Before a packed room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on April 19th, 2006, the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance (ISA), in conjunction with the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, and the Institute on Religion and Democracy, hosted a special Capitol Hill luncheon briefing entitled “Pulpits, Pews and Environmental Policy: How the Cornwall Declaration is helping define the mandate of Biblical stewardship.”
The briefing featured top theologians and policy experts who articulated a vision of Biblical stewardship, based upon the Cornwall Declaration, which has been signed by over 1,500 clergy, theologians, scientists, economists and other people of faith. The ISA also announced the launch of the Cornwall Network, a nationwide network of churches which are partnering with the ISA on biblical stewardship and environmental issues.
Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, national spokesman for the ISA and associate professor of social ethics at Knox Theological Seminary in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, said growing public awareness of environmental stewardship is a welcome sign. “Not only does it answer the Bible’s call for God’s image bearers to care for the earth,” he said, “but also it shows that a growing number of people are reaching the level of economic security that permits them to focus on such concerns. For most poor people, environmental problems might pose significant threats to their well being, but their own poverty prevents them from paying very much attention to them.”
“Our aim with the Cornwall Network is to provide solidly Biblical information to religious leaders,” he explained, “coupled with sound scientific and economic information, to help point laypeople toward creation care that recognizes God’s extraordinary gifts to mankind, enlists those gifts to enhance the environment, and puts top priority on promoting human well being, especially among the world’s poor.”
Other speakers at the event included Rev. Dr. Jim Tonkowich, President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy; Dr. Kelvin Kemm, of Pretoria, South Africa, who is one of that nation’s leading experts on technology and the environment; author Paul Driessen, who serves as a senior policy advisor to the Congress of Racial Equality; Rev. Abdul Karim Sesay, a native of Sierra Leone, West Africa who now serves as Senior Pastor of Kings and Priests Court International Ministries in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Rev. Ralph Weitz, Stewardship Pastor of Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, Virginia.
Read the statements of
- Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, ISA National Spokesman
- Rev. Dr. Jim Tonkowich, President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy
- Paul Driessen, Author and Senior Policy Advisor to the Congress of Racial Equality
- Rev. Ralph Weitz, Stewardship Pastor, Immanuel Bible Church, Springfield, Virginia
Featured Image Courtesy of Evgeni Dinev/freedigitalphotos.net