Christianity and Environmental Conservation






Christianity and Environmental Conservation




















Christianity and Environmental Conservation

Thesis: Christians have an important role to play in the conservation and preservation of the environment drawing from the Biblical perspective on the divine relationship between humans and nature.


  1. Degradation of the environment is a global problem that needs the intervention of people from all spheres of life.
    1. Lobbyists and individuals have endeavored to reverse the problem through various means.
    2. Christians have been called upon to take an active interest because of their unique capacity to influence change (Story, TotalBoox & TBX, 2012).
  2. Lack of initiative from the Christian fraternity had often been cited as the missing link to the problem of environmental conservation (Stoll, 2015).
    1. Christians have often been blamed for doing very little to reverse the problem, or for condoning practices that undermine conservation efforts.
    2. Bible teachings imply that the protection of the environment is a divine duty, which requires Christians to take active interest as a matter of obedience.
  • The story of Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai shows the level of positive impact that can be achieved by Christians working with unbowed devotion.
    1. The Nobel laureate engaged a hostile government and managed to stop the destruction of forests in Kenya.
    2. She acknowledged that a significant part of her struggle was drawn from her recognition of nature as divine (Maathai, 2010).
  1. Some Christian perspectives challenge the role of Christians in the conservation efforts on the grounds that their inheritance is in heaven.
    1. Uncritical focus on spiritual matters often compromises the perspectives of many Christians regarding the need to preserve and conserve the environment.
    2. Reading the Bible in totality is necessary for awakening Christians to the divine duty of conserving the environment.
  2. Christians should play active roles in initiatives that are meant to conserve the environment.
    1. Planting trees, lobbying, and challenging initiatives that are destructive to the environment are some of the actions that Christians could consider.
    2. Christian love should manifest in conservation efforts to prevent death and destruction from calamities caused by Tsunamis and hurricanes.
















Christianity and Environmental Conservation

Concerns over the continued degradation of the environment are prevalent in every sphere of life because of the enormity of the impact in every sphere of life. Calls for the Christian fraternity to take an active interest on the matter have increased since the turn of the century. One dimension of the matter holds that the question of environmental conservation appertains to the direction given by God for humankind to take charge over all creation. This pattern of thinking fosters the impression that the Christian input is the missing link to the entire initiative of preserving the environment. Notably, the Bible contains multiple references on the unique relationship between humans and the environment. Overall, Christians have an important role to play in the conservation and preservation of the environment drawing from the Biblical perspective on the divine relationship between humans and nature.

Christians should conserve and restore the environment because it is part of God’s creation. According to the Biblical story of creation, God created man in his own image and likeness and gave him dominion over everything on earth (Story, TotalBoox & TBX, 2012). This divine direction implies that humankind should serve as the custodians of God’s creation while on the planet. Drawing from this perspective, it might be argued that failure to preserve and protect the environment is a form of transgression against God’s commandment. Therefore, every Christian should take an active role in nurturing vegetation and tending to animals both wild and domestic because it is God’s decree (Stoll, 2015). One way of achieving this objective is to desist from wanton excision of forest of destruction of vegetation, which often happens in the wake of modernization. Such initiatives should take place in recognition of the fact that certain actions and inactions have a direct impact on the environment.

Renowned environmentalist and celebrated Nobel Laureate, Wangari Maathai explained the link between God and the environment in this memorable quote; “All of us have God in us, and that God is the spirit that unites all life, everything that is on this planet, (Maathai, 2010, 41). According to Maathai, there is an unseen but profoundly powerful vital force that connects humans to their physical environment. The link between human lives and the lives of trees and animals defines God’s grand formula on which creation is based. If this link is to be explored in all details, then it fosters the impression the act of preserving the environment is similar to humans preserving themselves. The opposite should also be true in the sense that it is impossible for a committed Christian to destroy the environment without destroying himself or herself.

