Religious Teachings

Most religious traditions from around the world are united by the belief that we are to live rightly on the Earth.

These links to religious statements on the environment have been provided by leaders in our GINI network, and from GreenFaith an organization with 20 years of leadership helping people of all faiths become better environmental stewards.

 

Buddhist Statements

Christian Statements

Hindu Statements

Jewish Statements

Islamic Statements

Unitarian Universalist Statements

 

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Comment by Emily Page Bidgood on August 4, 2011 at 2:56pm
United Methodist: From the UMC's General Board of Church and Society.  An excerpt from their Social Principles doctrine.

 

"All creation is the Lord’s, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it....God has granted us stewardship of creation. We should meet these stewardship duties through acts of loving care and respect. Economic, political, social, and technological developments have increased our human numbers, and lengthened and enriched our lives. However, these developments have led to regional defoliation, dramatic extinction of species, massive human suffering, overpopulation, and misuse and overconsumption of natural and nonrenewable resources, particularly by industrialized societies. This continued course of action jeopardizes the natural heritage that God has entrusted to all generations. Therefore, let us recognize the responsibility of the church and its members to place a high priority on changes in economic, political, social, and technological lifestyles to support a more ecologically equitable and sustainable world leading to a higher quality of life for all of God’s creation."

 

 

Comment by Emily Page Bidgood on August 4, 2011 at 2:56pm

According to the Association of Religious Data Archives (www.thearda.com), our region of Northeast TN has over 650 religious congregations! I'm not sure how this compares to other regions, but it's quite a large number when I think of GINI's mission to reach as many faith groups as possible.

 

The big hitters: 45% Baptist. 17% Methodist. 7% Evangelical. 7% Church of Christ. 5% Presbyterian. 5% Pentecostal. 4% Catholic. There are of course other Christian denominations represented in proportionately smaller numbers. I have found 1 Hindu cultural center and temple, 1 Islamic center and house of worship and 1 Jewish Synagogue.

 

I thought I would post here some of the statements from our region's two most represented Christian families and one day these statements will probably get fuller integrated into our website's content.

 

Southern Baptist. The Southern Baptist statement on creation care and addressing climate change can be found at http://www.baptistcreationcare.org/node/1. An excerpt:

 

"God’s command to tend and keep the earth (Genesis 2) did not pass away with the fall of man; we are still responsible. Lack of concern and failure to act prudently on the part of Christ-followers reflects poorly to the rest of the world. Therefore, we humbly take responsibility for the damage that we have done to God’s cosmic revelation and pledge to take an unwavering stand to preserve and protect the creation over which we have been given responsibility by Almighty God Himself...

 
"We must care about environmental issues because of our commitment to God’s Holy and inerrant Word...Within these Scriptures we are reminded that when God made mankind, He commissioned us to exercise stewardship over the earth and its creatures (Gen. 1:26-28). We must care about environmental and climate issues because we are called to love our neighbors, to do unto others as we would have them do unto us and to protect and care for the “least of these” (Mt. 22:34-40; Mt. 7:12; Mt. 25:31-46). The consequences of these problems will most likely hit the poor the hardest, in part because those areas likely to be significantly affected are in the world’s poorest regions....

 

"Love of God, love of neighbor and Scripture’s stewardship demands provide enough reason for Southern Baptists and Christians everywhere to respond to these problems with moral passion and concrete action. "

 

American Baptist:  An excerpt from the ABC Statement on Ecology found here

"The best understanding of the Biblical attitude of humanity's relationship with the Creation can be gained by a study of the Greek words which are the foundation of the New Testament. The word stewardship comes from the Greek words for house and management. The Greek word which is commonly translated stewardship is the root word for economics and ecology. The literal translation of steward is manager of the household. As such, we are all called to be managers of God's household, the earth and all that is in it.


"Our responsibility as stewards is one of the most basic relationships we have with God. It implies a great degree of caring for God's creation and all God's creatures. The right relationship embodied in the everlasting covenant to which Isaiah refers. There can be no justice without right relationships of creatures with one another and with all of creation. Eco-justice is the vision of the garden in Genesis -- the realm and the reality of right relationship."

 

United Methodist: From the UMC's General Board of Church and Society.  An excerpt from

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