The Basis for ICEN
Indigenous Christian Environmental Network was created to foster conversations among indigenous Christians and other interested parties around the following ideas:
1. The modern church has reduced a land ethic to two opposing polemics: Earth as Goddess or Earth as Machine. Instead, we believe that Scripture and science both reveal that the biosphere is a Community - created by God, blessed by God, loved by God and in return praises God in its fruitfulness and life.
2. The earth is not a machine but a system made up of living and non-living interacting parts . Most, if not all, indigenous peoples have seen themselves as embedded in their land. They see the earth as life-giver, in fact, often calling the earth their mother. This is not the same as viewing the earth as a sentient being or a goddess, but as the vehicle that the Creator uses to bring forth life.
3. Modern Christians, since the rise of the Scientific Era and the Enlightenment, have increasingly defined God as a ‘watchmaker” and the earth as a ‘well-oiled machine’. Since machines are not alive and have no souls, there are no moral or ethical implications of abusing the environment outside of the damage it does to the current and future human population.
4. The Indigenous Christian Environmental Network offers an alternative framework –
a. that humanity and the rest of creation are all part of the household of God,
b. that the natural world has intrinsic value outside of its utilitarian use as God has called nature has good (Gen 1),
c. biodiversity reflects the wisdom of God (Ps 104), and
d. God loves all he has made (Ps 145).
e. we read over and over again in scripture that the created world sings praise to the Creator.