“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1 NIV).
Modern society is greatly concerned with the condition of the earth. Water and fuel supplies, pollution, the environment and other problems challenge us to find proper ways to deal with the world.
The Bible reveals God as the creator and owner of the universe. Still, it teaches that each individual has a vitally important role to playas a steward in God’s domain. God has chosen to give us major responsibility for this world. This stewardship includes both the proper use and conservation of natural and human resources. They must be managed in a way that brings glory to God and furthers His purposes in the world.
Sadly, some have badly misunderstood the purposes of God’s resources. We see selfish and excessive acquisition at the expense of the world’s natural wealth. On the other hand, we have conservation groups that seem to misunderstand proper utilization. And, there are Christians who advocate opulence and extravagance in the name of Christian blessings. The Bible teaches that the world’s resources are to be used, but not abused, and that we will be held responsible for the care, use and stewardship of the world. Christians must take a lead in exercising this God-given responsibility.
The natural environment is given for the use and provision of all living things. Food, shelter and clothing, along with recreation and pleasure, are provided to us by the natural world. To pollute and abuse the world in our pursuit of profit or pleasure is unacceptable in God’s sight.
God has given human resources in the form of scientific and artistic ability. But science and technology used for power, control and the destruction of the human and the natural world; intelligence used to develop ungodly philosophies; business acumen used only for personal advancement; artistic ability that is perverted for the production of the pornographic and obscene; and financial wealth that serves only the selfish interests of the well-to-do are all patently unacceptable and a violation of our responsibility to use these God-given resources in a way that benefits the human race and glorifies God.
Recognizing the great challenge that God has given us in the stewardship of the earth, the National Association of Evangelicals calls upon its churches, denominations, mission agencies and educational institutions to examine their goals and procedures in light of the biblical injunction to be good stewards. We call upon individual Christians as well to examine the ways in which they live and use the resources of time, talent, mind, body, thoughts and finances over which they have control.
May the Church at large be a model of the ways and values of God in its stewardship of God’s resources. True Christian stewardship is recognizing and living out a commitment to the truth that “The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.”