Suppose you are helping your old father around the family farm. Now, there comes a point when you no longer thank him for fathering you and setting up the farm, right?
There is a point when most of the farm stuff is of your making. You have set up the barn, replaced the roof of the house. For years your father has been counting on you to do most of the hands-on work. If you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done.
At what point can you stop thanking your Father, and should he start to be appreciative of you?
Assuming you are talking about God in the same sense I am, humanity has utterly failed to make the world a better place, except when and where we let him guide us, so… no. We have, if anything, made it worse, and it is only with constant effort on his part that we ever even slightly begin to improve things.
Other religious viewpoints with different premises of the nature of God or sundry Deities may not agree. Atheists will not agree, presumably, although oddly they and I agreee the answer is, “No.”
I’m no theist, but objectively speaking God is usually portrayed at being so powerful, nothing we can do can impress him. Improving the planet is just moving the blocks around in our playpen as far as he’s concerned.
Which actually raises another question. Is it common within a church service for prayers to include apologies for our negative impact on the planet? I’m guessing not, but I would be interested to know if anyone has experienced that. (Clearly I’m not a church-goer.)
General confession of sin is common in mainstream Christian services, but not so much confession of specific sins (except, obvioulsy in Catholic/Orthodox sacramental confession - but even there the confession is of specific individual sins, not specific collective sins).
The lot of the average person anywhere has improved over the last 100 years. That may be us getting back toward the right track, but we;'re not there yet, and eve if we were, we still wouldn’t have “improved” anything. I disagree that pollution is some kind of theological sin, however.
To expand on this, who is to say that this world isn’t OURS and not HIS? According to the Old Testament, this world was given to “Man” (meaning all mankind), with the power to decide how we treat it. Just like how you maintain your own personal car.
If you go with the idea of the Father God in the OT, then you are looking at a very wrathful, vengeful God who as a “father” would have already wiped us out for how humans behave, thus he would think we’re treating this world terribly. It means we are headed for a serious wipe out and “cleansing” of this world. He tried once, if you believe the story of the Great Flood and Noah’s Ark.
If you go with the idea that its OUR world, then he may not really care how we’ve treated it as its ours to do with what we will. It seems to me the question the OP should be asked is, How well have we treated the possessions given to us? Then, you’d have to ask and establish what is the measurement we’ll use to determine what is GOOD and BAD.
Basically, I’m trying to say we have been given a Free Will to make our own decisions and live by those consequences because according to Christian theology, God has already forgiven everyone of any “sin” they have or may commit. Thus, I don’t think the God in the OP would be thinking badly of how we’ve treated this world.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather live today than a thousand years ago. I’d rather live a thousand years ago than 5 thousand years ago, and I’d rather live 5 thousand years ago than a million years ago. By any reasonable measurement, we have made the world a better place during our stay here.
Well that depends on how you look at our authority. First, remember no earthly authority is limitless. Even a king or queen can sin. Second we then have to debate if we are absolute rulers or stewards. If you look at Genesis you can see in 1:28 that it says, "God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” However in 2:15 it says: "Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. " If you cultivate a garden you don’t tear it up. An example of the steward belief is recent popes who have condemned environmental exploitation.
Also what Christian theology are you using to say that God has already forgiven any sin we might every commit? I’m aware of those who think that sin don’t matter if you embrace Christ, but I have never seen the opinion you describe. It is certainly not a universal Christian teaching.
To address the OP. I would say it pleases God when we make the world better, but as He already gave us all that we use to make the world better I don’t think He owes us anything. Also, if you hold that it is our duty to be stewards of the world and that is the morally right thing to do, we also are not owed anything more than what we have already been given. We have already received benefits from those things that we have improved and that is more than sufficient. However, even if we did not receive benefits I don’t think we would be owed anything for just doing our duty.
Of course it can be argued that we have not improved the world like we should and have paid too high a cost for those things which we have improved.