Christian Environmentalists: Part III The Connection
As discussed in Parts I and II, Christians interpret their relationship with the environment differently. Christians who are environmentalists recognize that through a connection with Christ, humans and the environment will obtain deliverance.
In the Old Testament, Adam and Eve failed to obey God and fell from grace. God was no longer going to provide them with their basic needs, but instead made them responsible for the environment within which they were living.
[C]ursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt though eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return (Genesis 3:17-19).
After the Fall, God’s Creation changed from the all-providing Garden of Eden, to the environment we see today. We struggle to bring forth the fruit, which was previously just provided. However, fallible humans were given a second change through Jesus’ death and resurrection. We were given an opportunity to live as God intended. According to Paul:
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).
Similar to humans, although the Creation has suffered the consequences of human sin, it will also enjoy the fruits of human deliverance. In the “new earth” described in Revelations, the Tree of Life from Genesis appears again (Revelations 22:2). The reversal of the conditions of the Fall is a return to the Garden of Eden.
When someone realizes the connection between Jesus and Creation, they strive not only to protect the environment but to better it as they better their own souls. Groups such as the Evangelical Environmental Network and Interfaith Power and Light realize this connection and are working to restore the earth.
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