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CREATION CARE. Lesson 8 for February 25, 2012. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has prepared an official declaration that reflects the Church’s stance according to the environmental problem, based on the biblical knowledge and the understanding of our reality .

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CREATION CARE

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Creation care

CREATIONCARE

Lesson 8 for February 25, 2012


Creation care

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has prepared an official declaration that reflects the Church’s stance according to the environmental problem, based on the biblical knowledge and the understanding of our reality.

There are three main aspects that are analyzedin that declaration:

Our stance and responsibility as administrators of God’s creation.

The causes of the current degradation of environment.

The attitude we must show as believers before the environmental problem.


Creation care

Official statement released in the General Conference Session of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Ultrecht, the Netherlands, from June 29 to July 6, 1995

Seventh-day Adventists believe that humankind was created in the image of God, thus representing God as His stewards, to rule the natural environment in a faithful and fruitful way.


Creation care

Official statement released in the General Conference Session of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Ultrecht, the Netherlands, from June 29 to July 6, 1995

Unfortunately, corruption and exploitation have been brought into the management of the human domain of responsibility. Increasingly men and women have been involved in a megalomaniacal destruction of the earth’s resources, resulting in widespread suffering, environmental disarray, and the threat of climate change. While scientific research needs to continue, it is clear from the accumulated evidence that the increasing emission of destructive gasses, the depletion of the protective mantle of ozone, the massive destruction of the American forests, and the so-called greenhouse effect, are all threatening the earth’s ecosystem.


Creation care

Official statement released in the General Conference Session of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Ultrecht, the Netherlands, from June 29 to July 6, 1995

These problems are largely due to human selfishness and the egocentric pursuit of getting more and more through ever-increasing production, unlimited consumption and depletion of nonrenewable resources. The ecological crisis is rooted in humankind’s greed and refusal to practice good and faithful stewardship within the divine boundaries of creation.


Creation care

Official statement released in the General Conference Session of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Ultrecht, the Netherlands, from June 29 to July 6, 1995

Seventh-day Adventists advocate a simple, wholesome lifestyle, where people do not step on the treadmill of unbridled consumerism, goods-getting, and production of waste. We call for respect of creation, restraint in the use of the world’s resources, reevaluation of one’s needs and reaffirmation of the dignity of created life.


Creation care

OUR STANCE AND RESPONSIBILITY AS ADMINISTRATORS OF GOD’S CREATION

“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.”” (Genesis, 1: 28)

Before sin entered the world, God placed man as lord of everything He created and ordered him to subjugate (dominate) the Earth.

Dominating the creation involved both protecting it and receiving benefit from it, as we can see in Genesis 2: 15, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (NIV)

  • How did changes after sin entered the world affect the relationship between man and creation?


Creation care

THE CAUSES OF THE CURRENT DEGRADATION OF ENVIRONMENT

There have been three severe alterations in environment in Earth’s history that involved disastrous and irreversible consequences:

Sin. God told Adam, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field” (Genesis, 3: 17-18)

TheFlood. It generated the huge ranges and chasms. The axis of the Earth changed causing the current abrupt changes of temperature between summer and winter.

The Industrial Revolution. It has been much slower than the previous causes; the Earth’s degradation since that moment has been growing exponentially. Now we are not sure the Earth will be able to support human population in the next generations.

There is a common factor in these three causes: sin and man’s ambition. “The eyes of man are never satisfied.” (Proverbs, 27: 20)


Creation care

THE ATTITUDE WE MUST SHOW AS BELIEVERS BEFORE THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM

What does the Bible teach about the future of our planet?

“Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath. For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment, and those who dwell in it will die in like manner; but My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished” (Isaiah, 51: 6)

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind” (Isaiah, 65: 17)


Creation care

THE ATTITUDE WE MUST SHOW AS BELIEVERS BEFORE THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM

What must the attitude of the believer be before the near destruction of Earth, according to the apostle Peter?

“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?” (2 Peter, 3: 11-12)

The believer’s mission is not to save an Earth condemned to destruction. Our mission is to be prepared for encountering our God by proclaiming the Gospel to the whole world.

Nevertheless, we must consider if it is compatible to “be in holy conduct and godliness” and to live in an irresponsible way with caring the environment.


Creation care

THE ATTITUDE WE MUST SHOW AS BELIEVERS BEFORE THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM

In the official declaration we read, there are several aspects on environment we can consider:

  • Have a simple and healthy lifestyle.

  • Do not step on the treadmill of unbridled consumerism, goods-getting, and production of waste.

  • Respectcreation.

  • Restraint in the use of the world’s resources.

  • Reevaluateone’sneeds.

  • Reaffirm the dignity of created life.

We could add the environmental impact of keeping the Sabbath day.

Make your own list of the environmental benefits of keeping the Sabbath day every week.


Creation care

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,

The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,

What is man that You are mindful of him,

And the son of man that You visit him?

For You have made him a little lower than the angels,

And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;

You have put all things under his feet,

All sheep and oxen—

Even the beasts of the field,

The birds of the air,

And the fish of the sea

That pass through the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,

How excellent is Your name in all the earth!”

Psalm8:3-9


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