Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In The News: Radical Environmentalism

ImageThe Bible teaches us that when God created man, he told him to “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:26). He put Adam in the garden He had planted, for the man to “tend and keep it” (2:15).

God has given man the responsibility to be a steward of His creation. This is a charge we must not take lightly. Years and years of neglect and abuse have led to the fouling of our environment, the depletion of natural resources, and the unfortunate extinction of many species of fish, birds and animals. Such abuse is lamentable and inexcusable. We must be more careful in our stewardship of this world God gave us.

However, many who set the environmental agenda in our society, (indeed, in the world), do not have an understanding of man’s responsibility regarding stewardship. They find the concept, that man’s purpose is to “have dominion” and “subdue” the earth and the animals in it, to be immoral. The radical environmentalists do not view man to be made in God’s image. In fact, they consider man to be merely an animal, and of no more importance than any other animal. I recently came across a quote by the president of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Her name is Ingrid Newkirk, and she said:

“There is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They’re all mammals.”

Some live as strict vegetarians, not because they consider it healthy to eat a diet without meat, but because they consider it immoral to slaughter cattle.

Some refuse to wear leather, not because it is not their style, but because they consider it immoral to kill animals to use their skin for clothing. (Remember, God provided Adam and Eve tunics of skin to cover their nakedness, cf. Genesis 3:21).

Some object to scientific experiments utilizing animals, despite the medical benefits to human beings, calling it immoral and unethical.

As Christians, we must recognize that our world view does not coincide with such people. With these radical groups such as PETA and Greenpeace, it is not just a matter of protecting the environment or being an advocate for animals. The philosophy and beliefs of these people are decidedly anti-God, anti-Bible and anti-Christian.

It is not the mission of the church (or gospel preachers) to effect political change. The responsibility of God’s people is to “preach the word” to the salvation of souls. However, when such ungodly attitudes are present and advocated in our society, we must contend for the faith.

I’m sorry, Ms. Newkirk, but there is a difference between a dog and a boy. The boy is made in the image of God (cf. Genesis 1:27).