Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Bible and Environmental Responsibility

Does the Bible call for Environmental Responsibility?
By Pastor Mike Freeman

TRUE OWNERSHIP-- Genesis 1:1-2:25

The creation account in Genesis chapters 1 and 2 is foundational to the entire Bible – which is perhaps why so much controversy has attached itself to these chapters. What is clear from the Genesis creation account is that our world is:

…To be cherished and protected.
Creative power resides in God alone; He created “the heavens and the earth” i.e. everything. On days 1-3 he formed the formless, and on days 4-6 what is empty was filled. Humanity does not own the planet – we are only tenants on another’s property (see Psalm 24:1-2; Leviticus 25:23) From the beginning, humanity was entrusted with the task of caring, responsible stewardship.

While some have misconstrued the words “subdue” and “rule” in Genesis 1:28 to imply a free hand to pillage, rape and degrade creation for humanity’s pleasure and profit, we believe these words must be placed alongside the companion words of Genesis 2:15 “serve” and “protect.”

The Biblical mandate to “rule” over creation must be understood in conjunction with Jesus’ teaching about the true nature of leadership – that he who would “rule” must be the servant of all (see Matthew 20:20-28). This was a value Jesus demonstrated by washing His disciples’ feet in loving devotion and humility (see John 13:1-17). So we believe that as disciples of Jesus the call upon us is to humble ourselves and seek ways by which to “wash the feet” of His creation through loving stewardship over it.

…Created as a habitat for all living things, not just for humans.
Though humanity is unique in being made in the “image of God” and is called to rule as God rules, humans were created on the same day as animals and were initially told to eat the same food as animals (see Genesis 1:24-30). Humans are not the only creatures blessed by God; the blessing of God is pronounced upon all living creatures.

All living creatures are seen by God as having intrinsic worth irrespective of humanity’s needs – God sees them as “good” before humanity is even on the scene. We believe it is foundational for us as disciples of Jesus to know where we live – in a home shared with all other creatures, all loved and valued by our Creator (see also Psalm 104:1-35).

…Theocentric, not anthropocentric.
Man may be the measurer of all things, but he is not the measure of all things. Humanity’s needs, wants, and desires are not the pivotal focus of creation; God, the Creator is (observe the repeated phrases in Genesis chapter one – “God said…God saw…God called…God made…etc.). All creation, including humanity, is summoned to worship the Creator (see Psalm 148).

We believe that this biblical, theocentric worldview gives the human being, with his special position on earth as responsible steward, the only real chance to understand himself as a member of the creation community. We believe this theocentric perspective, rooted in Genesis and reflected throughout the Bible, is the only way to develop a sustained and effective ethic of environmental responsibility.

Source: Amadeo Church


Anonymous said...

Rev 11:18 God will bring an end to those ruining the earth. The earth was made for mankind to live on. Adam and Eve would have kept living on the earth if they didn't sin. Ps 37:11, Gen 1:28; Is 55:11; IS 65:21-25

Business products said...

Inspiring message but the fact is we fall into sin. Jesus died on the cross because of our sin. His unconditional love saved us from death. Thank you Jesus!


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