Pro-life environmental stewardship

The Covenant Church’s Annual Meeting has consistently spoken out against abortion. The indifference to human life implied in the gratuitous use of abortion deeply concerns and distresses many. Some of us are attracted to the “consistent pro-life” position that includes capital punishment and war in the list of concerns.
Oddly, I have seldom, if ever, heard anyone suggest that concern for the environment is a pro-life issue. And yet, human life itself depends on the proper stewardship of our beautiful, God-given creation. Without clean water, fertile soil, and clean air, life on earth is not possible.

So begins John E. Phelan Jr.’s column “Markings” in a recent issue of The Covenant Companion.

He goes on to say,

Many evangelicals are hostile to environmental stewardship in general and the question of global warming in particular. I am frankly perplexed by this. We are justly concerned about our culture’s indifference to human life. So how can we be indifferent to the enormous suffering and death of millions or even billions? Why refuse to address or even consider our contributions to the destruction of the earth’s health and fertility? If this is not a pro-life issue, what is? Among the virtues required to properly care for creation are frugality, self-discipline, generosity, compassion, and hope. Environmental stewardship requires harnessing our desires, addressing our greed, and “valuing others above ourselves” (Philippians 2:3). These are virtues and commitments embedded in our faith in Jesus Christ.

Phelan isn’t calling for government-imposed solutions, but for “a change of heart”, a “cultural revolution” of God’s people. He goes on to suggest that the judgements in the book of Revelation won’t need to be wrought by God directly, but may be brought upon us by ourselves.

I think he makes some good points.

A PDF of the article can be downloaded here.

Comments are closed.