I was raised in the church, home schooled by (then) Republican parents, and often heard from the pulpit growing up that climate change “wasn’t real” and to focus on “our heavenly home” rather than this fleeting and temporary place called Earth. Perhaps you had a similar upbringing. And perhaps you, like me, need to call bull shark.
I am not here to argue the science and reality of climate change with you, (though if you still have any doubts, I would strongly encourage you to check this out), but I am here to argue that not only can you be a Christian, believe in science, and desire to protect our planet, but you should be. If you believe in an all-powerful creator, and I do, a creator who crafted this extraordinarily beautiful world with such care and imagination, how could we not desire to protect it, preserve it, and even make it better?
Not only can you be a Christian, believe in science, and desire to protect our planet, but you should be.
Genesis 1:26-28 ESV
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
This means that the Earth was a gift, a profoundly good gift, that has been entrusted to us to tend to and care for and preserve. A task that we, (and many conservative Christians especially), have fallen woefully short of.
If you’re still breathing, this is your home. A home with very limited resources, that desperately needs our help to stay alive. Please, Christians, let’s not be “so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good.” If we lived by that logic, we would all be living off bacon, donuts, and tequila because who needs this body, right?
Uh, I do. It’s the only body I’ve got, and I must be a good steward of it if I want to live to see my future grandchildren. I can’t just let it burn to the ground with my own unhealthy choices and hope for the best.
It’s time for Christians to earn a reputation for loving God, loving people, and taking care of what we’ve been given. It’s time for Christians to be known for listening, having open-hearted conversations, seeking out real answers, thinking critically, and believing in both science AND a higher power. These are not mutually exclusive concepts.
This planet, right here, is the only one we’ve got (until we figure out how to colonize Mars anyway.) Therefore we absolutely must take caring for it seriously. Our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren deserve an even more beautiful world to grow up in; now we have to decide, what are we going to do about it?
Kimberly Poovey is a writer, speaker, wife, and over-caffeinated new(ish) mom. She runs a teen pregnancy prevention program for a nonprofit and is a founder of Pearls, an organization that serves women in the sex industry and fights human trafficking. You can find her over on Scary Mommy, The Mighty, her blog, and on Facebook.