Jump to content

Love of Nature Incompatable with Christianity


Deva
 Share

Recommended Posts

Does anyone else feel this?  Beyond all the excellent arguments and evidence for a purely naturalistic view and philosophy, isn't there a fundamental incompatibility with an appreciation and love of nature and Christianity? Particularly fundamentalist Christianity.

 

I really believe this is the core problem I have had dealing with this terrible religion since childhood and I have only just recently come to understand this facet of it. The idea that the world fundamentally isn't important, it is some other unseen world after death. Birds, plants, animals, etc., which I have always enjoyed and appreciated, are devalued. This is a fact, isn't it?

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I think I agree. Remembering the Pentecostals going about how everything will be gone soon anyway so don't get attached. Also the "thou shalt not have other gods" where the "other gods" can be ANYthing you love, and it very well can include nature! Back then I was telling myself off for liking PUPPIES, afraid I would accidentally devote more thoughts and love to them than i did to god, and upset the holy spirit! 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really feel this way too.

 

I have a memory dating back from when I was around 14 at School. I loved nature a lot and was a very outdoorsy child, so in art class I drew a big picture of a meadow, with flowers, and a tree in the shape of a woman. I was so proud of it because I thought it was pretty, showed my skills well, and represented my love of nature. But.. I called the tree "mother nature". Obviously, BIG MISTAKE, even though it wasn't my intention to hurt god, or be a heathen or anything. My School was a private Christian School, and my teacher was NOT impressed with this drawing at all. I was told that my drawing was against Christianity. I felt hurt. It wasn't the worst thing to have happened in relation to Christian School ways by any means of course, but it sure as hell made me feel like shit for something I would likely have been praised for just because it was a cute drawing done well for a kid of my age. 

 

I also had this sense as a Christian that just kinda... "Why are you wasting time loving nature when you could be, (and rightfully SHOULD be) loving OUR LAWD GOD, THE CREATOR OF THE NATURE?

Lol, it was like.. if you want to appreciate ANYTHING, appreciate it because god created it, otherwise you are "worshipping false idols" and putting something above god, or something.. Like how dare you spend any time appreciating anything except god. :( 

 

This strand of religion sucked the life, wonder, curiosity and passion out of everything for me. 

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
  • Sad 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One other thing I have also discovered is that when the idea of survival after death is abandoned, the beauty and wonder of simply living and being able to appreciate beauty is enhanced tenfold.  I am more ready to believe now that nothing exists after death than at any previous time in my life.  I can't say I know for sure, but the probability is very likely that death is simply nonexistence. Hard to wrap the mind around this fact, at least it has been for me.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Faeryn said:

I really feel this way too.

 

I have a memory dating back from when I was around 14 at School. I loved nature a lot and was a very outdoorsy child, so in art class I drew a big picture of a meadow, with flowers, and a tree in the shape of a woman. I was so proud of it because I thought it was pretty, showed my skills well, and represented my love of nature. But.. I called the tree "mother nature". Obviously, BIG MISTAKE, even though it wasn't my intention to hurt god, or be a heathen or anything. My School was a private Christian School, and my teacher was NOT impressed with this drawing at all. I was told that my drawing was against Christianity. I felt hurt. It wasn't the worst thing to have happened in relation to Christian School ways by any means of course, but it sure as hell made me feel like shit for something I would likely have been praised for just because it was a cute drawing done well for a kid of my age. 

 

I also had this sense as a Christian that just kinda... "Why are you wasting time loving nature when you could be, (and rightfully SHOULD be) loving OUR LAWD GOD, THE CREATOR OF THE NATURE?

Lol, it was like.. if you want to appreciate ANYTHING, appreciate it because god created it, otherwise you are "worshipping false idols" and putting something above god, or something.. Like how dare you spend any time appreciating anything except god. :( 

 

This strand of religion sucked the life, wonder, curiosity and passion out of everything for me. 

 

Yes.  I remember a similar experience, except instead of a teacher, it was my mother.  I drew some kind of a comic strip with talking dinosaurs or something like that, and I was a bit proud of it.  My mother just could not comprehend it at all. She did not understand it and did not like it.  What a let down.  Yes, some Christians do think you are wasting your time if you like to watch birds.  Its ironic what you say about worshipping false idols, when the fundamentalists idolize a lousy book.

 

I want to add that there certainly is an aesthetic value in some churches - beautiful buildings, music, statues, etc.., and that is one thing that kept me in it for awhile. And due to the various types of Christianity on tap, my original observation does not apply to all.  Many Christians in these liberal denominations don't actually believe, and I understand that. But the stupidity of the dogma and what is behind all this is something that ultimately ruined it for me across the board.  It eventually seems like churches are not serious, not really worth my attention, when they don't take their own history, scriptures, or creed seriously.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a different experience with being raised a christian and the love of nature. My mom was a bit of a hippy and loved plants and animals (she grew up on a farm in Iowa). We always had cats, dogs, tortoises, toads, birds, and fish in or around my childhood home. Any question I asked mom about god and nature was always replied with the sentiment of..."isn't god amazing and wonderful to have created all of this?"

I was angry and sad that god would let the birds fly into the windows and die because apparently "he" didn't care as much about those birds. Mom never had a soothing answer to the questions of why god would let these type of things happen and it was always my fault for questioning god and not having more faith and trust in that god. Plus I was super hurt god would not let my pets into heaven after they died. I find more comfort in knowing that when I die it's just over and the worry of hell and who gets into to heaven is gone.

