Earth Day has come and gone, and while some conservative stalwarts continue to deny human impact on global warming — or see no need to care for the earth since they anticipate Armaggedon — more and more Christians are recognizing the need to be good stewards of the earth.
That’s a message that’s been around for a while. I still have a canvas “Earth Stewards” bag distributed by the once-significant but now almost nonexistent Christian Life and Public Affairs council of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. They were encouraging the use of reusable bags instead of “paper or plastic” years ahead of the curve.
But, not enough people paid attention to them or others calling for greater global stewardship. Now, however, as one environmental crisis stands on another and the price of oil continues to rise, it’s hard to ignore the importance of earth stewardship — a responsibility the Bible claims has been around from humanity’s earliest days: “God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth” (Gen. 1:28).
God put humans in charge of the earth: the word “subdue” does not imply “ravage,” but “exercise control.” With control comes responsibility and a need for careful stewardship.
Ethics Daily has posted a new resource to promote environmental awareness, especially from a Christian point of view. Director Robert Parham presented Al Gore with a green Bible during the New Baptist Covenant meeting a few months back, and indicated that more resources were on the say. The site is a collection of helpful articles and videos, and can be found at thegreenbible.org. It’s worth a good look.
More importantly, it’s worth considering that stewardship of the earth is not just a human concern, but a Christian one.
[Note: if you’ve wondered why the Baptists Today website has been so sketchy the past few days, there have been some serious issues with the server at the hosting company. As you can imagine, frantic efforts are underway to get it restored.]