This blog is written for everybody, but I am a Christian myself. It’s not universally recognised in the church, but to me it is very obvious that my faith has something to say about sustainability and equality. If you’re not a Christian, feel free to pass on this section if you wish. If you are a Christian, please read on, because I believe we have a duty that we have been turning a blind eye to. And check out some of the other sites I’m involved in that are more specifically for a Christian audience – Joy in Enough, and Christian Climate Action.
Let me summarise the idea of Christian responsibilty in four areas:
We have a duty to God.
Psalm 24 begins with the following words: ‘The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.’ The earth is not ours. Contrary to some popular understanding, God did not give us the earth – he gave us the use of it.
We have a duty to the world
In Genesis we read that God made the earth good, and that the earth is ‘cursed’ because of us. Human behaviour and the state of the earth are inextricably linked. Have a look at Hosea 4, where it describes a society’s violence and dishonesty, and goes on to say: ‘Because of this the land mourns…’
We have a duty to each other
A very simple principle that John the Baptist puts best in Luke 3: ‘The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.’
We have a duty to ourselves
Homo Sapiens literally means ‘the soil that knows it is alive’ – from the latin for soil and for knowing. As nothing more than ‘sentient earth’ we are part of the ecosystem, not above it. Genesis 3 reminds of us this: ‘dust you are, and to dust you will return.’ When we forget this, we give ourselves a status we can’t live up to.
I’ll write more about the place of faith in this debate. Click here for more from the archives, or select one of these: