What is man’s responsibility to the environment?
The question of how “environmentally concerned” a Christian should be has become very popular during recent years. In order to understand our responsibility, it is important to comprehend the original relationship between man and nature.
Genesis 1:26-28 tells us that God created man and woman in His image and gave them dominion over all the earth. This included all the animals that God had created as well as the entire earth. God also charged their descendants with the care for all the earth (Gen. 1:28).
Even after the curse, God never withdrew this responsibility. We must care for the world that God has given to us.
Although Scriptures are in general agreement with many of the ecology groups that man is responsible for his environment, Christians may disagree with them on the question of why the environment is important and how it should be maintained.
For instance, many people in the ecology movement would say that cleaning up the environment is important because the future of mankind is endangered. They point to issues like the ozone depletion and global warming to support their claims (points which many believe are highly suspect).
However, the Bible is clear that the existence of the human race is not in jeopardy. God is in control of our destiny. He has planned the future for mankind. The Bible tells us that the earth will someday be restored by Christ (Rom. 8:21), and ultimately God will destroy it by fire, replacing it with a new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:10).
The Bible is very specific about the fact that the restoration and ultimate destruction of the earth is God's working and is not related to man's “fine-tuning” of the environment.
Another reason that some people support ecology issues is that they seem to view nature as a form of God; their care for the planet is a type of worship. The “New Age” religion emphasizes ecology and “oneness”...