Earth Day Is Coming – Why Should Christians Care?

by Christine Sine

Sunday April 22nd is Earth Day but why should Christians care? Over the next few days I plan to post statements from several different religious organizations that are concerned for creation.

The post below comes from earthministry.org. It very eloquently articulates my own reasons for being concerned for God’s good earth. Earth Ministry is a Seattle based creation care advocacy group. They have initiated the Washington Interfaith Power and Light project which organizes an interfaith response to climate change.

Alaskan landscape

Alaskan landscape photo by Coe Hutchison. Used with permission.

Spirituality

Creation itself inspires us and calls us to care.  Many people have had their most profound spiritual experience in nature. As we behold the power and love of God in a mountain range, a sunset, or in the timelessness of the ocean, we can’t help but be moved.  But creation also includes humans – our families, communities, and created landscapes.  God created all things of Heaven and Earth and God is our inspiration to care for both wild places and our own cities and backyards.

Stewardship

Psalm 24 states that “the Earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.”  Humans simply hold the Earth in trust for God.  We are tenants here, called to care for the creation on behalf of future generations and all species. The Bible calls us to “till and keep the garden” and names human beings as the trustees of creation. Because God created all the Earth and all of us, creation is beautiful and good and sacred.  We are called by our devotion to God and our love for God’s works to protect it.

 Sustainability

At the heart of sustainability is the goal of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In a world of finite resources, those among us who have more than enough must address patterns of consumption so that we can provide for all. Acquiring more “stuff” has a direct effect on the sustainability of the planet and on the quality of life for people around the globe.  The good news is that more and more people are realizing that spiritual emptiness can’t be filled by consumption.  What makes us happy is intimacy – intimacy with self, with others, and with God. In the end, sustainability means seeing ourselves and our neighbors as children of God, not as consumers or competitors for Earth’s resources.

Justice

Justice means that in addition to providing aid to our neighbors, we are called to change societal systems that cause poverty, injustice, and environmental damage in the first place. It goes beyond helping to meet physical needs to creating a society with laws and policies that allow the needs of all Earth’s inhabitants to be met. Care and responsibility for the “least of these among us” is a central tenant of Christianity and has a direct connection to environment issues.  The impact of environmental degradation falls most heavily on the people around the world who are least able to mitigate these impacts — poor and vulnerable populations. It also disproportionally affects fragile plants, animals and ecosystems.  Working for justice calls us to channel our faith into power, to call for social and environmental justice at the local, state and national level.

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6 comments

Joanie H April 17, 2012 - 9:22 am

Well said. You are a woman after my own heart… I knew there were other believers out there that thought the same way I did. Rejoicing and giving thanks to God that He has brought them across my path! My heart and spirit are greatly encouraged when you share. Thank you.

Reply
Christine Sine April 17, 2012 - 9:58 am

Thanks Joanie – as I said this is the Earth Ministry summary rather than mine but definitely reflects my sentiments

Reply
Joanie H April 17, 2012 - 10:02 am

Yes, I realize you were sharing from their ministry. However, I did believe that you wouldn’t post something unless it was a reflection of your own thoughts. There is so much that you share that encourages me (not just this post). Blessings on your day!

Reply
Christine Sine April 17, 2012 - 10:03 am

Thanks Joanie – really appreciate your feedback. Hope to meet you at the Spirituality of Gardening seminar

Reply
Joanie H April 17, 2012 - 10:05 am

See you there!

Reply
Christine Sine April 22, 2013 - 8:09 am

Reblogged this on Godspace and commented:

I posted this last year from Earth Ministry and thought that it was definitely worth reminding ourselves again of why we as Christians should be concerned for God’s good creation.

Reply

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