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The Green Commission: Creation Care as a Christian Duty

Addresses the role of the church in environmental stewardship and how the evangelical community can lead efforts in caring for God's creation.

The Green Commission: Creation Care as a Christian Duty The subject of environmental stewardship is often shrouded in political debate, yet for the evangelical church, caring for God’s creation transcends partisan boundaries. It’s a sacred…

The Green Commission: Creation Care as a Christian Duty

The subject of environmental stewardship is often shrouded in political debate, yet for the evangelical church, caring for God’s creation transcends partisan boundaries. It’s a sacred responsibility entrusted to mankind from the earliest chapters of the Bible. As followers of Christ, reflecting on our role as caretakers of the Earth is not just prudent—it’s a divine mandate.

Creation Care: A Biblical Imperative

The genesis of creation care is found at the beginning of Scripture itself. Genesis 2:15 states, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Here lies our original calling—not only to enjoy the fruits of the Earth but also to cultivate and preserve them. This instruction predates the fall, signifying that environmental stewardship is an integral aspect of our role as image-bearers of God.

In the New Testament, the call to care for creation is echoed in the words of Jesus, who spoke frequently about the natural world in parables to illustrate spiritual truths, demonstrating a profound reverence for creation. His words in Matthew 6:26-30 on God’s care for the lilies and sparrows show a divine concern for all aspects of creation, setting a model for His followers.


Scriptural Foundations for Environmental Stewardship

Romans 8:21 reveals that “creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” This passage underscores the interconnectedness between human redemption and the restoration of creation, a synergy that compels believers to act in preservation of the Earth.

Moreover, a key aspect of loving our neighbor, as commanded in Matthew 22:39, involves ensuring the sustainability and health of the environment that we all share. A polluted and depleted Earth disproportionately affects the poor and vulnerable, with whom Scripture calls us to stand in solidarity (Proverbs 31:8-9).

Actionable Steps for the Church and Individual Believers

1. Educating the Congregation: Host seminars and study groups focused on what the Bible says about creation care. Providing a solid theological foundation helps in understanding the importance of this mission.

2. Implementing Green Practices: Encourage the church community to adopt eco-friendly measures such as recycling programs, reduction of plastic waste, energy-efficient lighting, and water conservation techniques.

3. Community Gardening: Create a church garden to provide local produce. This not only serves as a teaching tool for stewardship but also fosters community interaction and can feed the hungry.

4. Promoting Sustainable Living: Share resources about how individuals can reduce their environmental footprint in practical ways, such as through energy conservation, carpooling for church events, and supporting sustainable farming practices.

5. Advocating for Policy: Engage with local governments and businesses to advocate for environmentally friendly policies, reflecting our commitment to stewardship in public life.

6. Creation Care Ministry: Develop a dedicated ministry that initiates and oversees environmental projects, such as tree planting, park cleanups, and educational workshops.

7. Supporting Environmental Causes: Align with reputable organizations working towards conserving nature and addressing climate change as an expression of living out our biblical calling.

8. Celebrating Creation: Regularly incorporate elements into worship that highlight the beauty of creation and our role in protecting it, such as special services or times of prayer dedicated to thanking God for His handiwork and committing to its care.


Cultivating a Legacy of Stewardship

It’s crucial for the evangelical church to demonstrate leadership in caring for God’s creation. We must not only engage in discussions that lead to a deeper understanding of environmental concerns but also take proactive steps to honor God through responsible stewardship. This flows from a heart that recognizes the intrinsic value of the natural world and its Creator.

As we proceed down this path of stewardship, let’s recall the wisdom found in Psalm 24:1: “The Earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Our efforts to preserve and nurture the environment are a tangible act of worship, acknowledging God’s sovereignty over all creation.

In addressing the call to environmental stewardship, we boldly assert that the evangelical church is a powerful advocate for a flourishing future. In the subsequent parts of this blog series, we will continue to tackle crucial themes that the church faces today.

As stewards of this Earth, let us forge ahead with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment, allowing our care for creation to mirror our love for the Creator and to act as a testament to our faith for generations to come.