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Christians and the Environment

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What is Christian’s role in environmental preservation

            The rise in environmental problems has meant that the Christian has to take an active role in environmental preservation. The Christian leader due to his position can influence people towards the purpose of God in environmental protection. They can do this through teachings, motivation, and exemplary actions. Environmental protection has to be done with the awareness that God is the creator of the earth for a purpose. Reluctance by Christians to take an active role in environmental preservation only serves to make the situation worse. The battle against environmental degradation is for all.

            Lack of action by Christians (Muwadziri, 2014) gives weight to the critics of the Christian doctrine in their claim that Christian teachings advocate exploitation of the environment (Dewitt & Nash, 2009). There should be a realization that environmental preservation is a biblical mandate for the Christian (Muwadziri, 2014).  Some of the suggestions by some that the creation has no other purpose other than serving the purposes of man (White, 1967) are based on misinterpretation of the scriptures.

 Responses to these misinterpretations of the Scripture are a clear indication that the Christian has the mandate to take care of the environment. Arguments by Shaeffer (1970) clearly show that Christians’ call to have dominion over creation must be exercised in responsibility and not in a destructive way show that inaction on the part of the Christian is an abdication of a duty given to him or her.

            Norman (2010) argues that man’s failure to live according to biblical standards is the cause of the environmental crisis being experienced. His emphasis is that “true biblical understanding and responsibility calls for true stewardship, not exploitation, pollution, and destruction.” (Muwadziri, 2014). This clearly shows that the role of the Christian towards environmental preservation is not only a passive one but should also be actively involved in the protection of it. It is indeed a requirement of the Bible that he or she takes action in environmental stewardship.

            Christians have played an active role in environmental preservation, but more needs to be done towards this end. Story (2012) in his book, “Should Christians be Environmentalists?” supports the idea that Christians have a responsibility towards protecting their environment. He looks into God’s will concerning the environment. This is evidence that Christians have taken an active role in environmental protection through teachings. Through various publications, they have been able to shed the light on the purpose of God on the environment and the role of the Christian in keeping up with the purposes of God.     

            Writings of people such as Bergstrom (2013) contradict the arguments of the critics of the Christian doctrine in their assertions that it teaches exploitation rather than preservation. His three principles teaching, namely, the principle of creation, principle of sustained order and purpose, and the principle of universal corruption and redemption point to the fact that the Christian has a good role to play in the preservation of the environment. Even though there are some who teach wrong doctrines, such as the Gnostics who teach that creation is evil, their beliefs cannot be used to generalize that Christians have no role in environmental preservation. In this regard, the Christian should be at the forefront in advocating for environmental protection. He or she should play an active role in protecting the environment.

Conclusion             Evidence shows that the Christian has a specific role to play in environmental preservation. This role is divine in nature not just based only on the fact that the Christian lives in the same environment. The fact of the matter is that God created the earth for a purpose, and, therefore, the Christian has a role to play in taking care of the earth that was created. In fact, he or she is instructed to tend the environment where he or she has been placed. The man was placed in the Garden “work it and take care of it.” (Genesis2:15, NIV). From this, it is clear that the Christian duty is bound to take care of his or her environment. He or she has to play an active role and not a passive one. The earth and everything created on it is not evil as some claim. God created it and saw that it is good; it should, therefore, be taken care of.

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