Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2012
Text: Romans 1:25; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Genesis 2:15; Nehemiah 3:16-19; Hebrews 1:3; Psalm 100; Genesis 1:26-28.
The state of our earth is a far cry from the Garden of Eden. In his National Geographic article, “Straining our Resources,” Thomas Hayden states: “Even in the midst of a global economic slowdown, the human footprint on the Earth has never been so heavy. So much that once seemed inexhaustible has already been worn away by our needs, our numbers, and, too often, our shortsighted greed. We've reached the place now where our hunger for more of everything has pushed the world's natural resources to the breaking point.
“All but 10 percent of the large fish in the seas have been plundered; fully a quarter of the planet's fertile soils have been degraded by overuse and misuse; and the atmosphere has filled with greenhouse gases even faster than expected just a few short years ago. As human population has quadrupled during the past century, the world economy has increased 14-fold, industrial output 40-fold, and the area of irrigated land five-fold.”1
Dr. Donald DeYoung, Ph.D, believes that Christians often make excuses for not taking care of the earth. In his book, Weather and the Bible, he lists these excuses: people are more important than things; we shouldn’t be concerned about a temporary, dying world; environmentalism is just a form of the social gospel, or even worse, it is New Age pantheism; we are told in Genesis 1:28 to subdue the earth.
But he disagrees: “Environmental issues are a major concern of our day. Christians should do their part to help the earth glorify God. After all, we know the Creator. Of course, we must also spread the gospel message, telling others about the Creator of heaven and earth.”2
What can we as Christians do to help take care of this earth God gave us? Author Katie Lambert gives these ideas in her article, “10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth.”3
1. Turn off water faucets when you’re not directly using them, and combine wash loads
2. Leave your car at home two days a week to reduce greenhouses gasses
3. Walk or ride your bike to work, school, and anywhere you can, or car pool or use mass transit
4. Recycle at home and at work
5. Turn you trash into compost to reduce overcrowding at landfills
6. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs that last 10 times longer and use two-thirds less energy
7. Clean your home’s air filters and purchase a programmable thermostat
8. Maintain your tires because underinflated ones decrease fuel economy by up to three percent
9. Drive the highway speed limit to save up to 4 miles per gallon
10.Turn off lights and unplug appliances when you're not using them.
We were made in the image of God! We were given dominion over every living thing! We were asked to multiply, replenish and subdue the earth. Having been given such a magnificent gift, shouldn’t we be more aware of how we’re taking care of it? Is God pleased so far, or disappointed?