By: Kevin Seguin
I may not be a pastor anymore, but I still primarily work with people. As a result, occasionally I get to hear gems like this: "Man, if climate change worked the other way [and made the world colder] we'd have had this whole thing figured out decades ago!" More than just a funny interaction that made me snicker at the time, it has the ring of truth doesn't it? Even the staunchest lovers of winter and cold weather are ready for spring come March, April, and May. People have a tendency to at least tolerate global warming (or climate change if you prefer) because it gives us what we want for now, longer summers, milder winters, and all-around warmer weather. Sure, we're told the ice caps are melting and that the oceans are rising and that our grand kids will need HAZMAT suits to get around, but look how nice it is! I'm going to the cottage!
There's been a charged discussion surrounding climate change for a while. Is it real? Is it as serious as the worst predictions? Is it really caused primarily by humans and fossil fuels or is bovine flatulence really the culprit? Christians of all stripes have taken just about every position on the spectrum for a variety of reasons, even some of you might have opinions about my use of the phrase "Global Warming," "Climate Change," or just about anything I said in the first paragraph. You may object, or you may think I'm using language that is too soft. For Christians, though, there's a bigger issue than the language surrounding climate change acceptance or denial. There exists, for us, the Biblical issue of stewardship. Stewardship ought to be the thing that drives the conversation forward for believers.
Climate of Stewardship
To a Christian, the idea of being a steward of the world, of creation, is a central and ever-present theme in our lives. At least, it ought to be. When God created the world, He placed us in charge. We are the stewards of this creation. We are the caretakers.
We're not doing a tremendously good job.
I don't mean for that to come across as a politically charged statement, just an objective one. One really need look no further than the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to see that humanity as a whole hasn't exactly been doing a stellar job of protecting and stewarding the creation we've been given. If you need more info, here's a mildly depressing list of ten of the most polluted places on the planet. Climate change and the political firestorm that surround it may not be simple issues for Christians, but endeavoring to be good stewards should be a no-brainer.
Now, I'm not suggesting that we, immediately, as a whole ditch all non-renewable energy sources and go live off the grid, that's not really the point, nor is it feasible for most of us. I, as an example, have a wife and three kids, so for us a minivan is pretty much essential. What I am suggesting is a little bit of individual, faith-led, common sense effort. Drive less, walk more, eat smarter, have a garden. Think about the waste you produce as a family, or as an individual. Investigate solar, or wind power. Check out the feasibility of those cool Tesla batteries. The list of possibilities is nearly endless and there's no one-size solution. Start seeing the world as yours to steward and guard, take ownership of it and see how you change in how you treat it. If You've been blessed to be a business owner, particularly one that is in a more pollutive industry, your standard for stewardship will be a bit broader, but if I can paraphrase the Lord a bit: To whom much has been given, much is required.
In either case, corporate or individual, no one's asking you to fix the climate, just steward your little patch of it well, and help others to do the same.
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