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Christian teachings on stewardship and creation.

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Introduction

Religion and the Environment: Coursework Write an assignment on religion and the environment. In the assignment you should: a) Describe, analyse, and explain: (i) The problems associated with the use of scarce/non-renewable resources. (ii) Christian teachings on stewardship and creation. (iii) How these teachings might apply to the use of scarce and non-renewable resources. There are many problems with the fuel sources that we use at the moment. Recently we have acknowledged the amount of destruction upon the environment due to the use of these fuel sources, but still even with this knowledge we carry on using these polluting fuels. Both the non-religious and the religious communities have started to speak up against this. They believe that these non-renewable resources should be cautiously and limitedly used. Non-renewable resources are sources of energy that occur naturally in the world but because we use them all the time as energy (for heating, electricity, fuel for transport etc.) they become depleted and they can not be replenished naturally because they are being used up so quickly. Therefore they become scarce and non-renewable. Examples of these are: oil, coal, natural gas, and fuel wood. Oil is the most common non-renewable fossil fuel. It is used because it holds large amounts of energy and it can be moved easily from place to place. However, already more than a quarter of the earth's supply of oil has been used up over a period of 120 years. There are many problems with using oil as an energy source because it gives out many toxic gases that harm the atmosphere and can cause premature death and illness in humans. Extraction of oil causes considerable environmental pollution, and burning oil contributes to problems of acid rain and the greenhouse effect. Acid rain is linked with damage to and the death of forests and lake organisms in Scandinavia, Europe, and eastern North America. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore careful planning and consideration should take place before any destruction or harm to the wildlife so that we may use the resources accordingly without harm to wildlife. However, in Deuteronomy 20:19, in this scripture it states that we should not chop down fruit trees because it holds more value if we use the gifts it gives us. This scripture can be used to describe how we should use the resources within the Amazon rainforest. Examples of the products that the Amazon rainforest gives us are: produces oxygen, rare medicinal plants grow only in the forest, it is the habitat for some of the world's most rare species, particular tribes work and live within the rainforest, and is also used as a food resource around the world. The Church of England believe that the issues of the environment and the stewardship of the environment should be under discussion and put into practice allowing dioceses to do what they can to help the environment. They believe that the Earth's energy supply should be used wisely, similar to that of the parable of the servants with the master's coins (Luke 19:11-27). This also means that more people should use renewable energy sources such as solar power or reuse resources by recycling. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England believes that the world's population should be stabilised so that humans can live in sustainable harmony with the rest of the natural world. Even though these are the churches views upon what should be done about the world's resource problem, many churches do not follow or even know their denominations opinion. There are many Christian environmental agencies, which try and increase awareness upon the resource problem of the world. The ECEN (European Christian Environmental Network which used to be the Environmental Issues Network of the CCBI) is concerned with the issues related to non-renewable/ scarce energy resources. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Church credits its ministers and priests on their consideration and help on the awareness of the environment, yet only 20% have ever heard a sermon on the environment. This again indicates that Church's are not getting their view across. How can the Church expect Christians to go out and help the environment when the congregation is hearing not enough of the education on the environment? Another point that agrees with the above statement is that many Christians interpret the stewardship of the natural world from the bible negatively. There are many scriptures that do point towards the stewardship of the world as being respectful and that Christians should be careful of the limited resources that we have: but there are also scriptures that hold the view that as Christians we have the right to do what we want with the world and its resources. In my survey I found that 14% of the Christians did not recycle. If this percentage was put into context of the world's Christian population, who believe that the world was given to them to use as they see fit, then this is a staggering amount and shows that religious people are no different from anyone else in the world. Out of the 86% of Christians that do recycle only 9% actually recycle because of their church's beliefs on the environment. This brings forward another reason that shows that religious people are the same as the rest of the world's population as society has been aware of environmental problems for the past thirty years, while only just recently the church has shown any interest in our natural habitat. Society and culture dictate that recycling and all 'green' resources should be used whenever possible also, society has a greater affect locally compared to the Church due to the use of the media to get across to the people whether religious or non-religious. There are usually local non-religious environment newspapers, adverts the television, on the radio, and in large mainstream newspapers. My conclusion is that religious people are no different from the rest of the world's population. ...read more.

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