As some of the world’s most powerful leaders arrive in Cornwall, Christian teens are urging them to take action on climate change
“Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals, and all the small animals that scurry along the ground.’ So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27 (NLT)
It is incredibly evident from the very first book of the Bible that humans were created in the image of the triune God, and God said we were ‘very good’. God also made animals and their habitat, and he said that they were ‘good’. We see in the first chapter of the Bible that there is a distinct difference in how God views humans and the rest of creation. While it is all ‘good’, humans were made to be different. With being ‘very good’ came responsibility, not entitled privileges to do as we please.
Serve and respect
Our responsibility is to be stewards, utilising and managing the resources that God provides for his glory and the advancement of his creation. While some see this as egotistical, suggesting that humans are above everything else, I see it as humbling: as Jesus came to be a servant, despite being God and having created the heavens and the earth, we too are called to serve and respect our world and everything in it.
As Christians, I fear that we have lost sight of this role and its importance. So, in response to the G7 summit coming to Cornwall this summer, I became part of a group of Christian young people who are all calling for justice for both people and planet. Supported by Tearfund, we are campaigning to raise the profile of climate concerns, both inside and out of the Church. We have interviewed our church leaders about what they are doing to tackle the climate crisis and how they plan to involve young people in the church’s decision making. We have represented Christian youth in Cornwall on national TV and we have helped to design the ‘Take A Stand’ campaign with Tearfund, in which we have written an open letter to the world leaders attending the G7 summit in St Ives this week.
Rising to the challenge
As a group, we are confidently praying that our community will rise to the challenge and the calling set before us all to be loving caretakers of creation and, in doing so, change our future for the better.
As Jesus came to be a servant, we too are called to serve and respect our world
Below is the open letter that our group has written for the world leaders attending the G7 summit:
DEAR WORLD LEADERS
Our world is in crisis, it’s time to take a stand.
We are one: one world, one creation, one humanity. Our planet is struggling and people are suffering, so while you’re visiting our patch for these talks we need you to act.
With every fraction of a degree that temperatures rise, hurricanes get stronger, droughts last longer, forests burn, and whole islands disappear into the sea. And it is people who have done the least to cause the climate crisis – people already living in poverty – who are already suffering the worst effects.
As Christians, God asks us to love our neighbours – near and far – but your failure to act is putting their lives at risk. Today we are at a tipping point. We CAN stop this, but after decades of promises the action we need is still not happening. When it comes to real action, profit is too often chosen over people and planet.
World Leaders, you have the power to get us on course for a better future. We need you to do everything in your power to limit warming to no more than 1.5°C, with action and not just words.
ending funding for fossil fuels all around the world
cutting emissions down to zero as fast as possible
providing funding and support for people living in poverty, as they adapt to climate changes we’re too late to prevent.
We stand in solidarity with our global neighbours, whose lives literally depend on us keeping to 1.5°C. We ask you to act with us: a young generation taking a stand with our global community.
We challenge you today to prayerfully seek the area of your life that God is calling you to be a better steward of what he created and called ‘good’.
This open letter, written by the Christian young people of Cornwall, is part of Tearfund’s ‘Take a Stand’ campaign. You can add your signature to the letter at wearetearfund.org/takeastand