Matthew Sleeth on the Environment

A few minutes into his talk on the church and the environment, Matthew Sleeth, MD called up a young man named David to share his story.

David recounted how he had recently suffered a grand mal seizure. After a trip to the emergency room, David received some devastating news: he had an inoperable tumor the size of a racket ball growing in his brain. He's 27.

How does that relate to the environment? I don't know. I tuned out for a good 15 minutes after hearing David's tragic story. I just sat there looking at the guy—passionate, articulate … and only a few years to live, according to doctors.

When I came to, I gathered that Matthew is making a film about David's story. The film has something to do with time, about not having of it, and how that sobers us, and reveals what's important.

Matthew sees a connection between our conception of time and our treatment of God's earth. He didn't mince words.

"How many of you take a Sabbath?" he asked the room of Christian leaders.

Not a single hand went up.

"You might as well just take the Ten Commandments and rip them out of your Bible," he said.

Then he took a Bible and actually ripped them out! Yeah, it's a little cheesy, but it got everyone's attention.

"I'm a new Christian, so I still actually believe this stuff," he said.

"By God's grace we've been given 2,000 years. Shouldn't we pray and act as though he might give us another 10,000?"

David interjected.

"Jesus doesn't want us to change our light bulbs. He wants us to follow him."

Then he added.

And if we follow him, we'll probably change our light bulbs too."

Wise words from a young man. May God extend his years.

Catalyst Leadership is a new digital magazine combining the wisdom of Leadership Journal with the innovation of the Catalyst Conference. Sign up for your free subscription today at

Displaying 1–1 of 1 comments

J. Hoogstrate

December 20, 2009  3:32am

Much of this talk about saving the environment deals with rectifying the way we do things outwardly and nothing about our inward selves. Noah's generation got a flood not because of global warming but because men's hearts had grown cold towards their Maker. The same happened to Sodom and Gomorrah too. At the green news, we run a global sustainability website that addresses many of these issues.

Report Abuse