Search

Monthly Archives: October 2015

Be Inspired by Storytellers from the Movement

Watch Our Video

The Lausanne Movement and Caring for Creation

As you watch the video found on our homepage and read about the strong legacy of Christian concern for animal welfare, you’ll learn that the renowned evangelist Rev. Billy Graham spoke on the issue of faith and animals in his writings.

Amongst his tremendous contributions to Kingdom work throughout his life, Rev. Graham’s legacy includes the Lausanne Movement. In the 1970s, Billy Graham perceived the need for a global congress to re-frame Christian mission in a world of political, economic, intellectual, and religious upheaval. The church, he believed, had to grasp the ideas and values behind rapid changes in society.

In July 1974, over 2,400 participants from 150 nations gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland, for the first International Congress on World Evangelization. TIME magazine described it as ‘a formidable forum, possibly the widest-ranging meeting of Christians ever held’. Speakers included some of the world’s most respected evangelical thinkers of the time: Francis Schaeffer, Ralph Winter, Carl Henry, and John Stott.

Through the ’70s and ’80s, the Lausanne Movement built on the 1974 Congress by convening smaller groups of influencers around critical mission topics like the Gospel and Culture, Muslim Evangelization, and Living Simply. Consultations would typically result in the publication of a seminal statement with a call to action in an ongoing series of Lausanne Occasional Papers (LOPs), which continue to help shape mission theology and practice. Two major global congresses followed, Manila 1989 and Cape Town 2010, serving as a launch pad for further key strategies and milestones in global mission.

In the 2011 Cape Town Commitment: A Confession of Faith and A Call to Action, the Lausanne Movement declared in Part I, Section 7: “We Love God’s World” by stating the following resolutions as they refer to care for creation:

“We love the world of God’s creation. This love is not mere sentimental affection for nature (which the Bible nowhere commands), still less is it pantheistic worship of nature (which the Bible expressly forbids). Rather it is the logical outworking of our love for God by caring for what belongs to him. ‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.’ The earth is the property of the God we claim to love and obey. We care for the earth, most simply, because it belongs to the one whom we call Lord.

The earth is created, sustained and redeemed by Christ. We cannot claim to love God while abusing what belongs to Christ by right of creation, redemption and inheritance. We care for the earth and responsibly use its abundant resources, not according to the rationale of the secular world, but for the Lord’s sake. If Jesus is Lord of all the earth, we cannot separate our relationship to Christ from how we act in relation to the earth. For to proclaim the gospel that says ‘Jesus is Lord’ is to proclaim the gospel that includes the earth, since Christ’s Lordship is over all creation. Creation care is thus a gospel issue within the Lordship of Christ.

Such love for God’s creation demands that we repent of our part in the destruction, waste and pollution of the earth’s resources and our collusion in the toxic idolatry of consumerism. Instead, we commit ourselves to urgent and prophetic ecological responsibility. We support Christians whose particular missional calling is to environmental advocacy and action, as well as those committed to godly fulfillment of the mandate to provide for human welfare and needs by exercising responsible dominion and stewardship. The Bible declares God’s redemptive purpose for creation itself. Integral mission means discerning, proclaiming, and living out, the biblical truth that the gospel is God’s good news, through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for individual persons, and for society, and for creation. All three are broken and suffering because of sin; all three are included in the redeeming love and mission of God; all three must be part of the comprehensive mission of God’s people.”

The Commitment also speaks of “Christ’s Peace for His Suffering Creation” in Part IIB:

“Our biblical mandate in relation to God’s creation is provided in The Cape Town Confession of Faith section 7 (a). All human beings are to be stewards of the rich abundance of God’s good creation. We are authorized to exercise godly dominion in using it for the sake of human welfare and needs, for example in farming, fishing, mining, energy generation, engineering, construction, trade, medicine. As we do so, we are also commanded to care for the earth and all its creatures, because the earth belongs to God, not to us. We do this for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the creator, owner, sustainer, redeemer and heir of all creation.

We lament over the widespread abuse and destruction of the earth’s resources, including its bio-diversity. Probably the most serious and urgent challenge faced by the physical world now is the threat of climate change. This will disproportionately affect those in poorer countries, for it is there that climate extremes will be most severe and where there is little capability to adapt to them. World poverty and climate change need to be addressed together and with equal urgency.”

As Christians consider signing the Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals and joining the Every Living Thing movement, let us also reflect upon the similar, historic resolutions, such as the Lausanne Movement’s commitment, that has laid the groundwork for the global Christian church to thoughtfully engage in care for creatures as a critical part of our missional call as gospel people in His world.

ELT In the News

The Every Living Thing campaign has been gaining strong momentum! The following pieces were released from a variety of media sources prior to and following the launch of the Statement on Wednesday, September 30.

