I’ve always been a fan of Ken Burns’ documentaries and have been looking forward to watching his film on the National Parks. I only got a few minutes into it before I had to pause and type out a quote. It was given by Carl Pope of the Sierra Club in talking about John Muir’s walking through nature.
“It is this act of walking which actually creates a faith for him, a new version of Christianity, a Christianity rooted in place and wildness and nature. It’s a Christianity that is not about the built worship of God but about the worship of God’s creation.” -Pope
Now I don’t know a lot about John Muir and I’m not trying to pass judgment on him, but the “version of Christianity” offered in this quote is in fact not Christianity at all. It may sound good on the surface but Christianity is always about the worship of God and never about the worship of God’s creation.
This is the judgment given famously in Romans 1. “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!”
God’s creation is certainly to be cherished and preserved. I am a huge fan of the national parks as an example of this, but the glory of nature (for the Christian at least) should always be seen as pointing to the glory of God. The biblical writers are often reflecting on God’s wonderful creation. Take a walk through the Psalms and see that.
Any faith that is centered on the worship of something other than God, whether it be man or nature, is not Christianity in the slightest.