“I’m grateful for your friends’ concern for the environment—but no, they aren’t right when they say the Bible isn’t concerned about the environment. In fact, of all people, Christians should be the most concerned for the environment.
“Why is this? The reason is because Christians know God created the world, and we are only its stewards or trustees. The very first verse of the Bible says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). When we see the world as a gift from God, we will do our best to take care of it and use it wisely, instead of poisoning or destroying it.
“We don’t worship the earth; instead, we realize that God gave it to us, and we are accountable to Him for how we use it. After creating Adam, the first man, the Bible says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). God didn’t tell him to exploit the world or treat it recklessly, but to watch over it and use it wisely. Like a good ruler, we should seek the welfare of everything God entrusts to us—including the creation. The Bible says, “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal” (Proverbs 12:10).”
As an environmental advocate, I am often frustrated by argument that the efforts that are being made to protect the environment are a waste of time. If it’s God’s will that the Earth comes to a fiery end – then so be it.
Wow! That is a mind blowing sentiment.
But is it fair to say that religious people don’t believe in climate change?
I have been looking around to try and find out what the story is behind faith and the environment. Fortunately, there is good news.
Faith groups have been working hard to demonstrate that we are all stewards of our planet:
- Local faith groups produce manual on how to go green
- Earth Day: environmentalists look to Pope Francis with hope
- Interfaith Power and Light
- The New Values Voters: Faith Groups And Climate Change
- Time to Wake Up The Faith-Based Community and Climate Change
That makes me feel better! There are so many different faith based groups and organizations that really are trying to communicate positive environmental messages. The US government also realizes the importance of including faith leaders in the discussion of climate change.
So – where does this perception that religious people don’t believe in climate change come from???
Many faiths make some reference to the “end time.” Christianity is not the only faith that believes in this. The “rapture,” however, is a different kind philosophy. There are roughly 30 million members of the Christian fundamentalist movement in the United States. Many followers of this faith group that do not believe in climate change or in environmentalism. It would be unfair of me to paraphrase how the cause of environmentalism is viewed by this faith group – but the Rapture Ready website offers an argument that may be worth reading. It lays out one argument against environmentalism in detail.
If this is view of just one religious group – why are we hearing it more? Well, to be honest, they have a pretty strong political voice. That in itself is the foundation of another debate:
- The ‘Green Dragon’ Slayers: How the Religious Right and the Corporate Right are Joining Forces to Fight Environmental Protection
- The Link Between Climate Change Denialism and Fundamental Christianity
- The Political Dominance of Fundamentalism
How can you argue with a group of people so closed minded about the effects of climate change? I honestly don’t know. But you can find some solace in the fact that 284 million people in the US don’t think the same way. A majority of faith groups are willing to accept their role as stewards of our planet.
Keep the faith –