Stewardship of the Earth
In Genesis, we read that God created the heavens and the earth and all that fills them. God delighted in creation and called it “good.” God also gave dominion over this good creation to humanity. This world is not our possession; it belongs to God. While we have been given dominion, we have the responsibility as stewards to discern between good dominion and bad dominion. Psalm 24:1-2 proclaims, “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.”
As we continue to understand what it means to practice creation care and good dominion, we must recognize that we are the voice that speaks for creation when it is not heard, and that part of creation care is to affirm creation’s worth and protect its beauty even beyond its usefulness for human sustenance. We read in Psalm 19:1 that, “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.” All of God’s creation reveals and worships its creator, and our stewardship of that creation is an act of glorifying God.
Thus creation’s witness to the glory of God is marred by poor stewardship. Bad dominion resulting from the fall causes deprivation and suffering for all of God’s creatures, including our fellow human beings. Careless dominion robs both humans and non-humans of God’s promise of abundant life.
Destruction of ecosystems, extinction of species, alteration of the atmosphere, and unsustainable agriculture practices mean that all of creation, non-human and human, cry out for the redemption of God.
As Christians we await the second coming of Christ, God’s final redemption, and the creation of a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). However, we do not passively await the coming kingdom of God, we actively seek it and work with God toward it during our lives on earth. We show our faith in the coming kingdom by participating in its reality now. As people who are charged by God to care for creation, we are to do so in such a way that it can continue to sustain human life and proclaim the glory of God.
The text above is taken from the Covenant Resolution on Creation Care (2007).