What is the Christian role in managing the Environment?
JOHNSON OLAWUWO DEYI
Environment is referred to as our surroundings, the conditions of our existence. It includes both living and non-living elements and provides resources to support life on Earth. Essential part of the environmental concept is establishing a relationship between living organisms and the natural habitat they live in. The connection between those two is built upon interdependency. The words ‘nature’ and ‘environment’ can be used as substitutes.
Generally, it is believed that nature excludes everything made by man. So, there is ...view middle of the document...
The very first verse of the Bible says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). When we see the world as a gift from God, we will do our best to take care of it and use it wisely, instead of poisoning or destroying it. We don't worship the earth; instead, we realize that God gave it to us, and we are accountable to Him for how we use it. After creating Adam, the first man, the Bible says, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it" (Genesis 2:15). God didn't tell him to exploit the world or treat it recklessly, but to watch over it and use it wisely. Like a good ruler, we should seek the welfare of everything God entrusts to us—including the creation. The Bible says, "A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal" (Proverbs12:10).
The belief of managing can be traced back to the early period of this world. Adam and Eve were commissioned to manage the garden in Genesis 1:27-30 and in Genesis 6, where Noah's building project where he set out to build a structure of a size, shape, or function never before witnessed. Now we can see managing is applied to every aspect of human life. We manage our own lives, we manage our families and our finances. There is managing of the church, and of government. However, managing is usually perceived in the context of the environment, which itself is a fairly new occurrence - an outgrowth of the industrial revolution.
Environmental concerns are complex political and economic issues. Nevertheless, there are Scriptures that show Christian’s responsibility to the environment and toward God who is in control of it. One of these Scriptures is very basic. It’s in Matthew 7:12. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.” If we would not want someone polluting our air, land, or water, then we should not be doing it to someone else.
Now do we have responsibility for the environment? In Genesis 1:27-30, 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 move upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that crept upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat, and it was so. This is a basic command by the Creator God to the man He created and God repeats the basic point of this command after the Flood in Genesis chapter 9:1-3 (except that He adds that man can now eat meat).