I’ve been reading and participating in some environmental discussions on two very different forums the past couple of weeks: one forum is for Christian youth ministers and the other is for feminists. These are both communities I’ve been part of for the past few years, communities I’m comfortable in and enjoy.
The way the discussions went (very differently) on each forum didn’t surprise me, but it was a friend on the feminist board (not a Christian, doesn’t even believe in God that I can tell)who said:
If a person is religious, why would they not want to care for the environment that god gave them dominion over? It seems very disrespectful for humans to destroy a gift that god bestowed upon them. Some have made an argument somewhere along the lines of “god will take care of the environment” or “the world will only end when god wants it to, not because I don’t recycle”.
I’d been thinking about this same question for about a week prior to C asking it on FI. I know when I get a gift from someone I love, who loves me in return, that I try to take care of it to the best of my abilities. Yet I’ve done my part in trashing the earth God created. Why?
I think the answer for many (most) people is priorities. Or fear. Misunderstanding, maybe. Or apathy. I don’t want to say I’ve been exactly apathetic in the past, but my priorities haven’t exactly been those of someone who takes care of the world around her.
My faith has always been a priority, and because of this, so has stewardship, to some extent, even if very small. About a year and a half ago, I was finishing up my BA and taking a class on geopolitics. The class was immensely boring, but I learned a lot, and had really started to get interested in soy beans. I did two papers on how using more soy could benefit the enviroment and humanity. For instance, the amount of land used to raise a herd of cattle, if converted to raising soybeans, would use less resources and produce more protein per acre than the cattle. True story. More protein means more people (especially the poor) could be fed.
This is where my faith and the environment collided. I didn’t do anything but think about what I’d learned, but it was always at the back of my mind.
More later, but think about this: if you are a person of faith, why are you afraid of taking care of this world God has given us? Isn’t stewardship about using our resources wisely – all of them?