Wasn't believing in a christian god grand?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Ann said:

I had a different experience with being raised a christian and the love of nature. My mom was a bit of a hippy and loved plants and animals (she grew up on a farm in Iowa). We always had cats, dogs, tortoises, toads, birds, and fish in or around my childhood home. Any question I asked mom about god and nature was always replied with the sentiment of..."isn't god amazing and wonderful to have created all of this?"

I was angry and sad that god would let the birds fly into the windows and die because apparently "he" didn't care as much about those birds. Mom never had a soothing answer to the questions of why god would let these type of things happen and it was always my fault for questioning god and not having more faith and trust in that god. Plus I was super hurt god would not let my pets into heaven after they died. I find more comfort in knowing that when I die it's just over and the worry of hell and who gets into to heaven is gone.

Wasn't believing in a christian god grand?

 

Yes, you will often hear Christians saying things like "look at nature, isn't God wonderful, etc.," 

 

To me, that means they haven't really looked at it.  If they had, they would see its eat or be eaten, a total survival game.  See a lizard or a snake devour another animal whole, while still alive.  See an osprey (fish hawk) eat a still living fish.  They always start with the head of the fish.  See an alligator devour a turtle.  See baby birds fall out of the nest and get eaten by a cat, etc.. Numerous other examples could be cited from my memory. So, is God still good or "amazing," or is it that the "curse of sin" has made all the animals predatory?  If so, does that mean the Christian can produce any evidence of a world free at any time in history from such predators? 

 

There is an unwillingness to look at anything except what the Christian wants to see. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recall listening to a speaker in what the Brethren call a "ministry meeting" telling us how we should not worry about global warming because the world would be burned up anyway.

 

I recall other Christians enthusing about how their god made beautiful scenery.

 

Quite how you can appreciate beauty, far less be appreciative of the deity you think made it, if you believe that same god is about to unleash a divine nuclear holocaust escapes me,

 

The most astounding part of this is the sheer arrogance.  "I have the right to burn as much oil as I like because I believe it's my divine right, the rest of you are just going to burn with along with the planet anyway and I cannot possibly be wrong" seems a pretty good paraphrase.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Ellinas said:

I recall listening to a speaker in what the Brethren call a "ministry meeting" telling us how we should not worry about global warming because the world would be burned up anyway.

 

I recall other Christians enthusing about how their god made beautiful scenery.

 

Quite how you can appreciate beauty, far less be appreciative of the deity you think made it, if you believe that same god is about to unleash a divine nuclear holocaust escapes me,

 

The most astounding part of this is the sheer arrogance.  "I have the right to burn as much oil as I like because I believe it's my divine right, the rest of you are just going to burn with along with the planet anyway and I cannot possibly be wrong" seems a pretty good paraphrase.

 

Yes, exactly why I believe that certain forms of Christianity are incompatible with a genuine love and appreciation of nature.  If you take an apolcalyptic view, then why appreciate something so temporary? The world is going to burn and Christ ride in on a white horse and take you out.  They don't simply see things for what they are, Christians have always got some idea behind it. It is not something in reality. There is always some view of a "perfect" world that God will show them in the future.  Behind it all is the pretense that " I know something and you don't."

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I don't (didn't) feel this way at all. I always loved nature even when I was a Christian. I didn't gain any more love for it once I became an atheist. My love for the natural world is innate. I was never a fundy, though. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was raised in a conservative Christian environment, yet I was taught to also appreciate and respect nature. We, as Christians, were to be good stewards of the resources that god supposedly granted us, not disregard and squander it.

 

However, it certainly does seem that there are lot in the conservative/fundamentalist Christian camp who do think that it doesn't matter because of the "this world is not my home; I'm just passing through" mentality. That is such a shame.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have always had an innate appreciation of nature and an intense concern for environmental issues. It frustrates me how some Christian family members disregard climate change and give no thought to how their personal choices contribute to pollution. They believe that god created animals, trees etc. specifically for human use. It's a human-centric view of the world. God created this beautiful scenery for us to enjoy.

 

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" ~ Douglas Adams

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I loved nature as a Christian, but I didn't understand it very well. Not that I understand it very well now, of course, but you take my meaning.

 

What I definitely did notice after leaving the faith was that my appreciation for, and my ability to enjoy the natural world increased significantly.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

when i was a christian i appreciate all things nature

 

all creatures great and small god made them all

the world is the lord blah ah blah blah. 

he made all things beautiful

the rainbow he promised noa

blah blah blah blah

 

he was the creation of all things beautiful when i believe. 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

     It was a fine line.  We were to use nature since it was created for us (the garden and all that).  But we had to be careful not to worship the creation.  We had to not like anything more than god.  That was the real trap.  So you could like, or love, anything just short of god.  If you ever found yourself putting anything equal, or <gasp>, ahead, of god then it was now a false idol and you've really screwed the pooch.  What a tightrope walk.  Then there was the problem with how to care for it all since jesus was coming soon (read: any second ignoring the last 2000 years)?  Do we use it to its fullest or not?  It seems wasteful not to, right?

 

     Nature was a real pain in the ass.  Everything was a real pain in the ass.  Only if you actually tried to be thoughtful.  If you just showed up as a warm body then it was, and is, easy.  Believe and not give a shit because you can't know enough about the trap to know you're in one anyhow.  At that point nature is fine.  Everything's good.

 

          mwc

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I loved nature and saw it as god's magnificent creation, especially when getting mental images of the vastness of the universe. Yet at the same time, my particular love for nature had a pagan and somewhat Native American touch to it. I knew that was incompatible with Christianity, but I have resonated with the pagan view since I was a child, and no one taught it to me.

 

My love of nature is love for the home that I know, not some place I've conjured in my mind, like the "heaven" that I was supposed to focus on as a Christian.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.