Wednesday, December 17

In critique of the crunchy Christian life

I've found that what comes easiest to us is usually the method God uses to work through us but can also be the vice that cripples us. I've been examining my life in this light lately.

Take for example a person with a gift of insight. Used well, it can help lead and guide and give wisdom. Used poorly it can be critical and divisive and at its worst injure the human spirit.

Sean and I do well living a crunchy Christian life. We can eat, grow, debate, and love God's beautiful earth with the best of them. I love finding great deals on organic foods, researching agriculture methods, canning my veggies, saying that I pluck chickens, making my own detergent, birthing at home, and all that other stuff that comes with the crunchy life.

We might spend big money on high count, organic sheets for our beds (in the name of health, of course), yuppie leather shoes for our babies, designer drinks at $12 a quart, and buy meat where the cow has been coddled and loved and gently killed, sometimes caring more about the moo of the cow than our fellow man.

If we are good we take an interest in the causes that affect humanity. Poverty, AIDS orphans, sex slavery, malnutrition. If we are really good, we spread the news with our friends, listen to speakers on the topics that move our hearts, give our money to the causes that afflict our spirits and then settle back down into our lounge chairs by the fire, patting ourselves on the back.

Don't we feel fine about the life we live. All goody-two-shoes and self righteous and hunky-dory.

My thought is this: Isn't it an easy line to cross between caring about our health and caring about the earth to glorifying our bodies and glorifying the earth?

What good does head knowledge and agri-debate do for the starving in Zimbabwe? What progress am I contributing as I stroke my organic silky soft shirt as Hmong people are being starved, targeted and killed in the jungles of Laos? I am glad that my children are healthy and don't eat pesticides but what good does this do the children right here who are exposed to pesticides in school without their consent?
(Foot tapping, slightly irritated with myself....)

Yes, Jesus loves me, this I know and this really is a great time of year to celebrate His birth and the gift of his life. It is also a great time to reflect and examine to what cause we are using the lives He has given us.



Farrah said...


What a truly introspective post! You have certainly made me think as I believe was the main idea of the post. I really appreciate you putting your heart on your organic sleeve!

Blessings and Merry Christmas

Anonymous said...

I think this is a really interesting post, especially to someone who considers herself a "crunchy Christian". I have struggled with this same concept in many forms as well.

One conclusion I have come to is that we have to get our own home in order before we can do anything else. We can not effectively spread the Gospel if we are living in sin ourselves. We can not be a witness of a Godly marriage if we do not have Christ at the center of our marriage. We can not provide for another family's health if we do not have our own family's health.

If it is a priority to change the destructive, ungodly way that food is grown and pesticides are used, then we have to let our purchases speak. We will make more impact voting with our purchases than we do at the ballot box. If your children are not well how can they serve others?

I am preaching to myself here. We also have to be careful, as you pointed out, not to consider ourselves righteous because of our choices. If it is in your heart to to consume foods and goods as God created them then do that. But we must remember that it is by the grace of God that we have that knowledge and vision.

I really enjoy your blog, though I do not visit often. I find it both challenging and encouraging.


Jen said...

I too, debate to be curnchy or not...for those same reasons, yes I want my children to be as pure in this contaminated earth.... but yeah, what about all the children who don't even have an orange WITH pesticides... Moderation, and perscpective always needed.

The other day when our 5 year old was asked what she wanted for Christmas, and instad of producing a huge list of toys she said, "maybe art stuff"-- This season we are teaching them to appreciate what they already have.... all the blessings and most of all Gods son.

So glad there are many others Christains are thoughtful enought to consider to be or not to be, cruchy.... Merry Christmas Hannah!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful post. It is really a good reminder of what is important in life. Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to be successful in school, be healthy, keep the house clean, and manage our money wisely that I forget that the one goal I should have is to please God and do his will for my life.

Me said...


I too ruminate and ache over the poverty and the children of the world. There is such a sense of helplessness. I think that we need to our best at what we CAN do, i.e. giving to those causes, praying for them, and living a Christ-like life, all the while striving to be humble. And, we should also endeavor to keep our bodies healthy temples of the Lord, just as you try to do.

I can and do very easily get into berating myself for not being able to help, for having more than the people of the third-world countries. It is very hard. But, on the other hand, the Lord put us where we are—in life, in the world—to do what WE can to help those around us who may be touched more than we will ever know. Our very best is all He asks of us and all we can do, whatever that may be.

Anonymous said...

Excellent points all around.

Anonymous said...

Exactly! It is such a fine line and balance as we are called to love our family and we want the best but at what cost? It should not be at the cost of loving our neighbor as ourselves as that is second greatest command given to God's people.

I trust in a God who will keep my family and I healthy as I seek to try to use the resources he has given to us to love my family and love my neighbor as myself which often means non organic for reasons God knows. As jesus gave himself to us so I need to give my life to my God in everything and trust Him by faith to take care of the rest! How often i just want to hold back just one or 2 things....Dying to self is daily process one we will never stop doing on this earth! Actually if everyone really thinks about it- even living off non-organic food most food here in US sustains life most of the world do not live this way and they would be quite happy with clean water and even process food as long as it was food. Good health can be made into a God and unfortunately many have gone to that extreme including myself as chief of them!

God bless!!