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.
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)
Biblical Studies on Water
Resources on Air Quality
Let Justice flow as a mighty river (Amos 5:24)
All life is dependent on the water cycle
Air is a Gift from GodCoal-fired power plants contribute to much of China's hazardous air pollution