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This document reflects commonly held beliefs based on scripture which have been endorsed by the church's Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery.
What is the Assemblies of God's position on the environment?
The Assemblies of God believes everyone needs to be good a steward of all Gods creationincluding the earth. As clearly indicated in Scripture, we believe the earth was created by God (Genesis 1:1-31; Isaiah 37:16). We also believe it serves as the temporary home for all members of the human race (Gods highest life form, made in His own image; Genesis 1:27) until eternity.
Scripture indicates the earth will one day be consumed by fire and cease to exist (Zephaniah 1:18; Isaiah 51:6). We believe before this occurs Christ will return to earth for His church (those who have accepted and believe in Him). At that time Christians will enjoy a new earth presently unknown to mankind (Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13).
In spite of these future events, we feel Christians must act responsibly in their use of Gods earth as we rightly harvest its resources. As stated in Genesis 1:27-30, we believe God has given mankind alone complete dominion (authority) over the earths resources. These resources include the land, the water, the vegetation, and the earths minerals; as well as the animals, fish, and fowl. Like the earth, we acknowledge these to be gifts from God to mankind; and as gifts they are to be appreciated and cherished. As Christians we believe dominion requires good stewardship of our temporary homeearth.
Today in our American culture, many people have turned their adoration from the Creator to the creation. They have gone to the extreme and are now worshiping the earth. We believe worship of the land, the sea, the oceans, and other attributes of the earth is an abomination to Godthe Creator.
In the apostle Pauls day the worship of created things (idolatry) was a prevailing problem. Paul addressed this subject in his letter to the church in Rome. Some had begun to worship images of man, birds, animals, and reptiles. In Romans 1:21-23 (NIV), Paul wrote, "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles" [read Romans 1:18-24]. In similar fashion many today have taken issues of the environment to the extreme. Much of this concern is actually driven from the agenda of the New Age Movement, which propagates a belief that the earth possesses deity (is God). Sadly, this pagan religion has been effective in steering societys focus from God and the message of His Word, to the preservation and often worship of His created handiworkthe earth.
A major concern for Christians is the overemphasis of the environment at the expense of spiritual issues effecting life and eternity. The Bibles message declares that spiritual matters (those affecting the hearts of mankind) are the priority issues with God. These and not the environment are the reason He sent His own Son Jesus as a sacrifice to save people. For God did not send His Son to save the earth in a physical sense but to save the people who inhabit it. We believe this must be the main focus and concern for all Christians today.
As Assemblies of God people we respect and are thankful for the earth, but our greatest thanks and worship is directed upward to GodCreator and giver of life.
The above statement is based upon our common understanding of scriptural teaching.
All Scripture quotations are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise specified.