i'm leading a discussion throughout october with our middle schoolers called "save the planet". it could also be called "environmentalism from a biblical perspective: what it is and why it's supposed to be important to us as Christ-followers", but if i called it that, then none of them would want to hear my discussion. either way, it definitely has the potential to be a great topic for our middle schoolers to digest.
as youth workers, it is important for us to understand what society says is important and reexamine the image through a biblical lense: what doest the Bible say about this? where is this written? politics and society tells middle schoolers (and us) that environmentalism is important, but not really why it is important. but to be honest, i'm not seeing the importance of it to society either. i understand its importance to us as Christians, but the rest of the world doesn't really have a good reason to take care of it.
but anyway. i've been watching documentaries and reading articles about global warming, genesis, creation, and environmental everything this afternoon. going into this little research session i had the "God made us in his image so we're above the rest of creation, but we're supposed to take care of it and not abuse what is rightfully his" perspective. and i still chiefly hold this perspective, but there were two thoughts that i hadn't really considered yet.
many environmentalists hold the perspective that the world would be better off if humans didn't exist - that way, the world could run its own course and we wouldn't be here to destroy its beauty. but to God, we are a part of creation. sure, we are at the top of the creation pyramid - made in God's image (col 1:15-17), dominion over the earth (gen 2:15), etc. - but the claim that nature would be better off without us is strictly unbiblical.
the second thought isn't as perspective-altering, but a good insight for sure. when we're thinking about being environmentally friendly and going green and all that business, we need to remember that we are doing so as an act of worship to the Creator, not creation. it's important for Chrsitians to understand this distinction. plants and animals are a part of God's creation, but they are not the object of our worship - their (and our) Maker is.
just some insights into what i've been doing today. now it's time for me to go break into my girlfriend's car at rockhurst and leave her flowers in her cupholder.