- November 20, 2013
- By Jonathan Petty / Wayland Baptist University
PLAINVIEW—Love for God demands care for the world he created, Ben Lowe, spokesman for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, told students in chapel at Wayland Baptist University during the school’s fourth annual Creation Care Week.
Green Revolution: Coming Together to Care for Creation, described growing up as the son of missionary parents in Singapore, where his family often dealt with water shortages and bad air quality.Lowe, author of
Lowe majored in environmental studies at Wheaton College, where he helped organize the school’s first national Climate Change Summit.
While he worked as a student with an environmental group in Tanzania, experts determined a fishery there was failing because climate change was affecting how the water and nutrients mixed in the lake.
A fisherman told Lowe his family had fished the lake for years, and they no longer were able to catch fish. He wanted to know why.
Lowe explained what caused the lack of fish in the lake, but when the fisherman asked what he could do to change things, Lowe had no answer.
He recognized China and the United States are the two largest polluters globally, and the pollutants they emit are affecting people around the world. Christians have a responsibility to respond, he insisted.
“If we are to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength as we are called to, we can’t claim to do that unless we love and care for the world, God’s creation,” Lowe said.
Effects of pollution and climate change are more pronounced in the developing world than in industrialized nations, he noted, and the poor feel them most acutely.
However, he noted, some positive changes are taking place. In Malawi, farmers have stopped raising maize and sorghum and are planting millet, because it is drought-resistant and uses far less water. Relief and development groups around the world are organizing to address climate change, he said.
“We need the church to stand up and be light in a dark world,” Lowe said. “We need to join God in what he is doing to bring hope and healing to a dying world.”
Lowe outlined steps Christians can take to be better stewards of God’s creation.
• Be motivated by love, not guilt. “Let guilt prick our conscience so that we see what is going on in the world with our eyes wide open, but don’t let guilt be our motivation,” Lowe said. “Let love be our motivation.”
• Don’t get bogged down with a lengthy “to-do” list. Instead, he said, Christians should think about creation care relationally, focusing on having better relationships through God’s creation.
• Respond to calling rather than need. If Christians focus on the need, they inevitably will burn out and fall into despair, he said. Instead, believers should determine what God is calling them to do and respond accordingly.
“We are not the ones who will save the world,” he said. “But we follow the God who is.”
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