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Protecting God’s Creation

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sfcdechenne
Words 2003
Pages 9
Protecting God’s Creation
Liberty University
Interdisciplinary Studies
APA

Introduction
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, NIV). The first verse of the Bible clearly states the earth and all of its inhabitants are God’s creation; therefore we are merely tenants of what is rightfully His. God has created mankind above all else and entrusted us with ruling over the land, seas, and skies, while caring for all living things. To understand our roles, we must understand the inherent responsibility of a ruler and a tenant. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (2014) defines a Ruler as someone responsible for commanding a certain area, group, or people; and a Tenant as “one who has the occupation or temporary possession of lands or tenements of another.” Not unlike a landlord as we know them today, if we fail to care for the property and lives God has entrusted us to keep, we will likely face permeant eviction.

As Christians we should pride ourselves in caring for God’s creation, using each and every resource wisely, and not to meaninglessly waste, kill, poison, and destroy. Over the course of our existence, we have prospered from every intricate detail God has bestowed, and often times we have abused His generosity and trust; vulgarly displayed by Adam and Eve. In the book of Genesis (2:15, NIV) it states “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” God’s intent has remained the same as He wishes for us all to be stewards of His creation. Therefore Christians have a responsibility to preserve and restore the Earth, by reducing water usage and waste, proactively fighting against global warming, and protecting all of the earth’s inhabitants.

Reducing Water Usage and Waste
Water is the lifeblood of all mankind and without a clean and abundant supply we cannot sustain any form of life. Water usage and sanitation has been a topic of debate amongst world leaders for many years. The G8 summit is an annual conference comprised of the world’s eight most powerful leaders and is designed to identify and resolve global problems. Water sanitation, accessibility, and preservation, has been at the forefront of the G8 summit each year for over the last decade. During the 2008 G8 summit “The Water Aid report claimed that 40% of the world’s population lack access to basic sanitation” and argues that this “may be the biggest killer of children under the age of 5” (Watts, 2008, p. 15). Despite this report the G8 summit has yet to devise any form of soluble plan to combat future devastation.

In the United States alone “The average American’s lifestyle requires 2,000 gallons [of freshwater] a day” (National Geographic Society, 2014), which is twice the global average. This estimate includes intentional usage, such as bathing, drinking, eating, cleaning, and residential maintenance; however, it does not account for waste that stems from poor plumbing, excessive use, and blatant negligence. While 40% of the world struggles to even obtain water, most surviving on three gallons or less per day, the United States is literally flushing clean water down the toilet.

More than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, of which 96% is oceanic and non-potable. Less than 4% of water found on earth is potable yet, there is currently an estimated 7.168 billion people who currently inhabit the earth (United States Census Bureau, 2014). Scientists from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) published data suggesting only 2.5% is freshwater, and approximately 1.2%, of the 2.5% of all freshwater, is actually available on the surface and capable of sustaining people, plants, and animals. Further, the research shows 20.9% of the available freshwater is found in lakes, 0.49% is found in rivers, and the remaining fresh water is frozen glaciers or in the ground (Perlman, 2014).

Some people argue that water is a renewable resource and can be reused, but the sheer complexity of this process diminishes any likelihood of this being a feasible solution in the near future. Approximately the same amount of water exists on the earth today as there was when the God created the earth; however, the percentage of clean, potable water has decreased from contamination and pollution. As our water supply diminishes, it is not replenished, and this will inevitably lead to a water shortage in the future.

The Fight Against Global Warming Global warming, suitably named, is the increase in temperatures around the Earth. The scientific community has concluded “There's a better than 90% probability that human-produced greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, have caused much of the observed increase in Earth's temperatures over the past 50 years” (Earth Science Communications Team, NASA, 2014). Global warming is directly linked to the recent increase of catastrophic storms and natural disasters around the globe. Over the past 30 years, the same timeframe scientist have deemed to be have the greatest impact from global warming, we have also seen a tremendous influx in storm activity and strength. This in turn suggests global warming is responsible for the increased number deaths and injuries caused by heatwaves, floods, storms, and droughts. As the earth’s temperature continues to rise, and global warming progresses, many plants, animals, and humans, will no longer thrive in their current habitats. Intensive research is being conducted in order to identify all the contributing factors to global warming, as well as feasible solutions. The use of fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas, coupled with deforestation and pollution are currently the leading causes. “In the past decade, we have seen the warmest years on record and this trend is not changing. Over 400,000 square miles of sea ice have melted over the past 30 years. The disappearance of the polar ice caps in turn speeds up global warming, because the ice no longer reflects the sun’s energy” (PeaceJam Foundation, n.d.). There are many global warming conspiracy theories that people have conjured up over the years. Some argue that corporate conglomerates are capitalizing on solar energy, while others state it’s a hoax concocted by politicians in order to control the people. These theories would suggest that the entire scientific community has been coerced to corroborate their data in order to participate in some form of scandal or hoax. Further, most people, regardless of background, credentials, or experience, would agree that the earth is getting hotter and the catastrophic activity has increased over the past three decades. Bottom line, we must implement measures that will prolong our existence. “We are living on borrowed time, and tragically, we are borrowing the time from coming generations” (Nebel & Wright, 1993, p. 552).; from God’s unborn children.

