Position Statement on Responsibility for the Earth
The earth is an interconnected whole, each part interdependent. As an intricately ordered system it must be kept in careful balance. Human sinfulness continues to contribute to destruction of the earth and cause significant degradations: increased global temperature, unnatural changes to biodiversity, air and water pollution, ozone depletion, land and habitat destruction. These imbalances have consequences for the poor, our global neighbours and future generations, as more and more people are unable to meet their basic human needs. Environmental concerns are part of the broader reality of injustice and economic inequity in our world. Individuals, communities, religious organizations, businesses and governments must work to change this.
The Salvation Army believes that God created the earth and all living things. We believe that God delights in each part of creation and fills it with intrinsic value, regardless of its utility. As such, caring for creation is an act of worship to God, while neglecting or abusing it is an act of disobedience.
The Salvation Army believes that degradation of the earth is in part the result of human activity which has not adhered to the rhythms and regulations of biblical stewardship. We believe that human beings, created in the image of God, have a responsibility to care for all living things in a manner that reflects God’s own relationship to creation.
Humans are called to careful stewardship of the earth and its resources. The call to stewardship must be seen as an invitation to inhabit God’s garden, to tend to this bountiful planet, care for it and help it to flourish, joining with all creation in witnessing to God’s glory. Proper stewardship ought to follow Christ’s pattern of humility, service and sacrifice in the world.
The Salvation Army anticipates the day when God will make broken creation whole again, redeeming all created things and renewing the earth. However, this does not absolve us of the responsibility to be good earth-keepers. We believe that good earth-keeping is essential to the Christian faith. Salvationists as individuals and The Salvation Army as an organization resolve to accept responsibility for this world we live in by taking practical steps to conserve and regenerate creation.
Canada and Bermuda 2009
This document briefly sets out the view of The Salvation Army. This statement articulates the values and principles on which The Salvation Army in Canada takes its stand.
The Salvation Army in Canada offers its community and family services along with other social service programs in a dignified and compassionate manner without discrimination, respecting and caring for people whatever their position is on this issue.