Exploring The Relationship Between Christianity And Environmentalism

Decent Essays
The terms ‘conservation’ and ‘environmentalism’ often bear negative stigmas: images of activists chained to trees and of people engaging in physical conflicts over the practice of whale harvesting sometimes come to mind when we hear words associated with environmental protection. As Christians, we recognize that human life is far more important in the eyes of the Creator than is the life of any other creature, no matter how rare. Yet does this truth immediately release us from responsibility to the natural world? I do not believe that it does. Although the Bible does not specifically mention the ozone hole or climate changes caused by carbon dioxide emissions, it is very clear from Scripture that God cares about the world He has made. As a …show more content…
Why should Christians care about this world if God will someday replace it with a perfect earth? There are many possible answers to this question, but I will discuss only two. First, God though created the earth for His own pleasure and he wants us to “share in His pleasure,” it ultimately was created for Him (Van Dyke, 2006, p. 54-55). This is where anthropocentric ethics fails. While God does intend for us to use natural resources, they exist for His glory and pleasure first and foremost. If He knows and loves the sparrows that fall to the ground, then He also cares about how we treat the environment. We glorify Him when we properly steward ecosystems because it demonstrates both that we care to know Him through His creation and that we want to honor Him by learning about how His world operates. Second, the reasons for environmental restoration are similar to the reasons for sanctification. We might wonder if it is wasted effort to care for the natural world since God will create a second earth, yet similar reasoning could also lead us to ask why we should pursue righteousness before we reach Heaven. After all, we will someday receive glorified bodies and it is impossible for us to become practically holy in our current condition. Ultimately, however, obedience to God is never a destination: it is a process. We have been given a command by God to take care of the earth, and the process and heart attitude are what are most important to Him. Thus, although the Church rightly emphasizes the importance of spiritual truths, if we truly wish to please God in every aspect of our lives we must recognize that God also created a physical world and has given us responsibilities within it, both to fellow humans and to the

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    The Pope says; “We Christians, believe that the universe is the fruit of a loving decision by the Creator, who permits man respectfully to use creation for the good of his fellow men; he is not authorized to abuse it, much less destroy it (Pope Francis, UN pg. 4). In this statement, the Pope is making the claim that humans are not above the environment, which is a contested idea. These two issues of the “culture of waste” and the environment come together in the Pope’s most fundamental notion on how to create the ideal world, a notion that the President does not explicitly agree…

    • 1910 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He thinks that Christianity has nothing but revere for the environment and blames the problems on people and their cultures. He states “throwaway culture which affects the excluded just as it quickly reduces things to rubbish” The point he brings up is problematic in the way that nothing is seen as important anymore. If nothing that we produce is important how can people view the world as important. So he’s suggesting that a cause of environmental problems that could be attributed to Christianity should be attributed to people because “other living beings have value of their own in God’s eyes.” But the values that are at the heart of Christianity obviously are not getting through to the people. If the values were then people would use the Bible as evidence of become ecologically responsible, kind how the Pope feels.…

    • 906 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    People talk about Christianity as a religion that makes life on earth easier and more enjoyable. However, this is not the way God, believers, and Christian philosophers view their faith. Christianity does not benefit humans on earth, but God and the eternal kingdom; the acts of believers exemplify the eternal. Christians lived a harder life because God called believers to give up the material world for the eternal. The religious motives and actions of Christians direct Christians apart from the world and into eternal life.…

    • 817 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    It is difficult to understand because they have always learned cause and effect. So for them to believe that God has no cause is an extremely hard idea for them. The next idea is The Argument from Design. Bertrand says in his explanation of this, that since God is omniscient and omnipotent he would not have let the Earth get so bad. He says that since God has had millions of years to create the perfect world He should not have let people groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan…

    • 1143 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    I understand that Christianity is mainly based on the faith we put in God, but secular science will never start giving credit to Christian scientists until we can actually present data that backs up our beliefs. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though I disagreed with some of the scientific aspects of…

    • 660 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Exodus Analytical Essay

    • 1792 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Seen from the negative side, how can we reasonably expect all families of the earth to experience God’s blessing through us (the people of Abraham through faith in Christ), if we ourselves ignore God’s instructions about how to live and do our work? As Christopher Wright has noted, “The people of God in both testaments are called to be a light to the nations. But there can be no light to the nations that is not shining already in transformed lives of a holy people.”[6] It thus becomes clear that the kind of “good life” in view here has nothing to do with unbridled selfish prosperity or conspicuous consumption, for it embraces the wide spectrum of life as God intends it to be: full of love, justice, and…

    • 1792 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    When Lauren was preaching her philosophy of Earthseed to the rest of the members , she said, "God is Change, and in the end, God does prevail. But we have something to say about the whens and whys of that end"(295). This is an interesting quote because while God is in charge of everything and knows everything,we as humans also have a say in the end result. One cant blame God for natural disasters or other catastrophic events because we play a big part in this process by continuing to fight nature. One of the basic idea's of Laurens created religion Earthseed is that man should not wait for god to help them and instead mankind should shape their own fate and destiny.What Butler seems to be getting at is arguing that we as humans must stop sitting around waiting for issues to solve themselves and instead we should take the initiative to bring about change.…

    • 446 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    God Allows Evil Essay

    • 1801 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Their argument is that if God really did exist (and he was a good/omnipotent God), then evil would not exist because he would not allow it to. These people are looking for answers as to why the cruelty and evil from events such the Crusades or the Holocaust were allowed to happen. Their argument comes from a place of compassion and justice for the victims of evil and cruelty (which eventually is all of us). This is a fair question that I believe deserves an answer. A second criticism of God is based on natural evil, rather than moral evil.…

    • 1801 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In Luther’s second argument he states that no amount of good deeds can produce freedom to soul, only those who have faith in the holy word of God can free their soul. To support the argument that Martin Luther makes we will look closely at one of Martin Luther’s treaties The Freedom of a Christian. This treatise was supposed to be a sign of good faith to show the Pope that there were no hard feelings but “in the eyes of many it became a classic document of liberation” (Marty 63). In his treatise Martin Luther denounces the argument made by Erasmus that good works could lead to salvation or righteousness. He states in this treatise that “in every person there are two natures-one that is of the spirit and one that is of the body” (Lull Russell…

    • 779 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    He also brings up a point that free will doesn’t explain the natural causes of evil such as earthquakes, diseases and many more. These problems arise independently of human actions. He says free will doesn’t explain how God allows these “natural evils” to occur. He says that God allows these things to happen that doesn’t affect our free will. I think he has brought up some great points about free will however I believe that he would need to look into the Bible more, because God explains that he has a reason for everything that he does.…

    • 489 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays