The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness. Psalm 24:1
God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. Genesis 1:31
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. Genesis 2:15

Earth is specifically mentioned over 1,000 times in the Bible, and there are numerous other references to its divinely created natural resources and mankind’s stewardship of them. The Bible is clear that Earth belongs to God and not to us.

Unfortunately, despite our sacred trust and God’s call for us to be good stewards, we have not managed those resources well. The Apostle Paul spoke of Earth’s “bondage to decay” and “groaning in travail” even in the first century (Romans 8:21-22). What would he think of it today and how we have polluted its air and water and land?

Sobering statistics

As Americans, we have 5% of the world’s population but use 25% of its oil, 33% of its paper, 23% of its coal, and 27% of its aluminum.

We use twice as much fossil fuel per capita as Europe or Japan.

The world’s population of over 6 billion is rapidly depleting natural resources. If everyone consumed at the rate of the average American, it would require at least four more worlds to sustain them.

Plant and animal species are disappearing at the fastest rate in all of human history.

A radical shift

For centuries, the biblical command to “have dominion” (Genesis 1:28) over the Earth was seen as divine endorsement of environmental exploitation. But a radical shift has occurred, and most people of faith now support efforts to be good stewards of natural resources.

For example, Sierra Club has issued an eye-opening report titled “Faith in Action: Communities of Faith Bring Hope for the Planet,” which highlights faith-based environmental initiatives in all 50 states—“spiritually motivated grassroots efforts to protect the planet.” One particular line fairly leaps off the page: “Lasting social change rarely takes place without the active engagement of communities of faith.”

“Creation Care” has become the rallying cry of Christians and other religious people who are concerned about the Earth. In the past few years, the United States has witnessed an explosion of environmental activity at the grassroots level involving families, churches, and communities.

“Though religions are sometimes scorned for dividing people and illuminating differences,” noted Henry G. Brinton, “the unifying goal of preserving the planet could do just the opposite: bring people of (various) faiths together.”

Healing the earth

As Richard Keller has written: “God has given us an amazing creation. We need to be more aware of that creation and thank God for His goodness. He has entrusted us to be good stewards of that creation. Every time we turn our heat down in winter or up in summer, it is an act of faith. When we combine trips or use public transit, it is an act of faith. Every time we plant a tree or recycle, we praise our Creator and make the world better for our fellow man. We have the ability to make the world better for ourselves, our neighbors, and for future generations. Let us show our faith in God by preserving His creation. With God’s help, we can heal the Earth.”

In 25 words

Christians care too! Saving Earth and its natural resources—conserving, recycling, planting trees, digging wells, clean energy alternatives, improving the quality of life for all.