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?
- Why a Statement?
- Is it only for Evangelicals?
- 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?
- I’ve signed…now what?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.