“For God so loved the kosmos (Greek for: the world, the universe), that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the kosmos to condemn the kosmos, but in order that the kosmos might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17
People become environmentalists for many different reasons: humanitarian, economic, political, aesthetic, trying to impress a cute hippie-girl. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with any of these reasons, in the Christian worldview our primary motivation should come from the Biblical text, which teaches that we are to care for and tend to the earth.
In fact, the first commandment that God gives us is to care for, tend to, and become co-creators, or co-labourers in creation. If Christians took this seriously, it would compel the church to be at the forefront of environmental stewardship.
This theme of caring for and tending to the earth continues as a sub-theme through the entirety of Scripture cumulating in the restoration and redemption of all things. Clearly, creation care is something the church needs to take seriously.
As part of a larger community of outdoor-loving, snow-chasing, mountain-living people, local SFC communities would do well to think through their own participation in caring for our blue and snowy planet.
7 Power Words of Creation Care
Rethink your theology of creation. There is an errant Christian belief that takes humankind out of creation and puts humankind over creation and then says that we can do whatever we want to that creation. Simply, this is not a biblical view of creation.
Repent of your part in creation degradation. Jesus’ first sermon in the Gospel of Matthew is “Repent,” or, quite literally – “change!” Changing our day-to-day actions go a long way in creation care.
Reduce needless consumption by simply choosing not to purchase the latest and the greatest, especially when what you already have will do. For example, most of last year’s shred gear will still work this year. Other practical considerations might include carpooling to the hill, unplugging phone charger & appliances when not in use, or throwing on an extra layer instead of cranking up the heat in your house.
Reuse your old stuff. A simple example is to resole your old shoes instead of throwing them out. Get in the practice of bringing a reusable mug with you to the coffee shop. Strange as it may seem, figuring out how to repurpose or reuse something is part of our spiritual journey.
Recycle. For many, recycling is the gateway into environmental stewardship. This is great, but recycling actually ranks lowest in the hierarchy of creation care practices. If you cannot reduce and if you cannot reuse, at least recycle.
Restore natural spaces and habitat; advocate for all creation. When we do this we are participating in what God is already up to and we will grow in our relationship with the mountains, their wild inhabitants, and become more like Jesus – our Great Advocator.
Rejoice and enjoy creation. Go for a hike, get up skiing, or head to a local lake to swim and be surrounded by the handiwork of the Creator.
Which of the 7 R’s do you most resonate with?
How can your local SFC chapter get hands-on involved with creation care?
Who are the local organizations in your area already engaged in environmental advocacy? Can you partner with them?
What simple steps can each person commit to changing at home in order to be better environmental stewards?
By Jer Postal | Whistler, Canada