A few weeks ago, a Swedish teen came to the United States to speak at a United Nations global climate forum. And the Internet went crazy. From memes to tweets, the Internet exploded, and Greta Thunburg was everywhere.
The topic she spoke about—the environment—is a divisive one, especially along political party lines. The environmental debate is especially important to young adults. According to a United Nations poll, nearly four in 10 young Americans (Millennials and Gen Z) view “environmental issues such as pollution, health of the planet and oceans” as the most important subject for the United States to address in the next year.
That is a rather large percentage of America’s up and coming generation. Nearly 40% of young adults placed the environment ahead of human rights issues like freedom of speech, religion and press. As Christians, we too should care about the environment. While the degree of importance will change from person to person, there is a baseline concern that Christians should have, regardless.
Here are three reasons why.
The earth is the Lord’s, and we should take care of His gift to us.
God created the universe. You don’t have to read too far into the Bible to find that out (literally the first verse). Finding man’s dominion over the earth is also easy to see. Psalm 8:5-8, Psalm 115:16 and Genesis 9:3 all demonstrate man’s dominion over the earth.
As stewards of God’s global garden, we should take care not to ravish it beyond use. We must tend to His gift to us. While we should certainly use the materials and resources available to us, we must be circumspect when we do so.
God receives glory when we properly steward the earth.
Imbued with creativity and intellect, humans have created jaw-dropping marvels, such as landing robots on a planet more than 40 million miles away from us. That’s not too lousy. And every time humans create more efficient procedures like Eli Whitney’s cotton gin or expand our horizons like the Opportunity rover on Mars, we put God’s glory on display.
Similarly, when we take advantage of the resources He has given us, we put God’s glory on display. God did not give us this planet for us to destroy. Instead, He wants us to use it and develop it in a way that preserves His wonderful creation.
Through concern for the environment, we can better witness.
Christ commanded us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Whether we become missionaries abroad or accountants downtown, we are all called to fulfill the great commission. We are to witness to neighbors, friends and coworkers. There is no limit. By becoming involved in environmental issues, Christians can meet and witness to people they would never ordinarily know.
For some Christians, books are one of their passions. Thus, they can meet people at book clubs or libraries that the basketball enthusiast would never meet. Likewise, Christians who have a particular burden for environmental issues can meet people the booklover never would.
So, yes. Christians should be involved with the environmental concerns of our day, finding avenues through which they can act. And while the amount of involvement may vary, all Christians should care about God’s creation and how we steward it.