The story of how Wangari Maathai engaged a government in her bid to prevent the destruction of a forest was shared widely by the international media. On several occasions, she met the full brutality of the police as she took her Greenbelt Movement to forests to prevent the cutting down of trees by developers. In her will, the Nobel laureate specified that she should be cremated because she would not stand a single tree to be cut down for the construction of her coffin. Her wish was eventually granted upon her demise in 2011. In her book, Replenishing the Earth, she spells out how environmental conservation is a divine duty that should be observed by all.

Between 230,000 and 280,000 people who lived on the landmasses that border the Indian Ocean were killed by multiple devastating Tsunamis in the recent past (Stoll, 2015). Experts attributed the calamities to the displacement of the tectonic Indian Plate by the Burma Plate, which resulted in a series of undersea mega-thrust earthquakes. Beyond the scientific explanation of the causes is the question of how certain human activities contributed actively to the disasters. Previous surveys have shown compelling proof the continued destruction of the environment eventually exposes the planet to the perils of hurricanes and Tsunamis (Stoll, 2015). Any Christian imbued with divine love should never engage in any activities that would lead to enormous loss of life and properties. Therefore, Christians should demonstrate true love by lobbying against any laws or developments that are inimical to environmental sustainability. Such involvement should be based on the idea of Christian love for humanity and nature.

However, there is often the impression that Christians should not devote their efforts on earthly things because their real inheritance is heaven. Those who think along such lines also argue that the immaterial nature of the soul of Christians has nothing to do with the physical world (Stoll, 2015). In this regard, some Christian may choose to ignore any efforts that are done in the spirit of environmental conservation. There are many verses in the Bible that inform believers about the treasures in heaven that can never be destroyed by rot or moth. The implication of such verses is that earthly things are transient and Christians should not pay much attention on them (Stoll, 2015). However, an inflexible interpretation of such verses would also lead to a transgression of other Biblical directions that promote environmental conservation. The Bible’s provision regarding the relationship between humans, environment, and God should be deciphered by reading it in totality.

According to Van (2013), ecological restoration of the damaged ecosystems is an undertaking that calls for the collaboration of scientists and people of religion. Van is particularly categorical of the role of Christians in supporting the efforts of other stakeholders in the society to preserve and conserve the environment. In several volumes of environmental literature, Christian-dominated countries in the developed world have been blamed roundly for the escalation of environmental destruction around the world. In particular, European powers and America have taken a significant share of the blame for the growth in the levels of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. On ethical grounds, Christians in such countries and elsewhere should join initiatives of prevailing on their governments to adopt policies that are aimed at the reduction of global warming in all aspects. In the long-term, the active and sustained contribution in the conservation debates will build sufficient pressure that would lead to the adoption of environmental-friendly policies.

It has often been argued that God’s design of the universe reveals Him as a master architect of the heavens and the earth (Stoll, 2015). The various calamities that have befallen the earth the recent years have been analyzed in terms of the adverse consequence of altering nature’s design according to divine order. Therefore, devout Christians should take steps of remedying the alteration of the natural order at all levels that they can master both individually and in groups. Apart from ensuring their own survival, initiatives of preserving the environment should be considered as divine duty. Any Christian should take pleasure in carrying out God’s commandment because it means the sustainability of love and life.

Ultimately, Christians have an important duty of conserving environment because it is a divine duty derived from God’s commandment. Christians should take active interest in the various initiatives that are intended to reverse the adverse effects of human activities on the environment. The process of environmental conservation should also be looked at in terms of dispensing the Christian doctrine of love for nature and God’s creation. Christian values and ethics should be deployed on activities such as planting trees and participating in lobby groups that are intended to provide support for other initiatives that are intended to protect, preserve, and conserve the environment.








Maathai, W. (2010). Replenishing the Earth: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World. New York: Doubleday Religion.

Stoll, M. (2015). Inherit the holy mountain: Religion and the rise of American environmentalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Story, D., TotalBoox,, & TBX,. (2012). Should Christians Be Environmentalists. New York: Kregel Publications.

Van, W. G. (2013). Restored to earth: Christianity, environmental ethics, and ecological restoration. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press.