Who Is Polluting the Environment?

By Mary E. Stephens

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The Problem

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.

Genesis 3:17-18 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

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!

Romans 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;

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.

1 Timothy 6:9-10 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

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.

Leviticus 18:24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: 25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. 26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: 27 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) 28 That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.

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:

Jeremiah 3:1-2 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD. Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.

Shedding of innocent blood:

Numbers 35:33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.

Psalm 106:38 And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.

Apparently by being oppressive:

Zephaniah 3:1-2 Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.

Notice also the sins of Sodom:

Ezekiel 16:49-50 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.

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.)

The Solution

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.

2 Peter 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

Notice also these two passages in Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 7:20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.

Jeremiah 12:10-11 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart.

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!

Romans 8:19-22 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

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?

2 Peter 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. [Emphasis added.]

Lord, haste the day!



background, photo & graphics by Mary E. Stephens
updated 2021; CA