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What do the Bible and the Christian Church teach about human responsibility for the world?

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A. What do the Bible and the Christian Church teach about human responsibility for the world? The Bible contains many teachings about our human responsibility towards the created world. It talks about the start of creation in Genesis. Here it is made clear that human beings are made in the image of God so that they can continue his good work. At the outset they are given power over the rest of creation and now if all humans work together to make the world a better place they will be more powerful so it will happen, but even if just a few people are not willing to help then all will fall apart (see poster). The other implication here is that the power comes with responsibility. The role of human beings is therefore to act as responsible caretakers. The book of Genesis also makes it quite clear that what God had created was perfect and that therefore we, as caretakers, had to keep it that way. In Psalms there is a tribute to the beauty of God's creation (Psalm 19). In the early verses, the Psalm points out that everything in this world reflects the glory of God because everything does what its supposed to do. Things follow God's law, which is the natural law. The Psalm then goes on to say that human beings, like the rest of creation, must do what they are supposed to do and we already know from Genesis that human beings are meant to look after the created world. ...read more.


One group of Christians, the Quakers, very much ahead of their time realised sooner than others that our miss-treatment of the environment would have long term damaging consequences. Indeed the American Quaker, John Wooman, over two hundred years ago, made the following observation: "The produce of the Earth is a gift from our gracious creator to the inhabitants and to impoverish the Earth now to support outward greatness appears to be an injury to the succeeding age". In 1986, there was a famous pilgrimage to Assisi in Italy. Many people joined in. Some were religious, some were not. The aim of this pilgrimage was to express concerns of our treatment of the environment. At the end of pilgrimage the five major world religious each issued their own declaration represented all Christian Churches and it was therefore an ecumenical response. The declaration served as a reminder that we human beings are the caretakers of God's world and therefore we should look after it, we should treat others with respect which means we should not go to war, we should not be racist and most importantly, we should ensure that scientific advances are not at the expense of morality. The declaration also pointed out that to help us with all of this, God has sent model examples that we should seek to follow. The perfect example of course was Jesus, but there are others, e.g. ...read more.


The movement emerged in South America and was a response to the criticism often voiced against the Catholic Church that the Church itself is too wealthy when its original people are so poor, hence the Church sought to get out onto the streets and help the people in most need. The Church seeking for justice worldwide had a particularly tough job on its hands in South Africa. Here the system of apartheid had existed for many years, meaning that the majority of the population, the black people, had no power at all whilst the white people totally dominated. Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke out consistently against the atrocities of apartheid and ensured that it was put onto the world stage as an issue that needed to be addressed The Quakers promote the equality of all people. They say that within everyone, there is a seed of goodness (a seed of God), which should be encouraged to flourish. This belief means that Quakers are totally anti-war because all life is valuable and unique. Furthermore, at their meetings there is no leader, all are equal and will only speak if moved to do so by the spirit of God. We must conclude from this that if Christians accept God as their creator and acknowledge that God loves them so much that he made them in his image, they must also take responsibility for their actions and make very effort to preserve and care for the planet and all that lives on it. Emily Foley 11IHG Religious Studies Coursework ...read more.

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