The bible states emphatically, in its very first sentence, that the world was designed and created by God. Christians stand insistently behind this claim, as nothing could be more foundational than the truth that God created this beautiful universe we live in.
I have always strongly stood against theories that propose a purely physical cosmology. But have I always stood for creation? I have started to question whether things like recycling, nature conservation, specie preservation, pollution, deforestation, renewable resources, etc. have anything to do with my spirituality.
The American church is largely devoid of discussion surrounding environmental ethics – in fact, in some Christian environments these are seen as part of a certain ‘political agenda’ and therefore cast aside. While the government’s involvement in the enforcement of such ethics is a political issue, the idea of being good stewards of this earth is actually a spiritual one. Until a couple of years ago, I had always felt like they had nothing to do with my pursuit of Jesus, but I have become increasingly convicted that how we steward our planet is directly tied to our belief in the Creation.
Our country has many people who devote incredible amounts of time and energy to caring for God’s beautiful earth – and we have often treated it as nonsense instead of partnering with them in their good work. Mark Driscoll famously said this: “I know who made the environment and he’s coming back and going to burn it all up. So yes, I drive an SUV.” Maybe some of you agree with this? Besides the distasteful heart behind the comment, I think it’s a very dangerous and unbiblical belief. It just doesn’t jive with the stewardship role God conferred upon humans in Genesis 2. And it doesn’t jive with the heart of God Himself, which is deeply restorative.
I ask, “Shouldn’t we be the best caretakers of our God’s earth”? I believe this is another area where we should be leading the charge – and the fact that we aren’t speaks loudly to those we stand against about how deeply we believe in the Creation story. Is the earth not an incredible gift/resource/home that we should spend time restoring, cultivating, protecting, and sustaining?
So, what do you think? Is our environmental ethic tied to our pursuit of Jesus?