Letter to the National Association of Evangelicals
YECA Letter to the National Association of Evangelicals
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Letter to the National Association of Evangelicals
September 8, 2014
The Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals
c/o The Rev. Dr. Leith Anderson, President
P.O. Box 23269
Washington, D.C. 20026
Dear NAE Board of Directors:
We write to you with great respect and gratitude for what the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) has accomplished, and because of the vital role you serve, as our elders in the faith, in representing our evangelical values to the culture and nation.
Your generation has raised us to take the authority of Scripture very seriously and to pursue the lordship of Christ in all aspects of life and mission. We are deeply grateful for this heritage and are committed, by the grace of God and with the help of the Holy Spirit, to continually discern and embody what it means to be faithful disciples and witnesses in this ever-changing world.
To this end, one of our major and pressing concerns is the changing climate. People on both sides of the political spectrum have turned this into a divisive issue. For us, however, climate change is an issue of life, health, justice, and compassion. If we take the study of God’s creation seriously, then it’s a present reality for the world and a looming threat to the future of our generation—and generations to follow—that can no longer be ignored.
As the Lausanne Movement states in the Cape Town Commitment:
Probably the most serious and urgent challenge faced by the physical world now is the threat of climate change. This will disproportionately affect those in poorer countries, for it is there that climate extremes will be most severe and where there is little capability to adapt to them. World poverty and climate change need to be addressed together and with equal urgency.
As a people of love, courage, transformation, and hope, climate action is not something to avoid or fear. Rather, it is a powerful and prophetic opportunity for us to be the salt and light that Jesus calls us to be in an otherwise dark and decaying world.
As young evangelicals, we need you and the leadership that the NAE brings. The conversation piece that you published in 2011, Loving the Least of These: Addressing a Changing Environment, has been a foundational resource for us. Some of you are also already supporting us both personally and through your respective ministries, for which we are deeply grateful.
We now humbly ask that the NAE consider taking two steps to support and join us in what we prayerfully believe is a calling from God. First, we ask and pray that the NAE adopt the Lausanne Movement’s Cape Town Commitment. And, second, we ask and pray that you affirm and empower the NAE to engage in climate action as part of your mission to honor God by connecting and representing evangelical Christians.
Thank you for considering our requests, which we respectfully submit as representatives of Young Evangelicals for Climate Action—a program of the Evangelical Environmental Network, which is a member of the NAE. We are praying for you, and we welcome your prayers, that God may find us faithful as his children in a good but groaning world.
Love in Christ,
Young Evangelicals for Climate Action
“We are young evangelicals in the United States who are coming together and taking action to overcome the climate crisis as part of our Christian discipleship and witness.”
Our Call to Action
We are young evangelicals who follow Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, and strive to live out what Jesus said was most important: loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving our neighbors as ourselves. For us this means proclaiming the whole Gospel, nurturing all of life, and caring for the poor and vulnerable.
In seeking to live as Christ’s disciples, we have come to see the climate crisis not only as a pressing challenge to justice and freedom, but also as a profound threat to “the least of these” whom Jesus identifies with himself in Matthew 25. The early effects of climate change are already impacting many of our neighbors, both in the U.S. and around the world, and our time to act is running short.
We believe that God is calling us to take action towards overcoming the climate crisis. For us, this means living as good stewards of God’s creation, advocating on behalf of the poor and marginalized, supporting our faith leaders when they stand up for climate action, holding our political leaders accountable for responsible climate policies, and mobilizing our generation and the larger church community to join in.
Together, with the LORD’s help, we can overcome the climate crisis.