1) At what point does environmentalism become a god… or a golden calf for the church? How does environmentalism differ from the dominion mandate?
2) Is social justice biblical? Are we called to rob from the rich and give to the poor in the name of God? Was God a socialist?
3) Is racial diversity in the church really about church unity or is it pharisaical self-flagellation? Worse still… is it contributing to the sin of hatred within the church by showing bigotry as a sin specific to the “white male”?
One of the most compelling evidences that we have become statists is this- we do not know how to distinguish between the state, and the rest of the world. Go visit your local library, for instance, and ask for any information they have on censorship. They have special brochures there all put together highlighting the many assaults against the first amendment going on in our land. Trouble is, not a one of them fits the criteria. Censorship is when the state makes it illegal to publish something. A parent who asks a school board not to have the students read certain books, or the library carry certain books isn’t asking that the book be made illegal. But we treat it that way.
In like manner, we have a difficult time distinguishing between stewardship on the one hand, and government regulation on the other. Of course landowners are called to be good stewards of that which God has put under their care. Such a man should not destroy his land. In like manner, no man should destroy another man’s land. Objecting to your factory that is belching particulates all over my land isn’t an environmental issue, but a property rights issue. A person ought, as well, to be a good steward of his own body. Some people are not good stewards of either their property or their health. They ought to be both. But is that failure an invitation for government interference? Should we require permits, complete with prior individual health impact studies, before a man can eat a twinky, in the same way we require environmental impact studies before a man can build on his own land? In short, one clear line between stewardship and environmentalism is when we break out the government’s sword. I suppose it could happen as well, though I have never seen it, that a person could, in essence worship their own property, without wanting to control other people’s property. That too would be a problem, were it ever to happen. In general, however, you can recognize someone has gone on the wrong side when they seek to use the power of the state to make you do with what is yours what they want you to do.
In like manner, is social justice the treating of all men fairly before the law, or is it redistributing wealth? The former is required by God, the latter is abhorrent to Him. God gave the state the power of the sword to punish evil-doers, not the power of the abacus to determine how much wealth everyone ought to have, and then to divide it all equally. Is God a socialist? No, God established property rights, and established government to protect those rights, not run roughshod over them. Two books I would commend to your reading here. First, Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators, by David Chilton, is an outstanding work that was written to refute the Christian socialist book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, by Ronald Sider. Second, my book, Biblical Economics is another I’m kind of partial to.
Racial diversity is code language for racism. That is, the Bible says that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek. Our calling isn’t to judge people for being white, nor for being black. Our calling, to borrow a phrase, is to judge men by the content of their character. We should be color blind, and the left is at least as color conscious as the most barbaric racists. If the left isn’t angry at you for not treating minorities as special, and if the “conservative” moonbats are not angry at you for not preferring your own racial “kin” to others, you’re doing it wrong. At Saint Peter Presbyterian Church we are likely the most racially diverse church within 500 miles, all right here in the rural south. We got that way, however, not by going out of our way to appeal to this demographic or that. We got that way by welcoming into our families precious blessings from all over the world via adoption. We don’t see Africans. We see Baileys and Cottrills and Sprouls. We don’t see Asians. We see Kisers and Brockmyres and Wellons. We don’t see racial strangers, but gracial family. In half a century we may well see a whole community that is coffee colored.