Over the years, there has been an emergence of a new discipline of study which touches the interaction of religion and ecology following the environmental crisis that has hit the globe. Theologians from all religious background have acknowledged that it is their wholesome responsibility to take care of nature as it is responsibility from God for make to obligatory care for the Earth (Max et al 2005).
According to the bible, the entire creation which includes nature has been suffering for long. Out this bare fact, several theologies to restore certain elements of the Earth, human beings and ecological oriented approach of God have been introduced (David, Bart 104). This paper therefore explores the dimensions of religious concept and attitude on nature and the religious involvement in environmental crisis. All this will be based on Toulmin model of argument (see figure 1) showing how Christians use the systematic way of reasoning to argue their contribution to environmental conservation and restoration.
Christians approaches to preserve the environment
Christians believe that they owe to God a task to rule and preserve the environment and natural resources stewardly in line with the conservation ethics in consistence with the Toulmin model of argumentation, Christians have identified the major environmental issues that face the world today as rising from the environmental tension between human behavior that facilitate environmental degradation and the legitimate role of the civil government to preserve the environment (Rogers 205).
Therefore, issues of the environment are being examined by Christians in consideration to the limits of the environment to stand certain human impact without being destroyed, the need of change in the behaviors of human being that adversely degrade the environment and the role of the government in environment conservation (Larsson 2001). In strict terms, the evangelical position on matters to do with environmental preservation arises from the strong endorsement of individual responsibility as well as governmental actions in line with obligations towards God and the society.
Following this argument, the church organizations came up with varied resolutions to help the environment be clean and safe for those living now and the future generation (Angela 2001).However, to preserve the environment, costs must be incurred hence it is a daunting task for this church organizations to solicit for funds to facilitate their contributions to the entire process of environmental conservation.
The first action towards conserving the ecological system, Christians have resolved to disseminate information of environmental degradation to the masses of people beginning with their own members an extending the information outside their religious confines (Max et al 2005). The dissemination of this information is done through a variety of media, which includes; church organizations publishing newsletters about the need to preserve the environment, organize trip and incorporate the message of ecological degradation and mitigation measure or just practically get involved in local conservation.
A religious campaign for forest conservation is a good example of this action oriented approach in the United States of America. It is a group of churches and denominations that are brought together by the common interest for conserving forests in a religious context (Garry 2003). It is logical enough that information is power. If people have information on the dangers of environmental degradation and what to do to help the situation, they would take appropriate steps to help correct the situation.
Absolutely, this becomes a practical conservational action that is pegged on environmental education which follows the Toulmin model because it gives evidence on the deplorable state of the environment and reasons on the need to act though with speed (Peter 2005).
In addition, Christian communities have placed emphasis cross cultural corperation that seeks to enhance individual involved in environmental issues guided by religious tenets.
They basically aim at raising awareness on issues of agriculture and look at them from the biblical front. Agricultural Christian fellowship in the United Kingdom is a typical example of this action being taken by Christians to restore the environmental purity (Eugene et al 2007). Groups of environmentally minded people join the group and equip people with the knowledge to responsibly and with integrity in 5the scientific practices. They hold conferences as well as seminar and challenge people to live up to the faith of reflecting about nature and making their churches, models of sustaining God’s creation of which nature is part of (Garry 2003).
Still on, Several churches in the United Kingdom are entering into partnerships with Royal Agricultural society of England and the Rank foundation in the US to ideally empower rural Christians in meeting their socio-economic needs in a wise way and also conserving the Africa’s ecosystems. Such approach is logical because there is the underlying proof for the need to preserve the environment and this as evidently in accordance to the Toulmin model of argument (Rogers 258).
Eventually Christians achieve their objectives because after all is said and done, they would have promoted environmental stewardship through action sand knowledge which comes with the church- initiated academic programs and community education. Organizations on the fore front of this action approach are the California Interfaith power and light California in The United States (Larsson 2001). All these is about promoting energy conservation, renewable energy, energy efficiency and consequently ensuring good health and sufficient energy for all.
Environmental protection is both a religious and scientific enterprise. Care must be taken when coming up with actions to help conserve the environment because, the civil societies have their own formulations that have political basis on the conservation of the environment and so, church organizations must be careful so as not t provoke the governmental standing orders (Angela 2001).
In the United States, St Joan of Arc has desirable plans to help us connect our faith and spirituality with the sense of duty and justice to the Earth, its wholesome systems and it’s creations at large. Individual church ministries, college fellowship and the interested religious fraternity calls for the stewards to help God’s creations in the love of Jesus commanded us to love. This organization coordinates efforts of the church to promote understanding and responsibility in areas of socio-economic and environmental issues (Max 2oo5).
In addition, several church organizations provides speakers to talk on environment in general and also materials largely on spirituality and ecology. In such programs changes in the climate as well environmental abuses are highlighted with emphasis on church members to uphold to selfless courage and moral authority to foster ecological protection.
It is evident that chritians today have embraced constructive approaches to help avert the many harms being done on the environment. It serves as a wake up call especially the ecological problems if not addressed have far fetching effects that only man will feel adversely since he is the one endowed with the responsibility to take care of the universe and all that is in it. The goals of Christians in this mission are aimed at helping people around the world be it Christians or non-Christians to recognize their role in being good stewardship God’s creation and still emphasizing on the globalization of alternative ways towards unity in diversity of faith and cultural orientation (Peter 2005).
Courtney from Study Moose
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