Saturday, June 13, 2009

Semantics & Worship

My girls are taking a nap and therefor I have some time to get 'something' done! :) This post is in regards to some comments made on this blog and more recently the comment under the post 'Grow grass not weed'.

I've been thinking a lot about 'Going Green' and comments from you; for and against the idea of what we've been posting. Let me start out by saying that I'm truly thrilled that people are reading, thinking, talking & even arguing about this blog and the idea of going green and how that might effect you and your home... Like I've said before this has been a journey for us that God has been growing us in for about 4 years now and has only increased in this last month because I decided to do a sermon/message at our local church about 2 weeks ago on the subject. There were two comments that did catch me by surprise though.

One: I don't like the term 'Going Green' because of what or how it's been used...

Two: Yah, the whole caring for creation thing is good but you can't let it become your god...

I think we are seriously missing the point here on both comments. One, the term 'Going Green' really is just a term! The first thing I think of is the term or word God. We use the word God all the time as Christians. But so do Mormons, Seventh Day Adventist & Jehovah's Witness'. Yet I don't think we have much in common when we use that word accept we're all talking about a high deity. As a Christians the term "God" means way more then a higher deity.

I typed in 'Going Green' at Wikipedia.com and this is what I got.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Going green) Environmentalism is a broad philosophy and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the environment. Environmentalism and environmental concerns may be represented with the color green.

Environmentalism as a social movement

Environmentalism can also be defined as a social movement that seeks to influence the political process by lobbying, activism, and education in order to protect natural resources and ecosystems. In recognition of humanity as a participant in ecosystems, the environmental movement is centered on ecology, health, and human rights.

An environmentalist is a person who may advocate the sustainable management of resources and stewardship of the natural environment through changes in public policy or individual behavior. In various ways (for example, grassroots activism and protests), environmentalists and environmental organizations seek to give the natural world a stronger voice in human affairs.

I feel strongly that we are getting caught up in semantics when we choose to argue the term 'Going Green' with a different term like 'good stewardship'. Being a good steward is another general term that has to do with a lot of things i.e. time & money. We (Ruth & I) personally still like using the term going green because it really does simply mean being environmental and it's the popular term that people use and understand today. If you don't like it then don't use it or use something else on your blog or when talking to people. But for this blog it's not going to be changed...

Now for the second matter. "Being environmental is good and all but don't let it become your god". I would argue that being environmental and healthy is an act of Christian responsibility and can be seen as worship to our Lord. When I look outside and see creation, or look at my girls and their little bodies that God created and I can't help but respond is worship and adoration in Him and want to take care of both those things. Why don't you agree? Maybe it's just the missionary in us? But we see going green as an outpouring back to God, a respect as you will. I would take it so far as to say that if you don't care about taking good care of the environment and your body then you're being disrespectful of the one who created it & loves it. I read the verses in Gen 3 and Rom. 8:18-25 and yes, I see that God cursed the earth in specific ways because of Adam and Eve's sin. But I still don't understand why that gives us freedom to pollute or mistreat the earth or our bodies.

As for why our last 9 out 10 post have been on why to go green? It's because at the end of my sermon notes on May 26 I said this "P.S. I think, I'll be 'posting' throughout the month on why and helps to go green. So, stay tuned for more..." So I'm sorry if you didn't catch that but we're exited to take out a month on our website and focus in on the issue of the environment and our bodies and better ways to take care of them. So we still have a few weeks left and I still have more 'going green' things to post about! Sorry if your not on board but no worries, this subject will pass although I'm sure it'll come up now and then.

Remember one thing. My friend Bryce once told me "humans are creatures of habit". We don't take change real well. Some of you are exited about wanting to go green because it's a new act of worship for you as it is for us. Just this last week I picked up a free high chair at the dump and as I was putting it in our car two old ladies said, "make sure you sand that down and re-paint it while wearing a mask because I'm sure it was painted with lead paint". Now this is funny to me because how is it that something we were doing not all that long ago with lead paint (adding lead to paint to speed drying, increase durability, retain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion) was excepted but is now a big offense, and old ladies at the dump tell you about it?! You might being doing things now where you say "It's just paint", but is it really? :)

Now please don't look at what we're 'not say' but look at what we 'are saying'. We're not saying 'save the world' but we are saying do your part to respect the creation of God in what you do. Is that too much to ask?

