The Season of Creation

Discussion in 'The Commons' started by Botolph, Sep 1, 2023.

  1. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I am simply interested to see how people feel about the 'Season of Creation'. This has been an ongoing trend in many places in Anglican and other Circles, and a range of resources have been made available. Many Bishops appear to be supporting and promoting it. It certainly sits well within the contemporary growing Environmental awareness, and no doubt offers some points of connection with those who are often unaware of the Good News in Christ.

    The website is here. https://seasonofcreation.org/

    My Parish is marking this, and the relevant web post is here. https://elm-anglican.au/2023/08/30/creation-sings-a-new-song-to-the-lord/
     
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  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I feel there is no such thing as "climate justice" or "climate injustice".

    Jesus called us to spread the good news of reconciliation with God by grace through faith in Him. The gospel of environmental awareness is not found in the Bible and should not be conflated with Christianity, nor should it be allowed to distract us from the Church's true mission: helping sinners to be reconciled to God. For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:11-12). For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Rom. 1:16).

    Finding common ground with others so once can converse with and relate to them is great. We should not give them the impression, however, that Christianity is about 'saving the planet.' We are to be good stewards, yes, but this planet can't be saved (and will be destroyed by God in due time).
     
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  3. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace Well-Known Member

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    We celebrate this at my parish and I don't see any harm in it but I am also not really sure if it actually does any good either. If it makes some people happy, so be it.

    The planet may well be destroyed at some point in time, but there is no need to hurry that along by our stupidity in how we care for it. We are custodians, so let's do what we can, while we can.
     
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  4. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Whilst I do not especially hold a woke agenda, I am not entirely sure how you made the leap from A Season to Creation to the matter of Climate Justice/Injustice.

    2 Coninthians 5:19
    In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.​

    This of course is the heart and soul of the Gospel message, and in this, I concur with you, however, I don't quite think that lets us wash our hands or any further responsibility.

    There is the matter of Creation, which as Christians we do not understand as an end in itself, but rather a reflection of the Creator, as indeed most especially are we human beings formed in the image and after the likeness of God. Our role in the Creation, as Inhabitants of the Garden, as those called to exercise dominion over the Creation is complex. There is an argument that it is God's gift to us to do what we wike with, and there is an argument that it contemplates stewardship and indeed intergenerational stewardship, which includes receiving from our forbears and handing on those those who come after. If we are the people of God, who have been given this trust, then our relationship with the environment is a reflection of our relationship with God.

    Some of our wedding gifts were valuable because they were expensive, and some of them were valuable because of the relationship that generated them.

    upload_2023-9-2_16-23-59.png

    I am not entirely convinced that this is common ground, so much as the ground we understand as a gift and trust, that others understand as simply an abnormal correlation of atoms.

    I think Communion Anglicans got it right when they identified the 5th Mark of Mission
    upload_2023-9-2_16-31-40.png
     
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  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I'm happy to explain that. :) It's what I read on the "Season of Creation" link you posted. I'll quote:
    "...we are called to join the river of justice and peace, to take up climate and ecological justice, and to speak out with and for communities most impacted by climate injustice..."

    At any rate, you asked for our opinions (how we feel about it). My opinion is what I gave. ;)
     
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  6. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    All Good. I probably read past the words to the notion that some of the poorest people on earth are most likely to suffer the consequences more sharply than the folk who have sufficient resources to deal with it. Rising sea level is of little consequence to many of us, however, for the people of the Maldives, it is a big deal as they have no higher ground. I accept that while some people do not acknowledge any impact of human endeavour on the world's climate, there is a majority scientific opinion that we are making the wrong sort of difference. If we are, then from the standpoint of stewardship (dominion) there is something to think about.

    As Christians, I think it is imperative we do not see the Environment as the object of our worship, but rather as a window through which we see God.
     
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  7. Br. Thomas

    Br. Thomas Active Member

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    I think many of us in the USA are literally numb from being bombarded on every front by fearful presentations of "Climate Change". It is like hearing the story of the boy calling "wolf" too many times and when the true time came, no one listened. In my younger years, I was told we would have a New Ice Age, the Ozone Layer would soon disappear, the Fossil Fuels would run out, the Polar Ice Caps would be melted and Miami, NYC, Seattle, LA and San Francisco would ALL be under water. I always look at the naysayer that is making the most money from his pronouncements. Al Gore sure as done well, hasn't he? He gets to jet on his private-jet from site to site to tell the peons of the impending doom. So, I am taking the most current talk very slow and pondering it all. God has it under control.
     
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  8. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I believe we have a responsibility to care for God's creation. However, I think these things are a sideshow to distract us from the Church's many failings.

    While I do believe we should care for God's creation there are many organisations that admirably do this. The Church need not add to their number.

    The Church should focus on what it is for, which is to care for our souls and enable us to get to heaven. The Church should show more concern for whether I am living a good Christian life than whether I'm assiduous in recycling.
     
