The Interchurch Bioethics Council (ICBC), with scientist Kevin Tate of St David’s, Palmerston North, has produced a study for churches that explains what individuals, congregations and communities can do to reduce climate change.
Titled Real Urgent and Personal: A Christian approach to global climate change, the study looks at the theology underpinning the need for Christians to be actively involved in caring for Creation.
According to the Christian tradition, there is an intrinsic value in Creation and all creatures. All Creation is good; all Creation belongs to God; all Creation praises God; Creation reveals the eternal power and divine nature of God; Christ demonstrates how imago Dei is most perfectly fulfilled – caring for all through loving, sacrificial service.
The study explores environmental ethics and focuses on what we should do regarding caring for nature. As Christians we recognise a responsibility both to present generations and those to come, and towards non-human creation. For these reasons, global
climate change is an environmental, theological and social issue.
A challenging, interactive section of the report questions whether we are people living lifestyles of consumerism or stewardship. Christians need to support measures that will reduce the effects of climate change, despite the fact that in some instances there will be financial costs as well as benefits. Christians, say the ICBC, have a responsibility to put ethical values first.
Real Urgent and Personal: A Christian approach to global climate change can be downloaded from Interchurch Bioethics Council Resources on the Presbyterian Church website.
ICBC was set up in 2000 by the Presbyterian, Anglican and Methodist churches. Members of the ICBC have expertise in ethics, theology, philosophy, science, medicine and cultural issues and are available for presentations to church and community groups.
To discuss their availability, contact chairperson Dr Audrey Jarvis, firstname.lastname@example.org