Creation Stewardship (Climate Change)

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I spent a fruitful evening going thru this lengthy and complicated (scientific) material. A lot of good work. The "italicized bold" comments are mine. What I was trying to do is match this material to what I understand the mission and vision of the CRCNA to be. You will note that I have some difficulty with the church speaking on my behalf on this subject, to the level of scientific detail in the report. My simplistic solution is to have the CRCNA follow its Mission and Vision and "proclaim the Gospel" and moving the scientific stuff to an appendix. Also the tasks that this report lays on the churches is too overwhelming.

Sections I to IV part of the report is a very good analysis of the theology behind the Biblical creation order. This part draws heavily on the “Our World Belongs to God” Contemporary Testimony which speaks very clearly to our personal role in stewardship.

I. Introduction

II. The mandate: history, analysis, and approach

III. Laying the foundation

A. Knowledge of God

B. Knowledge of the natural world

C. Unity of knowledge

IV. Biblical principles on caring for creation

A. A biblical, contemporary testimony

B. Basic principles for earthkeeping

Sections V to IX should ultimately be included as an appendix to the report to study by those who have a special interest in the subject of “Climate Change” and to recognize the excellent work that went into the study overall. To those readers outside the CRCNA membership this appendix should be described as a very worthwhile document prepared by members of the CRCNA with a keen interest in climate change. It then should go on to explain what the role of the CRCNA actually is. (In case you can not recall see below).

Our Mission

As people called by God,

We gather to praise God, listen to him, and respond.
We nurture each other in faith and obedience to Christ.
We love and care for one another as God's people.
We commit ourselves to serve and to tell others about Jesus.
We pursue God's justice and peace in every area of life.

Our Vision

The Christian Reformed Church is a diverse family of healthy congregations, assemblies, and ministries expressing the good news of God’s kingdom that transforms lives and communities worldwide.

 

X. Recommendations

In section X  A,B,C,D and F are the only recommendations that should go to churches all the rest (G-K) are political in substance and have no place in directing church members how to think. Asking the church members to act is where the greatest impact can happen.

The statements in section X E 1-4 below should not be made on my behalf nor should the church issue them as its conclusion to the “why” of climate change. There is nothing theological about them and is beyond the scope of a religious organization. The CRCNA role (sphere) is to full fill the mandate contained in Matthew 18. To send the whole church into a tizzy about climate change (while important in its own right) is not where the CRCNA resources ought to go. The report speaks about reducing the church’s “carbon footprint”, great, but let’s not adopt the position that all we have to do is “buy carbon off sets” to feel good (catholic absolutions?).

Statements on Climate Change

E. That synod affirm the following findings (see section IX, C) concerning climate change and that it commend them to the churches as guides to prayer, discussion, direct action, and advocacy:

1. Climate change is occurring and is very likely due to human activity.

2. Human-induced climate change is a moral, ethical, and religious issue.

3. Human-induced climate change poses a significant threat to future generations, the poor, and the vulnerable.

4. Human-induced climate change poses a significant challenge to us all.

5. Urgent action is required to address climate change. This includes actions at the personal, community, and political levels toward reducing human causes of climate change and mobilizing ourselves to urgent assistance of those who are forced to adapt to its negative effects.

F. That synod call upon the churches and their members to examine our energy choices in our homes, lives, businesses, farms, and institutions from a perspective of stewardship, challenging ourselves to use less energy and to use it more wisely in order to reduce our individual and collective carbon footprint on the environment. (Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the first step; ultimately, control of climate change will likely require low or zero net emissions.)

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Participant

Amen to this post.  I'm perhaps more at odds with the report's conclusions on the science (this is a topic I've been following for quite some years), but the more important question is whether it is appropriate for the CRC denomination -- church as institution -- to express conclusions for its members where this report, if adopted, does.  This post does a great job of separating between what is and is not appropriate in that regard.

Genesis 8:22 NIV

"As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease".

Community Builder

This report includes a discussion on stewardship. That is very good. But let's look at the record of the CRCNA and how it behaves relative to stewardship of resources. I spent a bit of time going through the Acts of Synod but what I could not find (understandably), is what the the Corporate church and its Agencies spend on travel.  We have three hugh Agencies with the word "World" or "International" in it. Even Home Missions have folks that travel in Canada and the USA. I would like to see the total expenses for these Agencies and the church Corporately for  the last 11 years. Three simple numbers for each year: 1) Airfare 2) Meals and Hotels and 3) Milage allowance and/or car rentals. From 2000 to 2011. That as a % of total Agency and Denominational  expenses for the year(s). I suggest it will show very significant annual increase. I hope I am wrong. If someone at 2850 is reading this they can maybe look for the answer.