Watch the ELT team at Calvin College!

Did you miss us on Oct. 2nd at Calvin College? Watch a full recap of our event now available on YouTube! Hear what influential voices have to say on responsible care for animals. We highly encourage you to share this video with family and friends so that together you can continue to think, talk and discover your call to faithful stewardship over Gods creation. Enjoy!

October 19, 2015

Join Us on October 19th at Concordia Theological Seminary

Join the Every Living Thing team along with faculty from Concordia Theological Seminary on October 19, 2015 for a discussion on our Christian call to celebrate the wonder of God’s creation and responsibly steward the animals he has entrusted to our care.

The evening will feature a panel discussion, including the following voices:

  • Charles Arand, Concordia Seminary
  • Jeff Pulse, Concordia Theological Seminary
  • Jim Spiegel, Taylor University (tentative)
  • Abby Skeans, The Clapham Group

The event will be held in Sihler Auditorium, beginning at 7:00PM. Vegan hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served. To learn more about the event, please click ELT Flyer Concordia Seminary.

Mere Fidelity: Animals

Human beings were created to share the world with other living things and animals, like humans, carry the breath of life. Men and women of faith like John Wesley, William Wilberforce, and Hannah Moore understood the importance of animal stewardship as presented in the Bible and began to draw attention to a more compassionate treatment of animals centuries ago. The Every Living Thing Statement seeks to recapture the heart of a movement started by these reformers.

In this podcast, Karen Swallow Prior, alongside Andrew Wilson, shares what drives her to a more compassionate treatment of animals. Listen to Mere Fidelity: Animals now available on iTunes and gain some wonderful insights into the history of animal welfare by Evangelicals, Biblical perspective, and personal convictions by both Karen Swallow Prior and Andrew Wilson.

Get the Every Living Thing Book!

The Humane Society of the United States, through its Faith Outreach program, announces a new book, “Every Living Thing: How Pope Francis, Evangelicals and other Christian Leaders are inspiring all of us to Care for Animals.”

Published through Front Edge Publishing, the book is a collection of the latest teachings from Christian leaders on animal protection issues, compiled to inspire individuals and spark fresh discussion in congregations. “Every Living Thing” includes the new Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals, by top Evangelical leaders and released at an event held at The National Press Club in Washington, DC.

The statement is the only unifying document bringing evangelicals together to care for living creatures.

Christine Gutleben, “Every Living Thing” editor and senior director of The HSUS faith outreach program said: “We are excited to provide this resource that shows the longstanding traditions of care and protection of animals across Christian denominations. It offers important context for The Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care of Animals and Pope Francis’ encyclical on creation, Laudato Si. It also helps us to understand our moral responsibilities towards God’s creatures.”

About the Book:

Also included in this book are teachings from the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Church of God in Christ and the Assemblies of God.

Compassion toward animals runs through nearly every major religious tradition around the world—so additional material on other faith traditions is included in an appendix to help readers expand their awareness of these issues.

Beyond general concern for animals, religious groups zero in on a wide range of issues, reflecting The HSUS’ concerns for combating large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade.

“Every Living Thing: How Pope Francis, Evangelicals and other Christian Leaders are inspiring all of us to Care for Animals” is available through online retailers for the suggested price of $16.99 on paperback and $9.95 for e-reader edition. To order on Amazon, click here. To order from Barnes & Noble, click here.

Print ISBN: 978-1-942011-09-5; iBook ISBN: 978-1-942011-10-1; other ebook (ePub) ISBN: 978-1-942011-11-8

For group orders of 50 books or more, contact Karen Allanach at kallanach@humanesociety.org.

 

Welcome to Every Living Thing!

We’re glad that you’ve joined the Every Living Thing movement! If you haven’t already signed the Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals, click over to the “Sign the Statement” page to sign now!

Have questions on how this all began? Keep reading to understand more about the history of the movement and how you can be part of its enduring legacy.

 


 

How did all of this start? 

In 2011, Dr. Barrett Duke, Michael Cromartie, and Mark Rodgers were at a lunch of Evangelical leaders discussing how Christian faith compels believers toward compassionate and thoughtful stewardship of all of God’s creatures. During their discussion of the rich tradition of animal welfare that the church had gleaned from leaders such as, St. Francis, John Wesley, C.S. Lewis, among others, it became clear that this was an issue that needed to be continued within our Christian legacy.

Key evidence of this legacy was that certain denominations have statements on animal care specific to them; however, there is not a single document focused on responsible animal care upon which a larger number of believers can agree upon. The drafter’s hoped that the document would serve as both a unifying action among Christians and as a witness to the world of the universal Lordship of Christ. For the past four years, they have explored scripture and theological resources to ensure the Statement’s Biblical integrity. The Statement has also undergone scrutiny from almost 40 Christian theologians, scholars, and faith leaders during its refinement. In its final form today, the Statement contextually identifies core beliefs, interprets foundational principles, and implements theological groundwork to provide a common understanding of scripture on this issue across denominational lines.

