Michele Bachmann, Republican Representative from Minnesota, has made headlines for some recent comments directed at Nancy Pelosi and the Environmental movement.
I hesitate to judge Rep. Bachmann’s faith, but it seems to me that for Michelle Bachmann, like so many politicians, Christianity is merely another bludgeon to be used to beat one’s opponents. In short, in her effort to make a pithy retort to Speaker Pelosi, Michele Bachmann has provided a rather shallow understanding Christianity.
Quoting Rep. Bachmann: “[Speaker Pelosi]’s just trying to save the planet. We all know that someone did that over 2,000 years ago, they saved the planet — we didn’t need Nancy Pelosi to do that.”
Basically, we don’t need to do anything because Jesus did it already. The Representative is right in pointing out the salvific work of Jesus of Nazareth for the whole of Creation. But her conclusion is unbiblical.
What should have been said is this: as Christians we should be active in saving the Earth because Jesus already did.
I’ll quote now from N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope (which I highly recommend) because the Bishop of Durham explains this better than I ever could.
“What we can and must do in the present, if we are obedient to the gospel, if we are following Jesus, and if we are indwelt, energized, and directed by the Spirit, is to build for the kingdom. This brings us back to I Corinthians 15:58 once more: what you do in the Lord is not in vain. You are not oiling the wheels of a machine that’s about to roll over a cliff. You are not restoring a great painting that’s shortly going to be thrown on the fire. You are not planting roses in a garden that’s about to be dug up for a building site. You are – strange though it may seem, almost as hard to believe as the resurrection itself – accomplishing something that will become in due course part of God’s new world. Every act of love, gratitude, and kindness; every work of art or music inspired by the love of God and delight in the beauty of his creation….every act of care and nurture, of comfort and support, for one’s fellow human beings and for that matter one’s fellow nonhuman creatures; and of course every prayer, all Spirit-led teaching, every deed that spreads the gospel, builds up the church, embraces and embodies holiness rather than corruption, and makes the name of Jesus honored in the world – all of this will find its way, though the resurrecting power of God, into the new creation that God will one day make…..The mission of the church must therefore reflect, and be shaped by, the future hope as the New Testament presents it. I believe that if we take these three areas – justice, beauty, and evangelism – in terms of the anticipation of God’s eventual setting to rights of the whole world, we will find that they dovetail together and in fact that they are all part of the same larger whole, which is the message of hope and new life that comes with the good news of Jesus’s resurrection.”