Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

God is Green

I am working my way through a theology for the 21st century. "God" is the subject at hand. If you look to the right you will see various posts on Creation and God. Jesus, Bible, Future are to come and perhaps other categories. For now, God. I tend to think of God as a shorthand word for the ultimate. What is ultimate? It would certainly include the known and unknown universe. God wouldn't be less than that, but could certainly be more. I think God would refer to our highest ideals and draw us toward enacting those ideals, but again, that is a minimum.

As a minister I do speak of God but I do so (or perhaps should do so) in hushed tones. What I say about God is my own projection almost exclusively and I am unable to discern when it is not my projection. Others are helpful on that score.
Some highlight an authority (such as the Bible or a creed) that supposedly speaks for (or from) God. I am skeptical. I find that these authorities are the authors' and their interpreters' projections.

So why speak of God at all? If it is all projection, why bother with the term?
Projections are not necessarily meaningless. Speaking of God or the ultimate is a way for us to articulate our highest ideals and to increase our understanding of the Universe. Speaking of God also may make us more provincial as well. But, I hope for (and trust) the best in us and find that God language still may be helpful in making human beings more aware of the Universe and our place in it.

To say "God is Green" for me is to say that our ultimate concern at the start of the 21st century is Earth.

Earth is home.
Earth is heaven.

Earth is Holy.

Holy is Earth.

Heaven is Earth.

Home is Earth.



Theologian Sallie McFague has spoken of Earth as God's body.







I like that image. Earth is alive. Earth is a living body. Earth is not a resource to exploit. Earth is not an it. Earth is not inanimate. Earth is animate, moving, changing, dying, giving birth, being born. God is all of that. God may be more, but certainly no less.


God is not restricted to Earth. God is Jupiter's body as well. God is the body of the Universe. But I focus on Earth as God's body because Earth is home for homo sapiens. We have a responsibility to Earth and to all Earthlings.
To say "God is Green" speaks of an ethical imperative. It is crucial for human beings to be aware. We need to know how Earth "works." We need to think about the effects of our actions. We need to do what is in our power to treat Earth and all living things with deep respect and to value all with sacred worth. Perhaps God language can help. Perhaps not. We'll see.

3 comments:

  1. “To say "God is Green" speaks of an ethical imperative. It is crucial for human beings to be aware. We need to know how Earth "works." We need to think about the effects of our actions. We need to do what is in our power to treat Earth and all living things with deep respect and to value all with sacred worth.”

    I’d like to see this theme expanded upon at church, perhaps as a series of adult Sunday school classes? I think it would be worthwhile and interesting to explore what this means as a congregation.

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  2. Thanks Bobby, for getting what I am trying to do. Good idea about an adult class on that theme. I will work on putting one together.

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  3. I think the Christian faith needs to band together to look very close at issues on environmentalism - I think this is what you mean by green? I think Fundies - namely the Evangelical USA-ers have some backwards leaders asking us not to care about this issue - namely Dobson. I think the earth is here for us and vide versa - we better damn well protect it.

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