Portraits of Resilience

Climate Change from a Christian's Perspective

What does the Bible tell us about our environment? “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been stated by scientists that earth does not belong to man, but rather, man belongs to earth. According to them, man is a part of the web of life and is a part of his environment. This cannot be true, because if man is only a part of the web of life, then he has no responsibility for looking after it, nor is he responsible for the problems on earth, like climate change. But if the earth belongs to man, then man is ultimately responsible for what he does with the earth.

What does the Bible tell us about our environment? Genesis 1:28 says, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” We have clearly been given the charge of taking dominion of our environment. We are free to do with it as we please. But with the task of possessing our environment also comes a responsibility. Galatians 6:7 states that a man reaps what he sows. If we are going to abuse the world around us, then we will suffer the consequences
of our greedy actions.

Have we already taken this planet down the path to destruction? Genesis 8:22, 9:11 says, “As long as the earth endures seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease....” God is certainly mindful of what man is doing to this earth and he will act at theappropriate time and in the appropriate manner in order to keep his promise. Psalm 46:2-3 also has a hope-inspiring promise for us: “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

So what is our responsibility in this present day and age? What are we to do about climate change? Since we cannot wind back time to repair the damage, we must take a different approach to the issue of climate change. This approach is to reach out to those who have been affected. To do whatever we can to ease the burdens that they bear. Many of them are so poor that they need outside help and assistance to be able to survive.

The question that now faces us is not “How can we wind back time to mend what our fathers did?” but is instead, “How can we help those who have been affected by the changes in the climate?”

— Andrew Sheehy

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