One simple way Christians can impact the world is by getting involved in the environmental movement.

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Being an environmentalist is generally viewed as a secular thing.  The term environmentalist often has negative connotations as many people imagine tree hugging hippies or radical social activists.  Sometimes environmental issues get tied up into political or economic debates that leave many Christians happy to avoid the topic all together.  But if you examine the importance of the environment to God, our responsibility to take care of the earth, and the significant impact environmental issues have on the lives of the poor, you will quickly realize that Christians belong in the forefront of the environmental debate.

 

Merriam-Webster defines an environmentalist as “a person who works to protect the natural world from pollution and other threats.”

The natural world….this is the space that God created starting with the Garden of Eden.  The earth, the skies, the trees, the animals, the water, the plants, AND the people who inhabit the earth.

Pollution….this is something that is harmful or poisonous.  It can be anything that will make a substance – such as air, water, food – dirty and unusable.

Threats….this is anything that has the potential to cause injury, damage or harm.

 

So if we reexamine the definition we find that an environmentalist is a person who works to protect God’s creations from things that are harmful, poisonous or has the potential to cause damage.  Combine this definition with Genesis 2:15 (“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it”).  It sounds to me like God’s initial plan – before The Fall and all of the pesky sin came with it – was for humans to be environmentalists and take care of his earth.