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Kamis, 22 Oktober 2015

Environment and the Church

Environment and the Church

Church and Environment issue
Economic (industry) and Environment issue
Biblical Foundation[1]
  1. Subdue and Rule; Serve and Keep Genesis 1-2
       Gen 1:26-28 “subdue the earth and rule over the rest of creation”
       God intended us to exercise dominion within creation. Men and women exercise the authority to rule over God's creation which is the gift of God,  characterized by : wisdom, power, goodness, grace, compassion, faithfulness, provision, protection, justice and love.
       Gen 2:15 “to serve it and to take care of it”
       to serve = doing hard work in order to serve so that it would persist and flourish.
       to take care of it = (hebrew “samar”) to keep something safe with protection, care and watchfulness. It indicates a loving, caring, sustaining kind of keeping for the earth's benefit-- to care and protect for its best interest
  1. Creation is Created for God's glory
       Psalm 24:1 “the earth is the LORD's and everything in it, the world and all who live in it”
       Psalm 19, Psalm 148 : all the creation praises God.
  1. Human life and creation are integrally bound together
       The meaning of Hebrew name for Adam :”ground or soil”.
       The earth provide for us, for our survival and food. The earth suffers with us.
·         Human wickedness and greediness produces ecological stress
       Whatever we do in this earth, for good or for ill, will have ecological impact because of the integration between human life and all other life on earth.
  1. All things (including creation) reconciled by Christ
       Roma 8:22 The creation is groaning, waiting for God's full of salvation
       Colossians 1:15-23
       it sketched  about God's grand plan for the redemption of the whole universe emphasized and centralized on the cross. We are redeemed as part of the redeemed creation
  1. Conclusion : Christian ought to be in the forefront of caring for creation. Christian should seek to live on the planet in ways that are now generally approved as “green”
Church Position (evangelical)
·         “It is hard for the evangelicals to take the environment seriously. Evangelicals are 'gospel people', and the gospel is focused on the salvation of people from sin”[i].
·         “most American Evangelicals simply do not believe that the Bible teaches creation care as an essential part of the Good News of Jesus Christ, or that it must be an indispensable part of faithful Christian witness”[2]
The Root of Problem[3]
·         The inheritance from Greek philosophy
·         The ideal Christian life in medieval Christendom
·         Enlightenment rationalism
·         Neglect of the biblical doctrine of creation
·         Premillennial Dispensationalism
·         Capitalism
·         Individualism
·         Uncritical patriotism

Decision of the case by Deontological & Teleological approach
·   T: Creation belongs to God and part of God's plan of redemption in Jesus Christ.
·   Creation Care is part of our mission task in this fallen world. Christian ought to be in the forefront of caring for creation
·   D: The condition of environment destruction is urgent to resolve and it needs Christians involvement as salt and light
·   Start from the church. The involvement of Christians( as individual and as church) to resolve this sector (as prophetic witness)
--produce steward disciple not the careerist
--involvement in political and environmental ethics
--prepare young generation to understand about environmental issue and how to deal with
--prevention is better than cure
·         promote sustainable development “green” Industry
·         promote economic justice for local people
·         promote the awareness of the society, educate community (local-regional-national) to understand their problem
·         Increase the ability of the government to manage the forest


Other Reference
The Lausanne Global Consultation on Creation Care and the Gospel, St. Ann, Jamaica, 9 November, 2012.
1. A new commitment to a simple lifestyle
2. New and robust theological work
3. Leadership from the church in the Global South
4. Mobilization of the whole church and engagement of all of society
5. Environmental missions among unreached people groups
6. Radical action to confront climate change
7. Sustainable principles in food production
8. An economy that works in harmony wi th Godʼs creation
9. Local expressions of creation care, which preserve and enhance biodiversity.
10. Prophetic advocacy and healing reconciliation

Climate Forum 2002's statement (summary)
1. Human-induced climate change is a moral, ethical, and religious issue
2. The earth climate is changing, with adverse effects on people, communities, and ecosystems
3. Christian denominations, churches, and organizations need to action to:
·         aware of global climate change and its moral implications
·         set an example of reducing greenhouse gas emissions
·         increase demand for technologies and products that produce fewer emissions CO2
·         urge immediate and responsible action by national government under framework convention on climate change.




[1]    Christopher Wright, The Mission of God's People, Grand Raphid: Zondervan, 2010
[2]     Howard A. Snyder, Salvation means creation healed: creation, cross, kingdom, mission. Paper on Kingdom Conference, Asbury Theological Seminary, 2005
[3]     Adapted from : Howard A. Snyder, Salvation means creation healed: creation, cross, kingdom, mission.




[i] Chris Sugden, Guest Editorial: Evangelicals and Environment in Process, Evangelical Review of Theology Vol 17. Number 2. April 1993. p. 119

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