rebelling against low expectations

How should Christians think about the environment and “going green?”

H

R. WRITES: How should we view our responsibility in caring for the earth in areas like recycling, waste, and our ecological footprint? How concerned should we be about the environment, and what should we do about it?


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are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected]

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  • This is an interesting topic. We definitely shouldn’t go out and carelessly destroy the beautiful place God has made for us to live in, but we have to keep it in perspective. I know how the world is going to end and you can too if you read Revelation, so we don’t have to panic about global warming!

    I’m not careless about the environment, but I’m not frantically trying to save the world either. I also feel that it’s important to keep it in perspective. For example, I really like animals, but I’m not going to devote my life to helping animals (though I may have some pets along the way) — I’ll be busy using my life to help people!!! People are far more important than animals or the environment.

      • No, I’m not. God can definitely use all careers, and I understand that he calls us all to different things. I really like animals, so for years, people used to assume that I wanted to be a vet. I didn’t fully understand why back then, but I always said no. Now for me, I really enjoy being with people even more than animals, and that’s what God wants me to do. I think it’s something that I feel personally. But God can use any career, so if you want to be an animal trainer, have fun because it sounds great!

        • Okay. I am not personally going into either of those careers, but I was a bit confused by the wording you used. I agree with John Oxide with the ripple effect and so I was a bit wary about what I thought you were saying. 🙂

    • The thing is how we treat animals and the environment really are part of the way we treat humans. If we don’t care for the environment now, it will affect people in the future and already is affecting people in other countries.

      As for animals, they are a necessary part of the eco-system (which affects humans), and in other countries, domesticated livestock are a HUGE part of life. People make their whole livings off of their livestock.

      I don’t mean to be hard on you, but I think sometimes we assume our actions towards the environment or animals don’t affect other humans just because our scope of vision is too small. We only see ourselves and the people around us, when we need to be looking at a much larger group of individuals.

      • I agree with you, John. If I did give the impression that I have zero respect for the environment, that wasn’t my intention. But I also don’t panic or obsess about it.

        • Yeah, I was just clarifying where we should care about animals and the environment so don’t feel bad.

  • We have a responsibility as stewards to take care of what we’ve been given. The difference for Christians, is that we’re doing it out of obedience to God not a selfish desire for earthly perfection.

  • We are “in charge” of the earth. God placed us here to care for it. We must be good stewards. The needless killing of animals and destroying on nature is not good stewardship. We ought to take what we will use and no more. As far as recycling goes it’s not really in the bible or anything like that. I think recycling is a good thing that we shouldn’t obsess over. If it takes all of your energy and it’s all you think about, forget it. But if not, proceed without making it an idol.

  • As stewards of the earth, we have a responsibility to take care of the earth. We shouldn’t trash it or take it for granted. Recycling is a good thing, but if you obsess over it, it may become an idol.

  • The earth is our home. Would you like living in a house that is covered in cobwebs, crawling with mice, inch deep in dirt, and lacking fresh air and sunshine? I wouldn’t. The earth is our home and a gift from God. People are saying we shouldn’t make an idol of keeping the earth clean, and I agree. However, I think they might be getting a little too paranoid. It’s so easy to be less wasteful and more green without getting obsessed about it.
    Not littering is a “duh”. Recycling is pretty easy to do in most areas of America, so why shouldn’t we? Choosing brands that don’t hurt people, animals, and the environment might take a little bit of research, but that doesn’t take long with labels and the internet. Conserving energy by turning off lights when not in use is as easy as the flip of a switch. Having a garden and eating a salad here or there is healthy. Trees give us oxygen and shade so why wouldn’t we want them around? So you see, it’s actually pretty easy to go “green”.
    God gave us this earth so that we could support ourselves naturally. He expects us to use what has been given to us in a godly way. It can become a fine line between being a steward and a worshipper, but I think if we actually think about it from a biblical prospective, it’s not that hard.

