Staff Editorial: Biola makes an effort for the environment

Biola is making an effort to care for the environment, but “going green” should continue to be a comprehensive initiative.

Chimes Staff, Writer

Around the world, many organizations, schools and residences have begun making noticeable efforts to go green. And we are pleased to say Biola is no exception.

Though some of Biola’s efforts, like eco-friendly straws and new cleaning tools, may seem insignificant, they are efforts nevertheless, and together make a strong step in the right direction. Biola is among the group of Christian organizations that are (though oftentimes more slowly than their secular counterparts) coming to realize the value of caring for our surroundings.

Often, the very word “green” has been a battle cry for environmentalist protests. However, the green effort is more than just a hippy phase. Going green represents a healthy march of industrial and cultural progress toward a greater respect of we are blessed with in creation. The efforts of this movement have made a substantial difference already. It is a shame that Christians are often the ones who rage against global warming and the environmentalists. Respecting and revering creation should be prominent in the mind of each God-fearing believer. This issue was highlighted in the well-researched and well-rounded article entitled, “The Greening of Evangelicals,” found the fall 2008 issue of The Biola Magazine.

People around the globe are beginning to seriously care about the earth. In a 2010 study of more than 300 colleges, 44 percent of them had endowment investments in renewable energy funds. Nearly half of the schools in the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) have adopted significant green initiatives. At Point Loma Nazarene University, for example, students actually voted to pay more in student fees to contribute to green efforts. Point Loma has also started implementing solar power. Moreover, the school has a long-term goal of running 20-30 percent of the university on green power before the year 2015. It’s about time our community joins them.

However, it is not enough to merely join when there is room for leadership in this area among Christian communities. Traditionally, Christians have avoided environmentally-friendly movements because they think such movements don’t align with the views of their politics. But being good stewards of God’s creation transcends political lines. Our environmentalism should be one of stewardship, not of dogma and radical conservationism.

The legitimate fear some Christians hold about environmentalism is elevating creation to the level of the Creator. It must always be God who is worshipped, not his creation (Romans 1:25).

Additionally, Biola needs to keep an eye on its earth-friendly measures. We can’t forget that people are just as much God’s creation as the earth, the environment, the ozone, the rain-forest and all the organic produce we so painstakingly grow. There are still scholarships to be given to students in need and meals to be donated to the Brown Bag program.

In a real sense, for the Christian, brotherly love and charity are “green” initiatives–– caring for God’s creation, which is exactly what true environmentalism is all about. So thank you, Biola, for recognizing the value of the environment, and strive to not just dabble, but to pioneer creation care.

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