The other day I noticed that one of our staff members had a copy of the Green Bible. It really caught my attention and got a rise out of me that I wasn’t expecting. I was somewhat taken back and put off by it. Now let me give you some personal context before I go any further. In Part Three of my book Breaking the Discipleship Code I address this very issue in a chapter I entitled What Does A Missional Follow of Jesus Look Like in Our Green Space.
I believe in our environment. I believe that it is our responsibility as follows of Jesus to enjoy, respect, care for, and nurture our environment. I believe caring for our environment opens doors for us to become thought providers in our global environmental conversation. Today I will sit in a garden area that Tami and I created from scratch and enjoy creation as I reflect on the creator. In a few weeks we will tile the soil and begin planting a small garden that we’ll invite our neighbors to share in. Let me go on to say that today I plan to go to Barnes and Nobles and pick up a copy of the Green Bible.
Beware of Temple Police
I guess I feel the need to say all this to distinguish myself from the moral police that cruise the streets of morality and spirituality to ensure that all things are neatly tucked away in their proper religious boxes. That’s not me. I’m a bit of a radical following a radical Jesus enjoying the journey.
At the same time I’ve had to pause for a bit and ask myself the question, “Why did I react when I first saw the Green Bible?” Maybe you had a similar reaction and are asking a similar question. On the other hand maybe you are wondering why I would spend my morning writing such a post or even give it any consideration at all. I’m glad you asked!
As I made my reaction evident with my friend his response was quite informed. He challenged my reaction by asking me what the big deal was reminding me that we have all kind of theme Bibles on leadership, women and men issues, marriage, etc. To be honest none of these had ever given me this kind of rise, but I agree with him. What’s the difference?
Here’s my response. Recently I’ve gone through a spiritual reformation in my own life. I often write about it so I won’t bore you with details. I had lost my way and didn’t even know it. It wasn’t that I had lost my religion or something like that and needed to be saved from some kind of immoral behavior. It was right the opposite. I had become so religious that my morality had become akin to that of the Pharisees. For me this spiritual reformation involved losing my religion and rediscovering the centrality and simplicity of Jesus and his ways.
That’s why in the previous post I talked about reading all Scripture through the lens of Jesus. That’s my point. The Bible is not a book about the environment, leadership, or anything else…It is a book about Jesus. I guess that’s why when I thumbed through the Green Bible and noticed that only the words of Jesus that spoke of the environment, creation, etc. was highlight in green it created a rise in me.
For over a year I have read and re-read the Gospels. In the last couple of days I have broke this strange kind of fast and began reading Acts. With that in mind I may be a bit imbalanced, but I don’t think so. What I’m trying to say is let’s not forget that the Bible is first and foremost red. Sure it may have a green tint. It may even give great lessons and principles on leadership, but it is first and foremost a book about following. That’s right following our leader, Jesus and the incredible cost he paid in order that we can follow!
I think when we read the Bible through a red lens we will come to see and understand that the Bible has many tints including green. At the same time to read it through any other lens than red is to taunt the tints.
I’ll see you later! I’ve got to go pick up my Green Bible.