Creation and Environment 3: It is Good

Posted on September 19, 2009 at 9:40 pm,

Continuing our series on reasons Christians should care about the environment.

Part 1: Environment: Who Cares?
Part 2: Environment: Who Owns it?

One thing that the Bible teaches again and again about creation is that it is good. God said that every part of it was good when He was creating it in Genesis chapter 1, the Psalms are full of verses about nature, and God spends several chapters at the end of Job describing how awesome creation is.

This is something that everyone, not just Christians, can agree with. We’ve all seen pretty flowers, amazing sunrises and sunsets, spectacular mountains, impressive animals, vast oceans, and the like (if you haven’t seen them in person, then you’ve probably still seen them on TV). Such things are self-evidently good. If you can’t see that, then you urgently need to see a psychiatrist.

So, having established that the environment is good, what does that mean for our attitudes towards it?

The first thing it means, is that we can enjoy it. Although I live in a city and work in an office, I can still admire what plant and animal life there is, as well as the skies above me. I can still find ways to get out into the countryside every so often, and I love seeing lots of it every time I take a train journey. Also I can – and always do – praise God for it, ensuring that my enjoyment does not turn into idolatry.

The second thing it means is that it is worth protecting. If you have something good, you don’t want to let it be damaged, because you want it to remain good. Applying this to the environment, by living a consumerist lifestyle we damage it unnecessarily.

Thirdly, the reason that God made creation good was to display His glory. The fact that creation is good shows us something of what God is like. By damaging the environment, we obscure some aspects of God’s character. We make it more difficult to understand what God is like – both for ourselves and for others.

For all these reasons, Christians should choose to live in environmentally sustainable ways whenever they have the option. Not out of a sense of obligation, but instead out of a desire to continue to enjoy things that God has made to be good.

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