~Ben

9 comments:

micah said...

good stuff. i have "forgotten" you blog to long, i will now be checking in regularly. ahh, going green...erica and i are going to use disposable diapers, our power bill lands around $12-20 a month, we are actually recycling our entire car this morning! i think you hit on something that a lot of people dont realize is that the power their home consumes adds more waste into the enviroment that their car. what are you thougths on nuclear power? i am all for it. france has been entirely on nuclear for years. its clean, runs forever, safe, etc. if i had about 50 billion dollars to invest i would build one here in socal...then you could call me Mr. Burns!

wow, long response- call me i want to take you fishing at Oscar's pond...that is if your in town.

Sarah Elwer said...

First of all - Micah? I thought you guess were doing cloth? I saw your registry? Anyways, maybe you miss-typed :)

But as for commenting on this blog! PREACH IT BROTHER BEN! You and Ruth make me so happy! I love your guys and your hearts and wish you guys were close by so we could just sit and talk. I love your hearts that worship God thru taking care of his creation.

"Maybe it's just the missionary in us? But we see going green as an outpouring back to God, a respect as you will. I would take it so far as to say that if you don't care about taking good care of the environment and your body then you're being disrespectful of the one who created it & loves it."

It's not the "Missionary" in you, it's the Holy Spirit in you! and I love what you wrote there - it's great! thank you for mentioning the earth and our bodies and things that need to be taken care of - it makes me sick to think about the things I have put in body for years!

Okay, I will stop now, but bless you both and your sweet girls! The Lord will honor the honor you are giving Him!

Erica said...

hehe, Micah forgot the word NOT in the sentence about diapers. It should have said that we are not going to use disposable diapers. We are going with BumGenius like Sarah. :)

Ben & Ruth said...

Nice! I think BumGenius like Sarah is a good choice. Tell Micah that we're not really sure when we'll be in town (right now we are in NH) and have time to go fishing but as soon as the two things line up I definitely want to go! :D

~Ben

Jake and Erin said...

Good thoughts guys. Thanks for sharing.

Wes & Michelle Robinson said...

I have to ask, what from the store did you have to buy, and do you have to buy in order to grow wheat grass? For you to buy it at the store means it was transported there by a truck, right? So what is more effective? Buying vitamins that were transported to the store or, stuff to grow wheat grass? Or just go with out vitamins and be even greener. Every aspect of life deteriorates our body and the earth, so I guess the answer is that when we have a choice, choose the lesser of two evils.
Buy the way, what does wheat grass juice cost at a juice store? This summer we should have cherry tomatoes unless our dog gets to them first. Stupid dog - got our strawberries last year. Growing your own fruits and veggies is kinda fun.

Ben from Freedom Fellowship said...

Hey Kanes, I like the new backdrop for your site...

Ben & Ruth said...

Thanks Ben!

I got it from a website that I just found through another friends blog and I'm shamed (because of the name) to say it's

www.thecutestblogontheblock.com

And Yes, as I looked and looked I tried to search for one that didn't seem too cute.... :) LOL

Ben & Ruth said...

Yes, choosing to grow wheatgrass instead of buying a multivitamins is (I think) the lesser of two evils in that there is still energy being used to produce the produce like in most things. But I do think it’s most likely the healthier and greener thing to do.

And yes, I did have to buy wheatgrass seed. I ordered 20 pounds through our church co-op here for $15 bucks! I then bought a 2.8 cubic feet (about 50 pounds) bag of potting soil ($15) from our local nursery & then some planting trays ($1.25 each) at our local agricultural farming store. I bought all these things by the way as I was driving home from a routine destination (so not a special trip…).

I also called a juice store and asked them (as I too was curious…) how much wheatgrass cost. She said $1.95 for 1 oz. & $2.95 for a 2oz. So we right now are both drinking/juicing 2oz. a day (being a total 4oz a day). If we were to go (i.e. drive…) to the juice store every day and both get a 2oz shot it would then cost us about $182.90 a month! So we’re pretty exited that we’ve paid in about $40 bucks for a… maybe 3 months supply. Not bad! :D

~Ben

P.S. that's cool that you try to take public transportation when you can to get around. When we were in Indonesia we use to take the public trani often too and had some good times!

P.S.S Oh, and we had to buy a hand crank ‘healthy juicer’ for $45.00 bucks. The juicer is pretty cool though in that it can juice grass & also apple’s and normal stuff too!