European Adventists Recognize International Earth Day
From CD EUDNews, April 22, 2015: The Inter-European Division Public Relations department has released a statement recognizing Earth Day, highlighting the denomination’s teachings on environmental stewardship: “God made our world with brilliant creativity and tender care. He created humanity to take care of and take pleasure in the planet, with rest and recreation in perfect balance,” states an official Adventist denominational statement on the topic.
“God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days the Lord made “the heaven and the Earth” and all living things upon the Earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was ‘very good,’ declaring the glory of God.”
The United Nations International Earth Day promotes a view of the Earth as the entity that sustains all living things found in nature. It honors the Earth as a whole and our place within it. It does not seek to replace other events, such as Earth Day, which has been celebrated by many people around the world on 22 March since the 1970s, but rather to reinforce and reinterpret them based on the evolving challenges we face.
The world has been slow to respond to the emergencies posed by global warming and the damage human activities are causing the planet. In 1972, the United Nations organized the first UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. It marked the beginning of a global awareness of the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species, and our planet.
In 2009, at its Eighth Session, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues requested special rapporteurs to prepare a study on the need to recognize and respect the rights of the Earth. At its Ninth Session, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will discuss the findings of the study, as well as works toward establishing a Declaration on the Rights of the Earth.
“But the big decisions that lie ahead are not just for world leaders and policy-makers. Today, on Earth Day, I ask each one of us to be mindful of the impacts our choices have on this planet, and what those impacts will mean for future generations,” said the General Secretary of the UN, Ban-Ki-Moon.
“Climate change is not only real, it’s here,” said Adventist leaders for the denomination’s Inter-European Division. “For decades, we’ve been warned by scientists and evidence that this was coming, and yet, for decades, far too many have ignored the warnings. The issue of climate change is one that we ignore at our own peril.”
“We have had a planet to manage,” the Earth Day release continued. “What have we done with it? God gave us a wonderful earth to live on in harmony and love. Will we stand by while drought and famine, storms and floods overtake our planet or will we take a stand – together? Let us always remember that God’s Creation and Creatures deserve dignity.”