[This is from the We Get It Wednesday Bulletin, June 3, 2009. We Get It is a group whose information I find very helpful for Christians who want to think sensibly about matters environmental. I highly recommended you view and sign their declaration.]
Two elements of Earth stewardship
God gave Adam and Eve two tasks when He put them in the Garden: to tend (or cultivate) it and to keep (or guard) it. The former implies increasing its productivity, the latter, protecting it from harm or deterioration. A third task, restoring the earth from the curse, arose consequent to the fall (Genesis 3:17-19).
Biblically thinking Christians therefore cannot embrace either of two extreme attitudes toward the earth: unbridled exploitation and unmitigated preservation. Rather, both proper development and proper conservation of the earth and the resources we derive from it should concern us, and, as stewards of the earth over which God has made us rulers (Genesis 1:26-29; Psalm 8:4-8; 115:16 ), we need to make reasoned decisions about how to do both at once. Just as God is both Creator and Sustainer, so mankind, made in His image, is both to create new things and to sustain the world.
I would add one point here. In order properly to pursue the approach indicated above, we must challenge the common assumption that human-caused change of the planet is an evil. That is precisely the often unstated assumption of so-called ‘environmentalists.’ And it is an assumption that is at odds with the Christian faith.
There is no Christian reason to think that a plot of forest is morally desirable about a family house, yard, and garden. There is no Christian reason to assume that building roads somehow destroys God’s order for the earth. There is certainly no reason to think that the unplowed prairie is an ethically better choice that a field of grain. God did command us to subdue the earth, and to do that we will necessarily change the world. God clearly had this in mind for the earth, and theological revisionism cannot change the meaning of the word translated ‘subdue.’
If there is any group of people in this world who can, and for many good reasons should, save the planet from most of the environmentalists who are busy trying to impose their agenda on others, it is the body of Christ. Unfortunately, many of us are ignorant, quiet, and unaware of the real issues involved. Large segments of what calls itself the ‘church’ are even devoted to the false religion that is environmentalism.
Those who worship the idol of environmentalism need to repent. The beginning point of repentance is information about where you have gone wrong. For the key to demolishing this kind of idolatry, We Get It is a good place to start.