3 Criteria and decision
3.2 New Values
"We affirm the creation as beloved of God. As Creator, God is the source and sustainer of the whole cosmos. God loves the creation. Its mysterious ways, its life, its dynamism - all reflect the glory of its Creator. God's work of redemption in Jesus Christ reconciles all things and calls us to the healing work of the Spirit in all creation.
Because creation is of God and the goodness of God permeates all creation, we hold all life to be sacred. Today all life in the world, both present and future generations, are endangered because humanity has failed to love the living earth; and the rich and powerful in particular have plundered it as if it were created for selfish purposes. The magnitude of the devastation may well be irreversible and therefore forces us to urgent action.
Biblical statements, such as "to have dominion" and "subdue the earth", have been misused through the centuries to justify destructive actions toward the created order. As we repent of this violation, we accept the biblical teaching that people, created in the image of God, have a special responsibility as servants in reflecting God's creating and sustaining love, to care for creation and to live in harmony with it.
We affirm that the world, as God's handiwork, has its own inherent integrity; that land, waters, air, forests, mountains and all creatures, including humanity, are "good" in God's sight. The integrity of creation has a social aspect which we recognize as peace with justice, and an ecological aspect which we recognize in the self-renewing, sustainable character of natural ecosystems.
We will resist the claim that anything in creation is merely a resource for human exploitation. We will resist species extinction for human benefit; consumerism and harmful mass production; pollution of land, air and waters; all human activities which are now leading to probable rapid climate change; and policies and plans which contribute to the disintegration of creation.
Therefore we commit ourselves to be members of both the living community of creation in which we are but one species, and members of the covenant community of Christ; to be full co-workers with God, with moral responsibility to respect the rights of future generations; and to conserve and work for the integrity of creation both for its inherent value to God and in order that justice may be achieved and sustained." (World Convocation on Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation, Seoul Part II, Affirmation VII)
"Reconciliation with Nature ... means for us ... working for the functioning integrity of climatic conditions and ecological systems, and recognizing the need for precaution in intervening in the genetic make-up of all species." Second European Ecumenical Assembly (EEA2), Graz, Austria - 23 to 29 June 1997, Final Document 2 (Basic Text), para. A30
Responsibility of humankind towards the earth as a whole: "The earth, with its diverse life forms, is a functioning whole. Whatever we humans do to the web of life we do to ourselves. States and individuals have the obligation to respect the functioning of the whole. Rights and obligations of both states and individuals need to be defined within this perspective." (Memorandum of fifty leading representatives of the world religions, Bossey near Geneva, August 1991, para. 1)
"The First Ecumenical Assembly in Basel rightly reminded the European churches that God's promise of peace is not given only to humankind, but rather to the whole creation (cf. No. 26). The overflowing creativity and compassionate, all-transforming power of the Trinitarian God continually brings forth the astonishing, mysterious world of created reality, and penetrates it and is expressed in it ever more clearly and gloriously. Basel said: "We are waiting together with the whole creation for this future glory to be revealed and we know that it is only then that our present sinful condition will be finally overcome. Still, at the same time we affirm that the future manifests itself already here and now in our earthly life. The highest destiny of humanity, therefore, is to seek here and now divine peace and justice, in the awareness of our solidarity with the whole of God's creation" (Nr. 27). (Second European Ecumenical Assembly (EEA2), Graz, Austria - 23 to 29 June 1997, Final Document 3 (Background to the Recommendations for Action) para. B40)
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