So, I guess this brings me to the question, should Christians be “green“? And if so, what is the Christian’s responsibility to the environment, if any? Since the Bible contains all we need for life and godliness, we should turn to it’s pages to find the answer to this question. So what does the Bible say about our responsibility to the environment?
In the very beginning, God set guidelines for man regarding the creation. In Genesis 1:26-29 God gives man dominion over the whole earth, over all the animals and over all the plants in the earth. “Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
From the beginning, God gave man responsibility for the earth and all it contains. The animals and plants are not only for food, but also for our enjoyment. But then sin entered into the picture when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Since then, the Earth has been spiralling out of control. Sin has tainted the beauty of Earth; the Bible even tells us that the earth groans in eager expectation of the day when it will be freed from it’s bondage and “brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” Romans 8:18-22. Like all things that man touches, the earth is not free from the ravages of sin. This Earth we live on is perishing, just like us, but that does not mean we abuse it and ignore the responsibility we have been given by God.
Throughout history man has abused the creation and so now, we are reaping the consequences of years and years of carelessness by man. So, we should not be surprised that the earth is fading away. We should not be shocked that the air is choking us, that our lakes, rivers, oceans are filthy, that animals are suffering because of the pollution that man pumps into our environment. But again, I ask, what is the Christian’s responsibility to the environment? Should I build a tree house and live off the land? Should I get rid of my car and walk to work? Should I grow my own wheat and grind my own flour? What is my part in this global problem?
First, we must remember that God created the earth. He created the earth to bring glory to himself. Not the other way around. Romans 1:25 says, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised.” Worshipping the creation rather than the Creator is idolatry. May I be as bold as to say that this new “green” movement is a form of idolatry. As Christians we must remember that the earth is ours to rule over. God gave us the earth and all that is in it as our domain. However, we must use it and enjoy it in a God-honoring way. We should be careful not to abuse it or destroy it. We must also be careful not to worship the creation. God is the creator, the one who deserves all our praise! The creation reflects God’s glory and because of that we need to respect the creation and care for it and remember that it’s resources are not infinite. Yes, Christians have a great responsibility to the environment, but it is one that is balanced and viewed through the pages of the Word of God. This earth is perishing, but that does not mean that we turn our backs on what God has entrusted to us. We must be excellent stewards of what God has given us! So, “go green”(to the degree that it is reasonable), but remember that it is all for the glory of God! Thanks for reading!
Here’s some practical ideas to help keep our Earth “green”. Look here for ideas of how you can reduce waste! Check out this website for lots of ideas to keep your little part of the Earth beautiful! And you might even save some $$$ in the process!