REV3 = Revitalize, Energize, Visualize

By Evangelism, Discipleship, and Shepherding

Separating Piles

PART 1: Have you thrown the church on a recycling pile?

Many valuable items have been pulled out of a dumpster or dumpsite; even the second-century piece of the Gospel of Mark was from a dig in an Egyptian garbage dump.1 We may deposit things in the garbage because we are too busy to compost or recycle. We don’t want the smell or the mess or the work that goes with it; therefore, we never compost. The earth-minded makes attempts to be ecological but put inappropriate materials in the recycle bin, while some with more time or discernment understand which container is destined for rubbish. Living in an environmentally-conscious city, my son would soon learn the difference between organic and non-organic. There is a system for recycling and garbage collection in most modern cities. So, where did you learn the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle”?

As the volume of garbage increases, humans are hit even harder with the reality of consumerism and its byproducts. The mountain of trash grows despite the multitude of dollars spent on promoting the recycling motto. This three-step process to reel in our consumption has failed to a great extent; not because it is a bad idea, but the words have fallen on the deaf ear of the uncaring consumer. We are constantly inundated with advertising encouraging us to buy new things. Whether we have the money or borrow it, we fall prey to the predators selling and encouraging us to want, then fill their pockets from our weak will and open wallet – metaphorically speaking (1 Timothy 6:9-10). We Christians find ourselves at odds in our culture with the free speech of the advertising world vs. conscience. Which voice is winning the marketing war in your life today?

The largest contributor to the failure of this “reduce, reuse, recycle” is the fact that we as a society are unwilling to make a viable attempt at the first step which is reducing (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11). Yes, there are intentional earth dwellers who have made this motto their lifestyle (Romans 12:2). Yet, there are lame attempts to reduce which affects the success of the next two steps: reuse and recycle. We can become overwhelmed in our efforts to live the 3 R’s because we see how they are so intrinsically connected to each other, and we may not want to keep all three. Yet, as individual actions protect the earth, their codependency soon becomes obvious if we want to make progress. >>>PART 2>>>

1 Joel Baden, Candida Moss (2020, March 10). Was one of world’s oldest Bible passages found in a garbage dump? The Daily Beast. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from

Author: Wilf Scheuermann, excerpt from the transcript God’s Grade ©2015; Photo by cottonbro studio:

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