The bracelet slogan, WWJD, popularized the notion of asking what Jesus would do in various situations. I think it’s worth pondering what his response might be to the critical issue of Earth care were he in the flesh today.
Because environmental degradation wasn’t a problem in his day, Jesus said very little about the human relationship to the natural world. But we can certainly make some assumptions based on his values, teachings, and actions. And since the church seeks to act in his name under the guidance of his Spirit, I would like to think we are listening to Christ as our church leaders make pronouncements about the urgency of caring for the Earth.
Unfortunately, many Christians see little connection between the health of the Earth and the mission of Christ. Historically, much theological and spiritual emphasis was given to fleeing the world and putting one’s sole hope in life after death. Thus the world had little value in itself. It was merely the backdrop for the great drama of personal salvation, a purely spiritual endeavor.