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Is there any practical references about environmental protection as well as protection of earth? Whether Jesus mentioned about any of these topics somewhere?

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Responsible use of resources would fall under the general category of "stewardship." See Nave's and Torrey's. Some pundits have observed that there are interpretation of "environmentalism" which seem similar to earth-worship, which would be idolatry. Different people have different understandings of where the line should be drawn between various interpretations. –  Philip Schaff Aug 14 '13 at 5:08
    
See also OpenBible. –  Wikis Aug 14 '13 at 6:28
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Very closely related to Are there Biblical reasons why a Christian should not believe that Global Warming is happening (but not a duplicate) –  David Stratton Aug 14 '13 at 11:28

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

it's about being a good person, doing what is good. that is what God calls us to be and to do. if you only do things that are expressly written in the bible your life will be empty, Jesus gave us an example, He didn't say you can only do what I have told you to do.

He said to Love others as yourself, I think that taking care of the environment falls under that for sure. if we pollute the environment we are not loving the people that will come after us.

God Gave us Guidelines, and sometimes you have to Pray and Ask, "God is this your will?" Taking care of the planet falls under the do that which is good category.

The Bible can tell you about the kind of Person that God/Jesus is, therefore it's like saying

What would Jesus do?
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Only fools or uneducated people are polluting the environment. And I hope we don't fall in that category. The thing is, it's not about Christianity. What would Jesus do? He is going to burn this earth when He comes back and create a better one. –  Mawia Aug 14 '13 at 20:15
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Fools are okay. Can't agree with Uneducated people. You will have to change the definition of Education for saying like that. –  MoonMind Aug 15 '13 at 18:38
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@arun Uneducated people are not aware of Global warming and pollution. They are unaware that some of their actions are harmful to the environment. Still there are educated fools, who do not care about the environment. It's like smoking cigarettes stubbornly knowing that it is harmful for the body. I don't think we need religion to tell us about environmental awareness or try to find such things in the Bible. –  Mawia Aug 15 '13 at 20:50

If you search on Google with keywords like "bible environmental", you will get many sites which claim that the Bible supports the idea of Environmental Protection. EarthCare has a good summary of relevant verses on environmental care, some of them are...

Command to Care for Creation

"The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." (Genesis 2:15)

"The land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and garner their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a sabbath of rest, a sabbath to the Lord.... The land is to have a year of rest." (Leviticus 25:2-5; cf. Exodus 23:10-11)

"You shall not pollute the land in which you live.... You shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I also dwell; for I the LORD dwell among the Israelites." (Numbers 35:33-34)

"If you besiege a town for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you must not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them. Although you may take food from them, you must not cut them down. Are trees in the field human beings that they should come under siege from you?" (Deuteronomy 20:19)

However, these verses are not directly referring to environmental protection, though they can be put forth for the argument.

Keep your Temporary Home clean: The earth belongs to us and we must take care of it, not because God commanded us to do it so. This is a secular matter. Though we will stay here only for a while, lets take care of this Temporary Home. It would be a foolish thing to pollute our home.

Can we really take care of the Earth? NO! It is in God's care. God created this world according to His will and will destroy it again by the same will. No matter how hard we try to preserve the environment and wild life, God is going to destroy this earth by fire anyway on the Day of Judgement. In that sense, it might be pointless to strive hard in protecting the environment.

2 Peter 3:3-7 (NIV)

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

God will destroy this present world by fire and will create a new Heaven and Earth, a new Earth far far better than the present.

Revelation 21:1 (NIV) Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

We are not permanent on this earth, we have a destination ahead. We must not set our hearts on this world because we are only travelers here.

1 John 2:15 (NKJV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Conclusion: If you want to protect the environment, go do it. There is nothing wrong in it. It's a good thing. It proves that you are a good human. Only good people think about those things and only fools neglect them. But please, do not include Christianity to the context. Don't try to relate them. Does that mean we should start polluting the environment? Not at all! Only foolish people would do that.

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I think of Habakkuk 2:17 ("The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, and your destruction of animals will terrify you. For you have shed man's blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them."[NIV]) as related to this topic in that savaging the environment is a consequence of murder (and pride) and a judgment. Pr. 12:10 shows a righteous heart overflowing in kindness to animals under the person's care; one could argue the overflow would naturally extend further outward. –  Paul A. Clayton Aug 14 '13 at 12:23
    
I agree with all of what you said except for the last sentence in your conclusion. only good people think about good things, that is what God calls us to do every day. that is why we are here. –  Malachi Aug 14 '13 at 18:33
    
@Malachi There is quite a difference between doing good things and doing God's will. I'm not sure whether it is God's will to protect the environment. I believe God has other more important concerns, like ministry, bringing others to Christ etc. –  Mawia Aug 14 '13 at 18:50
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all God does is Good. all God wants of us is to share him with others, by example, by teaching, by prayer, etc. by doing good we are reflecting Him to others. –  Malachi Aug 14 '13 at 19:33
    
@Malachi If being active in Environmental Protection campaigns can lead others to Christ by being an example to others, that would be great. –  Mawia Aug 14 '13 at 19:46

The idea that human populations have the capability to significantly alter the ecosystem of the world around them for the worse is a fairly modern one. Although a few manmade environmental catastrophes have occurred even in ancient times--Lebanon comes to mind, for example!--the concept that humans are destroying the planet and have a moral obligation to work to protect it is largely a product of modern times, when heavy industry made the negative effects of pollution severe enough and widespread enough for the general public to notice, and mass communication technologies enabled people to bring it to the attention of the common man.

