Transforming lives on four continents

Worth reading

Four reasons why the planet is worth saving

 

By Dr Ruth Valerio, Churches and Theology Director at BMS World Mission partner A Rocha UK. She writes about environmental issues and Christian faith on her blog ruthvalerio.net

 

 

Is caring for creation still important? Here are four reasons why it is.

I’ve just come back from preaching at a church that used little plastic disposable cups for communion. Probably about 500 were used which means about 26,000 little plastic cups in a year (never mind the throwaway coffee cups it also used).

 

Does that matter? I believe it does, and that this world is worth saving. Here is why:

 

1. Because God made the world and he loves it.

God is the creator of the world and thinks it is “very good” (Genesis 1: 31). If God loves the world, then we want to love what he loves and take care of it for his sake.

 

2. Because God created us to look after it.

As a part of the community of creation, we have also been given a special task: to look after the rest of what God has made (Genesis 1: 26-28; Genesis 2: 15). This is a fundamental part of what it means to be human.

 

3. It has gone wrong because of us.

Sadly, the world’s current problems are caused by human activity. Our acts of human sin (Hosea 4: 1-3; Amos 8:1-8) and carelessness with creation have ecological consequences and we have a responsibility to act.

It astounds me how incredibly slowly we are, as individuals and as nations, responding to this issue, compared to the swift response that was taken after 9/11, both financially and politically. Our grandchildren will certainly ask us some hard-hitting and incredulous questions as to why on earth we continued living as we did when we knew what we knew.

 

4. God has a purpose for it.

The good news is that God’s plans for salvation involve ALL that he has made (Colossians 1: 19-20). God has promised that, when Jesus returns, this world will be radically renewed: all that is evil will be destroyed; all that is good will shine out (2 Peter 3: 10; Revelation 21-22: 6). Let’s play our part in what God is doing!

Ruth Valerio

 

What you can do

Lobbying our MPs to ensure the promises made in our name at the Paris COP21 talks are kept, is one important way we can get involved in taking care of God’s world. We need our leaders to take bold, meaningful action on climate change. Please make sure you do all you can to show our elected representatives that this is an issue that a significant number of their constituents care about. Doing this is a key strategy for upgrading something from an “activist concern” into a mainstream political issue, recognised as something which will win or lose a party votes.

 

Consciously contributing to social change

 “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say that you did not know.”

These words were spoken by William Wilberforce as he fought with a small group to challenge one of the most successful trades in the UK. They are words that have had a significant impact on my family at Lyme Regis Baptist Church as we decided to embark on a journey and become part of the Eco Church scheme.  This has substantially changed the way that we ‘do church’ and look after our home, the church building. It has broadened our perception of what the gospel embraces and what it means and looks like to be a follower of a Christ.  Colossians 1: 15 proclaims that all things were created in our Lord, through him and for him. Why then would we not want to do everything we can to look after creation which has been created through him, for him and by him? We are taught by Jesus to love our neighbours. Are we loving our neighbours in those countries affected by climate change-induced weather events, caused by our carbon emitting lifestyles in western countries?  Understanding these key pieces of Scripture have been at the heart of becoming an Eco Church, keeping Jesus and his kingdom message, the gospel (as well as the environment) at the centre of why we are making these changes. William Wilberforce and his small group of supporters changed the world. We feel inspired as a church, that although we are small, we can make change.

Izzy Woodman, congregation member at Lyme Regis Baptist Church

 

Use the stats below to inspire August’s Worth doing actions

 

  • The energy used to keep all our televisions on standby would power a medium-sized town like Basingstoke.
  • If everyone boiled just the right amount of water that was needed in the kettle instead of filling it up, enough energy would be saved to power all of the UK’s streetlights for the following night.
  • Just one British power station (Drax B in Yorkshire) emits more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the combined carbon emissions of Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
  • It’s estimated that the amount of oil used globally in a year takes one million years to be formed.

 

Source: L is for Lifestyle Ruth Valero (2008)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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