Remember when: Church of the Brethren statements on care for Creation

Church of the Brethren Newsline
June 2, 2017

As early as 1991, the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference adopted a statement titled “Creation: Called to Care” ( ).

“Why should Christians care about the environment?” the statement reads, in part. “Simply because we learn in Genesis that God has promised to fulfill all of creation, not just humanity, and has made humans the stewards of it. More importantly, God sent Christ into the very midst of creation to be ‘God with us’ and to fulfill the promise to save humankind and nature. God’s redemption makes the creation whole, the place where God’s will is being done on earth as it is in heaven….

“Planet earth is in danger,” the statement continues. “The ecological crisis that threatens the survival of life on earth is evident now not only to professional biologists, botanists, environmental scientists, but to all. Awareness grows that humanity is facing a global crisis….

A section of the statement on “The Church’s Challenge” reads, in part: “…Since industrialism’s ravenous appetite daily diminishes the health and life of the ecosystem, the conflict is between us and our children: our lifestyle versus their future…. Can a culture repent and take steps to halt its deterioration? There are some signs of hope but there are also signs that the lesson is not yet learned; that comfort and convenience are more important than care of the environment. The environment will no doubt survive. The question is ‘will our kind remain?’ As Christians, we can reform our theology and contribute to society a new appreciation for the sacredness of all creation. Individually and collectively, we can change the way we live so that instead of destroying the earth, we help it to thrive, today and for future generations to come….”

In 2001, the General Board of the Church of the Brethren adopted a “Resolution on Global Warming/Climate Change” ( ).

“Our vastly increased use of fossil fuels has the potential to bring about irreversible changes in the climate and immense suffering for the poor and for people living in the coastal areas around the world,” the resolution states, in part. It resolves that the United States should, “move beyond its dependence on high carbon fossil fuels that produce emissions leading to climate change.”

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