*Originally written on 2/22/14
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Gen 1: 28)
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and all that is them. This includes all the plants and animals; all the life on this earth. Then he made man, in His image. He told us, as above, to rule the earth and its inhabitants. We are to be good stewards of this great beautiful world God has given us. And as Christians, we need to be the best examples of good stewards and champions fighting environmental destruction. But as a whole, man is failing.
Let’s look at our job as stewards of the seas. WE have explored all parts of the ocean except the very deep, and know a fair amount about it and its inhabitants. But when it comes to taking care of our oceans, we aren’t doing a great job. Pollution seeping into freshwater runoff is continuously finding its way into the ocean, killing off most life that comes in contact with it. This is merely careless use of chemicals and other products, but people are doing even more damage. Commercial fisheries catch hundreds of thousands of tons of fish per year to feed the world. Some species, especially tunas, are reeling from the onslaught. Some species are down from the last century’s levels by 90 percent. In the relative blink of an eye, we have pushed our ocean near the breaking point. But we can stop it. We need to regulate the amount of fish we catch each year, and in certain devastated areas, stop fishing completely so populations can recover. Pretty simple, it just takes time.
Now let’s look at the land, and the “creature[s] that move on the ground.” The estimated number of different species on the face of the dry land is in the hundred thousands. These include lizards, amphibians, birds, insects, and mammals. But not all the species have healthy numbers. Some are down to ten individuals, or worse. We have not fulfilled our duty to care for the earth. For example, the black rhino, once seen all throughout of southern Africa, has dwindled down into the dozens of individuals, who are poached. Then in North America, buffalo herds used to literally cover the Great Plains, and now they are gone. In Asia, tigers used to be an everyday sight, and now they are classified as critically endangered. Why have these animals strayed close the brink of non-existence? Us.
People, humans, us. We rule the world, but it’s a matter of ruling well or poorly. And we are sorry rulers. But we can fix this. We need to put aside difference between cultures and the lucrative seductions some of our earth’s creatures pose. We need to end poaching, and set up protection laws, but they must be enforced. It won’t be easy, there will be battles, but we can rise to the challenge. I mean, it’s for the earth. Sounds pretty enviro-hippy, but it is. We are to take care of our earth, and since we’ve failed so far, let’s do a “take 2”! Let’s be better stewards, lets try and follow God’s command to “fill the earth and subdue it.” Let’s be better rulers of this kingdom He had given to us.
Much peace and happiness,
Michal Biggerstaff (20) is a staff writer at TPS Chapel.