by Robert C. Frank
Earth viewed from the moon appears like a jewel in the blackness of space. While its uniqueness in the universe has often been questioned, there continues to be little evidence to prove that it is not unique. For a very long time Christianity was so totally focused on life after death that it often ignored the unusual nature of the earth as our home and neglected its care.
That gradually began to change in the early 1990’s when the National Religious Partnership for the Environment was formed. It is made up of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches of Christ, the Evangelical Environmental Network and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life. It is a great team, but considering the size of the membership and the potential for change, progress has been slow.
The slowness of its effort is due in part to the inefficiency of Christian teamwork. Efficient teamwork requires coordinated effort on the part of the members and a clear understanding of the goal of the team. The poor attendance at Christian church services in the European countries and the decline in attendance in the U.S. is an indication of the lack of a clear understanding of the goal of Christianity and the role that attending those services has in achieving that goal.
Theologians studying the Bible today are beginning to find support for the understanding that caring for God’s creation which includes humankind as well as the environment may be the intended goal of Christianity. Perhaps refocusing Christianity will revitalize it and increase attendance at the weekly church services. Christ’s Team is the largest and potentially one of the most influential teams on earth, but it still seems to be searching for direction.
Robert C. Frank
Author of Christ’s Team