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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Christians Destroying The Environment To The Glory Of God?


“I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas” – Albert Einstein.

Whenever I have had cause to criticise myself and the Christian faith that I strongly believe in has turned out to be both torturous and rewarding. Being a Christian, in my opinion, should automatically make one an Environmentalist! After all, the God we claim to be worshipping created everything around us and it must be part of our conviction to protect what God has created. But when I see so-called Christians destroying what the God they claim to be worshipping has created, it saddens me. What even makes it sad is when they use quotes from The Bible to ignorantly endorse what they are doing. A popular scripture mostly misunderstood or mischievously twisted to suit such bad treatment of the environment to meet selfish desires is God command to subdue the earth in Genesis 1:28, “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

There are so many churches built in flood plains and it beats my mind when I see such things. These churches have blocked water courses and creating big problems for people when it rains and they believe they are worshiping God! I feel bad when I see such things. Go to a suburb of Kumasi called Susanso (off KNUST-Amakom Road) and see a number of churches all built in a water way. These churches are blocking the flow of the river and causing flooding whenever it rains. Is that what God would like? That we destroy what He has created and create inconveniences for others because "we want to worship Him”?

One Sunday morning, after returning from Church service around 10:00 GMT, I was listening to a radio station in Kumasi which was broadcasting a church service of one church also built in a water way. The pastor was teaching the congregation on the need to have FAITH in God despite all odds and I was enjoying the sermon. To my anger and dismay, I heard the Pastor recounting how the church building came to be. According to him the whole place was marshy but he decided to build there to the glory of God (Indeed!). He recounted how his friend who is an architect advised him to stop because building at such a place because it would be impossible. The pastor continued, “I didn’t give up, I promised my friend that I will build the church. And today you are here and can testify the church has been built. If I should tell you the amount of money spent on cement, stones and sand to fill this place in order to get this building put up, you will marvel. But it has been done to the glory of God”. Throughout the uttering of these things, the congregation shouted, “Amen”, Praise the Lord”, etc. I was amazed! Whaaaaaaat? Destroying God’s creation to the glory of God? God knew why he created a river there and made that land marshy! The Bible says that God created everything. “…. And God saw that it was good! (Genesis 1:21). And those who claim to be worshiping the God who created everything are now destroying everything! It’s a shame.

And so, it has been happening. Through ignorance, selfishness and mischief, Christians are destroying their environment. The Bible recognises the value of all things God created and we are to treat God’s creation with care and respect. Let’s seek knowledge and live well.

“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6)

3 comments:

  1. Stephanie Yeboah- MensahApril 28, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    God richly bless you for what you are doing. i think it is time for some of us who really care about the environment to wake up and talk about some of this things. i feel angry each time i see people trying to build in the river or catchment area , all because they have money not thinking about other. i wonder if people really know about the God we are serving. Once again God bless. Please i will be glad if u invite me for any programme related to protecting of water bodies.

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  2. Dr. Gyampoh,

    Well done for this great piece. Your articles always reveal key problems or issues that society tend to ignore, but need serious attention to prevent environmental degradation.

    At the creation of man, God commanded that humans (in Genesis 1:28) take control over the earth and rule over the animals. Having dominion doesn't mean to devastate, but take care of the earth and its creatures and resources. To take care of something means to preserve, keep, watch, maintain, defend and attend.

    I wouldn't conclude that Christians and church leaders have no respect for the environment. For every person to become an environmentalist, people must be educated on the value of the environment and for that matter, natural resources. Science is a multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary subject so there must be knowledge transfer to society, both the literate and illiterate on the importance of the environment to human livelihood.

    In my opinion, economic and social sustainability become central in any development issue in the African context and less concern is given to the environment. A church that builds a structure in a water-way or floody area may just be ignorant about the ecological implications. All must be educated and made to understand that protecting God's creation is not just the responsibility of secular organisations, but must be the responsibility of evangelical christians, as well.

    As christians, we should be doing everything Jesus commanded, including taking care of our families and all the resources He has given to us.

    "We have every of us a charge to keep, an eternal God to glorify, needful duty to be done, our generation to serve, and it must be our daily care to keep this charge, for it is the charge of the Lord our master, who will shortly call us account about it"....Matthew Henry. Also, Leviticus 8:35.

    By: Rita Somuah

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  3. Stephie and Rita,
    Thanks for your comments. I appreciate your great enthusiasm for protecting the environment. I believe we all have a duty to the environment. We are keeping it in trust for future generations and we can't destroy it!

    Stephie, I will keep your request in mind.

    Benji

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