The Second Advent of Jesus Christ shows us the futility of environmental concerns. I am not saying that we should litter, but I am saying that environmentalism is a waste of time. God will clean up all of this pollution at the second Advent.
So said one of the pastors preaching a sermon that pointed to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The preacher perfectly articulated a common theme from the theology of many Christians who accept the Second Advent. However, it is my opinion that such a mindset is not only problematic and promotes poor stewardship of the earth, but it is also anti-Adventist.
The Health Agenda
One wonders if the same logic would be used with our bodies. Would they say that we should not worry about our bodies because at the second advent this mortal will put on immortality? The health agenda of Adventism is important in its personal implications, but also in its social as well. Certainly the health agenda (message) of Adventism has a social dimension. The health agenda includes drinking water. But what if our companies are polluting the environment? Does our Adventist idea of health push us to do all that is in our sphere to counteract this? Does it change our voting patterns to promote health in an ecological sense as certainly as we promote it in its individual sense?
I am happy that there are some who are recognizing that the Second Advent does not negate our responsibility to be good stewards of this land. In fact there is another website that seeks to promote environmentalism from an Adventist perspective. They seek to remind us that our Adventism must affect how we live especially during the ecological crisis.
Sabbath, Revelation, and Creation
Adventists have found their identity in the Sabbath and have found their message in the book of Revelation. The Sabbath is a day that we celebrate God’s creative power through contemplation of God’s creation. Certainly one must question our ability to celebrate creation if we are involved in actively destroying it.
And secondly, God has given us a message that is centered in reminding the world of the importance of the Book of Revelation. Our Revelation seminars are an example of this commitment. But perhaps we must read anew and look at such texts as Revelation 11:18 which states: “God will destroy those who destroy the earth.” A part of Babylon is the destruction of the planet. If this is true, then we cannot cavalierly throw away our ecological senses by saying that God will take care of it.
While I am no environmental expert. Certainly there are scientists and even theologians who have put more thought and effort into this, I am just a preacher who recognizes that my Adventism pushes me to do better. I pray that when the Master comes, Jesus will not find that we have ignored a part of his message because we thought he didn’t really care about it.