I. The New Testament- As the second Adam, Jesus allows humans to return to their original vocation to “tend and keep” through the work of reconciliation.
II. The whole of creation is included in the redemption and salvation. A. Romans 8:18-22: “Creation will be liberated from its bondage to decay”
B. Romans 2:14-15: Existence of a Natural Law?
C. Ephesians 1:10- Christ will gather up all things in heaven and on earth
D. Colossians 1:15-21 God will reconcile himself to all things, whether on heaven or earth through the blood of Jesus.
A. Matthew 20:13-15. In this parable about the laborers in the vineyard, the owner who is meant to be God says to the grumbling laborer “Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?”
1. The phrase “not being unfair to you” translates into the Greek “akiko” which is also a form of the verb “adikeo” which means “to wrong by a violation of divine or human law” or to treat one unjustly or to injure. It is the opposite of “dikaioo” which means to do justice.
2. The significance of this phrase is that it stands for the proposition that one may do whatever they want with what belongs to them so long as it is not violating God’s law in relation to someone else. Thus, so long property is used consistent with the Fifth through Tenth Commandments, civil law should protect liberty in a property interest and not infringe on it.
B. Luke 20:9-19: In the parable of the Tenants, God is the owner of the vineyard who leases it to the tenants. Tenants get into trouble when they try to assume ownership of land.
C. Luke 12:42-48 reaffirms the concept of stewardship
D. Romans 1:19- God has made himself plain to see to humans through his creation. God’s invisible qualities (his eternal power and divine nature) are clearly seen and understood through the evidence of his creation.
E. The Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12) and the Great Commandments (Love the Lord With All of Your Heart and strength, and Love they neighbor as thyself)(Mk. 12:30-31).
1. When we choose to cause pollution that hurts others, we violate these principles.
2. Can love thy neighbor apply to animals? Does it apply just to our closet neighbors or to those living on other continents?
F. Jesus was also the Great Physican. He healed the powerless and the vulnerable- exactly the people who are often harmed by pollution. When we cause or allow pollution that harms the health of others, we are acting against the work of Jesus.
G. All things were reconciled in Jesus (Colossians 1:15-21). When we cause harm to others, their property or Creation, we are working against Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation.