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On Environmentalism And Evangelicals

WHEREAS, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1), declared it good (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 32), and it reveals His glory (Psalm 19:1-6); and

WHEREAS, God created men and women in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), placing them in value above the rest of creation and commanding them to exercise caring stewardship and dominion over the earth and environment (Genesis 1:28; cf. Psalm 8); and

WHEREAS, Mankind as free moral agents willfully disobeyed God, plunging the whole creation into corruption because of our sin (Genesis 3:1-19), from which the fallen creation awaits restoration (Romans 8:19-22); and

WHEREAS, Since the fall into sin, humans have often ignored the Creator, shirked their stewardship of the environment, and further defiled the good creation; and

WHEREAS, Some in our culture have completely rejected God the Father in favor of deifying “Mother Earth,” made environmentalism into a neo-pagan religion, and elevated animal and plant life to the place of equal—or greater—value with human life; and

WHEREAS, The scientific community is divided on the effects of mankind’s impact on the environment; and

WHEREAS, Some environmental activists are seeking to advance a political agenda based on disputed claims, which not only impacts public policy and in turn our economic well-being, but also seeks to indoctrinate the public, particularly students in public institutions; and

WHEREAS, Environmentalism is threatening to become a wedge issue to divide the evangelical community and further distract its members from the priority of the Great Commission; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13-14, 2006, renew our commitment to God’s command to exercise caring stewardship and wise dominion over the creation (Genesis 1:28); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge all Southern Baptists toward the conservation and preservation of our natural resources for future generations while respecting ownership and property rights; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage public policy and private enterprise efforts that seek to improve the environment based on sound scientific and technological research; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we resist alliances with extreme environmental groups whose positions contradict biblical principles (2 Chronicles 19:2) and that we oppose solutions based on questionable science, which bar access to natural resources and unnecessarily restrict economic development, resulting in less economic opportunity for our poorest citizens; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we not only reaffirm our God-given responsibility of caring for the creation, but above all, that we continue to commit ourselves to the Great Commission to take the Good News of Jesus Christ to people of every tribe, tongue, and nation thus bringing glory to the One who will make all things new at His coming (Revelation 21:1).