A crucial difference between biblical Christianity and all "new age" movements, including witchcraft (black or white) and paganism (ancient or modern) is that Christianity is not preoccupied with protecting "Mother Nature." Reverence for nature is not Christian teaching, even though respect for God's creation is. To misquote slightly a well-known saying of Jesus, "The natural world was made for human beings, not human beings for the natural world." Ecology, or the protection of the human environment, is important to Christians only when it is precisely that—the protection of the human environment. The world is not ours to abuse, for when we abuse it we abuse one another and, in the long run, ourselves. Yet the world emphatically is ours to use. "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it," God told Adam and Eve. "Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground" (Gen 1:28). It is no accident that technology has flourished in the "Christian" West more than anywhere else in the world.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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