[Green Christians]

[Green Christians]

I am currently taking a class at the European Nazarene College. It’s called “God’s Mission and the Church.” One of the textbooks that we are required to read is The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission by Christopher Wright.

There are many things he talks about in his book that are eye-opening to me. The principle “Once you know something, it seems so logical that it seems odd that you never thought of it before.”

Like ecology. 

For many believers, Christian mission is mostly focused on what the New Testament talks about. They start with the very first Christmas and end with the final apocalyptic Judgment day. Wright, however, reminds us that we have to start at the beginning of the Bible – the creation – to see the entire Good News story.

One of the things he emphasizes in the beginning of his book is how we treat the nature around us. Wright’s description is similar to the relationship between a husband and wife Paul describes in Ephesians 5. Too often people point out that wives have to submit to their husbands.

It seems unfair.

The same story happens with people and the Earth. God’s command to rule, subdue, and have dominion over the earth at first sounds a bit abrupt. The man gets to rule over the other creations, and taking into account the rulers that we have these days it’s the philosophy of “Let’s eat your lunch together and then each one can have his own leftovers.”

However, that is far from what God originally desired.

Yes, the man is the king over the nature and all created beings. But God’s command was to take care of it – like a husband who “loves his wife like his own body” (Ephesians 5:28). It’s a mutual relationship – we take care of what God has created and the created take care of us by providing us with things necessary for life.

Due to our standard perception of salvation, we tend to pay more attention to personal sins, but misusing the environment never was first on the list of sins that come to mind right away. Besides, it seemed like all the talk about ecology and protecting the environment was great and nice, but I never connected it with being a Christian and living out the mission given by God.

Nonetheless, it does make sense to be mindful about what we do with this Earth – not just because our kids and grandchildren will be living in the same physical world, but because it is also a part of God’s creation and we worship the same God together.

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.”

Psalm 19:1

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