Re: NANFA-- Restoring Eden

Roselawn Museum (
Tue, 02 Apr 2002 15:00:20 -0500

Thanks for sharing that, Chris.

As a Christian, and thus a creationist, I often find it tricky to express
certain views without sounding "preachy" or sparking unintended reactions
from either the religious or scientific camps. However, since the format is
already set on this one I'd like to say that I agree with the gentleman you
quoted. While the preservation of species is hardly THE primary focus of
Christianity, it certainly falls within the general scope of accepted
doctrine. The scriptures that he quoted also appear to be in context
(IMHO), and there are others besides. I personally never needed to venture
far beyond the one that says that "all things are created for His (God's)
pleasure." I operate under the assumption that if He saw a reason (even His
pleasure) to create something, that's reason enough to preserve it until He
decides it's time for it to go.

Obviously, this position can be (and has been) countered with the response
that if it wasn't God's will for things to become extinct, they wouldn't.
To me, that's as absurd as some of the older evolutionary counters that
claimed that extinction occurred because things were selected for
extinction regardless of the means. I believe that cause and effect is a
concept that applies in Heaven as well as on earth. If man becomes the
cause, accountability for the effect is clearcut. I suppose that's why even
the scientific community should be able to embrace the idea of man's
stewardship of the earth, and why Christendom must recognize that creation
has certain safeguards that prevent, say, bacteria from exercising their
"rights" as the new dominant species. In the grand scheme of creation, we
cannot know for certain which species are expendable and which are not. So,
why play Russian roulette with life on the planet?

Thank you for allowing my $.02 worth.

Steven A. Ellis
Kennesaw, GA

At 07:05 PM 4/2/02 GMT, you wrote:
>I found this while perusing transcripts of the latest round of committee
>meetings seeking to "reform" the Endangered Species Act. It was
>especially interesting to see this after having read E.O. Wilson's latest
>book, "The Future of Life," in which he makes the case that organized
>religion must -- and will -- play a significant, if not leading, role in the
>protection of the earth's biodiversity.
>By the way, the organization described here as its own website:
> -- Chris Scharpf
>Testimony of Peter Illyn
>Concerning the Endangered Species Act
>Committee on Resources
>Legislative Resources
>Wed March 20, 2 PM
>My name is Peter Illyn. I'm here today to testify about the biblical
>of environmental stewardship and how these relate to the protection of
>endangered species. I have read the bills that are being discussed here
>today. I realize that I am not a scientist and cannot accurately testify
>the specific aspects concerning scientific analysis. I am, however, a
>preacher. I would like to discuss the theology of creation care and how
>this is becoming a growing movement within the church.
>I spent 10 years as a minister and a preacher in the Foursquare Church,
>a conservative evangelical denomination. I am now the Executive Director
>for a ministry called Restoring Eden. I live in SW Washington, and spent
>five years as a professional outfitter in the Gifford Pinchot National
>I also do some networking with churches in the Klamath Basin. I am well
>aware of the recent events in both places.
>I am humbled to be here today as I recognize the difficulty of your task.
>protection of endangered species is a very complex and interwoven
>problem. Most potential solutions have ecological, political and/or
>economic ramifications. But as I travel through-out the country speaking
>about the call to care for God's creation, I am amazed at what I see and
>what I hear. Thousands upon thousands of Christians have recognized
>that extinction of species is first and foremost a moral issue.
>The Bible is clear on this subject. Humans have no right to wipe out that
>which God called "good."
>In Genesis we read:
>That God made the different species (and called them good.)
>That God blessed the different species (and told them to fill the earth.)
>That God protected the different species.
>And that God made a covenant with the different species.
>In Psalms we read two more biblical and theological truths.
>"The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. (Psalm 24:1).
>"In wisdom you made them all, the earth is full of your creatures." (Psalm
>These scriptures reveal the heart and the will of God as it relates to the
>protection of biodiversity. In wisdom and in goodness, Godcreated,
>blessed, protected and made a covenant with the all the different species.
>God called them to fruitfulness; to fill the earth. We are a part of
>but we are not the point of creation.
>God entrusted us to tend and keep the garden. We are allowed, even
>expected, to eat from the fruitful bounty of God's garden. But we have no
>right to trample the garden; to destroy the fruitfulness, to blaspheme the
>wisdom of God expressed in biodiversity.
>Extinction isn't stewardship. It is sin caused by our arrogance, our
>ignorance and our greed. I'm part of a grassroots Christian movement
>that is taking place in churches and in college campuses through-out the
>country. We are Bible-believing Christians who recognized that we have a
>God-given responsibility; yea, a moral duty, to be stewards of the earth.
>We are seeing the beginning of a new morality, one that will be used by
>future generations to judge the environmental decisions made by this
>committee and enacted by this Congress. We do not stand alone in this.
>Almost every major denomination in the country has a position
>condemning the human caused extinction of species.
>Patriarch Bartholomew of the Orthodox Church writes, "To commit a crime
>against the natural world is a sin. For humans to cause species to
>become extinct and to destroy the biological diversity of God's
>creation,.these things are sins."
>And the Rev. Billy Graham is quoted as saying, "It is not right for us to
>destroy the world God has given us. He has created everything; as the
>Bible says, "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord
>of heaven" (Acts 17:24) To drive to extinction something He created is
>wrong. He has a purpose for everything. We Christians have a
>responsibility to take the lead in caring for the earth. The Lord said we
>to look after his Garden," and he said "we are responsible for it."
>In the past few years, our ministry, Restoring Eden, has developed
>relationships at over 40 Christian colleges. We have members in
>hundreds of churches through-out the country. Our call is simple. God is a
>good God. God made a good earth. And God calls us to be good
>Thank you.
>Peter Illyn
>Restoring Eden
>PO Box 877
>La Center, WA 98629
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