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Anyone who will choose to do this assignment, please do all not have and do it according to the instruction.



Ecological Encounters


1. Should stewardship principles be taught in the Church?


Following a morning church service, you enter the foyer and overhear a discussion that you


decide to join.


Bert: ?so we really, really need to get the message out to the world that we are selfishly ruining


our environment. Politically important people are exploiting poor people and the environment


itself. This is not what Jesus would do.


Herbie: Well, I think Jesus went about teaching the Kingdom of God, not saving the


environment. When people are walking down a road that leads to continuous torment and death,


how much time should you spend teaching them to repair the road they?re walking on? These


issues are distracting.


Sally: Well, regardless of which road you?re walking on, you make little choices each day about


how you will walk that road.


Bert: Good point. Jesus walked that road. He probably had one suit, simple food, a borrowed


mattress to sleep on, and no recreational vehicle to drive. So He was making choices that we


don?t think about enough.


Herbie: (sigh?) To get people to think about those choices, you have to change their hearts first.


You must communicate the gospel to people. When they are healed, then the Spirit of Christ will


point them to less ecologically extravagant choices.


Sally: But Herbie, is that really happening in our churches? Are new converts just naturally


choosing more environmentally responsible patterns? Don?t we need to help them with this?


Jesus said to make disciples. Doesn?t that mean teaching them on a variety of issues?


Bert: If we?re visibly out there being environmentally protective and responsible, people will


ask: ?Why is your church doing this stuff?? It will just be natural to share our story of conversion


to following Christ and caring about the new priorities He builds into our hearts.


Herbie: Bert, I don?t think people will ask that question. They will assume we?re selfishly trying


to save the turf we live on just like some of them do. It?s like, you?re doing a good thing but


there?s nothing particularly spiritual about it. The world wants to save the planet. We want to


save people.


Sally: Herbie, I think God wants us to do both. So, how do we get the world to see us making


good environmental choices while they hear us proclaiming salvation through Christ and new


life in Him? Page 1 of 6 BIOL 101 You decide to chime in, but which response below is yours, a) or b)?


a) We really need to focus on our original mandate from Jesus: preaching the gospel. As


people come to faith in Christ, many questions including some regarding environmental


issues may arise and we can answer their questions naturally as they come up, one-onone.


b) We need to ?go into the world and make disciples.? As people come to faith in Christ, we


must begin to disciple them. They must be taught how their faith in Christ as Redeemer


and Creator applies to their use of the environment. This is just part of the whole picture.


In Blackboard, open the assignment link. Within the text box, type a ?1.? followed by either


a) or b) above, depending on which response you agree with. Then, add a single denselycrafted sentence (about 20 words) defending your choice while modifying it slightly if you


wish to. Then, keep reading:


Herbie has left the discussion a bit frustrated. His wife is anxious to get to the restaurant they


have reservations at. Ethel hears people talking and decides to come over and join in.


2. How would you teach stewardship principles in the Church?


Sally: What if we start a new Sunday morning focus group before church where we could talk


about these issues?you know?define them a bit and air them out?


Bert: No, no, no, no?The worst offenders will not join that group. We need to get Pastor Bob to


do a sermon series on it so that the right people get the message. This has to be a revolution in


the church?s consumerist thinking. The point has to be boldly made and made to everybody.


Sally: Well, why Pastor Bob? He has to live with us. Why don?t we get in a special speaker like


Sleeth or DeWitt and have them do a series of three or four talks on a Sunday evening? We could


add food and other enticements to get people out.


Ethel: Wait a minute?wait?just a minute! If you?re going to try to get everybody to wear blue


jeans and old shirts and live in a tent in February, you?re going to divide this church right down


the middle. And I know which side I?ll be on. Why should I stop wearing makeup because some


biblical illiterate has just pronounced it wrong!


Bert: No, no, no?Ethel, we?re not talking about stepping on people?s biblical freedoms. This


can?t be a ?style? issue. But there are very basic stewardship principles that have to be taught. It?s


the principles that need exposure. God?s Spirit will then lead individual people further into


applying those principles.


Sally: Bert?.that sounds like Herbie. Don?t we need to present at least some specifics?


Bert: So you want Amish buggies instead of cars because a horse is more efficient than an


engine? Page 2 of 6 BIOL 101 Sally: Well?maybe we could start with some easy things everyone could do, like buying less


stuff and finding ways to reduce power consumption at home.


Ethel: OK?yeah?I could see a bit of that. It would save some money too, probably. George


keeps saying we should give more to the missionaries...I get sick of hearing it.


Bert: But, Herbie has a point. How can we forcefully get basic stewardship principles out there to


the entire congregation without making seekers and new converts think that this is our central


focus? There must be a way to do this.


Sally: Bert, I was thinking: most of the poorer people in town that we say we want to reach for


Christ are probably living more simply than many of us. I think they resent us for our


extravagance. Our gospel needs some credibility in this area. I think we look selfish.


Ethel: Well?well?maybe you could work the whole environment thing into a focus on helping


some Ugandan orphanage or something. George breaks my heart with these orphan stories. We


could save money here and donate it there along with the gospel. If it has anything to do with


missions, George will drag me to it. Well actually?that?s not fair. I?d be interested in it myself.


