During the 18th-19th century in Europe, people realized that it would take decades or even centuries for a forest to grow out to become workable timber. That’s when the principle of sustainability was first developed.
If there was growing concern that the COVID-19 pandemic would somehow cause people around the globe to lose interest and sight of the urgency of environmental problems like global warming and air pollution, that worry can be put to rest. Recent surveys have found that in the wake of the pandemic, sustainability is still the “green” buzzword and people are still, if not more, concerned about the environment.
The concern for environmental challenges and the constant need to change behaviors to promote sustainability stems from your innate human nature that says caring for the environment is the right thing to do.
I know that recycling or home gardening is not sinful, but as a firm believer, I was wondering about what the Bible has to say about the environment. Should we Christians care for the environment?
Well, based on what I’ve learned, Biblical scriptures do not explicitly say anything about caring for the environment – especially, if you consider the fact that they were written like some thousands of years ago. But, after thorough reading and with the Holy Spirit’s revelation, I’ve come to learn a few things.
Let me share them with you!
In Genesis 1: 26-28,
“God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image,in the image of God he created them;male and female, he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.””
From Job 12:7-10:
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.”
From Psalm 95:3-7:
“For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”
As we have seen in these above Bible verses, God created us in His image and gave us the power and authority to “have dominion over the earth.”
It is important to understand that “dominion” here is not a license to abuse of God’s creation or the authority He gave us on earth. The word “dominion” does not give us the permission to run roughshod over the earth and its resources.
As we are creatures and mirrors of God, we have to protect and take care of God’s creation. He created the earth and the environment for us to live in. And, the water, plants and animals were all created by Him for us to use. So, logically, it means we are not meant to destroy but rather preserve the environment and its resources.