Climate Change and Christianity



I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic lately: Climate Change and Faith. I grew up Lutheran, going to a private religious school until high school and attending church regularly (I am currently a Unitarian Universalist -which accepts all religions). But it always confused me why, as Christians, we learned about God giving us this earth but then we treat it so badly. We are told to love and help our neighbor but then we allow those neighbors to suffer the consequences of climate change that are often caused by us, not them. All of this made me search my faith and dig deeper. Below is a list of bible verses that speak to me. They tell us to take care of our God-given earth and to do what is right for others. Genesis 2:15 tells us, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” We are to take care of the land and this world. That is what God instructed us to do. Why are we hurting it? Psalms 8:6-8 says, “You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.” God gave us this earth billions of years ago. He told us to take care of it but we are destroying it. We are destroying the land, animals and the sea. John 13:34-35 states, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” This verse is telling us to simply love each other. How can we follow this command when we do things like pollute our world? We can’t. Though all those plastic water bottles you throw away or even recycle may not affect you personally, they are affecting others who have to deal with the mess they bring. Your excessive dirty fossil fuel usage may not seem to affect you, but what about the air pollution that causes your neighbor’s kid’s asthma to act up? Bottom line is, we need to think about and love others in our actions. Proverbs 22:8 tells us, “Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity, and the rod they wield in fury will be broken. The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” There’s no denying there’s a lot of calamities in our world today. We are causing excessive amount of damage and distress to our world. The poor are more often effected by climate change than the rich, and the rich are the ones causing the most pollution. 1 John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let us not love the words or speech but the actions and in truth.” We can talk all day about helping others and stopping climate change, but it is our actions that speak the loudest. Psalms 24:1 states, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Would you go to someone’s home and destroy it? No, you’d be respectful. This earth is not ours. 2 Corinthians 9:6 tells us, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Let’s sow generously. Let’s help our planet! Jeremiah 17:10 says, “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” I’m not saying good deeds will get you into heaven, but shouldn’t we be doing good things for our planet and neighbors to show God who we are, deep down? These bible verses inspire me to do what is right by the planet and help others. The trash we pick up is never ours, but it affects other people and creatures. The electric car we are purchasing is going to improve the air for all, not just us. There’s a local organization here in Northern Virginia that helps all faith communities (not just Christians) become more sustainable and earth-friendly. Even if you are not located in this area, their mission will inspire you. Head to faithforclimate.org to learn more. **I want to state that this article is only about Christianity because that is what I grew up with and can speak to. However, there are so many other religions and beliefs that also share the idea of helping the earth and each other. If you are from another faith community, I’d love to hear from you about your beliefs!