The Sustainable Development Goals Through the Perspective of the Bible and Christian Faith (Part 2)

The Sustainable Development Goals Through the Perspective of the Bible and Christian Faith (Part 2)

Can our Christian faith or the Bible be of any help when it comes to living a sustainable life or achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were defined by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to end poverty and hunger, reduce inequality, and promote sustainable economic growth and peace and justice, while protecting the planet. These goals are forever present in this contemporary world, but what about our involvement, i.e., Christian involvement. It depends on the perspective you apply. There are several Biblical scriptures that offer a wide range of perspectives on a Christian’s role in working with the Sustainable Development Goals.

A starting point would be reflecting on how Jesus assumed humanity by being born as a human child and growing as a common man. He embraced all the components of human corporeality and he came on earth to save people from poverty, hunger and illness. So, as those who are called to be “born of Christ” or “followers of Christ”, we cannot regard these issues as foreign. Faith doesn’t only mean believing that Christ died on the cross for our sins, but also believe that this earth is one of God’s creations and as His children, we have a responsibility towards protecting it.

Consequently, this article series seeks to examine and identify the involvement of Christians with the Sustainable Development Goals and if you haven’t read part one yet, here’s the link!

Sustainable Development Goal 2 – No Hunger

Sustainable Development Goal 2 - No HungerIn Christian faith, we often refer to “hunger” as the spiritual need to feed on Jesus Christ and the Word of God. However, as human beings, we need food to survive and it’s a fact that famines have been one of the greatest challenges humanity has always faced. But, let’s not forget that our mighty Lord has promised to provide for all those who would believe in Him (John 5: 36). “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6: 11) is one of God’s promises to give us our daily food.

Other Biblical scriptures, such as, “For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107: 9), “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6: 35), “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything” (Genesis 9: 3-4), tells us how God will never let His children live in hunger and will always feed them.

In Psalm 23: 1, we learn that we will never be in want as the Lord is our shepherd. And, again in Philippians 4: 19, we can read, “And my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” 

When people look at the world’s ever-increasing population and the extreme food shortages, they interpret famine as an alarming yet unpreventable crisis. But, as children of God, we ought to believe in God’s surpassing power and glory. Let us remember how Jesus multiplied five loaves of bread and two fish and fed 5, 000 people (Matthew 14: 15-21) or how God used ravens to feed Elijah (1 Kings 17:2-16).

The notion of God as the one who provides for us is rooted in our hearts, but we cannot either ignore our share of responsibility. As children of God, we have a very important role to play. Remember Isaiah 58: 7: “Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them…”

To learn more about global famines and about what you can do to help hungry people, take a look here!


The Crossroads of Christianity and Climate Change

The Crossroads of Christianity and Climate Change

Climate change is trending – not like the latest fashion fad, but as one of mankind’s most significant concerns. 

Decades before the World Meteorological Organization terms the long-term changes in weather conditions as “climatic change”, Joseph Fourier, a French physicist, identified the greenhouse effect. However, instead of agonizing over a warming planet, scientists from the late 1800s welcomed the idea of a changing climate. As goes by the Swedish chemist, Svante Arrhenius, “By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, I hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially when it comes to the colder regions of the planet.”

If it wasn’t for scientists of the 80s, we would still have been in the dark; reports from U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Environmental Protection Agency sparked realizations over the possible catastrophic consequences of climate change.

After more than 35 years and hundreds of millions of dollars of research spent after these reports and climate change is still a point of threat to humanity.

Today, scientific evidence made it clear that human activity played a huge role in creating this environmental rift. And, if nothing substantial is done to stop it, there won’t be any “tomorrow.”

I heard about this “issue” when I was around 11 years old and I thought like, there were over 7 billion people living on earth, so if we all come together, we’ll make it work – you get the picture, right? But, it’s a pity that climate change became one of those flagship issues – like abortion, gun control and recreational use of marijuana. While some people would take it to the government and demand actions, others would deem the notion as a vacuous fad that will eventually, one day, fade into the background.

This isn’t an unusual comment for us to hear from a politician sometimes. But, imagine my surprise, when I learned that some Christians share the same view.

Who Are These Climate Change Skeptics?

Who Are These Climate Change Skeptics?I’m not a Christian environmentalist – even if I find their theories very interesting – but, I think when you are a believer and follower of Christ, you are called to understand God’s creation and be good stewards of nature. However, there are many individuals with a deep Christian faith who think that caring for the environment should not flow from spiritual beliefs.

Rev. Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, the Vice President of EEN(Evangelical Environmental Network) believes that this attitude is the result of the strong ties between religious beliefs and political tendencies.

Historically, U.S. politics have had significant impacts on several religious interest groups and have influenced their attention on things like reproductive rights, same-sex marriage and family values, which have now expanded to climate change.

When a research was in press at the journal Global Environmental Change, a survey was conducted with over 2000 North Americans, including most evangelical Christians. The main purpose of the survey was to understand the perspective of evangelicals about climate change and to weigh up their views to those of non-evangelical individuals. As per the data collected, there was variation in believers’ views, but most American evangelicals didn’t believe that climate change was indeed “happening” or that it was an issue to be worried about.

A further study from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication with Christians revealed that some refused to believe that climate change is real. They think it’s just one of the greatest hoaxes ever made by men.

As per a research conducted by the Pew Research Center, around a quarter of American evangelicals deny the science behind man-made climate change.

A believer even told an environmental group that climate change is a part of a sinister political plot to seek more power.

Many of these believers, a.ka. climate change skeptics start out their statements with “I’m not a climate scientist but…” 

Well, guess what? I’m not a climate scientist too, but that doesn’t mean I’m blind. As children of God, we cannot afford to close our eyes to the horrible things that are happening in the world.

What do you think?


The Sustainable Development Goals Through the Perspective of the Bible and Christian Faith

The Sustainable Development Goals Through the Perspective of the Bible and Christian Faith

I know you might have had enough from constantly hearing about” sustainability” or “save the planet.” But, for one moment, forget everything and just imagine a world that is beautiful and conscious; a world with the perfect weather; a world that’s ideal for both humans and animals; a world that’s economically and environmentally stable. Wouldn’t it feel great to live in such a wonderful place? However, the sad truth is that the world is very far away from this ideal scenario.

In fact, I’d say that the world is on fire. Australia has been burning. The coronavirus has killed more than 6 million people worldwide. Putin is adamant about destroying Ukraine. Economies are toppling and people are struggling to survive. And, this is where a sustainable lifestyle comes into play.

Sustainability is not just an environmental issue, but it’s also an economic one. While you might have access to mainstream resources like education and health care, one-fifth of the population cannot enjoy such luxury. And, unless standards of living change, these people will continue to be plagued by poverty and the unfair distribution system of this world.

To be honest, despite being conscious of the climate change, global warming and so on, I was never really concerned for the environment. I didn’t understand the need for a sustainable way of living until I learned that the art of living as God’s children requires us to observe the limits set by God and engage in sustainable living.

On several occasions, I’ve met Christian folks (even pastors) that were strikingly similar to secular climate skeptics. They have attempted to instill the fear that sustainable living is drifting away from God’s calling and leaning on neo-pagan nature worship or New Age religious views.

Let me make it clear for you: Your concern for the environment is not going to distance you from God’s purpose in your life. If we take it from a Biblical perspective, we can see that the very notion of environmentalism is the result of God commissioning His people to “steward” the earth’s resources.

So, let’s see how the Bible and the Christian faith can be of help when it comes to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

Sustainable Development Goal 1 – No Poverty

Sustainable Development Goal 1 – No PovertyMost people assume that Christians are poor –either because they are paying luxurious mansions for preachers or because they believe it is a part of their religious principle to be poor.

That’s so not true!

Poverty is a bad thing and God wants no one to be poor. He created us and so loved us that He sent His only son to die on the cross for our sins. So, it’s obvious that He wants all of His children to enjoy a happy life.

The Bible does tell us that we should not be attached to money and seek riches. That’s because God wants our hearts to seek him first in everything. He doesn’t want us to chase after money but to put our trust in Him. However, that doesn’t mean He wants His children to live in poverty.

If you read the Bible thoroughly, you’ll find that on several occasions, God talked about prosperity. Biblical stories further tell us how God blessed His children with abundant riches and wealth. Take for example, David, the humble shepherd who became the great King of Israel or King Solomon, who inherited gold mines.

It is clear that in God’s kingdom, no one should be in need. So, let’s make this Biblical principle a social reality by the transformative power of faith in the followers of Christ.

In Proverbs 19:17, we read, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.”

And, in Deuteronomy 15:10, we can also read, “Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”