someone said:“When people take the idea of the rapture seriously, and think it could happen any day, it makes them not care about the environment. Why care about the environment when God is going to destroy the world soon, anyway?”
my thought:I believe that the types of people who use the coming of the rapture to excuse lack of care of the environment would, if you took away their religious belief, simply find a DIFFERENT excuse to justify their lack of care of the environment.
In these sorts of issues — environmentalism, racism, xenophobia — I honestly don’t think that religion is the root cause as the excuse, the justification, the “channel through which the feeling is expressed”as it were.
But for most of these people, if they were NOT religious…. they would simply excuse it some other way. Instead of justifying homophobia by misquoting the Bible, they would justify it by misquoting Darwin. Instead of justifying destroying the earth with the rapture, they would justify it with nihilism (“nothing matters anyway”). You would get to the same ends, but via different means.
Because I think, in the end, it’s these issues — the lack of care for the environment, the racism, the xenophobia — that really define who these people are. It’s not their religion. That’s an outlet that they pervert as justification for what their feelings are…. and it’s the feelings themselves that are the root problem.
What’s my evidence for this? Because if you are, at your root, the sort of person who cares about the environment, then you can easily believe in the rapture and still have it be perfectly consistent. You can view the Earth as an expression of the respect and love you have for God (who created the Earth, after all). You can view your caring for the earth as the gift you are presenting for Him once he does return. There are a million ways you can “justify” environmentalism through faith, just as you can “justify” a lack of environmentalism through faith.