Read Genesis 2:15
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. (NIV)
What a great pity it is that Christians are not in the forefront of caring for our earthly environment. We are sometimes seen as those who care only about getting to heaven when we die and thus dismissing concerns about the earth. This ignores the suggestion in Scripture that ‘heaven’ is really this earth renewed and perfected.
It also ignores the fact that this is God’s world which he made and loves. And which he asked us to look after as his representatives. To care for the creation is part and parcel of our love for God and neighbour. We love God by valuing and caring for what he loves and values: this includes creation. We love our neighbour by taking care not to harm them but to ensure their needs are met: this means we care for the earth.
For some Christians, this sort of thing is a danger signal. Do we associate ourselves with views which worship creation by making it divine? Of course we do not. We care for our world as a necessary part of our worship of the God who made the world. Being responsible environmentalists doesn’t mean joining a political party or adopting every item of a supposedly environmental agenda.
Then again, we dare not simply associate ourselves with rapacious global capitalism either. The sort which exploits the earth in the name of short-term profit, the sort whose greed leads to massive inequalities and thus is not at all loving to our neighbours.
Caring for our created earth is not to embark on some simplistic political crusade. It is part of the mandate given to us by our Creator. It is not an optional extra for ‘radical’ Christians. We value our earth because we value those who live in it and the one who made it and loves it.
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