Evangelical Environmentalism
Michael Ellis

Three of the dominant religions on the planet right now are directly related to one another – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All are monotheistic and very anthropocentric. To the Jews, Christians and Muslims MAN was made in the image of God. They all believe that we are 6 ½ billion little godlets running around on the Earth.

And they all share the Book of Genesis. In this literature there is an allegorical description familiar to everyone about the formation of the world. Here is the King James Version about the sixth day-

And God said,…. let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

But, and this is a very big but, “dominion over” is just the translators interpretation. There apparently were some further instructions by God which were lost when the Hebrew was translated into Greek and the Greek into English for this Bible version. This includes the original Hebrew word “shamar” which means ‘to exercise great care over’ and the word “abad” which means ‘to work or serve’. Hmmm. This really is a different instruction from God toward the other living things on the planet.

The National Association of Evangelicals is a powerful political force with 45,000 churches and 30 million members. In 2004 this group urged the US government “to encourage fuel efficiency, reduce pollution, encourage sustainable use of natural resources and provide for the proper care of wildlife and their natural habitats.”
They were recognizing the responsibility that God had given mankind.

This news was astounding to me and gives me great hope. Because if you believe that God made the Earth just for us humans then why should we plunder, ruin and waste that very precious world. Now if we could just get the other 6 billion people to feel this way, humankind and all living things just may have a chance.

This is Michael Ellis with a Perspective.

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November 7, 2010