The Adventist Church’s Official Statements on Climate Change, the Environment, and Stewardship of the Earth

Editor’s Note: There has been much discussion in recent weeks surrounding climate change, both on the international political stage and within the church. As such, we wanted to call attention to the several official statements the Seventh-day Adventist Church has on climate change, the environment, and stewardship of the earth. Each is republished in full below, with the dates they were voted. The titles are each hyperlinked to where they appear on the official Church website.

Caring for the Environment

The world in which we live is a gift of love from the Creator God, from "Him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water" (Revelation 14:7; 11:17, 18). Within this creation He placed humans, set intentionally in relationship with Himself, other persons, and the surrounding world. Therefore, as Seventh-day Adventists, we hold its preservation and nurture to be intimately related to our service to Him.

God set aside the seventh-day Sabbath as a memorial and perpetual reminder of His creative act and establishment of the world. In resting on that day, Seventh-day Adventists reinforce the special sense of relationship with the Creator and His creation. Sabbath observance underscores the importance of our integration with the total environment.

The human decision to disobey God broke the original order of creation, resulting in a disharmony alien to His purposes. Thus our air and waters are polluted, forests and wildlife plundered, and natural resources exploited. Because we recognize humans as part of God's creation, our concern for the environment extends to personal health and lifestyle. We advocate a wholesome manner of living and reject the use of substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs that harm the body and consume earth's resources; and we promote a simple vegetarian diet.

Seventh-day Adventists are committed to respectful, cooperative relationships among all persons, recognizing our common origin and realizing our human dignity as a gift from the Creator. Since human poverty and environmental degradation are interrelated, we pledge ourselves to improve the quality of life for all people. Our goal is a sustainable development of resources while meeting human needs.

Genuine progress toward caring for our natural environment rests upon both personal and cooperative effort. We accept the challenge to work toward restoring God's overall design. Moved by faith in God, we commit ourselves to promote the healing that rises at both personal and environmental levels from integrated lives dedicated to serve God and humanity.

In this commitment we confirm our stewardship of God's creation and believe that total restoration will be complete only when God makes all things new.

This statement was approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee at the Annual Council session in Silver Spring, Maryland, October 12, 1992.

Environment

Seventh-day Adventists believe that humankind was created in the image of God, thus representing God as His stewards, to rule the natural environment in a faithful and fruitful way.

Unfortunately, corruption and exploitation have been brought into the management of the human domain of responsibility. Increasingly men and women have been involved in a megalomaniacal destruction of the earth's resources, resulting in widespread suffering, environmental disarray, and the threat of climate change. While scientific research needs to continue, it is clear from the accumulated evidence that the increasing emission of destructive gasses, the depletion of the protective mantel of ozone, the massive destruction of the American forests, and the so-called greenhouse effect, are all threatening the earth's eco-system.

These problems are largely due to human selfishness and the egocentric pursuit of getting more and more through ever-increasing production, unlimited consumption and depletion of nonrenewable resources. The ecological crisis is rooted in humankind's greed and refusal to practice good and faithful stewardship within the divine boundaries of creation.

Seventh-day Adventists advocate a simple, wholesome lifestyle, where people do not step on the treadmill of unbridled consumerism, goods-getting, and production of waste. We call for respect of creation, restraint in the use of the world's resources, reevaluation of one's needs, and reaffirmation of the dignity of created life.

This statement was approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee (ADCOM) and was released by the Office of the President, Robert S. Folkenberg, at the General Conference session in Utrecht, the Netherlands, June 29-July 8, 1995.

The Dangers of Climate Change

Scientists warn that the gradual warming of the atmosphere as a result of human activity will have serious environmental consequences. The climate will change, resulting in more storms, more floods, and more droughts.

To keep climate change within bearable limits, the emissions of greenhouse gasses, especially carbon dioxide (CO2), need to be significantly reduced. Industrialized countries are the main source of these emissions, while the first victims are the small island states and low-lying coastal countries.

Despite the clear risks, governments appear slow to act.

