Last week I was discussing some of the findings from this report with Pastor Wayne. One of the interesting things that he mentioned was around findings 3 and 4 (you’ll have to read the report to find out what they were).
You see, if we combine numbers 3 and 4 in an environment where people are already lacking in systematic theology, or really in any theological literacy (number 1 – that’s a freebie), we create an environment where Christians are socially involved because it’s advantageous to them but not because they have a foundation for why they do what they do.
Let’s take environmentalism, for example. I firmly believe that we should be environmentally conscious. We should take care of the Earth. But asking people why it’s important to will lead you to many different answers.
Here is just a sampling of possible answers
- We should take care of the Earth because if we don’t, we’ll melt the ice caps and we’ll all die.
- We should take care of the Earth because we all share it.
- We should take care of the Earth because we shouldn’t ruin it for the animals.
- We should take care of the Earth so that our children will have food and water.
Now, all of these are good answers. They are good reasons that we should take care of the Earth and some are strong motivators. But they fall short of the core reason that we should take care of the Earth.
We are Stewards of the Earth
In my mind, at least, this is the core: we’re stewards of the Earth.
We don’t own the Earth. None of us own it individually and we don’t own it together. We share it but it’s not ours. The Earth belongs to God (Psalm 24:1-2). God made the Earth and all that is in it or on it (Genesis 1:1-31). That includes plants, animals, the dirt, rocks, water, and even us. And then God gave us the responsibility to “rule over” or “subdue” the Earth (Genesis 1:28).
I take that to mean that the Earth is God’s (see above) and that we are responsible to him to properly use and manage the Earth and all that is in it. It’s our God-given job to be environmentally conscious. At least that’s how I see it.
How do you see it?
I’ve just taken a few minutes to put this together.
What can you add to this?
How do you believe Christianity addresses environmentalism?
How do you develop a theological foundation for what you do?
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