My brother is a fungalian farmer. Mushroom spores are introduced to logs, and, though there are distinct mushroom heads that sprout up, the fungus threads itself throughout the entirety of the log’s fibers.
Syncretism is a fungus, one that shall seek to devour the Bride like Mordecai’s shoulder until the King returns with his eradicating hands of healing. The flashiest form of syncretism today can be found in the charismatic movement, where African spiritual paganism, with its false understanding of the relationship of the physical and spiritual realms, and how man is to “break through” from the former to the latter, leeches upon Christian lingo, at best tricking a multitude into wasting sparse breath on false spritualism.
I used to be a syncretist, blending a worship of God with a worship of State (as a socialist) and a worship of Mother Nature (as an environmentalist). It is to environmentalism as a false religion that I desire to draw your attention.
In high school I was recruited to study at the local monastery for this false religion; and there I was trained four days a week for two years as a prophet, to herald the precepts and warnings of doom of environmentalism, a priest, to mediate between Mother Nature and parasitic man, and a king, to politically assert rule over man that Nature might be honored.
Through these two years, I was a baptized believer, yet woefully deceived, thinking that I could hold to both faith systems without denying either. It wasn’t until a couple years into college that I “came to my senses”, realizing the true nature of environmentalism as a false religion, antithetical to Christianity. I could have one or the other. Because of God’s sovereign grace, the road less travelled was most desirable.
Environmentalism has a false theology proper. Whereas Christianity testifies that there is but one God, in heaven and on earth, who is owed man’s trust and obedience, the totality of man’s existence given over to him as a living sacrifice, environmentalism deifies nature. She is to be worshiped and served with all-consuming living-sacrificeness. Whereas the nature of God determines all righteousness, the existence and well-being of nature is the standard of righteousness in environmentalism. And in this false religion, the transcendence of God is denied, as god and non-human creation (an inherently irrational position) are one.
Environmentalism has a false hamartiology, that is, a false doctrine of sin. The teaching of this false religion is that the fundamental wrong in the world is the existence and prevalence of mankind. It was repeatedly drilled at the monastery that overpopulation is the root problem in the world. This wickedly calls God a liar and directly calls man to disobey a fundamental God-given pursuit. Far from man’s existence in the world being a blight, God made man and woman in his image and said, “Very good.” Far from mankind changing and shaping previously pristine, untouched wilderness being a wrong, to bring dismay to the hearts of the righteous, it is part of man’s obedience to God as man. Made in his image, man was made to go forth, explore, and subdue, or exercise dominion, throughout the earth. Woman is given to him as his helpmate in this endeavor. God made the earth as a place for human flourishing and cultivation. And far from overpopulation being the root of all evils, God commands all men everywhere to be fruitful and multiply, filling the earth with image bearers of God (which ought to mean an earth teeming with those faithfully representing God’s rule). Environmentalism flips reality on its head and defies God from the very first pages of his Holy Word.
Environmentalism has a false soteriology. The Bible teaches that man is born in sin and lives out his days incapable of pleasing God through righteous obedience. His only hope for salvation from the wrath of God is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, who did live perfectly, died on the cross, was buried, and rose on the third day, ascending to where he sits now on the throne at the right hand of the Father. Christianity, the only true religion, is the only religion of free, sovereign, saving grace. All other religions, including environmentalism, teach salvation by works. The good works by which man can be saved in environmentalism are various forms of activism. Protest productive companies. Minimize carbon footprint. Drive an overpriced, under-powered car. Shower once a week. Don’t eat meat. Vote Democrat. Harness cow farts for energy. Destroy your economy for theoretical degrees of degrees. Want a direct pass to pantheistic paradise? Design chic ways to cull the population. That’s right. The way to graduate from my former monastery with badges of honor was to design ways to cull the population, using government resources to forcefully reduce the population size, like man was inferior to deer. This ranges from the promotion of abortion as a human right, to legislation limiting the permissible family size, to forced sterilization, to the celebration of sodomy, to creating an annual fair that gasses randomly selected attendees. Do this, and you are rewarded with the melding of your energy with the energy of the earth, through a delicious process in which worms eat you bite by bite, and poop you out, one organic turd at a time. Salvation.
Environmentalism has a false eschatology. The eschatological vision of environmentalism is one of doom and destruction. Either the world will eternally endure following the eradication of evil, i.e. the extinction of man, that dastardly species that dared to evolve too far. Or the world itself will be exterminated as evil prevails, and man continues to increase in number without check. Obviously, when the world ends, so ends all that lives on it, including man. So either way, through success or failure, man is destroyed. It is a religion of hopelessness, much like Buddhism. But this vision of the future is a flat out lie. No environmental disaster will bring the world to an end, or humanity to a close. Man was fully given over to his sin in the early chapters of world history. God was grieved at man’s sin, and so destroyed the planet, killing all land creatures, except for one family, with a global flood. After the flood waters subsided and Noah’s family was able to exit the ark, God promised man to never again destroy the world through environmental disaster, hanging his war rainbow in the sky as a sign of this oath. The world will be brought to an end though. There is a conclusion. The end will come when King Jesus returns in glorious splendor, accompanied by his heavenly warriors in fine array. He shall come to put a final end to evil in his world. He shall raise his people from the dead, destroy his enemies with a word, judge all perfectly, sending those who never repented of their sin and believed the gospel to the lake of fire, and welcoming with warm affirmation those who through faith are counted to have his righteousness as their own, and usher in the new heavens and new earth, where he shall reign evermore with his people in blessed glory. This is no man-wrought natural disaster. It is divine justice, not mediated through the patterns of weather, but through the second coming of the Son of God.
God graciously brought me out of environmentalist syncretism. I am no longer a prophet, priest, and king for a false religion; and in this there is no room for boasting, as I owe God all gratitude for his lavish kindness to me. Thanks be to God in Christ Jesus my Lord.