The world membership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church requests that the governments concerned take steps necessary to avert the danger:

1) By fulfilling the agreement reached in Rio de Janeiro (1992 Convention on Climate Change) to stabilize carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2000 at 1990 levels,

2) By establishing plans for further reductions in carbon dioxide emissions after the year 2000, and

3) By initiating more forcefully public debate on the risks of climate change.

In signing this statement, Seventh-day Adventists declare their advocacy of a simple, wholesome lifestyle, where people do not step on the treadmill of unbridled consumerism and production of waste. They call for respect of creation, restraint in the use of the world's resources, and reevaluation of our needs as individuals.

This statement was approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee (ADCOM) on December 19, 1995.

Stewardship of the Environment

It is the belief of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that humankind was created in the image of God, and is thus to represent God as His steward and to manage the natural environment in a faithful and fruitful way. Nature is a gift from God.

Unfortunately, men and women have been increasingly involved in an irresponsible destruction of the earth's resources, resulting in widespread suffering, environmental degradation, and the threat of climate change. While scientific research needs to continue, it is clear from the accumulated evidence that the increasing emission of destructive gasses, the massive destruction of the American rain forests, and the depletion of the protective mantel of ozone (the so-called greenhouse effect), are all threatening the earth's eco-system. There are dire predictions of global warming, rising sea levels, increasing frequency of storms and destructive floods, and devastating desertification and droughts.

These problems are largely due to human selfishness and greed which result in ever-increasing production, unlimited consumption, and depletion of nonrenewable resources. Solidarity with future generations is discussed, but the pressure of immediate interests is given priority. The ecological crisis is rooted in humankind's greed and refusal to practice good and faithful stewardship.

The government and people of Costa Rica are to be commended for their support of a comprehensive policy of sustainable development in harmony with nature.

Seventh-day Adventism advocates a simple, wholesome lifestyle, where people do not step on the treadmill of unbridled over-consumption, accumulation of goods, and production of waste. A reformation of lifestyle is called for, based on respect for nature, restraint in the use of the world's resources, reevaluation of one's needs, and reaffirmation of the dignity of created life.

This statement was approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee (ADCOM) for release by the Office of the President, Robert S. Folkenberg, at the Annual Council session in San Jose, Costa Rica, October 1-10, 1996.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9916
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Adventist are great methane producers.

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This statement does not take into consideration statements by
Ellen White.
This statement comes from Adventist Review, 1603-28 and claims
the Ellen statement came from The Faith I Live By, p. 328.
QUOTE – “Satan works through the elements also to garner his
harvest of unprepared souls…In accidents and calamities by sea and
by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific
hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes,
in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power.
He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow.
He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the
pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent
and disastrous.”

For some reason, Church Authorities seem to be afraid to quote this
statement to the body of the Seventh day Adventist members as a
whole. Only a SMALL % of SDAs read the Review.

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Steve,
Another they didn’t show.
"The inventions of human minds are supposed to spring from humanity, but God is behind all. He has caused that the means of rapid traveling shall have been invented, for the great day of His preparation. FE 408.2
The use which men have made of their capabilities, by misusing and abusing their God-given talents, has brought confusion into the world. They have left the guardianship of Christ for the guardianship of the great rebel, the prince of darkness. Man alone is accountable for the strange fire which has been mingled with the sacred. The accumulation of many things which minister to lust and ambition has brought upon the world the judgment of God. When in difficulty, philosophers and the great men of earth desire to satisfy their minds without appealing to God. They ventilate their philosophy in regard to the heavens and the earth, accounting for plagues, pestilences, epidemics, earthquakes, and famines, by their supposed science. Hundreds of questions relating to creation and providence, they will attempt to solve by saying. This is a law of nature. FE 409.1
There are laws of nature, but they are harmonious, and conform with all God’s working; but when the lords many and gods many set themselves to explain God’s own principles and providences, presenting to the world strange fire in the place of divine, there is confusion. The machinery of earth and heaven needs many faces to every wheel in order to see the Hand beneath the wheels, bringing perfect order from confusion. The living and true God is a necessity everywhere. FE 409.2

