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Posts Tagged ‘environmentalism’

Stewardship: God – Man – Earth *

Why are people so afraid about the end of the world? Well, it’s a matter of belief.

If we believe that our actions are the only determiner of the end (or saving) of the world, we will be crushed by the fearful responsibility. If we understand that the God who created the world also is in charge of its future, however, a whole different perspective resides in our minds and hearts.

When we take the teachings of the Bible seriously, we arrive at this worldview about the relationship of God, Man, and the Earth:

Stewardship Dominion 1

God is Creator and ruling King over all; mankind, made in His image, is created in a symbiotic relationship with earth, and given the charge to rule and cultivate it.

On the other hand, if we take a God-denying posture and believe that the physical universe is all there is, and that we somehow showed up as an evolved being with no special identity or place, then we’ll typically end up where many extreme-environmentalists go:

Stewardship Dominion 2

In this perspective, man is subordinate to the earth and the universe, and any stewardship is based on the idea of preserving the environment for future generations (surely not a bad motive, though incomplete).

This latter worldview is a pretty fearful place to live, actually. If you think it through, we, as a race, ultimately have no purpose (though our hearts tell us otherwise). As individuals, we are temporary specks without meaning or eternal identity (though our hearts tell us otherwise). And we’re told that we’re supposed to be subordinate to an environmental system and not disturb it (though our hearts, our behaviors, and our history show otherwise).

And, we are susceptible to all sorts of apocalyptic doomsday pronouncements about climate change, overpopulation, fossil fuels, and the like – because the earth is all we have and we’re screwing it up. We will be biased toward fear-doom because we do not see and embrace the God who over-rules all things. The God who understood perfectly well the man-earth dynamic when He created them together.

What we believe totally shapes our attitudes and our actions. God-denial leaves us empty and fearful, trying to rationalize a worldview that militates against our God-given instinct and conscience. A right posture of worship and obedience, however, grants us confidence tempered with realism – God is ultimately in charge, but we have a charge from Him to fulfill. And He is a profoundly generous, benevolent, and abundant King – an involved Ruler – which is the theme we’ll explore next week.

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* This brief devotional is part of a 12-week study on the topic: Being Stewards of God <— (outline). We’re on week 2, discussing the relationship of man to his planet. If you’d like to receive these posts in your inbox, just put your email address in the Email Subscription box up there on the right sidebar >

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