Summary: Should Christians be Tree Huggers?
The Bible teaches and we believe the eschatological account to be true for the end of time, as we know it. That truth is that when Jesus Christ returns as the Lion of Judah, King of Kings and Lord of Lords- this world will be destroyed. Jesus told His disciples about that day of His return in Luke 17:29 but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
Luke 17:30 "It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. The apostle Peter gives us this account 2 Pet 3:7 But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
My question for the church today based on the fact that we believe Jesus is going to return some day and hopefully soon is; Do we have a responsibility brothers and sisters to care for and preserve the world we live in? Should we be environmentalists? How far do we go to preserve the environment? Do we need to be tree huggers?
We do not hear many sermons on the environment in our churches. Maybe, those of us who preach are so far removed from the world we live in having attained such a high spiritual maturity that we concern ourselves only with things above. Have we come to a point that we have so endorsed the fact that this place is not our home; we are only pilgrims on a sojourn, just passing through that we can ignore our stewardship of what the Lord has made? Perhaps, there is a lack of preaching/teaching on the environment because there are more pressing issues on the minds of our preachers about the spiritual condition of the people in their churches or they have deferred the environmental issues to the polemic New Age tree huggers and pantheists.
One does not need extensive scientific training to realize that the earth and its resources are finite. The United States continues to have problems in many states with ample water supplies, with availability of water that is not contaminated and suitable for consumption. Air quality issues continue to plague America as deaths from Asthma alone increased more than 45% in the ten-year period between 1985 and 1995 (Stassen and Gushee 431). Recent studies have linked outdoor air pollution to birth defects, low birth weight, premature births, stillbirths, and infant deaths (Bedy online). Fossil fuels that generate the power for much of our electricity and automobiles will be depleted by 2029. Other issues deal with the carrying capacity of the earth, which deals with her ability to supply the necessary food and absorb the waste generated as the population continues to increase geometrically.
We find God’s earth and ourselves in the shape it is currently in because God’s perfect order in God’s perfect creation was not exempt from the consequences of man’s sin. Christian’s need to understand that the whole creation groans as it waits for the sons of God to be revealed so that it can be set free from the bondage of its decay (Rom. 8:19-22). Ethically Christians must search for the Biblical truth about the Creator, His creation and principles so they can take seriously their time on this earth as a steward and not simply as a consumer (Evangelical Environmental online 2).