Why a Statement? 

Over the years, Christians have declared their Biblical and doctrinal understanding of caring for animals and creation through Religious Statements specific to their denomination. Current Christian denominations who have adopted Statements on animal welfare include: the Assemblies of God, Church of God in Christ, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Seventh-day Adventist Church, Southern Baptist Convention, Episcopal Church, The Roman Catholic Church, The United Methodist Church, and United Church of Christ.

The Every Living Campaign seeks to build upon the commitment from these denominational statements to present a unifying document for Evangelicals, which celebrates the unity of the gospel message within the church.

Is it only for Evangelicals? 

Although the Statement is a unifying document for those who identify themselves as within the “Evangelical” Christian tradition, Christians who do not identify themselves as Evangelical are also invited to sign in the spirit of unity. We are excited to link arms with and learn from Christians from a variety of denominational backgrounds as we seek to live out God’s call to steward creation and care for all creatures. Wherever you find yourself on this issue, we invite you to be part of the conversation and join the Every Living Thing movement. By downloading some of our resources, attending a local event in your area, and staying tuned into our daily social media buzz and weekly podcasts, we are confidant that you’ll be inspired to find meaningful ways to care for every living thing.

What if I don’t agree with everything contained in the Statement and choose not to sign. Can I still be a part of the movement?

Absolutely! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to celebrate God’s wonder-full and creative story over a disagreement with a document! If you have a concern with something in the Statement, we’d love to hear from you and discuss it. Hit us up on our social (Twitter or Facebook) or email us at info@everylivingthing.com. This movement is meant to be a testament to the power of unity within the body of Christ (His church!) and, ultimately, the redemptive story that we see played out through our interaction with animals.

I’ve signed…now what? 

Great! We’re so glad that you’ve join us. Now that you’ve signed, please share the Statement with your friends and community by clicking here. We invite you to explore our resources and consider getting involved with a hands-on project or starting a small group study with the Living Legacy Video Series and Small Group guide. The Every Living Thing team would love to visit your area — please keep an eye on our blog for notifications on when we’ll be visiting your community, or invite us to your campus or church. Finally, stay tuned into our weekly podcasts and join the conversation through our daily social updates.

Join Us on October 6 at Taylor University

Join the Every Living Thing team at Taylor University on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 for an intimate conversation on compassionate living and faithful stewardship!

The event is co-sponsored by the Every Living Thing campaign and the Taylor University Center for Ethics. The evening will feature a panel discussion, including the following voices:

  • Dr. Charles Arand, Concordia Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Jim Spiegel, Taylor University
  • Reasa Currier, Humane Society of the United States
  • Abby Skeans, The Clapham Group

The event will be held in Recital Hall, beginning at 7:00pm. Vegan hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served. To learn more about the event, please click ELT Taylor University Flyer.

ELT Launch

On Wednesday, September 30 from 9 to 11am EST, Every Living Thing: An Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals, launched at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Panelists for the event included Mark Rodgers, Dr. Barrett Duke, Wayne Pacelle, and Christine Gutleben, with special filmed messages from Michael Cromartie, Dr. Russell Moore, and Dr. Ed Stetzer.

To watch the press conference in its entirety, please click here.

To watch the filmed messages by Michael Cromartie, Dr. Russell Moore, and Dr. Ed Stetzer, please visit our Facebook page.

To download our press release with featured national articles on ELT, please click Evangelical Statement Press Release.

For a list of notable signatories, please click ELT Statement Signatories.

For more information or press inquiries, please contact info@everylivingthing.com.

EVENT: October 2, 2015

Join the Every Living Thing team at Calvin College on Friday, October 2, 2015 for an intimate conversation on compassionate living and faithful stewardship!

The event is co-sponsored by the Every Living Thing campaign and the Calvin College Students for Compassionate Living. The evening will feature a panel discussion, including the following voices, followed by a screening of the short documentary, Eating Mercifully:

  • Dr. Steve McMullen, Hope College
  • Trevor Sutton, Michigan State University – Writing, Rhetoric, and American Culture
  • Reasa Currier, Humane Society of the United States
  • Abby Skeans, The Clapham Group
  • Jonathan Manni, Student at Calvin College

The event will be held in the Commons Annex Lecture Hall, beginning at 6:30pm. Vegan hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served. To RSVP for the event, visit the Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1003919539653079/.

bird
Though my beasts should be dull, yet I don't use them ill...For I firmly believe there's no charm in an oath, that can make a nag trot, when to talk he is loath.
Hannah More

Number of ELT Statement Signers

1113

Video directed and produced by Storytellers INK