Jesus taught that a common sparrow – just one of millions – does not escape God’s attention. In addition, he emphasized that a single human is of greater value still. (Luke 12:6-7,24; Matthew 12:11-12) Jesus exalted people, never lowering them to the level of animals. So Christians love nature and yet, unlike many eastern religions, they would never allow unchecked rat plagues to cause human starvation and spread disease. Jesus brings things into perfect balance.
A heightened appreciation of nature is a common bi-product of Christian conversion. Christians delight in nature because it is the handiwork of the God they adore. The loss of a single species is the loss of a unique manifestation of God’s creative genius.
I’ve seen childish scribble displayed in the work places of proud parents. Love turned into a treasured work of art, scrawls that most people would trash. Nature undergoes a similar upgrade when seen through the eyes of Christians who love the One who made nature.
Non-Christian religions are so little understood in the Western world that it is not commonly realized that in stark contrast to Christianity many religions teach that everything physical is an illusion, and others claim that everything physical is evil. And, of course, atheists see nature as the product of mindless chance. Why go to pains to preserve an accident or an illusion or something evil? And godless philosophy teaches that advance comes through survival of the fittest (ie the extinction of the less fit). If for millions of years so much good has come from mere chance and from the strong displacing the weak, why suddenly change the rules?
Environmental protection makes so much sense that many non-Christians leap on board without even noticing that it clashes with their basic beliefs. Christianity, however, has these beliefs at its heart. Followers of Jesus reject greed and the ‘might is right’ mentality. They stress the protection of the weaker and the defenseless, and they exalt the physical realm, insisting that it is good and that nature is as much a work of God as our own souls. The Bible opens with God giving humanity the responsibility to look after nature. (Genesis 2:15) And it indicates that nature is so important that the final result of the death Jesus suffered will not only be the salvation of every person who will accept it, but the restoration of nature. (Romans 8:19-23)
Environmental and humanitarian issues show Christian beliefs fitting reality so well that even non-Christians often end up contradicting their own basic beliefs and acting as if they believe Christianity is right.
For the spiritual side of ecological problems, continue OR Return to Contents
Our crime rate and our ecological crisis are different manifestations of the same problem.
Humanity, being in conflict with the Creator, is in conflict with the Creator’s work – nature. Humanity’s rejection of God has rendered nature our rival instead of a faithful servant.
In his human perfection Jesus displayed authority over nature. He rode an unbroken donkey, calmed a storm, made a fig tree wither up, commanded miraculous catches of fish, etc. (Matthew 8:23-27; 17:27; 21:19-21; Luke 5:4-9; 19:30,35; John 21:5-6) He ruled by command, not harshness. By this, Christ demonstrated the way in which humanity should have ruled everything on earth. (Hebrews 2:8-9)
Humanity’s delegated authority over nature hinged on humanity’s submission to God, the ultimate authority. If humanity had obeyed God, nature would have obeyed humanity. To understand the tragedy, consider the power of a policeman. While he is submitted to his superiors, people obey him. But if he rebelled he would be ejected from the police force and people would then ignore his orders. To make people obey he would have to resort to violence. From that fateful day when Adam severed humanity’s holy link with Creator God, he and his descendants – like the disgraced policeman in our illustration – could only rule by violence. People kill grubs, flies, weeds and so on. Like an abused child, nature writhes in agony at the hands of its sinful overlords. If its oppressors are out of control, little wonder that nature is often out of control.
Although individuals can, through Christ, restore the shattered union with the Lord of creation, God in his loving patience still allows people to reject him and so nature’s woes continue. This will end when Christ returns, abolishes all evil, and renews nature (our own bodies included). Then unhappiness will vanish, along with everyone opposed to Christ’s rule. (Romans 8:18-23; 2 Peter 3:9-13)
That anyone could do this seems incredible until we discover the real identity of the person whose arrival on our planet split earth’s calendars in two. Though renowned for his humility, he professed to be humanity’s only hope. His outrageous claims incited thousands. And he backed his words by returning bodily from the dead.
This matter is too vital to let someone else do your thinking. Examine Jesus’ inexplicably perfect life and see if you don’t conclude he is the eternal Son of God through whom and for whom all creation was originally made. (Colossians 1:16-17)
17. Christians are bigoted, racist, sexist and homophobic
18. Religion has sparked wars and exploitation
19. Christians have a low and negative view of humanity
20. What about all those who have never heard of Jesus?
21. It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere