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Stewards of All of Creation By Dr. Zenet Maramara

Stewards of All of Life:  Caring for all of creation

On September 9, 2021 a group of steward thought leaders will gather for a historic event in Warm Beach, WA to launch a document that they have been working for over a year—The Steward Manifesto.

The Steward Manifesto is

“an appeal and a challenge to our brothers and sisters in Christ in America to reclaim our calling to be stewards of all of life, starting with our identity which has been attacked confused and distorted.”

It starts by laying the theological foundation based on our four created relationships: with God, with self, with others, and with creation.

The fourth main section of the manifesto deals with stewarding and guarding our relationship with creation—time, talents, treasure and the planet.

It opens with this introduction:

We were created to be faithful stewards, including our relationship with creation. We do not own this relationship but steward it on behalf of the one who created this world for us. Nowhere are the competing loyalties for our hearts more clearly seen than in our relationship with creation. Within the church we have seen a spirit of ownership and control produce a compromised message that co-mingles Kingdom values with worldly principles, which ultimately places God’s people in bondage.

How we view our relationship to time, talents, finances, and the earth itself has a powerful impact on our life and witness as the church of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, here, more than anywhere, we have bought the lie of the enemy that we own what only God owns and control what is His alone. As stewards, we must reject these lies with the full force of God’s truth.

Exposing the Lies and False Narratives

The manifesto proceeds with exposing the false narratives that we are led to believe.These include the lie that God is not concerned with how we use our time, talent,  wealth and the earth’s resources; the common notion that the earth will be totally destroyed and not worth caring and that human dominion over creation sanctions the abuse, exploitation and its destruction; the lie of the so-called “prosperity gospel” that espouses entitlement mentality.

Proclaiming The Truth

It then continues by proclaiming the truth that all of life is a gift from God and as faithful stewards we use it to bring glory to God, the true owner. It proclaims that human dominion means to “protect, care, conserve, and sustain God’s creation as His representative, guardian and steward.” It further proclaims that our use of our time, every penny we spend, is a spiritual decision and requires prayer, discernment and obedience. It proclaims that only the Gospel can set us free in our broken relationship with material possession and the rest of creation and that is an essential work of the church.

Calling the Body of Christ to Obedience

We conclude the section by calling the body of Christ to respond obediently to the Scripture’s mandate to take care of God’s creation in all its forms that will declare to the world  that Jesus Christ is lord over all things. We call the Church to remind believers that their identity and security rest in Jesus Christ and not on earthly possessions. This leads to the freedom from bondage of material things to a life of generosity that reflects God’s abundance and grace.

We live in the end times. Just look around you. The world needs healing that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring about. It is our hope and our prayer that the Steward Manifesto will challenge you to live the life of a faithful steward of God and hear him say on judgement day, “well done good and faithful steward.”

Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for He comes, He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness. Psalm 96:13

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Dr. Zenet Maramara is the founder/president of Christian Stewardship Association and the chairman of Christians in Conservation, an A Rocha associated project. She was a professor of biblical stewardship at Asian Theological Seminary and former director of the ATS Strategic Leader Development. She organized and directed the MBA in Biblical Stewardship and Christian Management program of ATS.

 

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