Last Thursday at Bible Sunday we examined the Bible to see if Rick Santorum’s assessment of President Obama’ environmental policy was correct based on scripture. Is the principle to conserve the earth’s ecosystem and environment phony theology? Or should we simply see the earth’s resources as something which only serves us and continually be at our disposal to be exploited as often as we like? Rick Santorum believes the earth is here to serve us and we should not serve it.
The Bible teaches me that the earth is here to serve the Lord Psalms 24:1 says the “The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein”
Now the animals, fish and all the earth glorify God by serving or being subject to us, but the chief aim of everything God created is to glorify God, and we do this by praising Him obeying Him, and serving others.
One verse which many use to quote the earth being simply at our disposal is found in Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “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.”
Some take the word dominion and take that to mean whatever you want to do you can do it in regard to the earth. This is a fallacy. Dominion here means to have authority over and be responsible for the earth. It does not mean do whatever you want, however to this precious planet. Dominion does not give us a license or validation from God to exploit and pillage the earth .But as one who has dominion you are and will be held responsible for the earth and the allocation of its resources.
Lastly, as it relates to this scripture when God says subdue the earth, God is not encouraging us to reduce it. Subdue does not mean subtract. Essentially, anytime a species becomes extinct or a resource depleted, or a rain forest destroyed we have subtracted and not subdued. Subdue means to cultivate the land make it useful for growth not a harbor of death and destruction.
Jeremiah 2:7 says, “And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.”
Oh my, if any scripture can be said to reflect the current state of our relationship to our environment it is this one. God has given us a land of plenty. Everything we have need of is on this earth. God wants us to partake of it. However, we have taken this great and plentiful land and defiled it. How have we done such an awful deed? By polluting it over and over again.
It is coming to the point now where people do not drink water from the fountain nor from their homes anymore, because it has gotten so polluted the taste is not pleasing. Therefore people buy bottled water. Air quality has gotten so bad in the home that people have begun to buy air purifiers. Just recently, in Mobile we had massive rain and you could see garbage floating on the rivers. More children are born with asthma now and scientist attribute this to particles being in the air. We are destroying the earth’s national rain forest at a rapid pace, and the ice is melting in the Artics. People are literally seeing their water catch fire in the United States because of fracking mining. What are we doing? We are defiling the land and scripture says in Jeremiah 2:7 “made mine heritage an abomination” We committ pollution we are making this beautiful blessing called earth an abomination. This is a terrible thing to do. Some Christians love to speak on sexual abominations but lets not leave out environmental ones as well. For both are equally as detestable in God’s sight. So lets have the same Christian activism promoting environmental conservation as we do for preventing social issues.
Now after reviewing these scriptures it is safe to say that wanting to conserve, and protect our environment is not some “phoney theology” As Rick Santorum would have you believe. It is however an orthodox or “right theology.”
Next Bible Study we will be discussing comments made by Rev. Franklin Graham as we discover from studying the Bible what issues should be of importance to Christians as we head into election system.