To the Word

Reflections on the call to live by the Word of God

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Location: Mud Creek, Tennessee, United States

Monday, September 20, 2004

Biblical Stewardship of the Earth

Pollution, global warming, destruction of habitats, massive extinctions, desertification--God's creation is being degraded and destroyed at an alarming rate, threatening not only the environment itself, but the future of humanity as well. Americans, most of whom claim to be Christians, are some of the greatest offenders in environmental selfishness as the desire for comfort strains and damages the planet.

Evangelical Christians have so far done very little to speak out for protecting God's creation, leaving environmentalism in the hands of our more liberal brethren, or those actively antagonistic to the Christian faith. On the one hand, Christians have a much higher calling than protecting the planet. Our primary purpose is a heavenly one--preparing ourselves and others for a right relationship with God here and through eternity. The Bible tells us that "The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever" (1 John 2:17).

On the other hand, we do have obligations to be good stewards of the earth. God created the world and takes pleasure in it (Psalm 104). He has left it up to humanity to rule over it and take care of all creation (Gen. 1:28). The Psalms tell us that creation is not only given for our use, but that all creation--animals, plants, hills and sky--is intended to praise and glorify the Lord (Psalm 148). When humanity, through greed and short-sightedness, weakens and damages the earth, we are guilty of wasting not only a precious resource, but of defacing a beautiful work that God has made.

Almost all environmental insult can be traced back to greed--greed of people like us who want our luxuries and comforts and don't care (or don't want to know) what damage we do to the earth in the process. What's more, too much desire for comfort and things not only hurts the environment, it takes our mind off God and leads us into sin.

The devil likes to get us hung up with our selfish desires, making us think that what we want is really what we need. Our worldly appetites threaten not only the physical environment, but, more importantly, the spiritual environment of our souls. As Americans, most of us are guilty of confusing wants for needs, whether it's our favorite food, fashionable clothes, or a music CD that we just "have to have."

If we can learn to avoid the temptation to satisfy our every desire, we not only preserve God's creation, we heed the words of Jesus when he said, "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?"

Copyright 2002, Milton Stanley


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a strong point of veiw. Wonfully written by the way.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for reading and commenting.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Good word Milton. Most of us have fallen into the trap of "more" and we've discounted some of our liberal "brethren" over environmental issues. We've lost much of our respect for God's blessed creation taking it for granted and expecting the rain regardless of how foolishly we've treated the Earth. Thank you for sharing. We have a lot to learn about our Creator and creation.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Fred. Peace.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man cannot destroy what God created, and it's conceited to believe we can. The Earth has been toasted many times in the past. Where I sit today was under a mile of ice only a few thousand years ago. It is the epitome of vanity to think we can destroy Earth. It will be here when the Sun swallows it up, in three billion years or so, and Earth won't care what or where mankind is. Yes, we are stewards, and must act responsibly, but not to the point of jeopardizing our standards of living and technological advancement. Life is not without risk, and the USA under God is the last best hope for the future of mankind.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for commenting, Anon.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Wayne said...

I believe it is naive to think man cannot destroy the earth. "SHE has left it up to humanity to rule over it and take care of all creation." If 'man' does take care of the earth, 'man' will live forever, not the individual. The masses are currently ruled by greed. I see that changing soon. Finally, the collective conscience is waking up to this greedy rule and when it does, great change must take place because of the paths we have been led down. March 9, 2011 is the start of the ninth level of creation/consciousness. All nine levels end October 28th, 2011. Changes are going to be extremely rapid this Gregorian year. Those unaware of this acceleration of changes might not be able to handle it. Keep up the Good Work!

10:36 AM  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Wayne, thanks for the encouragement to keep up the good work. Greed is indeed what's behind the unhealthy exploitation of the earth. This year is certainly off to a rapidly-changing start, and it will be fascinating to see how it develops. Thanks for your comments.

12:18 PM  

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