April 22 marks the 31st celebration of “Earth Day”-an effort initiated to increase awareness about environmental issues. The founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson, believes, “The fate of the living planet is the most important issue facing mankind.” In addition, the Earth Day Network (the coordinating body of Earth Day activities) seeks to promote “a healthy environment and a peaceful, just, sustainable world by spreading environmental awareness …”
While it is laudable to see humans exercising their God-ordained responsibility to care for the creation (Genesis 1:26-28), the above quotes show the prevailing view on environmental issues is skewed, as a proper Biblical foundation is lacking.
First, the fate of the planet is, ultimately, not in the hands of mankind. While humans are responsible for caring for the Earth (as per the “Dominion mandate” in Genesis 1:26-28), we are not in control of the Earth. Rather it belongs to the Creator Himself (Psalm 24:1), who has made us His earthly stewards.
Second, the fate of the living planet is not the most important issue facing mankind. Ultimately, this decaying system will be replaced with a New Heavens and Earth anyway (Romans 8:20-22, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1, Hebrews 1:10-12). Rather, the most important issue facing mankind is: will the individual choose to acknowledge his Creator and be reconciled to Him? Romans 1:20 makes it clear that knowledge of God is, at least at some level, evident to all, so those who refuse to acknowledge their Maker are without excuse.
For Christians, the most important concern is that of sharing with others the good news about the Creator who came to Earth to redeem His creation from the Curse of sin.
Finally, a proper and balanced perspective on caring for the Earth and its inhabitants comes not from merely promoting “environmental awareness” but is only found within the Biblical framework, i.e. recognizing humans were created by a loving God and given the responsibility to rule over, subdue, and care for the rest of the Creation, once “very good,” but now suffering from the curse of sin.
We need to beware of the tendency to worship and serve created things, as can happen with some “Earth Day” activities. Instead we should give glory and honor to the Creator and return to the authority of His Word.
For additional articles on Christians and conservation, please visit Q&A: Environmentalism.
Help keep these daily articles coming. Support AiG.
Discover how compromise starting in Genesis has filtered down from Christian seminaries and colleges to pastors—and finally to parents and their children. This erosive legacy is seen in generations of young people leaving the church—two-thirds of them. Get the facts, discover God’s truth, and help bring a new reformation to churches and families by helping to call them back to the authority of God’s Word.
Answers magazine is the Bible-affirming, creation-based magazine from Answers in Genesis. In it you will find fascinating content and stunning photographs that present creation and worldview articles along with relevant cultural topics. Each quarterly issue includes a detachable chart, a pullout children’s magazine, a unique animal highlight, excellent layman and semi-technical articles, plus bonus content. Why wait? Subscribe today and get a FREE DVD download!