Does Christianity devalue the natural world?

by Matt Slick

Christianity does not devalue the natural world. If anything, Christianity teaches that the world we live in is a gift from God and is to be managed by us for his glory (Deut. 6:5) and the benefit of others (Lev. 19:18). The natural world, our environment, is an extension of the creative work of God that he has provided for our existence. Therefore, we are to take care of it.

God is the creator of heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1-2:3). He created Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:26-28) and placed them in the Garden of Eden. "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 And God blessed them; and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'" (Genesis 1:27-28). Because mankind is called to exercise dominion and because mankind is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), then we are to exercise our dominion as representatives of God on earth. Therefore, we are to be responsible stewards with what God has entrusted us. To do otherwise is to sin. We are not to damage the environment, overuse it, abuse animals, or cause their extinction. The stewardship we are given is not only over our environment, but it is also in all areas of life whether it be commerce, medicine, education, technology, etc., since all of these things are extensions of the command to "fill the earth and subdue it." What we learn from being stewards of God's world must be used for his glory (Isaiah 43:7) and not for selfish gain. As God's people, we are obligated to use our gifts and the gifting of God in the world to help others. Jesus said, "love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:39).

So, Christianity does not devalue the natural world. It sees it as the creation of the Almighty God; and because of that, we are to be stewards of God's creation and use it for his glory.

 

 

 

 
 
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