The Bible starts off with a theme that should put everything into context. In the very first chapter, in Genesis, about the beginning, it is said:
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.
30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.
31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.
Having dominion means from the original language in which it was written, be responsible for, but not, exploit as much as you want for what you desire. Humanity was given enough to partake of the abundance of the produce of the earth, along with all the walking and moving creatures, just in the same way. Except for our responsibility, nothing is suggested to set us apart from the world order of living things.
In the next chapter, the original idealism is put at risk which will interrupt it with the mention of what was forbidden to humanity:
15 Then Yahweh God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
16 And Yahweh God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
And in the third chapter, the account of how the first of humanity was deceived, seduced, and then acted in rebellion to what Yahweh had commanded:
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
Humanity was therefore removed from the ideal environment for them to be in, and was thereafter in a state of rebellion toward Yahweh their maker. It was in the history following this that civilization was begun, beginning in rebellion and selfish desires, exploiting others, and subject to judgments from Yahweh which were depicted. Although there is not such a strong message in the Bible for the natural environment, which is what he made, it focusing as it does on personal restoration in relation to Yahweh God, there are still occasions where he shows his concern for the rest of living things in nature, and not much so much for civilizations when under human control, and not under his rightful sovereignty. Wanderers and pastoral peoples are sanctioned in the scriptures, but notably that is not the case for hunters.
It is relevant that Jesus came being born not anywhere among human habitations but in a stable with the animals. His mission was to reconcile humanity to God, but it can be seen in some things he said that it is not good to be subject to materialism. I will mention a few things he said in his Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes spoke of not the powerful, or aggressive, or ambitious, or those who had a lot, but those who did right in God’s eyes, having the permanent gain in the world with his blessing. Matthew 5:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.”
I may mention here that meek as written here does not mean weak, as it has come to be thought lately, but just gentle and unaggressive. This is neglected in a number of churches these days, but it calls for responsible living that is not harmful to others or to the world.
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
There is conflict with a statement like this and the culture of materialism, that clearly affects all in within it, and certainly Christians and churchgoers too. They have yet to be changed subject to what Jesus, who is supposed to be their Lord, says.
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Materialistic civilization is not compatible with these things, and Christians that are a part of it cannot well separate from its influence to be obedient.
The Bible ends with Yahweh God bringing a new creation for the redeemed from this fallen world, and in its last book, chapter 18 right before this, the judgment in this world is shown, starting with the “great city”, also called Babylon, although the Babylon of history was long gone centuries before even when it was written. Various interpretations have been given of what this city receiving the judgments represents, but in looking at passages from that chapter, see if it does not bring to mind the corruptions of materialistic civilization general to the urban world of humanity.
4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
7 In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart,
‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’
8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.
9 “The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her,
11 And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore:
12 merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble;
13 and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men.
15 The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
16 and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!
17 For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance
18 and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’
19 “They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.’
21 Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.
22 The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore.
23 The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.
I have tried to shorten that a bit removing some passages, but so much of it seems to me to speak to what can be materialistic urban civilization in its power still being illustrative enough to include, that being with a history of harm and exploitation to the weaker of humanity and the environment as well, and it is no secret that there has been, in some places still is, and surely will be more again, persecution of believers, in civilization, meaning not just one society. People of God were called to not live bringing harm to others as is shown what is from civilization through history, and that would apply to all our choices, and to live responsibly for the environment as stewards to the world that we were designated.
These things should guide us in what to do, with involving others.to join in it.