“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
“Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it.” Deuteronomy 10:14
“The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1-3
“For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.” 1 Corinthians 10:26
Since I wrote about the carbon fast sponsored by St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church of Bethesda a few weeks ago, many people have asked me to explain the connection between my interest in environmental affairs and my beliefs as a Christian. The answer is fairly simple. I believe that God, as the Divine creator, provided Earth as His gift to us. Mankind, the beneficiary of this Divine largess, is the designated as caretaker of His property.
Over 2,500 years worth of inspired writings by biblical authors leave no doubt about who has Divine ownership rights over the planet. Even a cursory review of the above passages indicates that mankind’s authority is based his role as an occupant and caretaker on the Owner’s behalf. (This is not a consensus opinion and I’ll discuss this further in an upcoming post.)
In that regard, care for the Earth isn’t merely casual hobby. It’s a legitimate expression of my love for and relationship with the Creator of the universe.
I’m an avid hiker. Part of the attraction is the privilege of getting up close to my favorite venues like the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rainer and Denali. Those breathtaking views always affirm my belief that those are works of Divine artistry, not a random circumstance of nature. As such, I want to demonstrate my gratitude by helping to preserve the splendor of this precious gift.
It’s taken a long while for our society to grasp that reality. A charitable analogy would be to compare our regard for the planet to a tenant of a highly desirable property whose care depreciates the value of the asset and threatens the well-being of the inhabitants.
Imagine how the Owner must feel.
Fortunately, a growing number of Christians are recognizing our responsibility to practice responsible environmental stewardship and to advocate public and corporate governing policies that are consistent with our beliefs. It’s not yet a majority consensus among faith communities, but the emerging shift in momentum is encouraging.
For now, I”m happy for the forum to share my passion in the hope that like-minded persons will be motivated to join the movement.