The Sift Here’s what we’re Sifting today

Earth Day celebrated with pandemic twist

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 4/22/20, 11:05 am

Coyotes roamed Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, and monkeys in India entered homes to look for food. Earth Day’s 50th anniversary on Wednesday arrived in the middle of global shutdowns for the coronavirus pandemic, and increased animal sightings weren’t the only environmental side effect of humans staying indoors. Compared to the last five years, Paris had 49 percent less air pollution in March, and levels of smog in Los Angeles were down by 29 percent, according to NASA measurements.

How are people celebrating Earth Day? The Washington National Cathedral scheduled a Facebook live event on Wednesday evening on healing the earth. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a WORLD News Group board member, said Christians can recognize the importance of protecting Earth without believing humans are a blight: “We understand as Christians that we will give an answer to the Lord either for not using the resources that He has given us or for using them in a wasteful or destructive manner. Stewardship does not mean non-use. It means wise use.”

Dig deeper: Read Kelly Kapic’s Whirled Views column about our dependence on creation amid the pandemic.

Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

Read more from this writer


You must be a WORLD Member and logged in to the website to comment.
  • Janet B
    Posted: Wed, 04/22/2020 02:07 pm

    I'd have to say that the government, through it's schools, has done a good job of teaching the children to worship the creation, while teaching that mentioning a Creator in a public place is punishable.

  • Allen Johnson
    Posted: Thu, 04/23/2020 11:57 am

    Janet, I firmly believe it is more accurate that schools have done a thorough job of teaching children to worship "Green" as in the green color of dollar bills. Mammon worship is a much greater spiritual threat than any overdone appreciation of God's creation (or the environment as secularists would say). Jesus (or the Bible) says very little about nature worship. The Canaanite religions were about prosperity involving crop success. Jesus says much about worshipping Mammon (lust for money).

  • Narissara
    Posted: Fri, 04/24/2020 10:59 am

    I don't know about that Allen.  Jesus didn't specifically call out earth worship, but Mammon is literally the god of materialism, and I think His personification of money in such a way was meant to cover materialism in all its forms.  Love of money and earth worship are not mutually exclusive.  And while Jesus didn't address the subject, Paul certainly did. 

    In the course of teaching against the love of money, Jesus does call attention to the birds of the air and the flowers of the field.  His point was not to suggest our value in God's eyes is on par with the rest of the created order but that He is sovereign over all of it.  We're told repeatedly throughout Scripture that He is our sustainer and provider. 

    That's where Biblical principles of stewardship part ways with the religion of environmentalism.  Environmentalism teaches we have to take care of the earth so it can take care of us.  The Green New Deal promises material comfort for all while at the same time enslaving all to the environment.  Marx's slogan, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" may not be explicitly quoted, but it's there nevertheless.  If a person isn't contributing to the economy, that is, lacks the ability to contribute, his/her needs don't deserve consideration.  He/she is literally just an oxygen waster and an economic drain.  And it would be up to the government to decide what to do about it.  That's what's behind the concept of "sustainability," both economic and environmental, and that's what's being taught in the government-run schools.