Adam and Eve, free to frolic about in the beautiful, lush, vibrant garden and given the role to look after the precious ecosystem. All the living creatures are free from disease, death and suffering. Eve picks up this large, ripe fruit after being tempted by an odd-looking, elongated serpent. Eve takes a bite from it and Adam takes a bite after. Adam and Eve becomes more worried on how they are seen rather than caring for the garden. God banishes them from paradise.
Now stop imagining.
Look at us now. We have become Adam and Eve’s true descendants. We are more worried about ourselves and our own personal image that now, humanity is literally ‘vacuum-cleaning’ the Earth dry of raw materials to fuel our own consumption, our own desires. The environment is affected through deforestation, pollution, Climate Change, desertification, Rising Sea levels, Coral Bleaching, Mass extinction of endangered species, Mining, Genetical engineering, overfishing, poaching, soil degradation and garbage disposal issues just to name a few. In case one is unaware, Climate Change is when long-term change affects the Earth’s temperature and climate.
How does society view the environment?
Most people in society agree that the environment isn’t looking too good. Those who believe that the environment is falling apart blame rich companies, factories, the government, society and human beings for Global warming. Those who believe that the environment is alright tends to blame scientists for fabricating a story like Global warming for research money however, those that don’t believe in Global Warming are likely to be rich company owners, conservatives in government and people with little understanding or who choose to ignore the matter. The one thing that is clear is that most in the world see that the environment has problems affecting it’s ecosystem and that it is up to humans to clean up their own mess.
The Catholic Church sees the Global Warming and other environmental problems as issues that needs to be dealt with. In the Bible, Genesis from Chapter 1 to the end of chapter 2, it states how God created everything in six days and rested on the seventh. From the Heavens and Earths, to the Creatures of the air and the sea, It was here in the Bible that we are given order over all things ‘Created’. The Catechism states that in section 327 summarising the Creation of the world in Genesis. Sections 338 to 339 goes on to talk in detail about God’s creation, our relationship with the Creator and the ‘Created’, and how we and other created works originated. For example, the creatures governed by instinct today were in fact creatures that had once possessed perfection.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” –Genesis 2:15
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” –Genesis 1:28
In the verses above, it states the original purpose of why humans were created; to serve and tend the garden of Eden. To look after it and be stewards of the Earth. Being beings governed by free will and morality, we are given God’s image and likeness which is the Dignity of the human person; to allow us to be able to experience the fullness of majesty and wonder of God’s creation.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”- Genesis 1:26
“But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” –Mark 10:6
Looking at Mark 10:6, Jesus had known that everything Created had a role, a responsibility. Mark Chapter 10 at whole was talking about certain moral issues like divorce and adultery. The Pharisees asked Jesus on divorce and claim to settle the issue when relating it to when Moses allowed divorce, whilst Jesus replied that men and women all have a role and that God has a plan. Hence, God made men and women in the beginning for a certain purpose which was to love each other. It is God who had the intent of creating a plan and giving husband and wife a role which is the same plan that governs the role and interconnectedness of the ecosystem.
As Christians, we should in fact be trying in every way possible to salvage and save God’s Creation from catastrophe. To encourage groups like the Salvation Army or Greenpeace to find a way to contribute to the saving of the Earth. As said in the Bible, we are created for the reason of caring for the Earth. Our dominion over all other life forms gives us power and responsibility. Thereby I’d like to conclude with a quote from Spiderman, “With great power, Comes great responsibility”.
A video on what Pope Francis says about the protecting the environment and fighting evil.
A clip on God’s Creation by the Movie Noah (2014)
For more on the Catechism on God’s Creation, Click Here.
For more on the Bible and what it has to say on the environment, Click Here.
For more on what companies like shell think about the environment, Click Here.
An in depth article on the Catholic Church’s view on the environment, Press Here.
For more on Christianity’s relationship with the idea of environmentalism, Click Here.
For a larger of idea of how Evangelicals take action to help the environment, Click on this Evangelical Organisation link.