Churches should declare positive statements and flinch programs with an aim of sensitizing their members and the public the importance of preventing and restoring the environment (Stivers, Gudorf & Martin-Schramm, 2012). For instance the church should start learning programs and advocate for a pollution free environments. Since Christians have learnt to associate themselves with God from the scriptures and it is evident that God created man therefore Christians should take it personal to collaborate with God in taking care of what God initiated. The world is full of ignorance and people think that since everything is running normally their actions do not affect the environment at all. However, the effects of environmental degradation are gradual and takes time before their effects are felt. You may be lucky to have a normal life but the next generation may be affected by the kind of life you used to life ten or twenty years ago.
Having programs where congregation undergoes training and learn sustainable environmental practices is a recommendable step towards achieving healthy environment. Every achievement has its own starting point. When a congregation gather they expect to learn from the religious books and acquire skills helpful in their lives. Nevertheless, why not introduce learning sessions for Christians to learn the best practices of preserving and restoring their environment. Such classes will put a mark to the society for the rest to learn. At times, all what is required is someone to initiate something and other people follow. In fact, in some church they have set aside a day to learn and celebrate their environment. The environment stewards should take such opportunities to teach Christians environmental friendly practices such as recycling and celebrate environment heroes who work tirelessly to ensure that the world we live today is free from pollution.
Again coming up with plans where Christians visit the society and educate people the importance of having a clean and favorable environment would have a great impact. Such activities ensure that the public is well enlightened and contributes to the wellbeing of their environment. Some people are not aware that God dwells in the whole universe. Earth is a small part of the universe gifted with unique features and human feels enlightened to dwell in with God just the same way the first man and woman walked with God in the cool of the day. Throughout the history, people have continued to meet the creator in vast deserts, mountaintops and alongside waterfalls among other wonderful creatures. If people can acknowledge that fact they are more than willing to retain these creatures as they are directly associated with them. As Christians, such strategies to reach the society in their area of residence and educating them how their everyday activities affect the creatures they value dearly will make some of them reconsider some of the hazardous acts affecting their environment.
They are also other activities Christians can take part in the society such as campaign for reforestation and provide farmers with seedlings. Planting of trees is one of the things environmentalist are campaigning for, as it will resolve so many issues associated with climate as well as providing human beings with a conducive environment to reside. Christians should work together with environment stewards and supplement their work by assisting people willing to make an impact in the world but have limited resources. In fact, having charity groups in churches enable everyone regardless of their financial ability to make the environment productive and healthy.
Engage in mobilizing people to use renewable sources of energy and fuel
They are so many groups campaigning against the increasing air pollution through emission of hazardous gasses in the air. However,in most cases, people will stay away from such activities claiming that they are not concerned with what is happening in the industrial environment unless it affects them directly. In fact, in somewhere residents are benefiting from the establishment of industries near their residential areas they tend to ignore any criticism unless it is directly impacting their health. However, as Christians, it is wise to take part in mobilizing people to use healthy sources of energy such as the wind and solar. This sources of energy are renewable and can readily be tapped without affecting the ecosystem. The question remains how can you advocate for use of solar energy yet in churches you are still using hydroelectric energy. Therefore, for other members of the society to embrace such practices churches should be at the forefront in tapping the wind and solar energy as people will directly learn from such practices.
Christians should mobilize the society to preserve the environment by finding other sources of energy apart from fossils. Many countries have relied on coal as their source of energy emitting large volumes of methane and carbon IV oxide that causes the greenhouse effects. The advanced effects of global warming will be climate change and skin cancer. In His creation, God ensured that man would not starve by having so many fruits in the Garden of Aden. However, change in climate patterns leads to drought and formation of acidic rain which destroys plants leaving a man with none or very little for food. Also, God did not intend to see a man suffer due to diseases but today skin cancer is one of the deadly diseases claiming lives. All this is brought by the destruction of God’s creation leaving man helpless. It is advisable for churches to invest in research, come up with better ways of using solar, and wind energy as an alternative source of fuel.
