Christians And Environmentalism
Updated: Mar 15, 2018
In discussing a Christian’s biblical view of the environment and what is today called environmentalism, two sets of verses are most relevant. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1: 26 [ESV] Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?... Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Matthew 7: 15, 16, 20 [ESV] As stewards of God’s creation, Christians have to be concerned that we are managing what God created for His glory. If we are destroying what we were blessed with or using it for selfish purposes (which would include leaving it in worse shape to future generations), this would be contrary to what we are taught in the scriptures. But Christians today have a hard time aligning themselves with the so called environmentalists and their main movements. The reason is simple. As I outline in my book, Clear Vision: How The Bible Teaches Us To View The World, the Bible instructs Christians that we are to be rational people who look at the facts rather than basing decisions only on our emotions. Specifically, Jesus tells us to “beware of false prophets”. There are a couple of reasons He provides us with this guideline. First, the Bible teaches us that we are susceptible to falling prey to people who play on our emotions by telling us just what we want to hear. Too often we make up our mind and refuse to see evidence to the contrary. If we want to be good environmental stewards (and secretly feel as though we are doing a better job of it than others), we may want to hear just what the environmentalists are saying. But what if much of what they are saying isn’t coming true? The second reason Jesus warns us to avoid false prophets is so that we aren’t taken advantage of by con artists who have ulterior motives. As He puts it, we are to be wary of people who make (repeatedly) false predictions because they might be wolves in sheep’s clothing. We must manage and take care of the earth. God has given us that specific assignment. Environmentalists, however, have a very poor track record when it comes to their predictions. They have predicted that the world would overpopulate, run out of food and see the price of precious metals skyrocket (for information on this read the book The Bet by Paul Sabin), yet none of those things happened. They have also predicted that pollution would worsen (though it was improving), that oil would run out (though there are more known oil reserves now than ever) and that global temperatures would rise much faster than they actually are (for information on all these topics and many more, visit the website http://www.lomborg.com/). In other words, they are the classic false prophets. Their repeated false predictions should make us question whether they are indeed wolves in sheep’s clothing who have more motives than meet the eye. Whether it is unpopular laws governing the environment they are trying to get enacted or just the simple fact that they want us worship “Mother Nature” as opposed to worshipping the one true God, Christians must, if we take Christ’s warning seriously, be very aware and skeptical of the modern environmental movement. Having said that, though, we must always be good residents and good managers of the earth and the resources contained therein which God has blessed us with. Andy’s book, Clear Vision: How The Bible Teaches Us To View The World, can be purchased here.