We cannot ignore the climate crisis

October 2020

In this season of Creation, Author and theologian Ruth Valerio reflects on why the church cannot ignore the climate crisis.

People ask, ‘What does climate change have to do with the Christian faith?’ In a nutshell: it’s an issue of justice. Sir David Attenborough’s new documentary Extinction: The Facts, brought home the damage that humanity continues to do to creation, and about the extreme and unfair impacts on those living in poverty. 

Creation was made by Jesus, through Jesus and for Jesus (Colossians 1:16). That’s a stunning declaration of our planet’s worth. This is a world full of diversity and abundance and colour. The Bible shows that God, people and the natural world are deeply interconnected.

The climate crisis is wreaking havoc in our world, putting millions of lives at risk. We are seeing the outworking of a global system built on greed and overconsumption. As global temperatures rise, rains are becoming less reliable and droughts, floods and storms are becoming more frequent and extreme.

For those who are already vulnerable, this is a life-threatening emergency that is pushing them further into poverty. The climate crisis is a justice issue.

This is even more evident when we reflect on what it means that we’re made ‘in the image of God’ (Genesis 1:26–28).

Firstly, it speaks of the absolute equality between people. Acting justly means looking beyond ourselves to our global neighbours living in countries that do not have the financial protection or healthcare that we do. 

Secondly, being made in the image of God defines our relationship with the whole of creation. We are God’s representatives, created to serve and look after the rest of what he has made.

As Christians and churches we have a crucial role in calling for, and working towards, a world that allows everyone to flourish. 

Followers of Jesus need to be at the forefront of protecting and restoring his creation. The climate crisis is a huge and urgent challenge that requires all of us to play our part.

Proverbs 31:9 says: 'Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ We are called as Christians to stand up for justice, calling on those in positions of power to make decisions that protect the most vulnerable people and the Earth we all rely on. Standing together in prayer and action to see a breakthrough in the climate crisis.

Taken from Tearfund ACTION

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