisees in the Bible, it is "do as I say, not as I do." And in the end, they can't save the planet and they won't save a single soul.

My interest is in broadcasting the Great Commission to the world (Mt. 28:18-20) and saving souls with the Gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16). Jesus came to save people from their sins (Lk. 19:10). His salvation is available for all who will repent of their disobedience to God through lying, cheating, stealing, murdering, committing adultery, and worshiping idols. God desires that men be saved (1 Tim. 2:4) and Jesus died on the cross that all might enjoy it (Heb. 2:9). If they believe in Jesus Christ and obey His commandments, they will be saved for eternity. And as a bonus, preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified does not pollute anything.

Since I'm not worried that the world will end until God Almighty says so, I will not jump on the doom and gloom bandwagon. Man has more serious issues to focus on. Here is what you can do today that is a step in the right direction:
  • Believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, John 3:36
  • Repent of your sins (not fake sins like burning wood in a fireplace, or still having incandescent bulbs in your home) and turn to God, Acts 17:30
  • Confess that Jesus is Lord and call on Him to save your soul by being Baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:38; 22:16; Gal.3:26,27; Col. 2:12.
  • Live faithfully for Jesus Christ, walking in the light, 1 John 1:6-9.
    "He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son." Rev. 21:7

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1. Interfaith Power and Light
2. Travolta

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