I guess the lords many and gods many at the Review and SDA headquarters (ADCOM) set themselves to explain God’s own principles and Providences, presenting to the world strange fire in the place of divine, there is confusion. :wink:
Funny how people choose the quotes of EGW which they find useful. :slight_smile:
Pat

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Oh my, I didn’t realize how closely my views on environmental stewardship and climate change are reflected in official statements. I find this very refreshing. We apparently do have people in leadership who understand these issues and our God ordained responsibility to care for the earth. Thank you for compiling and posting these. Given how many negative responses i have gotten to some of the things I have said in support of being committed to support efforts to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases, I was starting to wonder.

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Sadly, there’s no way on God’s green earth these statements would have been approved under the current GC administration. The “base,” now convinced (not by anything E.G. White wrote) that Sunday laws will arise from the Pope urging Sunday worship to save the planet, would scream bloody murder. Many SDAs now despise all things environmental. Much has changed since these statements were voted.

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Although this brings me deep sadness, the upcoming generation is very environmentally proactive. They are believers in saving the earth for their own children.

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LOL… Great way to start a Monday!!!.. :laughing:

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I can’t understand why are there so many people denying the obvious in terms of the undeniable man-made destruction of the planet, and the contamination of the air and water. What blinds them? Being environmentally responsible is a Christian duty, but this is just my opinion.

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The current younger generation(s) recognize that the world that they have inherited is the world that they will pass on to their children. Their awareness is far greater than that of their parents. Although these official statements also include admonitions to a “simple lifestyle”…I notice that none of them actually speak to a “sustainable” lifestyle.

Of course, these statements also don’t include what actually constitutes a “simple lifestyle” (other than eschewing consumerism) or how the SDA Church is going to be responsible for it corporately or even by a church to church basis. Nice words without any “teeth”. I can’t help but think that this is one of the reasons that the youth of today are abstaining formal religion and are “unchurched”.

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Because blaming the weather on Satan is crazy talk?

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Or we did, circa 1992 - 1996. Not a peep or revision/improvement for a couple of decades, which makes me wonder…

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So, then, yet another way that through lack of leadership the church is alienating the younger generation? Seems so.

They live in an alternate reality feeding off “alternate facts” gleaned from their GOP leaders and Faux News and uninformed and/or disingenuous religious leaders, some of whom operate in the SDA church.

A classmate of mine, who graduated from an SDA college, and who has a Master’s degree, and who is a High School science teacher at an SDA school in SoCal, recently shared with me that she has discovered that the world is flat, and her bible confirms this to be the case. At first I thought she was pulling my leg. She was not. She is dead serious.

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Do you agree with her statement? Do you believe this as well?

Do you think this should be preached from the pulpit, or taught in SS?

You posted this on the “Stop Hating Everything the Pope Likes” thread,

The Pope does not know what we SDAs through Ellen White know.
That Satan is in charge of the weather. And there is nothing we
humans can do to change that. And there is nothing we humans can
do to make it worse. However, we can be “less trashy”.

I asked if you believed that, but you didn’t really say if you did or not. I’m just curious as to your belief on her statement.

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Yes, that is a little concerning, but, The Review did publish that article by the girl from Australia that participated in the Climate Strike March, so there must still be some commitment to those ideals. It is definitely troubling that there were so many negative comments to that article, though.

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Oh my!! That is troubling. Showing that the world is a sphere is very simple, simple enough that the majority of people from the time of the ancient Greeks knew it to be so.

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Well now that’s just the governments and the corporations - they want you to believe that. For reasons I can’t remember. Anyway, it’s all a lie! There was no moon landing! Con-trails!

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And don’t forget HAARP messing with the weather. :rofl::roll_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Was our church concerned with environment only in the past century? Any good explanation for that?

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A Science teacher convert to flat Earth. That is unbelievable! How will she teach Newtonian gravitational theory? Yes I know Newton is outdated but no modern gravitational theory will conclude that big objects can look like frisbees. :slight_smile: