Christians and Stewardship of Their Environment
Our earthly habitat is not an unexpected occurrence of little worth, but rather, it is one to be highly valued and preserved. The biblical doctrine of creation helps the Christian to understand the true significance of the world in order to deal with the environmental crisis. The Bible says, “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited…” (King James Version, Isaiah 45:18). In Christian teaching, God not only created Heavens and Earth, but expressed His delight in His creation. This ...view middle of the document...
This concept of stewardship is clearly seen in the first book of the bible.
And God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth”. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (King James Version, Genesis 1:26-28).
God created the heavens and the earth and now he has created man in his own image and given him the authority to have dominion over the animal kingdom and the authority to subdue the earth.
Figure 1. Genesis (meaning “beginning”) was written by Moses and records the stories.
According to Genesis one, after creating the land, God calls the Earth “good” (Genesis 1:10). In other words, the life-sustaining habitats are indeed good, and should be so considered by all Christians. God fills the habitats by calling into existence the great forests, plants, and fruit trees, and then calls this vegetation “good” (Genesis 1:12). It is necessary, therefore, for us today to consider our forests as “good” and valuable, and to care properly for them. Later the Genesis account describes God as filling the sea basin habitats with aquatic creatures of all kinds, and the atmospheric environment with birds, all pronounced “good” (Genesis 1:20-25). God completes the work of filling the land environment by creating animals and by His crowning work, the creation of human beings who display His image (Genesis 1:26). God declares all of these to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
3. The Earth and Everything in it Belongs to the Lord
We need to recognize our standing as stewards. God, as Creator, owns the earth. “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (King James Version, Psalm 24:1). That means we do not have the right to do with the earth as we see fit. We cannot exploit the land and suck it dry of all of its natural resources. To be a steward is to manage the property of another; that means to care for it and use it properly, not exploit or abuse the resources of the master. On the other hand, we are not to revere or worship the earth as God’s creation to the point where we fail to “subdue” it. God commands us to have dominion over the animal kingdom and to subdue the earth (Genesis 1:28). Pro-environmental groups like Deep Ecology believe that humans have an obligation to themselves and the environment as well. They believe that all forms of life have the right to exist, and that humans aren't any different from other species. They basically say that humans are equal to other species....