Simply put, it wasn't generally considered an issue in Biblical times, and therefore isn't directly mentioned in the Bible. Therefore, any search for God's will on the subject would require some sort of interpretation and deduction based on tangentially related issues.

For example, we read in Genesis that Adam and Eve, and later Noah and his family, were given dominion over the earth. And in the Parable of the Pounds, (Luke 19:11-26) Jesus speaks of a group of servants, each given stewardship over equal resources for a certain length of time. Those who managed what they had been entrusted with wisely were rewarded, while those who did not were punished when the day of reckoning came.

This seems like the most relevant thing Jesus has to say on the subject. Like the servants in the parable, all of mankind has been given stewardship over the resources of the earth, and the Savior's words lead us to believe that an accounting of what we have done with that which was entrusted to us--including the Earth we have been given to dwell upon--will be required when the day of judgment comes.

Having said this, it's important to remember that this is only one thing out of many that are required of us. There are some people and groups who have become infamous due to their extreme dedication to environmental causes, which occasionally lead them to commit crimes or other exceptionally poor behavior. So we should also bear in mind Jesus's strong words of condemnation for those who have no sense of perspective in Matthew 23: 23-24:

23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

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The commandments in Leviticus 25:2-5 already quoted by @Mawia give a plain teaching that the land needs rest. It directly implies that man cannot use the resources forever. God punishes Israel later in history for that.

Hosea 2:3 talks about become like a wilderness like punishment. A wilderness is a bad thing, but is exactly what the land becomes when man extract resources without care. In Brazil, we have big areas devastated by sugarcane plantations. Where we had forests now we got only sand and lack of water. I´m certain that God will take account of the people who did it, if they did not repent.

Just a thought: maybe, if industries would extract resources to some point, take a pause or just move to another place in order to let the previous area to rest, we would have much less environmental problems.

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Environmentalism is reminding folks how:

  • violations of commandment against coveting (Exodus 20:17)
  • ... will end up causing violations of commandment against murder (Exodus 20:13)
  • ... and commandment against theft ([Exodus 20:15])3.

The various catechisms of Christianity have held that the commandments against theft and murder speak of a duty not only to stop doing bad things but to preserve and promote the interests of your neighbor's body and property. I cite them here to show how deeply rooted this interpretation of Scripture is found in the basic teaching documents of the faith: (Brackets below found in original material.)

Luther's Small Catechism Explanation to Thou Shalt Not Kill

We should fear and love God that we may not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need [in every need and danger of life and body].

Explanation to Thou Shalt Not Steal

We should fear and love God that we may not take our neighbor's money or property, nor get them by false ware or dealing, but help him to improve and protect his property and business [that his means are preserved and his condition is improved].

This duty for positive aid of neighbor is also shown in Westminster Catechism:

Q. 68. What is required in the sixth commandment?

A. The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life, and the life of others.[156]

Q. 74. What is required in the eighth commandment?

A. The eighth commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others

Similarly, the Heidelberg Catechism says, "to protect them from harm as much as we can, and to do good even to our enemies."

Luther's Large Catechism, Explanation to the Fifth Commandment, even goes on to mention someone trapped in rising water:

It is just as if I saw some one navigating and laboring in deep water [and struggling against adverse winds] or one fallen into fire, and could extend to him the hand to pull him out and save him, and yet refused to do it. What else would I appear, even in the eyes of the world, than as a murderer and a criminal?

As far as a practical example to explain how it all fits together, here are two:

1) You covet your neighbor's boat and recreational life. You get a big one yourself bring your boat across the country without sterilizing it and bring some new kind of mussel that clogs up water supplies, leaving shells behind that cut people's feet, increasing taxpayer costs and reducing property values. Covetousness leads to harm to neighbor's body and property.

2) I was once at a Christmas in April workday and saw a sad sight: a row of houses where one had an unusually low chimney and furnace in poor repair, and so the smoke on certain days caused the next-door neighbor to have asthma attacks. There's an opportunity here to preserve neighbor's life and property, which could be addressed through charity (this was a neighborhood being visited by a housing charity), moral suasion ("Dude, you're killing me!"), and/or regulation (I'm sure a housing code regulation of chimney height was being violated here).

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