Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Declaration on Creation Stewardship and Climate Change: Micah Network

Magazine article International Bulletin of Mission Research

Declaration on Creation Stewardship and Climate Change: Micah Network

Article excerpt

We present here a recent declaration by the Micah Network, whose international president is C. Rene Padilla (office in Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia). In the words of Padilla, an IBMR contributing editor, this declaration "may perhaps in time be regarded as the most significant document coming out of the evangelical movement on a subject that has hardly received in the past the attention it deserves from people who confess the triune God as the God of Creation.... Established in 1999, the Micah Network has grown into a worldwide movement of over 500 Christian relief, development and justice organizations, churches and individuals. It includes over 330 active members and 230 associate members from over 80 countries. Its primary objective is to encourage the practice that, according to the text from which it derives its name, God requires of his people: 'To act justly and love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8)" (from foreword to the declaration; see www.micahnetwork.org/en/home).--Editors

We, members of the Micah Network, (1) gathering together from 38 countries on all 5 continents, met at Limuru, Kenya from 13-18 July 2009 for its 4th Triennial Global Consultation. On the matter of Creation Stewardship and Climate Change, we sought God's wisdom and cried out for the Holy Spirit's guidance as we reflected on the global environmental crisis. As a result of our discussions, reflections and prayers, we make the following declaration:

1. We believe in God--Father, Son and Holy Spirit in community-who is the creator, sustainer and Lord of all. God delights in His creation, and is committed to it. (2)

2. In the beginning, God established just relationships amongst all of creation. Women and men--as image-bearers of God--are called to serve and love the rest of creation, accountable to God as stewards. Our care for creation is an act of worship and obedience towards the Creator. (3)

3. We, however, have not always been faithful stewards. Through our Ignorance, neglect, arrogance and greed, we have harmed the earth and broken creation's relationships. (4) Our failure to be faithful stewards has caused the current environmental crisis, leading to climate change, and putting the earth's ecosystems at risk. All creation has been subjected to futility and decay because of our disobedience. (5)

4. Yet God remains faithful. (6) In Christ's incarnation, life, death and resurrection, God is at work to reconcile all of creation to Himself. (7) We hear the groaning of creation as in the pains of childbirth. This is the promise that God will act, and is already at work, to renew all things. (8) This is the hope that sustains us.

5. We confess that we have sinned. We have not cared for the earth with the self-sacrificing and nurturing love of God. Instead, we have exploited, consumed and abused it for our own advantage. We have too often yielded to the idolatry that is greed. (9) We have embraced false dichotomies of theology and practice, splitting apart the spiritual and material, eternal and temporal, heavenly and earthly. In all these things, we have not acted justly towards each other or towards creation, and we have not honoured God.

6. We acknowledge that industrialization, increased deforestation, intensified agriculture and grazing, along with the unrestrained burning of fossil fuels, have forced the earth's natural systems out of balance. Rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions are causing the average global temperature to rise, with devastating impacts already being experienced, especially by the poorest and most marginalized groups. …

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