The Bible provides answers to the problems of every age. If the world is dying, God has something to say about it. He has something he wants us to do. Our proper course of action is woven into the very fabric of scripture. What we are supposed to do is not so simple that it can be spray-painted on a placard. Our moral responsibility to God, the earth, our neighbors, and the future cannot be discharged by simply voting for the right party, or voicing the right opinions. Nor can we rely on others to do the work of change for us. Instead, this millennia-old Gospel requires us to look in the mirror. Matthew 7 tells us not to worry about the speck in our neighbor’s eye until we remove the plank from our own. How can we become more like Jesus–more meek, humble, compassionate, thankful, forgiving, and loving? To start, most of us in the developed world need to scale back our lifestyle. We need to focus less on getting, and more on giving. We need to consume less, so we can serve more. These scriptural principles apply equally to the Church. Humanity stands at a great crossroads. We hold the fate of God’s creation in our hands. This is not because there is no God, or that God is not all-powerful, loving, or in control. Rather, it is the result of us being made in the image of a Creator God. We are free to choose life or death, light or darkness, and the very fate of our own souls. With this awesome responsibility comes the stewardship of not only the natural world we inhabit but the fate of our children, and our children’s children.
Dr. Sleeth is the executive director of Blessed Earth and is the author of Serve God, Save the Planet (Zondervan, 2007), the introduction to the Green Bible (HarperOne, 2008), and The Gospel According to the Earth: Why the Good Book is a Green Book (HarperOne, 2010).