By: Derk Maat
As a Christian and an environmental engineer, I’m often asked how Christians should respond to environmental issues. Much of the discussion around the environment these days centres on political, technological or economic aspects, and these are all important. But environmental stewardship is also a kingdom issue. God has not only called us to steward the earth, but, through His grace, we can access divinely inspired solutions for the environmental issues we face today through the mind of Christ.
The Bible is full of references about God’s concern for the earth, and his desire for mankind to steward it well.
In the first two chapters of Genesis, God gave mankind the responsibility of stewarding the earth. Then in chapter 9, God made a covenant with Noah and all living things, to never again destroy the earth with a flood. John 3:16 tells us that God loves the world (and every thing in it) enough to be redeemed by His Son Jesus. Romans 8:21 says that the creation is groaning to be liberated from bondage into the glorious freedom of the children of God. And there’s even a strong warning that those who destroy the earth will be destroyed themselves (Rev 11:18).
There is so much fear, anxiety, greed, corruption and disbelief surrounding this issue that it can feel like a real mess. But what if Christians were thought leaders on the environment, championing positive change inspired by the Holy Spirit?
Unfortunately, despite the clear importance of the environment in scripture, many Christians have either ignored this issue, or have engaged in it largely from a political or ideological perspective.
In my recent interview with Faytene Grasseschi, she made a good point that Christians have not really felt they can be a part of the conversation or solution, because they may disagree with the political ideologies that are so often attached to this issue.
How Christians can positively engage on environmental issues
But we as Christians are part of the solution! We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10)!
There is so much fear, anxiety, greed, corruption and disbelief surrounding this issue that it can feel like a real mess. But what if Christians were thought leaders on the environment, championing positive change inspired by the Holy Spirit? What innovations and inventions could be created that solve systemic environmental problems? In what ways could we model lifestyles that live in harmony and sustainability with creation?
We need to get re-engaged as creative, Holy Spirit-inspired believers with prophetic insight and priestly prayers for leaders in business, education and government. We can become thought leaders and innovators to bring new solutions to break strongholds and paradigms that keep us from seeing kingdom values flourish in all aspects of human endeavor.
Global thought leaders have said we cannot solve environmental issues with new technology, financial incentives, carbon taxes, and regulations alone. This is not about identity politics, and in the political sphere I believe partisanship needs to be left out of the picture on this issue.
Jesus already knows what a world looks like with 7 billion people living in harmony with the world around them. We just need to listen to hear and see what He has in store for us! I believe that, by the Grace of God, we have an all-powerful and all-knowing resource base (the Holy Spirit) to bring creativity, excellence and integrity to one of the greatest felt needs of our civilization.
Derk Maat is the CEO & Board Chair of Transformation Canada, an environmental engineer and President & CEO of GPEC Global, SciCorp and Maat Environmental.