LCC International University > News and Events archive > Public Theology Forum: Why Does the Environment Matter?
January 26th, 2022
By Jesse DiBlasi
In Genesis God instructed humanity to be guardians over the earth. During the public theology event “Stewards of Eden: Why does the environment matter” our guest speaker, Dr. Sandra Richter, expanded our understanding of environmental stewardship by looking to scripture and applying its insights to modern crises. The Bible provides explicit commands in regards to the environment. Dr. Sandra Richter cites verses such as Deuteronomy 14:22-23, Exodus 23:10-22, and Leviticus 25:4-7 which all stress the importance of letting the land rest every seventh year analogous to God’s rest on the seventh day of creation. The importance of this God-given wisdom is reflected in the aftermath of the famous Green Revolution in the 1960s during which India’s agricultural sector boomed thanks to modern technologies, yet not too long after the boom came the rubble. The land has become overworked and deprived of its natural nutrients. As a result, the cost of operation has skyrocketed due to overreliance on pesticides and nutrient replacements. The lives of Indian farmers have been robbed of peace in their struggle to keep up output and the suicide rate among Indian farmers has experienced an astonishing increase. It was at this point during the event that Robin Mubarik, an LCC student from Pakistan, spoke up to add “that Pakistan has also experienced a corresponding rise and fall in its agricultural sector” and added how state “corruption is making the matters worse”. Other students and alumni such as Jesse DiBlasi from California and Tamara Soltys from Ukraine spoke up about how industrialization has also worked against the greater good of the environment and social order in their homeland. Anna Audare, a senior at LCC from Latvia, provided an insightful reflection after the event, “I found it fascinating how the inventor of herbicides received the Nobel Peace Prize but now it has resulted in many harmful consequences such as food allergies and the depletion of the soil's nutrients”.
Nearing the end of our time together the essence of biblical insights and values began to become more clear. Humans in an attempt to maximize productivity, growth, and, of course, profits are abusing the earth we have inherited. The short and often overlooked passages of the old testament foresaw this, so the scripture emphasizes sustainability and the importance of only taking what is needed while looking out for future generations. In essence, the surrender of short-term profit for long-term good is righteousness!
Dr. Sandra Richter is in the picture.
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