You (chiming in again with one of the comments below): ?I have an idea.?


a) Let?s get together at Herbie?s place and discuss it further. He had some good points and I


fear that this new teaching will get us all distracted from a bigger evangelistic goal that


we?re really not dealing with very well.


b) I found this Christian website called They?ve got good special


group studies we could adopt for a ?come if you want? 9-week focus group. We could


meet just with interested people during a non-worship-service time. We could start our


own little stewardship project and get the pastor to update the congregation on what


we?re doing.


c) Hey, Parish Publishing in New England makes weekly bulletin inserts that we could use


over the long term. Everybody would get them, so we could sort of press the issue on


people a bit. We could use them to invite interested people to an ongoing focus group on


the subject. A missions project could be an outlet for the money we save.


d) We need to get Pastor Bob excited about this or it will appear divisive. Phil knows him


really well. Phil could get him to do some topical sermons on stewardship and how it


relates to our message of salvation, maybe in a special Sunday night teaching series.


e) Hey, Phil has graduate degrees from seminary and from Liberty University in


environmental management. Maybe Pastor Bob would let Phil do a few successive


Sunday morning teaching sessions during the worship hour. We could get the


congregation to understand a little of the science behind caring for the earth. Page 3 of 6 BIOL 101 f) We need Pastor Bob and Phil to build a money bridge. They need to use worship service


time to get us involved with a third-world evangelism and service project. They could


convince people that our own environmental stewardship could help fund it all. Once


people see the connection, we can start the stewardship classes to show people how to


save money and contribute.


In the assignment text box, type a ?2.? followed by 1 of the lettered choices above,


depending on which response you agree with. Then, add a single densely-crafted sentence


(about 20 words) that either explains why you have selected this option




improves on the position you have selected Bert has left the discussion reluctantly. His wife reminded him that the walk home takes 10


minutes and the bean casserole has now started cooking. The kids are hungry. Cal Lorrie, a


nutritionist, has been listening to this conversation and decides to join in.


3. Does environmental stewardship affect what I eat?


Ethel: Gee, maybe those third-world orphans I spoke of are already the environmentally


responsible people. I mean, they surely lean less heavily on the environment than we do. Don?t


they? Really, I just couldn?t live like that?


Cal: One huge area of environmental stewardship involves what you choose to eat. Some thirdworld tribal groups probably eat mostly what they hunt and kill and do very little with vegetation


unless the hunting fails for some reason.


Sally: Why would you mention that? Isn?t a vegetarian diet just a choice you make because it


may be healthier for you?


Ethel: Oh, here we go?celery and water?


Cal: It?s more than nutrition. It?s a food web concept. When you get your protein from beef, or


worse, from shellfish, you eat higher and higher in the food web. More calories are expended to


get protein from shrimp than from beans and rice.


Ethel: Oh Cal, protein is protein. Doesn?t it cost the same amount to make the same quantity of




Sally: I should have taken that BIOL 101 online course that Liberty University was offering?


Cal: The shrimp swims around, actively feeds, escapes predators, and has a high metabolic rate.


It uses lots more calories than a bean plant just getting its protein to you. Page 4 of 6 BIOL 101 Ethel: (sigh?) You want the church to do beans and rice at the next church dinner? With perhaps


a bit of water?


Cal: The issue is balance. An uncritical vegetarian will actually be malnourished in certain ways.


But most of our church members probably do way too much with meat. You have to give a whole


lot of ?Corn-Flake-level calories and protein? to a steer to get far less steak protein. So with the


steak, you are taking far more from the environment.


Sally: My cousin Atkins is on a high-protein diet to try to lose weight. Are you saying that?s




Cal: Oh, he?ll probably lose some weight for biochemical reasons. But ecologically, the highprotein diets are most successful in America because we have the money to spend to eat higher in


the food web.


Sally: We really need to get this information into the hands of our church people. This would


give them two independent reasons to do a more balanced diet.


Ethel: Sorry. Talk all you want to. My George will have a good-sized piece of beef every night


for dinner. We?re past the hot dog stage of life and he certainly won?t let me switch out beef with


veggie burgers!


You (make another choice; what would you like to say?): ?Hmmm??


a) Sally, I think Ethel?s right. We really ought to look for less intrusive ways to become


ecologically friendly. Pushing on people about their diets is just going to dump a whole


lot of unbiblical guilt on people, but they won?t budge. The Bible says we can do either


meat or vegetables?


b) I know! There are lots of good recipes/cookbooks out there that are done by people who


want to eat lower in the food web. We could wholesale a bunch of them and put them on


a stand in the church lobby. That would make a neat statement and income could go


toward a third-world help project.


c) Well, Ethel, what about just sharing basic food web concepts that Phil would know


about? Then individual members can respond as God leads them to. That might only take


3?4 sessions. We could do it as part of a weekend thing, but have the last session be a


review session on Sunday morning so exposure is broad.


d) Ethel, you mentioned church suppers. Let?s have a seminar series on eating carefully


within our food web and show people, calorie for calorie, how their restraint would feed


orphan children in Uganda. The last seminar would be a church dinner using recipes that


are lower on the food web. That way, lots of people could make a choice that keeps little


children alive. Page 5 of 6 BIOL 101 There are differing degrees of dietary stewardship implied in the choices above. In the


assignment text box, type a ?3.? followed by 1 of the lettered choices above, depending on


which response you agree with. Then, add a single densely-crafted sentence (about 20


words) that either explains why you have selected this option




improves on the position you have selected Submit your assignment when finished.


Note: Many food consumption variables exist which have not been discussed:


a) If I eat some raw foods, energy isn?t needed to cook them.


b) If I eat at a restaurant, the environment has to support the staff that waits on me, the


builders who built the restaurant, the workers who maintain the facility, etc.


c) If I buy locally, less energy is used to get the food to me.


d) If I eat simpler foods, less energy is used to process the foods (corn and chicken vs.


?corndogs? manufactured two states away and refrigerated all the way to me.)


Submit this assignment by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday of Module/Week 8. Page 6 of 6


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