We Came in Like a Wrecking Ball

We Came in Like a Wrecking Ball

We Came in Like a Wrecking Ball



The Problem

Christians need to face up to a problem that we have not always taken adequate responsibility for.

We, as humans, and as Christians, have failed to take proper care of the earth, and at times have even been directly involved in its destruction. Christianity has not only participated in this destruction, but has failed to take any action to correct it. Economist and Creationist Wendell Berry argues that, not only are Christians being counted in those who add to the destruction of creation, but have often been amongst the worst of its perpetrators;

“Christian organizations, to this day, remain largely indifferent to the rape and plunder of the world and of its traditional cultures. …most Christian organizations are as happily indifferent as most industrial organizations to the ecological, cultural, and religious implications of industrial economics. The certified Christian seems just as likely as anyone else to join the military-industrial conspiracy to murder Creation.”


A Sinking Ship

Fundamentalist eschatological theories have indirectly cultivated a culture in which Christians have lost all sense of responsibility for the created order. Movies, blogs and books including best-selling novel series “Left Behind” have come to foster a philosophy that perceives the earth to be a temporary dwelling which will succumb to ruin before Christ’s second coming. The line of thinking is this;

If the earth, in the future (possibly near future) is going to become a desolate wasteland which will only be redeemed upon Christ’s return, then why should we, as Christians, make any efforts to care for it now? This philosophy leads to a focus on evangelization and the ‘saving of souls’, over care for the environment. DL Moody himself felt this way, and said; “I look upon this world as a sinking ship…”

According to this view, the earth is a kind of Titanic, beyond redemption and doomed to founder. Moody’s statement implies that the only recoverable component of the wreckage is people. While we must keep mission in focus at all times, saving souls created by God, we must not do so at the expense of the rest of God’s creation. The Bible describes the future earth as gloriously redeemed and rebuilt, but this does not give us permission to use and abuse it in the present age. The blessed hope that we look to of a future re-creation does not provide license for humanity to abandon the care for this creation. The opposite is the case – we must utilise the inherent goodness of the material world in order to please God and care for his creation in our own time and place.

It is with this philosophy, that Luther famously remarked;

“If I knew Jesus would return tomorrow, I would plant a tree today.”


A Witness to all Nations

The relationship between Christianity and creation is becoming increasingly urgent. Humans are perceived to be the most intelligent life form that roams the earth, and yet we are responsible for almost all of the damage that the planet has suffered. As Christians, we are even further enlightened through the Light of Christ, and yet we are passive when it comes to issues concerning the created order.

Over the last few decades, there have been many movements which have taken up the environmental flag and advocated for responsible earth care in order to preserve God’s creation. Christians, however, have often distanced themselves from these movements, or just failed to act with conviction when it comes to environmental issues. This stands in opposition from scripture, which sees creation as deeply bonded and relational with God, as well as revealing God’s glory and omnipotence. Christians should be leading these campaigns which address environmental concern.

We are no longer in a position to sit back and pray for a miracle. Stories of pollution, climate change and animal extinction are endemic in our media, yet we are no more compelled to make changes than we were four or five decades ago. As Christians we must respond with conviction, to represent and take responsibility for the environment that we recognise as God’s. The entire cosmos matters deeply to God, and thus it should matter deeply to us. If we abuse the environment, neglect it, or fail to advocate or it, then we are allowing the earth that our God cares about, to perish.

Biblically speaking, to not take action is a failure on our part, to understand our role in the created order, and in the Gospel.


Why should we care?

The Bible gives many reasons why we should be concerned for our world:

  • God himself is pleased with his creation
  • God is in relationship with his creation
  • God expects humans to exercise responsible stewardship over nature
  • God commanded us to care for the environment
  • The entire created order will be renewed and re-created

The significance of the earth in our estimation ultimately depends on our understanding of the story in which we are taking part. We must spread the Gospel to the four corners of the earth – as we have been commissioned – but to preach the Good News whilst failing to model it by caring for God’s creation, is a failure to understand our place within God’s redemptive plan.

The biblical story outlines a framework in which we are all participants. After five days of creating planet earth, the sixth day is used to create human life. The first man is then formed from the dust of the earth, and filled with God’s breath. Humans were created to be in relationship with the earth in the same way that God is – we are bound to the earth and rely on it to care for us, as we in turn should care for it.


