Over the last couple of months I’ve had a few conversations with people who work for Christian advocacy organizations here in the capital. These are folks who encourage Christian citizens to make their voices heard in our democracy. These are also folks who work to share the priorities of their constituents with government. One interesting commonality has popped up in these conversations: that is, here in Canada it is the reticence of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada that stands in the way of Canadian Christians speaking with one voice on matters of creation care.
There is ample reason for Christians to make caring for creation a political priority. There is the biblical mandate to keep the earth and the biblical claim that the earth and its creatures belong to God. There is also the notion of justice between generations and the reality that environmental degradation disproportionately harms the poor. These reasons hold regardless of whether or not one is theologically conservative or liberal. Yet for some reason the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has not chosen to make creation care a priority. This is a shame because this is one place where conservative Christians could find common cause with a broad swath of their neighbours and could show that they don’t advocate merely for things that benefit themselves. Engaging this issue would also demonstrate that the EFC (and other organizations like it) are not indelibly linked to one particular political ideology. You can use the link above to find the EFC’s website and share your opinion with them on this matter (FYI – Mennonite Church Canada, the national ecclesial body in which I pastor, is a member of the EFC).
There is no good theological reason for evangelicals not to get serious about creation care. In the US the Evangelical Environmental Network has existed for more than three decades for this exact purpose. Internationally, the Lausanne Movement issued a bold call to action along these lines in 2012. This is significant since the Lausanne Movement began with the work of Billy Graham and is expressly focused on an evangelical priority–Christian mission. I have no illusion that Christians will use exactly the same language when speaking on this issue or that we will all operate with the same list of priorities. Even so, it should be the case that Christians across the board share the basic political value of caring for our common home, God’s good creation.