Global danger, spiritual danger

There is a growing consensus that we have 10 to 12 years left to act on climate change. After that, it seems almost certain that the planet will face catastrophic changes that will threaten global stability and life itself. These predictions are made against a growing backdrop of political inertia and, as well, more and more evidence that the consequences of our environmental violations and injustice are already upon us.

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With that, I may have lost the doubters and the distracted and those who would say that this is not an appropriate topic for Christian comment. But even if you ignore the scientific warnings, the moral issues surrounding humanity’s relationship with the environment are just as pressing. The forces that are destroying your planet are destroying your soul.

The dominance of economic categories and thinking has become the primary reference for human behaviour and belief. It has become more important than either faith or morality in determining our way of life. The living God has become an adjunct to the comprehensive claims of the marketplace. Barely hidden in these claims are destructive forces that threaten our ecosystem and our life.

The economic-cultural patterns that dominate our lives and our planet are fuelled by a fever to find security in the possession of things that can never satisfy. There is a spiritual deception at the heart of this systemic evil. What the marketplace asks of us is in direct and dangerous competition with the claims that God makes upon our attention and loyalty.

The consequences of our spiritual sickness are carefully described in gospel teaching and Indigenous wisdom. The remedy is also clear: we must turn around and we must sustain hope. We must act in a way that is as dedicated and comprehensive as our entrancement to the culture of money.

Rarely does the choice between life and death become so clearly present. Rarely does the promise of God to be with us in our struggles for humanity and life seem so urgent. Let us choose life.

Mark MacDonald

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Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, August 15, 2019

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