Clean Water and Air: A Christian Responsibility

Water is central in Christian narrative and doctrine. The Spirit of God moves over water at the beginning of the creation story. The enslaved Hebrew people are liberated from Egypt as they cross the parted Red Sea, and years later enter the Promised Land as they cross the Jordan River. Christian water baptism is liberation from the enslavement of sin and entrance into God’s future. At the consummation of history, the River of Life flows from the throne of God and The Lamb [Jesus]. All who are thirsty are invited to drink the free gift of the Water of Life.

Air is also central in Christian narrative and doctrine. The Spirit of God is likened to breath, wind, air. The Hebrew word for spirit is ruach, which means wind, breath, spirit, mind. Ruach can apply to the creative act of God, and also to the life force within a living creature. In Greek, the word pneuma is essentially the same counterpart.

Water and air are more than precious, but are essential to life. Pollution, greed-motivated exploitation, cavalier disregard, and wastefulness of water and air are sinful assaults on the will and purpose of God and the creation God loves. Christians need to be astute about the interconnectedness of our lifestyles and political choices with water and air quality and sufficiency and to act responsibly and proactively.

Water and air quality in Applachia suffers greatly from fossil fuels. Swaths of air and water pollution contribute to serious community health impairments, as studies show. The coal cycle itself is especially polluting as mining practice, coal-fired power plants, and ash disposal impair water and air. All regional waters have mercury-related fish consumption warnings. Some areas even in Applachia have wells go dry do to mountaintop removal blasting.

Water and air are a free gift of our Creator. We do well to treasure these gifts in honor and respect of the Giver of these precious life essentials, and in covenant with our neighbors, fellow creatures, and future generations.

Resources

Steam-powered generation hogs and degrades water resources. Addressing this with education and policy advocacy is a major goal of The American Clean Energy Agenda, of which CFTM is a member and supporter. Following are some helpful resources:

Water and Energy Fact Sheet (.pdf)
Water and Energy Nexus (.pdf)
A Call for a White House Executive Order on Making Water a National Priority
U.S. Energy Production is on "Collision Course" with Climate-imperiled Water Supply

Biblical Studies on Water

Squandering Fountains of Living Water (.pdf)

Resources on Air Quality

Dr. Michael McCawley's presentation on Ultrafine Air Particles at Congressional Briefing

 

 

Amos 5

Let Justice flow as a mighty river (Amos 5:24)

Water CycleAll life is dependent on the water cycle

Air is a gift from GodAir is a Gift from God

Air Pollution in ChinaCoal-fired power plants contribute to much of China's hazardous air pollution