Today in chapel, we confessed [our sins] to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor. What do you confess to the plants in your life?1
New York’s Union Theological Seminary (an affiliate of Columbia University) has a long reputation for rejecting the Bible’s authority and doctrines, but plant worship is a new low. What’s going on? In short, if people don’t worship the real God, they’ll eventually imagine and worship fake gods.
Not only is it our duty to glorify God as Creator, and to thank Him for creating us, it’s dangerous if we fail to do so. Scripture says that failing to revere God as our Maker is a path to disaster—because such failures flow into vain imaginations, darkened hearts, and reprobate-minded follies.
Because, although they [i.e., all humans who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness] knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals, and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness.... And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind… (Romans 1:21-26a, 28a)
Appreciating God as Creator is fundamental to understanding the basics of life.2 Likewise, there are immediate consequences for failing to appreciate Him as the Creator; those consequences include self-destructing hearts and minds, foolish thinking, even silly mythologies—touted by supposed intellectuals.
Many who laugh at the silliness of the Union seminarians’ pantheistic ritual should think twice. Accepting evolutionary “natural selection” myths about how and why we originated is really the same kind of animistic idolatry as praying to potted plants.3 There is no theological difference between praying to potted plants and accepting the materialism of evolutionary myths that treat the world of nature as its own maker and as our creator.
Rather than giving credit to God for the many caringly engineered details, systems, and interactions that make our lives possible, evolutionists persist in giving credit to animate and inanimate components of creation—such as the humble earthworm4 or the dung beetle5 or infinite time.6 That kind of irrationality is both sad and silly. God created an enormous diversity of plants—including trees, flowers, mosses, grasses—and all of them should be appreciated as marvelous members of God’s creation.7 But plants, regardless of how wonderfully they bless us, are not to be prayed to: “For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”8
1. Huleatt, V. Progressive seminary students offered a confession to plants. How do we think about sins against nature? The Washington Post. Posted on washingtonpost.com September 18, 2019, accessed January 2, 2020.
2. Ecclesiastes 12:1, Psalm 100:3, Isaiah 44:14-20, Romans 1:20-21, Hebrews 3:4, 1 John 5:21.
3. Guliuzza, R. J. 2011. Darwin’s Sacred Imposter: Natural Selection’s Idolatrous Trap. Acts & Facts. 40(11): 12-15.
4. Johnson, J. J. S. 2017. Thank God for Earthworms! Acts & Facts. 46 (4): 21.
5. Johnson, J. J. S. 2016. Dung Beetles: Promoters of Prairie Preservation. Acts & Facts. 46 (1): 21.
6. Johnson, J. J. S. 2018. Infinite Time Won’t Rescue Evolution. Acts & Facts. 47 (6): 21.
7. Tomkins, J. P. 2010. Extreme Cold Can be an Inconvenient Truth: Botanical Design Ensures Plant Survival. Acts & Facts. 39(3): 8-9. See also Thomas, B. 2011. Thank God for Wood. Acts & Facts. 40(10): 17; Johnson, J. J. S. 2019. Green Bean Bioengineering Shows Creator’s Care. Acts & Facts. 48(10): 21.
8. Matthew 4:10.
Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.