23 Mar 2015
The Bible calls Christians to be the stewards of the earth. We are called to maintain and protect the earth. God loved His creation. He protected and maintained His creation. We are created in the image of God and as Christians we should love the earth. Genesis 1:26(NIV) says "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'" God did not give us earth to man so man could consume all the resources over all the earth. We have to make a suitable environment for all of God's creatures. Christians are called and can change the earth through awareness, conservation, pollution control and environmental restoration.
Christians have to take the lead in creating awareness of the earth's environmental problems. Rev. Tom Wenig, pastor of Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, says that "[environmental awareness] is really trying to develop a mind-set. ... It isn't trying to take on a big political agenda." First, the church has to realize that they are called by God to sustain and protect their environment called earth. For decades, Christians have ignored this issue. One article that was published in "Science" stated that "Christians have ignored environmental issues and have helped create environmental problems." But the church is responsible for caring for God's creation. The church should freely share the importance of conserving resources, recycling, donating, and other ideas to preserve our environment. The church should also reach out to non-Christians and make them aware of the importance of taking care of our earth. Christians and churches are just beginning to work together to help make positive and meaningful changes to our world. The hope is that this trend continues and a national and global support continues to grow toward the awareness.
Christians can have a positive impact on plants and animals through conservation. Psalm 145:9-10(NIV) says "The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All you have made will praise you, o Lord; your saints will extol you." We can conserve energy by turning things off and not using them and turning down the thermostat at home. We can conserve water by taking shorter showers, installing water saving showerheads, and not watering our lawns. We can use energy efficient light bulbs and insolate our water heater which saves on electricity. We can insure our houses are suitable to weather. We make sure it is energy efficient and no energy is seeping out. If we all work together to conserve and are aware, we can help to preserve the environment.
Controlling pollution anyway we can as individuals and Christians will benefit and preserve the environment. Matt Farina says that "God loved us enough to make this world for us. The least we can do is care for it." Christians can make a great impact through recycling. "A survey from the Department of Ecology in the state of Washington showed that 12,842 aluminum cans were recycled in 2008. Recycling helped save 2,658,142 British Thermal Units (BTU). Recycling also helped to avoid 47,882 greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)." "Seattle recycles 44 percent of its trash and is aiming for 75 percent by 2025." We can recycle bottles, metal, cans, and trash to make materials reusable. Riding bikes or walking instead of driving will decrease the use of gas. Carpooling instead of taking individual vehicles can save gas. Sending emails on a computer instead of writing letters will save the amount of trees being used for paper. Handling chemicals properly will decrease the amount of filthy air that people are using. We all can help the environment if we learn to control pollution.
As Christians, we need to step away from our cultural barriers and support environmental restoration. Adam Clarke compares environmental restoration to the restoration of man. He states "This perfection is the restoration of man to the state of holiness from which he fell, by creating him anew in Christ Jesus, and restoring to him that image and likeness of God which he has lost." As Christians, we can support this cause by planting gardens and not relying on the supermarkets to provide fruits and vegetables. Once our gardens are harvested we should donate our fruits and vegetables to others to share with.
Some people criticize Christians and non-Christians as environmental extremists. Some individuals say that the claims regarding the environment and its deteriorating state as false and exaggerated claims. Other individuals believe change is constant and inevitable and that man is powerless to do anything about it. That cannot be any farther from the truth. More and more people are dying or catching diseases due to environmental hazards. These issues are not limited to America. This issue is far worse in third world countries.
Churches that take part in mission trips visit countries that have massive famine in the land. "Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in the Americas and 47% of its population is below the poverty level." In countries such as Nicaragua, the famine is so massive that adults and children are living in dumps. There is no clean water to drink and there is almost no healthy food to eat. Third world countries are in serious need of environmental restoration. Restoration to these countries can happen in events like visiting these countries on mission trips. Feeding kids, building houses, and providing clean water is a great way for Christians and non-Christians to restore the environment.
People who criticize Christians and non-Christians for being environmental extremists have not seen the impact. They have not witnessed the chemical diseases that come with pollution in America and the famine in third world countries. There are many opportunities in these cultures for Christians and non-Christians alike to restore the environment.
The environment and its restoration is a major issue. People are contracting diseases from toxic chemicals in the pollution that is being put out. People in third world countries are dying due to the famine in the land.
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