Can Christians care for the environment without worshiping nature?

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When it comes to caring for the environment, it seems that Christians have often taken an “all-or-nothing” approach.  We argue that environmentalists have taken God out of the equation and disregarded the Bible’s teaching on mankind being created in the image of God.  As a result, spotted owls, trees, lizards, and butterflies are seen as mankind’s equals and should be treated accordingly.  I even recently read an article that discussed a group who is promoting human rights for chimps because they have similar personality traits as human beings.  You can read this article here: http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/10/chimpanzees-not.html .

Many Christians have a strong negative reaction to this kind of thinking.  Environmentalists are lumped in with atheists and we hear the common catchphrase “worship the Creator, not the creation.”  Is it really a case of all-or-nothing?  Can a person be concerned for the environment, even go to the point of taking actions to care for the environment, without worship nature?  Not every environmentalist believes that trees (or lizards, butterflies, etc.) are as valuable as human lives.  Some just think it might be a good idea to recycle the waste products that we can (i.e. paper, plastic, metal, etc.) or conserve water and electricity.  Do Christians have a biblical responsibility to care for the environment?  A good article to look at concerning a Christian view of the environment was recently published by Biola University.  Read it at http://www.biola.edu/news/biolamag/articles/08fall/greening.cfm (thanks for the info Josh!).

I believe Christians can do a better job of being stewards of God’s creation.  I also believe we have a biblical responsibility to do so.  I mentioned a few ways above that we can help take care of our environment without worshiping it.  Do any of you have any other ways we can become better stewards?

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6 Responses to Can Christians care for the environment without worshiping nature?

  1. Jon_York says:

    Yes; Tip your trash truck driver at Christmas. Today I will haul some 20,000 lbs of trash to the landfill by visiting close to 400 homes. Then I pick up 400+ more recycling containers by visiting all those homes again and hauling more than 20,000 lbs of recycle material to the recovery center for processing. I am writing this at a very early hour because I leave the house at 4:30 to start a very long day.

    When I come around the corner and see a little something on the lid of a recycle can; ha, that helps break up a otherwise stinky day. Hee, hee.

  2. Jon_York says:

    http://europa.eu/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l28060.htm

    The Kyoto summit is supposed to meet and I hope the US does not sign any agreement to be governed by a foreign entity. That would be a mistake.

    I’m glad Christians are engaged in the discussion. I like the http://www.cornwallalliance.org
    this seems to be a level headed approach to the issues.

    I think it’s pre-mature to say global warming is a legitimate concern far less that it could be human caused or affected in any way by human intervention.

    The evidence I have seen indicates the global warming issue to be a hoax.

  3. Tim Farley says:

    Hey Jon. Thanks for the comments. I am not sure what I think about global warming myself. However, I believe as Christians we have a responsibility to be wise stewards of the earth regardless.

    I agree that I do not want the U.S. to ever give up its autonomy in any area. I can see no wisdom in doing that.

    I’ll check out the link you sent on the Cornwall Alliance.

  4. Jeff Lahr says:

    Call me a tree hugger, but I think there is a biblical mandate to be good stewards, as well as responsibile citizens of the environment. Furthermore, recycling seems to make common sense. It bothers me to see how much paper is wasted at church with weekly bulletins, annoucements and such. Some of these papers are necessary but I can’t help but wonder if someday there might be a paperless church.

  5. Tim Farley says:

    Jeff:

    If believing we have a biblical responsibility to the earth and the environment, then I am a tree hugger too (and proud of it)!

    Good point about the excessive and wasteful use of paper (and probably other things) at church. I suspect this is an issue at many churches. If we are serious about being stewards, we should be setting an example in how we conduct the affairs of the church. I have to admit I am feeling more than a little convicted right now.

  6. johnny says:

    mfbD57 Thanks for good post

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