Does God care about his creation? Should we? They’re questions many Christians struggle to answer. Perhaps we’ve been told – directly or indirectly – that environmentalism isn’t important, that our mission is about getting people into heaven (and maybe looking after them during this life too).
The ‘5 Marks of Mission’ keep our view of mission balanced: it involves evangelism, discipleship, compassion, social justice and creation care. But we like to prioritise lists like these, treating them as distinct items and then ranking their importance. Maybe you’d put social justice on top. Or evangelism. Or discipleship. Yet, reality isn’t that clear-cut. We may have identified 5 Marks, but in practice they always overlap and intersect and complement. They are intrinsically interwoven. That means creation care can’t be put at the bottom of our list as an ‘optional extra.’ If we remove it from our mission efforts we hurt our witness to a God who loves his world, our shaping of holistic disciples, our ability to help the needy, and our voice as we challenge unjust structures.
This issue of Intermission explores creation care, sustainability and mission. For some, this will be a challenging topic. For others, realizing that creation care is something God’s people are to value – indeed, something that God values! – may be very healing.