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  9. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I think very little of what Christ taught on earth was aimed at getting people 'into heaven'. I am convinced that he intended his followers to follow his example and thus effect a steady improvement in life for us all HERE ON EARTH. He went about doing GOOD. HE has already taken care of what happens to each of us after we have left this physical life. HE will be the judge of all that. Meanwhile the great commission is to make disciples of the nations and begin to improve conditions for everyone here on earth. THAT is our task, under the supervision and guidance of The Holy Spirit.
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  10. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Actually 'going about doing good' is exactly what Jesus did, and we as his disciples should be doing the same.

    Renting a market garden and selling all the produce then trousering the cash, and destroying the greenhouse and garden shed is NOT going about doing good. That's what we, as tenants, on God's planet are doing at the moment, and some 'believers' even THINK that it's perfectly OK to plunder and destroy it, because they falsely reason that God actually WANT's to eventually destroy it himself, so they don't care about doing the job for Him, it seems, even if He hasn't planned to destroy it yet. :laugh::yes: There will be a reckoning for destroying God's property and real estate. It's not our's to do as we like with, but it will our children's children that will pay the price of our foolish ignorance.
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  11. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This season of creation idea reminds me of a seven-week Advent proposal that I saw online... both were/are odd edits to the liturgical calendar. Both seem to be picking up seeds of good ideas but implemented by rather liberal approaches. Looking through the sermon note suggestions for week one (https://preachingforgodsworld.org/season-of-creation-week-one/), I find "Take off your sandals for the place where you are standing is Holy Ground … Do we love the earth? Do we believe that it was made by our Creator God and so bears the fingerprints of God?" This is agenda-driven eisegesis. The ground before the bush was holy because God was specifically and specially there, not merely because it was made by him. The whole point of the episode was to turn Moses away from earthly things to perceive things heavenly, and instead these folks are telling us that the text is calling us to be climate activists. So.... no, very poor use of scripture here, and that's a red flag for those behind this project.

    Another thing, which I find annoying but not inherently bad, is that each year seems to have a theme imposed upon it from the organizers. One year it was "the burning bush", this year it's the mighty river of justice and peace. Are these themes coming from the common lectionary that we have, or is it simply appointed by the powers-that-be? If the former, they're certainly not showing their hand; if the latter, this isn't at all a natural liturgical offshoot, but an imposition.

    All that said, I do sympathize with the idea that acknowledgement of Creation (its goodness, our care for it, etc.) could be a little more prominent in the liturgy of the calendar. Rather than invent a special "season" however, I think it'd be a lot more honoring to creation, to tradition, and to the integrity of our patterns of Prayer Book worship, if we resource the acknowledgement of creation by bringing back our natural-cycle observances like the Rogation Days, Lammas Day, and Thanksgiving (USA & Canada have great traditions already in place).
     
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  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    "Getting people into heaven" is really part and parcel with the restoration of peaceful relations between God and man, or more specifically, between God and those human beings who are joined to His Kingdom by grace through faith. This was the main thrust of Jesus' message and His purpose on earth. While He encouraged all to follow Him, the notion that He intended "steady improvement in life for us all here on earth" as the main thrust behind his message is a notion that sounds very similar to some of the "Word of Faith" teachings. God beckons us to open our hearts to Him, that we may commune with Him in an intimate relationship which will last (by His mighty power) for eternity.

    Jesus counseled people to love and care for other people, but He never once spoke of caring for the environment. No Bible prophecy from God warns us of a need to 'save the planet'. The latter is a temporal and fleshly concern championed foremost by secularists. Christians should not allow a secularist, carnal message to distract or detract from the primary message of "peace between God and man" through faith in Jesus Christ.

    Rom 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
    Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

    In all probability, less than 1 person in 10 alive today is in right relationship (peace) with God. It amazes me that Christians can be so apathetic about the Great Commission, yet at the same time they can get themselves so lathered up about climate activism that they want to incorporate it into our religion. O_o
     
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  13. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I think a good way to look at it is to see our lives here as an inheritance, that we ought not pass on to our heirs in a worse state than we received it. If this world ultimately belongs to God, then it isn’t ours to disrespect or destroy. In a genuinely Christian understanding of creation, a proper care and concern for the environment and for justice for victims of man-made environmental harm is just common sense and ought not be controversial.
     
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  14. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    hence my term 'intergenerational stewardship'
     
  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Careless, destructive plundering and abuse of the earth's resources by those that are doing it and those that are allowing it or ignoring it, is utter ignorant selfishness. Utter ignorant selfishness is sinful. When a person becomes regenerate and the Holy Spirit enters their heart they can recognise sin within themselves and the mind of Christ within them can then deal with it by converting the soul.

