David Gushee thinks he understands why some conservative evangelicals have opposed “creation care” (i.e., taking care of the environment). He writes:
… it seems to me that those who resist creation care sometimes are motivated by a misreading of scripture. I have been in conversations where people suggest that stewardship primarily means mastery of earth to use it as we please or need; or that human beings do not have the power to do real harm to creation; or that God has promised ever since Noah never to allow humans to do serious harm to creation; or that the earth will be destroyed by fire anyway, and soon, so what we do now to the earth isn’t really all that significant.
He goes on to name three other factors that have led to this conservative opposition to protecting our earth: a “profound mishandling of science,” an “inordinate loyalty to laissez-faire capitalism,” and an “inordinate loyalty to political leaders.”
I believe that all of these ideas are erroneous, and that we need to keep working deeply on the theology of creation care to move beyond them.
Gushee is convinced that if the great body of evangelical Christians get behind creation care, “our nation’s culture and politics will change rapidly,” which he thinks “will be one of the best contributions we will ever make to this country and to the world.”
Jim Rice is editor of Sojourners magazine.