I have looked at several reassons why Christians may be reluctant greens. These include:
- a failure to grasp the full implications of the cross
- a misunderstanding of the message of the gospel of the kingdom
- the daunting size of the problems
- associating it with the new age movement
- the idea that Jesus didn't "get involved", so neither should we
- a defective eschatology.
We are all born and raised into a culture and consequently we absorb and accept the world-view that has shaped that culture, unless we consciously and actively reject it. The tragedy is that the majority of Christians when they decide to follow Christ do not reject the dominant cultural world-view. Their Christianity is, as Theodore Roszak puts it, ‘privately engaging but culturally irrelevant’. A truly Christian world-view is culturally relevant, because Jesus comes as the transformer of culture, the Lord of all creation. It is the Christian’s task in imaging God to bring all of life under the lordship of Jesus.
We can start by transforming our minds (Rom 12:2). Many Christians never take Paul at face value when he declares that we need to have our minds renewed. We have the ability and the potential to think in a Christ-like manner about all the issues that face us, but because we do not actively renew our minds, we become conformed to the world, and consequently the way we see life is in many ways no different from our non-Christian neighbours.
God created us to think. This might seem a little too radical for some Christians, yet our brains are not the result of the fall - God created us with them. Our thinking and studying, however, need to be done in dependence upon the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who will guide us into truth.
Much Christian thinking is shaped more by the gods of this age than by the Bible; economic growth is seen as a means of salvation, and science and technology are looked upon as saviours from any impending environmental disaster. It is time this changed. What is needed is a biblical framework from which Christians can develop truly Christian ethics which in turn enable them to critique and transform modern perspectives on life and thus instead of being reluctant greens, Christians will embrace the stewardship of the earth as a part of their calling to image God.