Quick Guide to Earth Care for Christians Who Care about the Environment.
Biblical Earth Management
Genesis 1: 27, 28: “So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women. God gave them his blessing and said: ‘Have a lot of children! Fill the earth with people and bring it under your control. Rule over the fish in the ocean, the birds in the sky, and every animal on the earth.’ ”
Genesis 2: 4b-8, 15, 19, 20: “When the LORD God made the heavens and the earth, no grass or plants were growing anywhere. God had not yet sent any rain, and there was no one to work the land. But streams came up from the ground and watered the earth. The LORD God took a handful of soil and made a man. God breathed life into the man, and the man started breathing. The LORD made a garden in a place called Eden, which was in the east, and he put the man there…The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it…So the LORD took some soil and made animals and birds. He brought them to the man to see what names he would give each of them. Then the man named the tame animals and the birds and the wild animals. That’s how they got their names.”
Deuteronomy 10:13-15: “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.”
Exodus 20:8-11: “Remember that the Sabbath Day belongs to me. You have six days when you can do your work, but the seventh day of each week belongs to me, your God. No one is to work on that day—not you, your children, your slaves, your animals, or the foreigners who live in your towns. In six days I made the sky, the earth, the oceans, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That’s why I made the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me.”
Let Change Begin Here. Four Ways to Start.
God has placed you on earth to responsibly care for it. And if He has given you a job to do, you will be held accountable for how well you do—or don’t—do it.
So how can you be God’s best employee in taking care of the earth? Here are four things you can do to be a better steward of God’s creation:
- Minimize wastefulness of precious resources like gas, electricity, and water. Be mindful of your use. Turn off lights in rooms that aren’t being used. Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth or lathering up in the shower, and look into purchasing more efficient appliances, like washing machines, dryers, water heaters, or air conditioners. In many cases, the federal government will give you tax credits for your investment of energy efficient appliances. You can also buy “low-flow” toilets, and “low-flow” shower heads. If you can swing it, look into an electric vehicle, or even one that uses a combination of electricity and fossil fuel. Lastly, you can contact your local utility companies and request a free resource usage audit. For instance, the companies will check your windows, doors, level of insulation, and water and gas pipes for their maintenance level.
2. Recycle as much as you can. In your local community, city, or state, there is someone who is in charge of this. Find out what you can and can’t recycle and then commit to consistently doing it! You’ll quickly be surprised at how much trash you can keep out of the local landfill. Even reduce the amount of packaging you use by preparing fresh foods, and using reusable containers at home.
3. Educate yourself and others on this issue. These days there are many people who don’t understand or know about this crucial issue. However, there are certainly others who do know but don’t know where to turn for information or even how to begin. As a Christian, and a responsible citizen of the world community, you can be a leader in educating yourself, educating others, and advocating for positive changes.
4. Get personally involved in your local government. Many people have both the time and talent to effect a bigger, wider change, but they sometimes think that it’s the job of “professional politicians.” But all it takes is a willingness to get involved, and a heart to make a change. Check your local city government office to see if you can volunteer to help spread the message. If there isn’t someone in charge, run for the office. And if there isn’t an office, then ask the local governing authorities to consider creating such an office. There’s a reason powerful movements that begin small are called “grass-roots” movements—the grass grew first from roots.
Help and Be Helped
Knowledge is power. If you’re interested in arming yourself with knowledge and being an advocate in spreading the crucial news of care for God’s creation, check out these free resources:
Adventist Development and Relief Association (ADRA)
Evangelical Environmental Network
National Religious Partnership for the Environment
Federal Energy Efficiency Program
State & Local Energy Efficiency Programs
Federal Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (tax credits for electric vehicles)