Who Is Polluting the Environment?
By Mary E. Stephens
There are a lot of people who are all worked up about pollution (of the earth and in food sources), global warming, endangered "species", and so on. Because almost all of them start with an evolutionary perspective, and some with a "mother earth" religious view, they miss the root cause of the problems and so cannot offer a truly useful solution.
Now it's true that some of their "problems" are highly exaggerated or not even real. Some of them are genuine, though, and sometimes they have been able to bring about changes that improve the situation. The Industrial Revolution was marked by rampant polluting in Europe and America, which generated dangerous smog, waterways, etc. This has been true at other times and places as well. Some of these messes have been cleaned up remarkably; but it's a curious thing that for all the progress that is made, on a regular basis some new and horrible polluting or abuse of God's creation comes to light.
Yes, God's creation - that is where the crux of the matter is. God gave Adam the job of dressing and keeping the garden, and He gave Adam Eve to help him. Adam and Eve sinned and everything went down hill from there, as it were. Enter thistles and thorns, and the ground was cursed for Adam's sake.
Evolutionists see man as a pollutant himself in some respects. They see it as his responsibility to maintain a hospitable and friendly environment for all species to "evolve" in. But, where did these jokers get this sense of responsibility? If "survival of the fittest" is true, then responsibility is not only ridiculous, it's unnecessary. If a species is fit to survive it will learn to adjust to changes, or so it should be if evolution was true. Yet, they act like Someone placed a law in their hearts that tells them they were created with the purpose of using and maintaining this planet wisely!
Neopagan Gaia worshippers seem to feel it's their duty to preserve "mother earth" in a pristine, self-regulated state, which is the general motivation behind their environmentalist activities. To them it is serious religion. Obviously this is not going to generate God-honoring results. (Also see, The Gaia Hypothesis.)
In both evolutionary thought and in neopagan thought it is important to note that "too many people" may be, and often are, interpreted as a "pollutant" of the environment or nature. Hence, the typical "birth control" and abortion theories they usually support. Some go so far as to promote eugenics, genocide and infanticide.
As usual, God's thoughts are not man's thoughts. There are other passages in scripture, besides Genesis 3, that show us that man's sin pollutes his environment, not the presence of man himself. In fact, it is not just the results of his presence that causes pollution. It is sin.
Now someone may argue that it's wrong for man to dump toxins into rivers and fill the air with noxious smoke and exhaust, etc. Well, why do they do that? Not because they enjoy polluting as a passtime. There are a few lunatics that may, but the most common reason is the "bottom line." They want a profit at any price. It's GREED, avarice, covetousness.
Yes, it is wrong for man to carelessly corrupt the earth. God intends for him to care for it and keep it. It is wrong for man to poison himself and the creation with his refuse, genetic modifications or productions. But, man has and will continue to corrupt this earth with his SIN, until the Creator puts an end to it all.
Ways Land Can Be Polluted
There are a number of ways given in scripture by which man pollutes his land. Most of these references are made to the land of Canaan in particular, however, it's important to notice that the land vomited out the nations that lived there before Israel because of the evil they did.
I recommend reading through Leviticus 18 to see a list of exactly what these nations were doing. It should prove quite enlightening.
Whoredoms, adultery and wickedness:
Shedding of innocent blood:
Apparently by being oppressive:
Notice also the sins of Sodom:
It is the results of sin that bring pollution. As mentioned already, greed and covetousness lead to environmental abuses. From these verses we see other sins that pollute the land from the Lord's perspective.
It is also important to note that people who live in moral decadence often practice filthy personal or "environmental" habits. Example: During the Dark Ages, which were an era of gross spiritual darkness, European cities had open gutters and drains for refuse and sewage to be carried away, and it was not uncommon for people to dump their filth directly out the window or door into the street. In modern times as we see the spiritual darkness increasing we also see man corrupting creation heavily with toxins, poisons, GMOs, etc. Spiritual darkness = foolish or wicked abuse of God's creation. (1 Corinthians 7:31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.)
Contrary to what some Christians might think, the answer is not to "win every soul for Jesus." Saved people can and do pollute the earth too. Sad to say, we are not sinless and as long as there is sin there will be a certain amount of polluting going on even among believers. Perhaps there will not be pollution in the Kingdom, but I would not be surprised if some of the unsaved people even then will try it and have to be stopped by the rod of iron.
God's solution for the polluting of the earth is judgment on both man and his environment! Once again, we see God's thoughts in opposition to man's. Man thinks he can clean it up and make it "good" again by his own efforts. God says it is all doomed.
Notice also these two passages in Jeremiah:
As children of God Almighty, we have no cause to live in great concern about whether or not man is destroying the earth. We ought ourselves to live wisely and use and keep the garden God has given us with prudence, but to fret over the evils of man against creation is a waste of time. Ultimately, only the Lord can right all the wrongs that have been done to His earth.
Man will not and cannot utterly destroy what God made for He has promised to destroy it Himself. The unfulfilled prophecies of scripture mean that we can rest assured that the earth is not going to be totally ruined by the vices of men. The Lord Himself will pour His fury on man and the rest of creation during the Great Tribulation. (It seems to me that the whole earth will vomit out her inhabitants at that time. Only a remnant will be saved.)
Then - ah, then - the Lord Jesus will reign upon this earth for a thousand years, and He will heal the tortured creation!
The saved have a future that is bright with hope as far as the creation of God is concerned. We will be privileged to live in a clean earth with creatures that have been delivered from corruption! This whole planet is going to be "recycled," if you will, by the One who made it! The Lord Jesus Christ will rule in a revived and beautiful earth! He made this glorious liberty possible through His death and resurrection.
And in the very end, when all of that is said and done, the Lord will destroy this earth completely and give us a new heaven and a new earth! Why then should we distress ourselves unduly about this doomed earth's present state?
Lord, haste the day!
photo & graphics by Mary E. Stephens
updated 2021; CA