Environmental Pharisaism and The Logic of a Worldview

Last year I linked to an article that explains the self-righteousness bound up in the environmental movement. I like to call this form of religion, “Environmental Pharisaism.” You can find the original post here.

I am waiting for someone to explain to me why certain environmentalists argue that it is wrong to kill animals for food, but not plants. Are plants any less valuable than animals? Why do some environmentalists apply this particular hierarchy to living things? Well, for one, if you place the same criterion on plants as you do on animals, then what would you be able to eat to survive?  To be consistent with their belief system, these environmentalists would have to consistently reverse the order of intrinsic value to make mankind (image bearers of God) less valuable than animals and plants.  The inevitable outcome of this system–were it consistent–is cannibalism. Either you accept what God has designed in creation and declared in His word, as the hierarchical order of living things, or you reverse that order completely. Paul explains, in Romans 1, that fallen men “worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator.”

So, do living things with blood have more intrinsic value than living things without blood? Actually, the Biblical answer is and emphatic “Yes!” Those creatures that God has created to have life in the blood, do have more intrinsic value than those without. The remarkable thing is that the same God who created the animals and their respective order of importance, also tells us that He has given us all plants and all animals for food (Gen. 9:3-4). So, it is a matter of authority, not speculation or perception. We must be renewed in our minds in regard to all matters of life. Is it wrong to recklessly go about destroying creation? Yes, because God is a God of order. But it is sinful to set our own spectrum of priority with regard to living creatures, and abandon the biblical order. Let us learn to pour over the Scriptures so that we see things as God sees them, and not adopt a worldview created by sinful men.

1 Response

  1. Nick, this is an important point. We must push the non-Christian worldviews to their logical conclusion. The extreme “do no harm” philosophy of environmentalism contradicts biblical teaching of dominion tempered by a responsibility to “tend” the creation.

    The philosophy of environmentalism is really related to Eastern religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. It is known as “Ahimsa”. This polytheistic Ahimsa philosophy is becoming more pervasive in our society. It was something I was taught (although never in religious terms) in teacher’s college at the University of Toronto. We were encouraged not to do anything that would harm a child. This sounds in some senses “right” (we don’t want to hurt children) but would include, for example, not giving them a bad grade as it would harm their self esteem.

    In reality, the only consistent environmentalists are dead Jainists who have practised the religious ritual of santhara. The ritual involves starving oneself to death because one refuses to kill any living thing in order to survive. This is the ultimate illustration of the upended hierarchy of creation and the absolute folly of unbelief. It is the final result of what the Apostle Paul identifies as “worshiping the creature rather than the Creator”

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