  • God did give us stewardship over the earth, so we should be concerned about taking care of it. However, we shouldn’t be where we give the earth or animals priority over humans. We should be careful with our resources keep it clean though!
    crazychristlover.wordpress.com

  • People can talk about how God gave us the world, and so the natural world (animals, plants, the environment) belong to us. Those people are right, but they’re not getting the whole picture. The fact that this world has been given to us by God doesn’t mean we can be careless about the environment or just live ‘normal’ lives, destroying the environment and harming future civilizations.

    We belong to God. He’s our ruler, but God doesn’t choose to abuse His power over us. Instead, He died on the cross for our sins. He died to set us free, and He wants to care for us and for us to love Him. In the same way, we (created in His image) should not abuse our power over nature. We should care for it-care for the environment in a similar way as God cares for us. Of course, it’s not a direct parallel. The environment isn’t made in our image, but it was created by God for his glory and our enjoyment.

    Now enjoyment doesn’t mean just doing whatever we want with it. As with everything, we can enjoy the environment in wrong and right ways. One wrong way of enjoying the environment is making an idol of it and being a tree-hugger, mother-earth weird something (although hugging trees isn’t necessarily bad.) But another, equally wrong way to enjoy the environment is to spoil it and destroy it. We need to honor it because it is God’s creation.

    In terms of global warming, I believe there is clear, scientific evidence to support it. I’m really not sure why a lot of conservatives seem to think it’s incredible or untrue. I’ve always got the impression that some other conservatives liken global warming to evolution. But while I can understand the Biblical argument against evolution, if someone reads Revelation, global warming seems like it makes perfect sense from a Biblical worldview.

    Anyways. . .I think I’ve gone on long enough. I should stop. But I hope this comment was helpful! 🙂

    • I agree. Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” However, the Hebrew word for keep, shamar, means more than just to keep the world nice and tidy. It is to protect, and guard the Earth.

    • With all do respect John. Just because you do believe global warming is happening does not mean you should bash or degrade people who don’t. I am one of those ‘other conservatives’ you are referring to. There is Biblically based Scientific evidence against global warming as well. Just because you don’t understand them doesn’t mean we’re stupid.

      • Hey Haven,

        I’m sorry for making it sound like I was bashing you. I would be open to hear your position. It’s just that previously know one has really explained to me how global warming contradicts the Bible. –John

        P.S. Also, what has bothered me is not really that I don’t see scientific evidence against global warming, but that I can’t see (and this doesn’t mean there isn’t) Biblical evidence.

      • I also don’t believe global warming is man-made (I think it may be happening but if it is it’s cyclical), but I totally didn’t get the impression that John was bashing or degrading anyone, his comment seemed civil and polite to me. And like him I’d love to see what the Biblical evidence you’re talking about is =)

        • Hey Guitar with Arms,

          You are very right. I see now that John wasn’t trying to bash any one. I commented rashly. You can see in my apology to John below what I meant by Biblical evidence. Thank you for sticking up for John when I was so rude. It was a very ungodly thing for me to do and I regret it.

          • Hey Haven,

            I thought this might be encouraging. I know you said that you feel like you were very rude (which like I said, I wasn’t hurt,) but, regardless, your apology is really admirable. It can be hard to apologize, especially if you’re really hurt by something. It’s something I’m working on. So, just be encouraged that through your apology you were being very Christ-like indeed! 🙂

    • I think otherwise….. The bible specifically says the earth will be destroyed by fire. I back my argument up with : 2 Peter 3:10 . In a scientific view also, global warming has been techecnally been renamed climate change. Also keep in mid tha the climate of different countries biospheres varies so the climate of each biosphere would have to change for global warming to occur. That would be very hard. Just my opinions and things i’ve noticed. But the way Christians decide on what is scientifically right is or at least should be based on the Bible. So both of us use the bible as evidence but use different parts. It comes down to opnion based on that and the overall way the earth works also. I have Cross Country practice so I got to go. All i can say is good job with your opinion/argument. Be free to place the scientific evidence you have in a future comment. I think you have just started a Christian vs Christian debate. I kinda hope you will respond with your scientific evidence. I am really interested in doing a second round but since you threw in the first comment i’ll respond once you state your evidence. We have both stated our case. God Bless

      • Hey Evan,

        Thank you for your respectful disagreement. I think a conversation about global warming would be great, but at this point, it would require more time and research then I can give right now. As it’s soon the end of summer, I want to think carefully about what I am putting my time towards and I feel that I’ve been wasting a lot of time. . .so as much as a conversation about global climate change, science, and the Bible would be interesting. . .I think I will be using my time on other things at the moment. Thank you for the offer though, and if you want to email me, you can do so at [email protected].

