You know that moment when you realize you just took two of societies most taboo topics (Religion and the Environment) and smashed them together and called it your blog? That is kinda what is starring me in the face today! Still I think it’s a topic we are all up for! So with fingers cross and breath held, I’m hitting the publish button!
Discussing the Environment can be a place where we often get ourselves into hot water. In starting this blog, it is my goal to keep us all out of that “social hot water” as much as possible. I think part of the problem is that there can be a lot going on as we consider Creation Care.
Creation Care isn’t just about Truths, or Facts, or Ideas. It’s about all of this.
But if one person is discussing Eternal Truths and the other discussing Ideas, We can easily run into trouble. I think a little analogy can help keep us all together:
Imagine with me a house.
It has three floors and lots of rooms.
For today, we are just going to look at the floors, we’ll leave the rooms for some other day.
The floors represent different ways of looking at things.
The bottom floor is “Truth”. For those of us who are Christians, this floor holds the Bible, Church Sermons, Bible Study, Church teachings, Religious Creeds, your church congregation and other faith mentors. This floor is about the Big Picture, Eternal Truths. For people who are not Christians, there may be other things on this floor, things that make up their “truths”. The important thing to remember about this floor is that it requires FAITH. That means that the things on this floor can not be proven, they are things that we take on FAITH. You may think that because these things cannot be proven, it might make this floor weak, but actually this floor is the foundation and it is stronger than bedrock.
The second floor is “Facts”. This floor is filled with science and direct, testable, quantifiable evidence. Everything on this floor must be documented and proven. But it’s also a pretty roomy floor and new facts are allowed in and are even allowed to change our understanding of old facts if they are properly documented and tested. The thing is, if you think you are on the Truth Floor, when you are in fact on the Facts floor, this can be confusing; TRUTHS require FAITH but are generally rock solid, FACTS require PROOF but are also malleable with enough EVIDENCE.
The third floor can be scary, especially if your afraid of heights! The third floor is “Ideas”. Politics lives on this floor, as does advice and personal ideas. This floor can be kind of shaky. I think maybe this floor has become bigger in recent years. Kind of like a house that gets a “not up to code” addition and now it is somehow hanging out over the other two floors without any supports under it, causing the whole house to rock.
Now, this shaking and rocking seems to cause people to sometimes NOT know WHICH FLOOR of the house they are on, or maybe it causes people to try to call out things to people who are on different floors, so then people start to use “Ideas” as if they are “Truths” or “Truths” as if they are “Facts”.
Think about it, the only way to be on all three floors at once is…. If your falling down the elevator shaft.
Now if your falling down the elevator shaft (1) you’re probably going to end up yelling (2) you are probably not helping anyone and (3) in the end someone is probably going to get hurt.
I’m hoping that you laughed at the right places in my little analogy, because I did mean for it to be funny and light hearted. But I also hope you can see the importance of making sure everyone is on the same floor when you discuss issues about the environment and creation care. You can move from floor to floor, of course, but it helps if you make sure everyone knows which floor you are on.
For my part, as I go forward with my post about Creation Care, I will try to address all three floors and I’ll try to keep us oriented as to which floor we are on. But if you look out the window and feel you are not on the same floor, whether here on this blog or in a different conversation, please be sure to point it out, the floors may have become shaky again.
If you and your older kids want a little practice at determining which floor different statement belong on click on the PDF below. Once you are comfortable with that exercise, I hope you will keep the house in mind as you read other blogs and engage other people in talks about Creation Care.