“When the land isn’t healthy, people aren’t healthy,” says Ben Lowe, a 21st century-style missionary-environmentalist. Lowe, the author of Green Revolution: Coming Together to Care for Creation, says when he was younger, he did not understand how his love of the environment related to his faith. “But when I was 19, I heard my first message.”
Lowe was on the Hardin-Simmons University campus this week as the national spokesperson for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, the organization sponsoring the speaking tour, which includes HSU as the tour’s 17th stop at universities, colleges, and seminaries across the nation.
Lowe also serves as a director for the Evangelical Environmental Network, a non-profit organization that works to educate, inspire, and mobilize Christians to care for and be faithful stewards of the Earth.
Lowe grew up in Singapore, the son of missionary parents; attended Wheaton College, Wheaton Illinois, where he earned an environmental studies degree.
He says that he used to think that as a Christian, he couldn’t be interested in the land, because he should take care of people. “What I have learned is that we can’t take care of people without taking care of the environment.”
Creation care is a moral issue, contends Lowe, and churches need to be involved. “This is a conversation we (Young Evangelicals for Climate Action) are trying to bring back into the church today,” he says.
Lowe, quoting from Genesis, “’The Lord God took man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.’ I think we are misunderstanding what dominion is all about.”
Lowe says he used to think pollution and climate change were the biggest environmental threats. “They’re not. Selfishness, greed, and pride, those are our biggest threats to the environment” says Lowe.
Lowe spoke to HSU students, faculty, and staff, in three separate sessions throughout the day, each time contending that environmental issues are part of Christian responsibility. “We can’t do everything, but we can do something. So when it comes to the faithfulness of how we care for creation, ask yourself, ‘What is God calling me to do?’ Take those steps” he says, “and little by little they will bring you to the throne of God.”