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The Environment - Why Christians Should Care

The Environment - Why Christians Should Care

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As Christians why should we care for the environment? A good look at the Bible shows us how much the God we serve cares for the planet he made.
As Christians why should we care for the environment? A good look at the Bible shows us how much the God we serve cares for the planet he made.

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Published by: World Vision Resources on Dec 14, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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03/01/2011

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AS CHRISTIANS, WHY SHOULD WE CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT? WHYSHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT “BEING GREEN”?
 A good look at the Bible will show us how much the God we serve cares or the planet he made.Throughout the Bible we see a common thread o God’s concern or his creation, which includesour planet. We know we’ve been given the responsibility and privilege to love what God loves. InGenesis, God tells all species to be ruitul and multiply; because God has blessed the animals, oneo our responsibilities is to care or them as he would.The rst creation account (Genesis 1:1-2:4a) includes the Creator’s repeated pronouncements thateach layer o the world is good (the Hebrew word
tov
). God says this even beore humans arriveon the scene, showing that God thought this planet was pretty amazing when we weren’t evenhere yet!Then God goes on to make us, with the world as our habitat. Humans have received the world asa git rom the Creator and must never mistake it or a possession (Leviticus 25:23).Ater God makes us, he gives us our vocation. In Genesis 2:15 (NKJV), Adam is directed to “tendand keep” the garden. The Hebrew word or tend—
abad 
—means “to work or serve,” and so,reerring to the ground or a garden, can be dened as “to till or cultivate.” It implies adornment,embellishment, and improvement.The Hebrew word or keep,
shamar
, means “to exercise great care over.” In the context o Genesis 2:15, it expresses God’s wish that humankind “take care o,” “guard,” or “watch over”the earth. This is the biblical mandate or creation care.
The Environment:
Why Should Christians Care?
 
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God’s words in Genesis 1-2, the very rst that we have, are in sharp contrast to the once-prevalentand still persistent interpretation o “dominion” that many people, even many Christians, use tosanction environmental destruction in the name o progress—even in the name o God.The creation is by nature destined or the common good o past, present and uture generations.Our dominion over the natural world, granted by the Creator, is not absolute; it is limited byconcern or the quality o lie o our neighbors, including those yet to be born. It requires humilityand awed respect or the integrity o the whole o creation.God means or us to steward the Earth and its creatures with mercy, justice, and compassion. As Jesuswas the ultimate servant leader, we are to ollow his example in our “dominion” over the Earth. Putsimply, creation care o God’s earth is necessary i we are to love God and love what he loves.Another reason God calls us to care or his planet is because environmental degradation isparticularly hurts the poor. They, who usually live in areas vulnerable to foods, drought, andother natural disasters, all o which damage ood production, oten suer rst and most rom theeects o neglect and degradation o God’s creation. In particular, our ailure to care or creationhas led to a change in the earth’s climate.For the poor, climate change is neither ction nor a ar  threat, but a present-day reality. Climatechange is a natural disaster intensier: making foods ore erce, drought more chronic andsevere, and hurricanes harsher. This increase in the intensity and numbers o natural disasters arejeopardizing the ability o poor communities to grow crops, access water, and house and eedthemselves. These cumulative events, stemming rom environmental degradation and climatechange, has pushed many back into poverty.Creation care is an expression o our love or God and, as an extension, our love or the poor;it also ullls our charge to be good stewards. In the nal analysis, i we do not consider theeects o environmental degradation caused by our own actions, we are not serving the poor.We are actually working
against 
them. There is simply no question that a right relationship withour environment, that is, with God’s creation, is our responsibility as Christians. It is similar toand interwoven with our responsibility to care or the poor. Afuent Christians, who have theresources, can make a very real dierence in this area.Let us hear the words o Jesus when he says that to whom much has been given, much will berequired (Luke 12:48). We have been given much. Let’s do all we can to work with the poor bycaring or creation to the best o our abilities.
- Adapted rom a resource by Nils von Kalm, ANCP Coordinator, World Vision Australia
The Scripture in this resource is rom the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission o Zondervan. All rights reserved.During the preparation o this resource, all citations, acts, gures, Internet URLs, and other cited inormation wereveried or accuracy. World Vision Resources has made every attempt to reerence current and valid sources, but wecannot guarantee the content o any source and we are not responsible or any changes that may have occurred sinceour verication. I you nd an error in, or have a question or concern about, any o the inormation or sources listedwithin, please contact World Vision Resources.Copyright © 2010 World Vision Inc., Mail Stop 321, P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063-9716, 253.815.3320,wvresources@worldvision.org. All rights reserved.

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