The Bible says that God gave man dominion over the world. Does that mean that humans can exploit the world or does it convey the idea of responsible stewardship?

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As you might suspect, this question contains the answer. Mankind was given dominion, yet they promptly lost it through the actions of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapter 3). Since that time, the devil (Satan) has taken that dominion for himself. Although God controls Satan to the extent that he places limits on him (see Job chapters 1 and 2), it is obvious that Satan is allowed temporary dominion of this Earth. (That may explain why wicked people often do so well, and why the Earth is so messed up.) Notice that Jesus did not deny Satan s claim that the kingdoms of the world were his to give in Matthew chapter 4, verses 8-10. Additionally, we know from 1 John chapter 5 verse 19 that the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. When discussing responsible stewardship, we must realize that Christians do not run this world and therefore have no direct control of the ethics and morals of business and government, or whether our environment is exploited. It is true ... more
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