    Obviously those who are plundering the earth's resources without any concern for the damage being caused by their greed or the distress being caused to those affected by the changes being caused by them, are obviously NOT yet regenerate. Neither would be those who excuse their greed and ignorant avarice. So in a strange way perhaps Rexlion is right. Not enough people are regenerate. Becoming regenerate would help to stop the climate change deniers and 'don't carers' from selfishly and ignorantly plundering the planets resources and poisening even the air we breathe.

    So the church's job is to 'Make Disciples of all nations, teaching them everything Christ taught HIS disciples. Then the whole earth would share in their redemption. Everthing Christ taught concerning our conduct with each other and with God was about what we do while here on earth. THAT has a crucial bearing upon our destination after it, but our destination after it does not affect the state of things here on earth, only our conduct here on earth DOES.

    It is only our conduct here on earth that is damaging God's creation and blighting other people's lives. Christ's 3 and a half year ministry was almost entirely aimed at changing people's behaviour for the better, there and then and I believe the Great Commission to be an extension of Christ's intention during his earthly ministry. What HE started he expects his Disciples to continue.

    Conversion, Circumcision of the heart, Discipleship, and 'Getting saved' and being Sactified by God, are all the same thing really. They all involve a change of heart and attitude to God and everything he has made, (especially concern for our neighbour, whom we can see, extending even to the entire planet that we live with our neighbour on, at the moment).
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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2023
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Some years ago I saw a study on upper-midwest farm soils which showed that the average micronutrient value was declining 4% per year. Some micronutrients were being pulled out faster than others, and some slower, but 4% was roughly the average. I'm talking about stuff like copper, magnesium, manganese... IOW, elements that animals & humans need for good health but are not being replaced, because most crops manage to grow well enough without them. Thus the farmers tend to add only whatever nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (potash) are called for, and occasionally some boron or whatnot, to keep the crop yield high. What this means for you and me is, the nutritional value of the crops is steadily declining. Micronutrient losses in food processing (heating for canning causes more degradation than freezing, btw) can be substantial, so starting with lower-food-value plants to begin with is worrisome. Very few people understand the benefit of trace mineral supplementation.

    Now, I've said all of that to make some points:
    1) This world is 'running down'.
    2) There is no alarmism (for whatever reason) about the declining food value and the health issues it can lead to.
    3) Even though I think this is a significant issue, I would never try to incorporate or conflate the nutrition message with the all-important Gospel message.
    4) Similarly, it is not appropriate to incorporate or conflate the climate or environmentalist message with the Gospel message.

    There are degrees of importance. The importance of "a good conscience toward God," of "peace with God" through faith in Christ, so greatly surpasses all other considerations as to be several orders of magnitude more crucial than anything else. Our mortal bodies will perish and this temporary abode called Earth will pass away, but by God's grace human beings can live forever in a more idyllic setting than our minds can conceive.

    Will I advocate for taking care of our bodies in the meantime? Yes! For good nutrition? Yes! For clean, healthy, safe living conditions? Yes! But those issues are not what matter most. They pale in comparison to the incomparable privilege of knowing our Creator intimately and being blessed with His grace for all eternity.
     
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  17. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    We are not called to be indifferent to the state of the world and for the capacity of the planet to nourish and sustain us all, and right our peace with God, and our good conscience toward God, will be reflected in our care of the gifts he has given us, including the environment and our brother and sisters in humanity.
     
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  18. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    In the Church of England our lectionary concentrates on a number of different themes over various differemt seasons. For EVERYTHING there is a time and a season, and I think this is generally a good way of 'Praying as well for others as for ourselves', as we are advised in the Book of Common Prayer. It is appropriate for us as disciples of Christ to contemplate our distinctive role, as believers, in the climate change debate, and be as active as was Christ himself in addressing the problems faced by the earth resulting from the sins of mankind.

    https://comms.winchester.anglican.o...MDc2QzMyRjE0NUUzRjdDMDBDNUM2QzNFOTI=-&CC=&p=0.

    Above is something from my own Diocese on the matter.
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  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, if we can have a Rogation day, why not an Environment day? Maybe a Go Camping day, and a S'mores day, too. :clap: A time and a season for everything. ;)

    I looked at out ACNA calendar and there are some open days (no saints or noteworthy Christians celebrated on those days). Maybe we can put Al Gore, champion for the environment, on the calendar for Sept. 18. :p

    Just saying, let's not get carried away. LOL.
     
  20. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying that we as Christ's church should not contemplate God's creation and what the human race is doing to it, when we meet to worship on a Sunday? WE have a 'Bible Sunday', a 'Sea Sunday' and a 'Mothering Sunday', why not a 'Caring for Creation Sunday', ONCE in the year?

    Having said that though I take your point. What happens when all our Sundays are filled up with themes that have little to do with 'Religion' and more to do with caring about others and the state of the planet? Which would make the church look more irrelevant? Having too many 'secular' themes or having no 'secular' themes at all? :hmm::dunno:

    And what the heck would a S'more be and the day contain. Messaging the gospel to the congregation by waving flags at them perhaps? :order:
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