        I hope you understand that it’s not that I don’t think global warming should be talked about and considered carefully. It’s just that at this time, it’s not something I think I should invest a lot of time in.

        Also, the online format can tend to get argumentative and become a lot more than just the two people.

        So, feel free to email me if you want, but I may not respond immediately. I think I need to do some further research and studying before I can properly tackle this topic without just morphing into unhelpful arguments.

        –Jason

  • The environment is something that we are to “have dominion over” meaning we are better then animals and plants but that we should still be responsible with them. One of my teachers in highschool always explained it by the phrase “rule don’t ruin”. We should realize that God created humans as superior but not use that power to ruin our environment. Going green is in itself a good movement, but I find it hard that some people will put trees and animals as superior to human life. Many of those in the “green” movement are pro-abortion but will do anything to save an endangered species. This happens when we have the wrong priorities. Human life should always always come above a plant or an animal. Just some thoughts.

  • From my reading of the Bible, it is important to take care of the Earth. When we pollute our air and waters with fossil fuels, run species into extinction, expand our landfills, etc., we are ruining God’s creation and turning it into something other than what he intended. I’m an artist and I love to paint. God is also an artist (He is THE artist, so much higher above me), and this earth and everything in it is his paintings and his sculptures. When we pollute the earth so terribly, it’s like spilling coffee on his painting, and taking a hammer to his sculptures and crushing them.

    I’ve heard people say that the Bible disproves global warming, but I’ve read the Bible and I can’t find anything in it that encourages our careless attitude about the environment. I could always be wrong and if someone wants to explain how the Bible encourages pollution, please correct me, but I don’t know how Christianity can condone deforestation, extinction, and pollution

      • Evan, I don’t think the Bible would use the words “global warming” directly because “global warming” is a relatively new idea, but couldn’t fire be referring to global warming. . .Or the trapping of heat and gasses coming from the sun partly due to human activity?

  • i know this is kinda random but on the topic of the environment…. when i was a sophomore in High School I had this whaco science teacher who I asked way too many questions. One day she was talking about saving the whales and I asked ” why do we (Society) care more about the murder of whales than the murder of children ( Abortion) ? She answered ” That is not in the textbook.” And for the environment, a good way to deal with animal overpopulation is hunting. So hunting overpopulated animals helps the environment…..

    • Ok. . .that’s really sad (and sadly funny at the same time.) About hunting, please everyone listen to Evan. None of my immediate family knows how to hunt, and I couldn’t kill anything other than a bug. . .but deer really need to be killed!!! They spread terrible diseases like Lyme disease by carrying ticks. . . so yes, please kill deer!

  • I don’t personally feel like you should devote your life or any serious time to “cleaning up the earth” this place isn’t our home, but God also wants us to show stewardship to his beautiful (yet flawed) creation. don’t leave your trash everywhere.

  • I think that we should try and “clean up the earth” to some extent. God has given this world to us to rule over it and I think it is our job to help protect it, care for it and look after it while we are here on earth, but we should also realize that this is not our permanent home and that when we die if we are Christians we will go to a perfect eternal home.

  • God tells us in His Word that we are to have dominion over the earth and to care for it. I don’t believe that we need to go overboard and be obsessed with “going green,” but I do believe we should clean up after ourselves. Don’t leave your trash everywhere, clean up your yard, don’t litter, etc. We don’t have to go around picking up every single piece of trash in town and making everything sparkly and beautiful. I consider that going to the extreme. The point I am trying to make is that we need to be good stewards of everything God has given us, including the earth.

  • My youth group just studied this topic last night!!! 🙂

    Genesis 1:28
    And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
    We should have dominion over the earth, replenish it, and subdue it.

    So we should take care of the earth but not idolize it! I agree with everything said below!

rebelling against low expectations

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