Christians and their natural environment

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm May 29, 2017 05:16

Christians and their natural environment

An advert popped up on a Christian-owned radio station even as I was driving through some streets in Kumasi. Apparently, a Christian Prophet was announcing that he had ‘anointed sand’ which was a prophetic direction to enhance farming and ‘galamsey’.

Although my initial response was to be upset, I rather later decided to reflect on what the entire advert meant, with regards to the Christian’s perspective in the handling of his environment, especially in Ghana.

In Ghana, the history of the Church has gone through several phases. The arrival of Christianity had a major impact on the African culture and traditions. Even as the indigenous Ghanaian became a Christian, he had a new worldview, which gradually eroded some traditional practices like human sacrifices, female circumcision and some forms of barbaric slavery.  However, this gradual erosion was holistic removing some myths and superstitions which in the long run sustained the natural environment. Some of these myths made taboos of fishing and farming in certain areas and on certain days, making of certain places sacred so much that human beings could not even go there. Rocks, rivers, forests, and other natural locations were believed to have contained spirits and therefore were to be treated as sacred and not to be exploited.

A pastor friend once told a story where young Pentecostal believers raised prayer and praises to God at a stream which was declared sacred and after fished from it on one particular night. After that incident, the town folk noticing the stream was powerless entered and exploited it, to the point that the stream now is a pale shadow of itself.

A gap was therefore created when these myths were demystified and there was no real conscious approach by the Church (who conducted this mystification) to provide options for a sustainable natural environment.

Some Christians have quoted Genesis 1:28  as a basis for their dominion over the earth and therefore can choose to handle it any way they deem fit.

Some are therefore into ‘galamsey’, some build churches on waterways and river beds, some treat animals barbarically and some just cut down trees so people can see the flamboyance of their church buildings. The list of flagrant dissipation of the natural environment by some individual Christians and some churches as corporate institutions could go on and on.

However, this text must also be juxtaposed with Genesis 2:15  where God instructed ‘man’ to work the Garden of Eden and take care of it. It is even with regards to this task v 20 – 25, God created the suitable helper – the woman; to help him fulfil this task. In this light, it is essential that the Christian realises that he has a huge responsibility to the natural environment because that task has been assigned by God.

If the Christian believes that his Salvation restores him to have the nature of God, then he must also appreciate that the nature of God includes the systematic creation of an environment which was intended to be sustainable. God created the land, water bodies, the skies, plants, before creating fishes and animals who depend on the plants and water bodies and then before creating a man who will depend on the plants, water bodies and animals for survival. It is clearly illogical to say that we have the nature of God but we have no regard for a sustainable natural environment.

In the conclusion of my reflections, I believe Andrew Walls was right on his proposed five(5) marks of missions which include ‘to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth’ as one of the major marks of missions.

‘ a Christian who drops litter in bins, who cleans his drains and his environment,  builds in environmentally acceptable areas , does not use  dangerous chemicals for fishing and farming, does not cut down trees indiscriminately  and who generally respects the natural habitat of other organisms is one who reflects the nature of God and therefore the CHRISTIAN LIFE.

Source: myjoyonline.com

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm May 29, 2017 05:16
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