one or the other? or can it be both?

i read yesterday that starbucks is doubling it's commitment to purchase fair trade certified coffee. no one would argue that this is a bad thing. according to paul rice, "it will send kids to school, bring clean water to farming communities and enable struggling farmers to put food on the table." {fairtradeusa.org}

this started me thinking about what a Christ-follower's responsibility should be in the stewardship of our world. given that we know that 'the earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it..." {psalm 24:1} should we, as followers of the owner not be immensely concerned with what he has left us as guardians over?

conversely, i've heard people say that if the world was more interested in saving people than saving the whales, it would be a better place.

what should a Christ-follower's response be? should it be one or the other... or should it be both?

and where does something like fair trade coffee come into it? it seems that purchasing fair trade coffee would be the best of both worlds for someone who is concerned with both the globe and the individual souls in it.

what do you think?


Lynnie said...

You know how I feel. I am big on fair trade coffee - also it tastes better too! I think we have a responsibility to be holistic in our faith - that means caring for the people of our world both spiritually and physically. Having a sense of justice I think is what Jesus would do.

Anonymous said...

In Matt 22, Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was & He replied "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'Given His words here & that we are made in the image of God, there is no question that we are called to love people. Christ's life was one of actively loving those He encountered. As His followers, we need to seek God first in loving obedience, and then as He brings people into our lives (whether they be right in front of us or on the other side of the world) He equips us to love them, as He leads.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to reiterate what you said Suzi, and add that we are also called to act in obedience to God in being good stewards of His creation.

Anonymous said...

By caring for creation we are also caring for people. The poor are the most significantly impacted by environmental changes and any gains they've realized can (and will) be wiped out by the degradation of the environment. We absolutely need to be caring for both.

SonDance said...

Genesis 1 starts with "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." and concludes with "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."

As ones who have been restored to relationship with God through grace, Christians should lead the way in caring for other people, and looking after God's creation.

Why is it that the political parties who most Christians seem to support are so quick to neglect the environment? Perhaps we need to make more of an issue of it, and actually start doing something...

I came across a commercial today that is relevant to this discussion. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u72CpTzrYpg

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