Earth Day and Faith
Today, April 22 is Earth day. It is a day dedicated to increasing awareness of all types of issues related to our environment. While the original founder of this “awareness holiday” was not a Christian, many of the ideas being promoted do align with mandates within the faith
As Christians, we are called to be stewards of the Earth. Right from the very beginning in Genesis 2:15 the Bible says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” And in Psalms 24:1 “The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.”
Since the entirety of the Earth is God’s, we are called to be good stewards of it, taking care of it, and preserving it. In Matthew 5:13, Jesus tells us that we, as Christians, are to be the salt of the earth. Although Jesus is teaching a theological lesson with this statement, it has environmental implications as well. Salt served as a key component in ancient fertilizers used in the soil, and it serves as a key nutrient in the fertility of soil today. Without that key ingredient, the fruits – both spiritual and physical – would be much more sparse.
HOW WAS EARTH DAY FORMED?
A common fear when speaking about history is that if we don’t take time to remember, we forget and repeat past mistakes.
The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.
Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land. April 22, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected as the date. – Read More…
ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS CURRENTLY IN THE NEWS
There have undoubtedly been many benefits created by putting in place environmental protection mechanisms that hold people personally responsible for egregious violations against our planet and public safety.
One has to look no further than the Flint Michigan crisis in which water contaminated with lead was knowingly allowed to exist in tap water that people used for bathing and drinking.
We now know that officials with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality decided not to use federally mandated corrosion control in Flint’s water, leading to corroded pipes that leached lead and other toxins into the water.
The crisis has deprived Flint of safe drinking water for two years. Some residents have suffered the effects of lead poisoning. Twelve people died of the water-borne Legionnaires’ disease, which investigators suspect was caused by a lack of corrosion control. Read More…
It is unfortunate that in these days, many environmental issues have political agendas tied to them. But as one evangelical put it in the article entitled, “A Biblical Perspective on Environmental Stewardship”:
We believe sound environmental stewardship celebrates and promotes human life, freedom, and economic development as compatible with, even essential for, the good of the whole environment.