So far in this series, I've looked at the idea that God cares about the environment, God's role in creation and the purpose of creation. Today I'd like to start looking at our role in regards to the environment.
Since God cares enough about the environment to sustain it, we should really care too. We should also care because He wants us to. He gave us the earth to manage on His behalf, as stewards.
Some people read the command in Genesis to rule over creation as a mandate to trash the environment. Similarly, some people think that because the a new earth is coming that we don't have to care for the earth now. These folks are in the extreme minority, thankfully. (But you wouldn't know it by some recent articles that completely blow this problem out of proportion. To the few Christians at these extremes, pay attention to your temporal responsibilities as they do have an impact on eternity - and keep reading this series. For those thinking this is a widespread problem in Evangelicalism, it's not.)
Instead, God makes it clear that our dominion over creation is one marked by stewardship and care for all of creation, not oppression of it. Was God going to create the earth, the environment and the animals, say "this is good" and then turn it over to mankind to pillage, pollute and plunder? Hardly. Whatever God gives us, be it food, money, wisdom or the environment, we are to use it wisely. God did not give us His creation, which He owns, to destroy - rather, He gave it to us to care for.
Monday I'd like to get into how we should then apply this to our lives, and start discussing how our care for the environment is balanced against other concerns we have. I have a feeling that could be a bigger area of controversy, as I will undoubtedly put a priority on environmental concern that is too high for some and too low for others. That is fine, and I'm open to correction where I get things wrong. Until then...