So What Can We Do Today?

To become a part of the solution TODAY, the first thing you should do is subscribe, and sign the petition to officially inaugurate Creation Day. Help establish Creation Day as a national holiday in which all of humanity will recognise the need for responsible, caring stewardship over God’s creative handiwork.


Caring for the Great Economy

Caring for the Great Economy

In a fast moving world where the deteriorating environment is becoming more and more of a concern, we must make a conscious choice to care for the Great Economy that our God lovingly created.


How Should We Understand Creation?

• As God’s Sole Property
According to the bible, God unreservedly owns everything that is and everything that we have. Psalm 24:1 states that;
“The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it…”
As humans with a sense of self-entitlement, we often forget that we do not own the world or any part of it. If we are to understand ourselves as humans, rooted in the creation story, then we need to understand that exclusive human ownership of creation is false. We are given the resources of nature to use wisely and responsibly, but not to bring ruin or waste upon them. We have no biblical authority to harm or destroy anything on the earth.

• As Something to be Cared For
In Genesis 1:28, humanity was told to:
“…fill the earth and subdue it.”
This authority given to us is of responsible stewardship over what God found to be ‘good’. God created for his pleasure and continues to find worth and beauty in it despite its corruption by humans. This means that we, as humans, have a responsibility to ensure the ongoing protection and security of the earth as God’s creation.

• As Important to God
It is important for us, as Christians to understand that Christ’s gift of salvation was made possible only through God’s inherent love for the entire created order. Quoting John 3:16 as a verse intended for people alone is a misleading attempt to separate the love that God has for humans, with the love that he has for the whole cosmos.
We must understand that the created order is one indivisible unit in God’s eyes – nature, humanity and animal life are all the creation to which God feels deeply bonded. Our anthropocentric view of creation has led us to believe that we have complete dominion over the earth to the point of absolutism. This belief opens the way to exploitation of our natural resources and abuse of God’s creation.


The Great Economy

• What is the Great Economy?
In his lecture, ‘Christianity and the Survival of Creation’, Wendell Berry (a prominent environmental activist) discusses the idea that the created order should be viewed as the ‘Great Economy’ from which all economies are born. This theory argues that the earth and all of creation is the source from which everything that we have, and everything that we are stems. In other words, we are completely reliant on the earth for everything, and for this reason, must care for our environment like we do our cash, because it is valuable and essential. The Great Economy provides resources that allow us to eat, sleep, work, build, trade and live godly lives.
What this idea seeks to do is create a vision of responsible stewardship and guardianship of the Kingdom of God as a whole – to ensure that we understand dominion in a way that is responsibly, and conscientiously concerned for the environment as God’s creative masterpiece. We must understand that to focus on material items and material life at the expense of the environment is false economy – it denies creation as the source of all wealth and material.

• Looking Toward Heaven
Christians can, at times, have a mind-set that is so thoroughly immersed in eschatological hope and Christ’s imminent return that we end up living, not in the ‘now’, but in the ‘not yet’. The bible’s teaching in John 15:19 teaches us that we are ‘in the world’ but not ‘of the world’ – this can lead to a misunderstanding about our role in creation and the way in which we are to care for it.
We are one part of creation, and as such, we must never look to the future at the expense of God’s whole creative work, or deny or depreciate it in any way. If we are too focused on future events, it can be easy to be careless with our resources, or diminish the value of the Great Economy by regarding it as something temporary. We must remember that without the Great Economy, we would not be able to live the life that God intended for us.

• What Must We Do?
It is not acceptable for us as humans, made in the image of God, to withdraw from God’s primary love – creation – and deny our environmental responsibilities. The bible makes no secret of the sanctity with which the world was made, and the reverence that God felt, and continues to feel when he views his work. Creation is not in any sense, independent of God. God continues to engage with creation and respects it. Participating in the repairing and care for the world is an active engagement with the love that God is, and is a way of showing our respect for what we receive from the Great Economy. Let’s not forget that God’s redemptive plans include a renewal of the world that we currently live on. God cares deeply for the world as his divine creation.
To effectively honor our creative God we must learn to set our hearts to heaven and our minds to his Great Economy.


We can honor God this Creation Day by signing the petition to establish Creation Day as an official holiday. Sign here.