One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life (Psalm 27:4)                 Bayith Ministries

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"Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? ... I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding" (Job chapters 38-41)

"all things were created by him and for him: and He is before all things, and by him all things consist" (Colossians 1:15-17).
"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Genesis 8:21-22).
"And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new" (Revelation 21:1,5a).

The Muckraker

by John Tierney
Extract from the article, Recycling... Is Garbage
New York Times, pps. 24-29,44,48,51,53
30 June 1996


[The West has] embraced recycling as a transcendental experience, an act of moral redemption. We're not just reusing our garbage; we're performing a rite of atonement for the sin of excess.

Recycling teaches the themes that previous generations of schoolchildren learned from that Puritan classic, The Pilgrim's Progress. John Bunyan's 17th-century allegory features a character not unlike the garbage barge that left Long Island: a man dressed in rags who flees the City of Destruction, desperate to find a place he can unload the "great burden upon his back".

Guided by the Evangelist, the pilgrim wanders the world trying to reach the Celestial City. His worst trial occurs in Vanity Fair, a village market founded by Beelzebub and inhabited by noblemen named Lord Luxurious and Sir Having Greedy. The market offers tempting wares, but the pilgrim bravely practices the first R - reduce - by shunning the products of the "merchandizers" and continuing on to the Celestial City.

Today's schoolchildren, though, might be confused by one character encountered on Bunyan's road to salvation: a man, the source of our word 'muckraker', who is busy raking together a compost pile. This recycler of household waste isn't presented as a role model for the pilgrim. He's a symbol of moral blindness because, instead of looking up to see the heavenly rewards awaiting him, he

"could look no way but downwards, with a muck-rake in his hand."

In Bunyan's time, it would have been hard to imagine that pilgrims would one day be taught to search for salvation right down there in the muck.

Maybe parents and children correctly see the intangible value of recycling lessons. But as children pursue their moral education, as they learn to ponder the fate of the earth, it wouldn't hurt for them to also study, once again, that recycling scene in Pilgrim's Progress. If Bunyan were an administrator in today's schools, he might call it a lesson in prioritizing.

The thrifty muckraker, intent on his compost pile, doesn't notice a figure hovering overhead, offering to trade him a golden celestial crown for his rake. This scene is observed by the pilgrim, who consults a helpful guide named the Interpreter.

"This is a figure of a man of this world, is it not, good sir?" the pilgrim asks.

"Thou hast said the right," the Interpreter replies, "and his muckrake doth show his carnal mind."

The Interpreter points out the waste on the ground and sadly explains that, for the muckraker,

"Things here are counted the only things substantial."

The muckraker has forgotten that there is more to life than hoarding natural resources. His recycling has become the most primitive form of materialism: the worship of materials.

"Earthly things, when they are with power upon men's minds, quite carry their hearts away from God" the Interpreter says.

The pilgrim cries out in horror:

"O! deliver me from this muckrake."




Three Views of the Earth
Berit Kjos (1992)

Deep Ecology (Biocentric)

Humanist Green Activism (Anthropocentric)

Christian Stewardship (Theocentric)




Mother Earth evolved, and nurtures and organizes her parts

Earth and man evolved by chance

God created the earth and its inhabitants

Humans and animals are expressions of Mother Earth

Human animals are responsible for earth

God told His people to use and care for the earth

Wisdom from Nature

Wisdom from self

Wisdom from God (the Bible)

Connect with Gaia through ritual, celebration, drugs, meditation, sex

Connect with nature through human mind, emotions, experience

Commune with God through prayer, praise, biblical meditation

Help Earth save herself by hearing her spirit and heeding her wisdom (spiritism)

Save Earth by trusting human nature

Care for the earth by trusting God's Word, receiving His strength and guidance






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Elizabeth McDonald