Do Christians have a responsibility to be caretakers of creation?

Absolutely, a unversity professor said at a recent Wednesday night program at the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest.

“If you don’t believe me, read Genesis 1,” Jonathan Camp, associate professor of communication at Abilene Christian University, advised.

Camp’s presentation was one of several that the church, 602 Meander St., will host on Wednesday night’s this fall. The public is invited to the sessions, which begin at 7 p.m. in Gerhart Hall.

The problem posed in Genesis, at least for modern-day readers, is the word “dominion.” Sometimes, it is equated with “dominance,” which would mean, according to Genesis, that humans have dominance over creation.

“We all have a little trouble with the word ‘dominance,'” Camp said.

But in the context of Genesis, the word “dominion,” equates more with “caretaker” than with “dominance,” he said.

In the New Testament, Jesus often refers to the beauty of nature. Romans 8:22 speaks of creation “groaning” for redemption, just like humans. As an exercise, Camp asked those attending to list small steps they have taken to create a deeper, more meaningful connection with nature or to be good stewards of creation.

Some of them were:

  1. No more plastic straws
  2. Learning the types of birds so as to form a connection with them
  3. Use reusable shopping bags
  4. Buy only No. 1 and No. 2 plastics, the ones that are recyclable in Abilene
  5. One woman strew her father’s ashes in Big Bend, which sparked her own awareness of beauty and humanity’s connection to nature.

Camp noted that the Episcopal Church has established legislative goals as a step toward protecting the environment. Individuals may not be able to establish legislative goals, but they can take small steps like those listed.

“I know for me,” Camp said, “there is so much more that I can do.”


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