As a Christian minister who has grown up in the church, I’ve heard a lot about the numerous debates about doctrinal and theological positions on matters. As a Christian minister of the baptist denomination, I’ve heard a lot more than I care to about the bickering and fighting about doctrinal and theological positions on matters. Somehow the Church has defined itself in this manner.
While I certainly enjoy a good theological discussion, and do feel that one’s theology certainly shapes how one chooses to live, sometimes we can get very sidetracked over petty things, rather than addressing the more pressing economic and societal matters–such as creation care and social justice issues–which ought to be central to our theological discussions. Any theology that does not place care for the earth and for one another, and that does not see that justice for animals and plants as well as for people is of utmost importance is misguided and ultimately fruitless.
So, I think the questions of utmost importance for the Church are these:
What say you about the systems of abuse in our world? Systems that exploit people? Systems that exploit the world? What does your theology say about these matters?
If these issues aren’t even on our theological “radar,” I believe we’ve veered offcourse and ought to set aside other matters for those more pressing and central to the divine imperative found in Genesis 1-4, namely, that we live in harmony with God by caring for (serving) the good world he made, being representatives (images) on earth, and that we care for one another through mutual dependence and cooperation rather than continually eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil–assuming that we know best and that competition and exploitation rather than cooperation and compassionate concern are right and best. The result is the Adam-Eve “blame game” and the Cain-Abel “jealous rage complext” writ large.
Consider taking some time to watch the two videos embedded here (the links have been provided if you want to watch more than the portion provided)–one about the affect of corporations (and our present global economic system) on our world and the other about the treatment of animals. Then ask yourself this: What does your theology have to say about these things?