Posture Over Program: OMF’s Creation Care Journey

EMQ » April–June 2023 » Volume 59 Issue 2

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Smoke from coal-fired power plants contributes to air pollution in Mongolia’s capital city. Photo by KatieKK2, Adobe Stock.

Summary: OMF began its journey into creation care in the 1950s when work expanded into Southeast Asia. Building on that history, we later wrestled with what the Bible has to say about creation care. We stood convicted to see the gospel lived out in all aspects of our lives and work. This led us to look at creation care as a posture that must be integrated in all we do rather than a program requiring experts.

By Jasmine Kwong

Although many Christians know the creation account in Genesis, how many of us read the whole Bible considering the entirety of creation, or ponder how creation and the gospel are connected? When we consider the need for personal salvation, we often focus on the relationship between a person and God, and redemption through Jesus Christ. Even though personal salvation has both vertical and horizontal dimensions, emphasizing only our vertical relationship may lead to underdevelopment in our horizontal relationships with other people and with the natural world.

As the global church grows in its concern for ecological issues (like biodiversity loss) alongside intensifying natural occurrences (like typhoons), dialogue about the relationship between Creator and creation is increasing. We also cannot avoid how the poor both bear the brunt of ecological challenges while also contributing to the damage that impacts their survival. Athena Gorospe, associate professor at Asian Theological seminary explains it this way:

“While the poor bear the brunt of the climate change and environmental degradation they also contribute to the damage impacting their daily survival, thus leading to a downward spiral, in which the further depletion of resources leads to increasing poverty. Hence, to address one without addressing the other fails in providing long-term solutions.”[1]

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