Protecting All of God’s Creatures Over the course of our history mankind has destroyed countless lands and habitats in order to expand our own civilizations. We have hunted God’s creatures to or near extinction in the name of food, fur, and sport. It may seem as though we are prospering from our current ways; however, continuation of habitat destruction and overharvesting resources is placing a strain upon our environment that will, in time, prove detrimental to our very existence. Without animals nature becomes unbalanced and unstable. Every living creature plays an intricate role and is vital to the health and continuation of our ecology. Despite modern technology, we still heavily rely upon nature for our survival. Biodiversity, or the variety of life in a particular habitat or ecosystem, supports all living organisms; the same living organisms from which we derive our food, medicines, energy sources, textiles and building materials (World Animal Foundation, 2013).

In Genesis (1:26, NIV) it tells us the God created man above all else in order to rule over his creation; however, ruling does not entail pillage, plunder, waste, or devastation. No one civilization has ever flourished from misusing their geographic resources, which the same logic applies to the earth as a whole. It is imperative for us, as Christians, to understand God’s intent in that “…A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7, NIV); we cannot escape the consequences of our actions. In order to put things in perspective, look at the role Sea turtles (an endanger species) play in our eco-system. This species alone is one of the few animals whose diet primarily consists of sea grass, which not unlike normal grass, it requires maintenance in order to thrive. As the Sea turtle population declines, the amount of sea grass consumed declines as well. As a result sea grass is unmanaged and eventually dies. When a bed of sea grass dies we lose an entire breeding ground and habitat for a plethora of other marine species. This may seem to be a minute interruption in the eco-system, but without resolution the unbalance spirals through the entire food chain and will directly affect human life. “The Christian faith has been accused of holding to a theology that encourages exploitation of the environment” (DeWitt & Nash, 2009), and some people, even Christians, have argued that animals are a resource that God has provided and should be harvested as needed. This misconception stems from wrongful interpretation of God’s will and further, each individuals varying definition of “as needed.” Without laws to protect animals and their habitats, mankind will continue to overharvest as they see fit; likely to force many of our species into extinction. “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” (Deem, 2009). Conclusion Christians have an inherent responsibility from God to preserve, protect, and restore His creation. “The Bible says that those who destroy God's creation will be judged and destroyed themselves. Therefore, the Bible encourages wise stewardship of the earth, its resources, and its creatures” (Deem, 2009). Through awareness Christians can help affect change in the destructive path mankind has followed for centuries. By reducing our water usage and waste, proactively fighting against global warming by being cognizant of the causes and effects, and protecting all of the earth’s inhabitants, together we can achieve as system of stability. In doing so we are securing our own future on earth but, through faith, love and devotion to His will, we are also securing a future alongside the Lord in Heaven.

References
Deem, R. (2009, July 7). Christians and the Environment: Is Christianity anti-Environmental? Retrieved July 2, 2014, from http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/environment.html
DeWitt, C. B., & Nash, R. (2009, July 28). Christians and the Environment: How Should Christians Think about the Environment? | Christian Research Institute. Retrieved July 3, 2014, from http://www.equip.org/articles/christians-and-the-environment-how-should-christians-think-about-the-environment/
Earth Science Communications Team, NASA. (2014). Climate Change: Causes. Retrieved July 1, 2014, from http://climate.nasa.gov/causes/
Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. (2014). Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online. Retrieved July 1, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/
National Geographic Society. (2014). Take Action to Conserve Freshwater -- National Geographic. Retrieved June 29, 2014, from http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/top-ten/
Nebel, B. J., & Wright, R. T. (1993). Environmental science: The way the world works (4th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall.
PeaceJam Foundation. (n.d.). Peacejam | Environmental Sustainability. Retrieved July 2, 2014, from http://www.peacejam.org/issues/Environmental-Sustainability-7.aspx
Perlman, H. (2014, March 17). Where is Earth's water? USGS Water-Science School. Retrieved July 1, 2014, from http://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthwherewater.html
United States Census Bureau. (2014). U.S. and World Population Clock. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/popclock/
Watts, G. (2008). Is the food crisis eclipsing the importance of water? British Medical Journal, 337(7660), 15. doi:10.1136/bmj.a604
World Animal Foundation. (2013). Help Save Wildlife - World Animal Foundation. Retrieved July 3, 2014, from http://www.worldanimalfoundation.net/wildlife.html

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