Home > Culture, Theology > Creation Care: Why Climate Change is not the Issue

Creation Care: Why Climate Change is not the Issue

There seems to be an ever increasing concern among both Christians and non-Christians on the topic of climate change.  This hotly debated topic has been controversial in the minds of Christians for quite some time, but in recent years there are an increasing number of Christ-followers giving more attention to the subject  Some Christians still deny that climate change exists, while many are beginning to accept it’s legitimacy to one degree or another.

Generally speaking, climate change is a change in the weather conditions of a particular geographic area as a result of the high use of fossil fuels and other carbon dioxide/monoxide/methane producing products and procedures.  Bill Nye, known as “the science guy,” in a debate on CNN’s “Crossfire” called climate change “our most urgent, number one priority right now.” Some Christians, however, are not convinced.

Image via thestandard.org.nz

Image via thestandard.org.nz

Is Climate Change the Issue?

Regardless of whether or not you take Bill’s claims seriously, the truth is climate change is not the issue, creation care is.  Climate change is the symptom of a much broader and more personal problem.  Creation care, or lack there of, is the root cause of much of the climate change debate.  It doesn’t account for all of the climate change factors, but it does account for many of them.

Creation care refers to the responsibility that God gave to our first parents, Adam and Eve, to “have dominion” over the earth and that which God created on it. (Genesis 1:28-31) To have dominion doesn’t mean to dominate, but rather to steward or care for something that belongs to another person.  God was giving Adam, Eve and the rest of mankind the responsibility of caring for that which belongs to him, namely the world we live in.

Creation Care: Our Responsibility

It doesn’t take a scientist to see that, until recent years, we as a culture have punted our responsibility to care for God’s good creation.  This is because sin has turned our hearts away from God, causing us to become self-centered consumers of our world, rather than responsible caretakers of it.  As a result, we dump waste hazardously, consume materials relentlessly and produce damaging bi-products extensively.

Our sin has wreaked havoc on our world.  Thankfully, God has made a way for us to return to him through Jesus Christ.  By dying on the cross, Jesus took our sin and gave us his Holy Spirit to overcome the damaging affects of sin on our worldviews, actions and lifestyles.  As 1 Corinthians 6 says, Jesus purchased believers for God, we belong to him and he gets to determine how we live our lives.

Christians would, therefore, do well to look past the controversial topic of climate change to the deeper issues of the heart.  Regardless of our perspective, we have a responsibility as God’s image bearers and his redeemed people to rightly care for that which is his.  Are we caring for creation in a way that honors God as our Creator and Jesus as our Lord?  Do we take responsibility for what we consume and produce?  Can we say with good conscience that we are being good caretakers of that which is God’s?

It’s a sad day when many of our non-Christian friends care more about stewarding the earth and caring for our God given resources than God’s people do. We don’t need to worship the earth by obsessing over it, but as God’s people we should worship him by caring for it. 

In reality, climate change (though important) is irrelevant in the argument for responsible stewardship. We should take care of the earth because it belongs to God, not just because we fear impending environmental doom.

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  1. scythewieldor
    May 15, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    1 Cor 7:29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
    Vs. 31 “as not abusing it”/to consume by use. Strong’s 2710 is used 2 times. In 1 Cor. 9:18, Paul infers that he could use up his power as an apostle.
    The time will come when the Lord destroys those who destroy the earth. Rev 11:18

  2. May 15, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    I agree with you. We abuse our God-given resources. Too many people put their heads in the sand about climate change because they consider it a “liberal” issue or don’t want to face up to the possibility that they need to change their way of life.

    • May 15, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      You’re absolutely right. In reality, climate change (though important) is irrelevant in the argument for responsible stewardship. We should take care of the earth because it belongs to God, not just because we fear impending environmental doom.

  3. June 13, 2014 at 6:33 AM

    I love this as I see our world as something given freely to us and we must be good stewards of it. But also of our earth mates. Being careful to protect the wildlife and recognizing that they are part of creation, too.

    • June 13, 2014 at 8:21 AM

      I agree. I guess I kind of consider “creatures” as part of “creation.” Thanks for the helpful distinction.

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