As an effective Christian leader and one who have concern for the environmental management, one need to lobby government and influence changes at both national and local levels. It is important for people to stand up for what they believe in as democracy provides such guidelines. Though Christian leaders should not get into politics in depth it is an exhortation to be involved in influencing national and local policies especially those concerned with issues affecting God’s people and His environment. People should understand that when it is not well with the environment, it would affect humanity negatively due to the dependency between nature and humanity. Humans depend on the environment for sustenance while the environment relies on humanity for protection and care. Therefore, Christian organizations and churches have the right to stand up for biblical environmental protection.
When people engage in activities aimed at protecting the environment, it pleases God since it is part of human’s mission on earth. The same way churches and religious leaders have lobbied against the inhuman acts of abortion and slave trade they should still stand up for a biblical mandate to nurture and protect nature and see that policies discussed by the government are in full support of the same. Christian’s leaders should unite the Christian fraternity, overlook their differences, and develop unity for the sake of God’s environment. By doing so they will have a firm position and any attempt to raise their voice against environmental degradation will be taken with the strength it deserves. Also, the government will listen to their advice and true environmental stewardship can start to manifest in their countries’ laws and policies.
However, not everyone will believe that humans were called to look after the creation including the environment. Some may argue that Jesus taught humans how to love their neighbors as they do to themselves (DeWitt, & Nash, 2009). It is not a propaganda because Jesus advised them to do so and Christians should take care of the needy people in the society before taking handling issues related to the environment. Some Christians who are into preservation and restoration of the environment and condemning the injustices taking place to exploit the environment negatively have been termed as environmentalists. Some have condemned Christians claiming that the world is temporary and that its elements will come to melt with fervent heat. Such claims have resulted to exhaustion of the universe and the beneficially are absolutely abusing God’s creation for their own good.
It is also relevant to point out that within the Christian loop it is believed that Christians should not have any concern for nature. The assumption is reinforced by claims that the earth and everything in it belongs to God and since God dwells there, so He will take care of them Himself. Other believe that the material world is insignificant and that Christians should focus on spiritual matters that are permanent and external, unlike nature that is ephemeral. Other think that there is nothing like environmental crisis and therefore Christians should stop campaigning against non-existing issues.
However, it is believed that Christian environmental stewardship is not only aiming at dealing with an environmental crisis but also issues of management. Some Christians and churches have placed little if any concern to educate others that the world is part of God’s creation and therefore there is need to link it with Christian theory of salvation. Some churches lack knowledge on environmental issues and fail to keep and reserve them hence the increased issues of disasters to humanity. Others believe that the world was given to them and it is theirs and they could treat it as they please. All this can be summed up as ignorance on the task God entrusted Christians to take care of nature. Therefore, Christian environmentalist being identified with pantheism can only solve all these misunderstandings.
In summary, due to the diversity of churches and the difference in which Christians embrace various parts of the scripture Christians have different opinions when it comes to environmental issues (Christianity-Ethics, 2015). Nevertheless, they should be allowed to conserve their environment by free will. Neither the churches nor their leaders should force them to protect and preserve the environment at the expense of their held life values. Mankind as a creature molded in the image and likeness of God, should not separate themselves from issues of preserving and restoring the environment. It is because safeguarding God’s creation forms a critical part of what is Christianity. In conclusion, if as Christians we were made in the likeness of God we should embrace and practice God’s teachings and by preserving nature it strengthens our relationship with God, who values nature.
Christianity - Ethics. (2015). Portal.waverley.nsw.edu.au. Retrieved 16 October 2016, from http://portal.waverley.nsw.edu.au/library/SOR/08_christianity_depth/ethics_index.html
DeWitt, C. & Nash, R. (2009). Christians and the Environment: How Should Christians Think about the Environment? - Christian Research Institute. Christian Research Institute. Retrieved 16 October 2016
Julien, S. (2012). Stewarding Creation. Thecresset.org. Retrieved 16 October 2016Top of Form
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Stivers, L. A., Gudorf, C. E., & Martin-Schramm, J. B. (2012). Christian ethics: A case method approach. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. Bottom of Form
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