In the last couple of years, I’ve become enamored with the outdoors, mountaineering in particular. I read Outside Magazine, books by Jon Krakauer, as well as watch specials on mountaineering. I’ve learned a lot about the mountaineering culture; namely, it’s greatly concerned with environmental preservation. In my mind, this is a wonderful thing. But there’s something that goes on that really doesn’t make much sense; Mount Everest is a dump.
Everest is literally the pinnacle of all peaks. At 29035 feet, on the planet you cannot ascend to any higher place on foot. Getting to the top takes months, and over the course of those months a person leaves more than mere footprints in snow. The most obtrusive items are discarded oxygen canisters. Climbing at that altitude almost always demands supplemental oxygen. Even with it, the task is so taxing that one must travel as light as possible. When one oxygen tank is empty, they simply remove the regulator, chunk the canister and replace it with a full one. The discards are just left there.
I respect the drive that mountaineers have to climb. I, too, respect the principles by which they tend to live their lives. But that respect is diminished by the fact that pragmatism prevails in certain circumstances like the one I mention. How do you take people seriously with respect to their principles when they are capriciously ignored so that they can climb a peak?
What must people think about Christians, who too play the pragmatism card, not living according to their profession? Several years ago, a prison study suggested that 84% of the United States prison population was professed “Christian.” It is believed that 81% of the US population professes to be “Christian.” These statistics are unbelievable. Even more incredible was that it is believed that anywhere from 8 to 15 % of the US population adheres to atheism, and yet only .2% of the prison population professes to be atheist. Doesn’t make much sense does it?
It seems to me, people just don’t tend to take their beliefs seriously. Sadly, Satan doesn’t have to work very hard to keep such people right where he wants them. How do you take people seriously who live so estranged from their “convictions?” Maybe they really aren’t convicted?
But what about us? Do our lives reflect Christ or another? We cannot serve “two masters” (Matthew 6:24), but it sure seems like we are trying. From God’s point of view, that doesn’t make much sense.