Green. The image this word now conjures, at least to me, is no longer one of color, but of conviction. It is a word that now refers to an environmentally friendly means of producing energy. During the previous year or so, the global warming phenomenon and other environmental issues have recently become of greater and greater cause for concern in my own values, and I’m glad to see them do so to the greater public as well.
However, it unfortunately seems that “being green” is the new capitalistic fad. Everywhere you look headlines like “Wal-Mart building two experimental green stores” come a dime a dozen. My question is what’s the motivation? Is it a ploy by resource devouring corporations to pretend that they care about the environment in an attempt to boost sales? Is it a genuine shift in values, like I myself have experienced? Even if it is the former, or something closely related, does the end justify the means? I don’t know.
The question of motive has been in the forefront of my mind over the past three years. It first began as my wife, myself, and a few others set out to follow a vision and dream that God was birthing in us about what the Church could be. Having no other vehicle to assimilate such a vision into, we used the only one we had, a local church. It took about a year and a half for us to discover that the vision God was stirring in us pertained to the Church globally–i.e. everyone, everywhere–but we learned a valuable lesson in motive nonetheless.
As we set out to “plant a church” (again, before we realized the faulty perspective), we began to get involved in our community, organize events to give aid to those around us, and other seemingly noble actions. However, the real and underlying value wasn’t simply to help, aid, and be involved, but to get people to come to “our church.” I’ll never forget when we all recognized this leading to a serious heart to heart. For us, we decided that such an end did not justify this ulterior motive. We continued such events for a while, but not in publicity of “our church”, but because we truly cared.
Anyway, those days have past, the life of Christ in me now takes me down another trail on my spiritual journey, and this post has gotten much longer than normal, but what say you? Does the desired end of “being green” justify any misplaced motive or means to achieve it??