26 March 1998

Hambelden Valley Group of Churches

Safeguarding the Integrity of Creation

We saw this as above all a field of Education, of the kind which is mission in itself.

Our attitude to the physical world should be that shown in Leviticus 25, that it belongs to God, all of it, as His creation, and that we are His tenants - we do not own it, or any part of it or any thing in it, and we are answerable for it.

Professed Christians need to be encouraged to exercise the virtues whose practice does safeguard the environment, such as self-restraint, generosity, a non-material outlook and way of life, which need not be poor in quality or mentally or spiritually limited.

Those on the Church’s fringe and just beyond it, many of whom say that the beauty of Creation is their chief indicator of a Supreme Being, can be encouraged to recognise Him and to join the work of forwarding His good arrangements for the well-being of humans and animals and nature in the happy concert intended.

We as Christians need to study the beliefs and practices of the Third World, so that we can link into their cultural and spiritual tenets, and spread Christianity not by exhortation and argument (but) by the example of a virtuous and love-inspiring life style. We need to try, with our own hard-won experience, to help them see that the protection and wise use of their own natural resources is to their own benefit, and to avoid the Western world’s terrible past mistakes and misdoings.

Margaret Drage, Nigel Snell, Penny McLleish, Sarah Marsh, Jo McConville

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