This post is to serve as brief introduction to the topic. Lord willing, in future posts we will look deeper into the covenantal agrarian view, it’s scriptural support and it’s practical application.
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof. Psalm 24:1
The belief in, and understanding of, this biblical truth sets the covenantal agrarian doctrine of property and stewardship apart from both the industrialist and environmentalist view. Often outsiders see our doctrine as a hybrid of the other more popular views, but this is a gross misunderstanding. Both competing views are built on faulty premises and deny the plain teaching of scripture.
Industrialists tend to believe in what one could call “absolute property rights”. They do not view God as the primary owner, nor do they think that they bound by scriptural guidelines or limitations on how they use property. They may believe (or pay lip service to the idea) that the earth was created but they do not see themselves as mere stewards of God’s property. They distort the biblical understanding of dominion and the fruit of industrialism is often ruined ecosystems and the mistreatment of animals and people.
Environmentalists deny God’s ownership of earth by denying that he created it. They make creation itself a deity. Often they have the opposite extreme view on property rights and have been used by collectivists to advance their policies for many years. They often see mankind as a parasite on the planet and advocate for the murder of those created in the image of God through various population control measures. They see undeveloped creation as pure, advocating for the preservation of the wilderness as opposed to turning it into a fruitful garden.
Covenantal agrarianisms understanding that God dose own the earth and we are stewards of creation with a corporate calling to lovingly convert the wilderness into a garden, sets us apart from the other views. We are neither plunderers of or worshipers of creation. We firmly believe in private property, within the greater context of God’s primary ownership. We understand the bible places limits on our behavior and gives guidelines in how we are to care for and develop creation.