It is my intent to write quite a bit here on the topic of environmental theology. Lets begin by stepping into the waters. We will wade out a little bit more next time. But let us begin with a discussion of what it means for Christians to be the First-Fruits of all Creatures.
Ever since the fall of mankind into corruption from its place of harmony with both the Creator and the whole of creation, man has sought his own way back into that perfect garden state. The harder we try, however, through our technologies and advancements the more we corrupt the world that we (or at least some of us) seek to restore.
The problem is that corrupted man does not have the antidote for a corrupted world. Resolving the issues that inhibit the restoration of the planet require the efforts of those who are themselves restored in their spirit. Christians are supposed to be those reborn. Therefore they should be in the forefront of natural conservation and restoration. Let me explain.
Christians are referred to as the first-fruits of all creatures in the Scriptures. In other words; the believers rebirth (first-fruits) is intended to be a precursor to the rebirth (general harvest) of all creation. The new life Christ gives to humanity, He intends to extend to the whole of creation that fell with humanity. The gospel- or good news of redemption- is first to the nations but ultimately to all creatures according to the writings of Saint Mark. In other words, we must first be restored to communion with God if we hope to be effectual in restoring creation to the glory it had before we polluted it, and if we hope to restore ourselves to communion with creation itself.
In Is letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul taught that all things that are in the heavens (sky) or on the earth, visible and invisible, were created by and for Christ. He goes on to say that through his shed blood on the cross, God intends to reconcile all things to Himself, whether they be things in heavens or on the earth, visible or invisible.
So then why hasnt it happened? It has been 2,000 years. Why is all creation not reborn? Is his grace insufficient? Of course not. It is because his children, the believers have been so self absorbed that they have not acknowledged just how abundant his grace truly is. It is greater than our daily struggles. it is greater than the the human struggle. It is potent enough to restore all of creation if we would manifest his grace through our lives to creation
If Christians are the active agents of Christs body in the world then they must busy themselves in the general harvest. Genesis tells us that mans original job was to tend and care for creation. Part of the Christian walk as restored mankind is to take up the original adamic occupation of creation care.
The solution to the environmental problem rests with Christs body. One cannot claim to be a child of the Creator while showing apathy toward His creation. His blood purchased all things! So lets get busy and manifest His redemption beyond the human condition, beyond the spirit realm and into the physical world.
“If my people, on whom my name is named, make themselves low and come to me in prayer, searching for me and turning from their evil ways; then I will give ear from heaven, overlooking their sin, and will give life again to their land.” II Chronicles 7:14