Christians and the Environment

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God has clearly placed humans in a position of responsibility over the creation. (1) Genesis 2:15 says “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”(2) We recognize that all created things belong to God (3) and that we are accountable to Him as stewards of the creation. God commissions us to rule over the creation in a way that sustains, protects, and enhances his works so that all creation may fulfill the purposes God intended for it. We must manage the environment not simply for our own benefit but for God′s glory.

Some may argue that humans are more important than the rest of the creation, so we should focus our efforts on meeting the needs of people rather than addressing environmental issues. However, many of our environmental problems negatively impact people. If we fail to care for the environment in which we live, God′s people will suffer as a result. Caring for the non-human parts of the creation and preserving the intricate interactions among them is an important part of seeking justice for God′s people.

Others may argue that protecting the environment is unimportant in comparison to other God-given tasks such as sharing the gospel. But God is concerned with the physical world as well as the spiritual world, and restoration of the creation is part of the good news of Chris. (4) We are not to neglect the task of sharing the good news of Christ′s redeeming work in our lives, but neither should we neglect the work of “tending the garden.” Caring for God′s creation is part of our service to God and an integral part of our role as servant leaders in God′s kingdom.  

There are numerous things we can do in our everyday lives that help protect God′s creation, such as conserving energy and reducing waste. These in no way interfere with our witness to unbelievers. Rather, they enhance our witness as others see us put our faith into action. Our concern for the environment may open up opportunities to share with unbelievers that our service to the creation overflows from our love for God, the creator.

We worship God the Creator more fully as we see His glory in his creation and as we participate in His work of sustaining and restoring proper relationships within the creation.


  1. Genesis 1:25-28
    “God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.′ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.′"
    Psalm 8:3-8
    “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
    what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
    You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
    You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
    all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
    the birds of the air, and the fish if the sea, all that swim in the paths of the seas.”
  2. The Hebrew words translated “work” and “take care of” in Genesis 2:15 may also be translated “serve” and “preserve.”
  3. Psalm 24:1-2
    “The earth is the Lord′s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.”
    Leviticus 25:23-24
    “The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.”
  4. Romans 8:22-23
    "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies."
    Colossians 1:19-20
    “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [Christ] and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood shed on the cross.”