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Cold Water in Jesus’ Name

作者: Scott Sabin
日期: 20.08.2010
Category: 环境

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On a precarious slope, Etienne digs into the dusty soil with a small hoe, planting beans in hope of the rains. In recent years these rains have become unpredictable. Miles away, his wife is returning from the forest, a bundle of firewood on her head. She was up before dawn carrying water from the spring, her only source of water, nearly an hour’s walk away. The young baby on her back is sick with intestinal parasites from drinking this water she has worked so hard to provide.

The global context may be lost on this family, but they live out its consequences on a daily basis. In the United States, frequent headlines warn of what is happening to the earth and its ecosystems, but because the impact on western life is minimal, the predictions are largely ignored.

I was among those who ignored the signs until I began working with ‘Plant With Purpose’. Then I began to understand. To get beyond the symptoms of poverty we needed to address the health of the eco-system. So, for example looking on eroded mountains and silt-choked rivers in Haiti, we cannot give a cup of cold water without restoring the watershed. We are all dependent on a healthy world.

As 6.8 billion humans seek to satisfy their needs and desires on our planet, it will be no surprise that environmental stewardship is part of our global conversation. While climate change controversy is well-known, hundreds of lesser-known environmental issues are coming to a head. Ocean life is vanishing at an alarming rate. Fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce. And deforestation is reducing rainfall, soil fertility and water resources in many parts of the world.

Many regard this topic with suspicion, as a diluting of our commitment to the gospel. Yet from the very beginning, caring for the earth that God created has been a basic part of our role as humans.

In Genesis 2:15, Adam is placed in the garden to serve and protect it. Throughout the Old Testament we are reminded that ’the earth is the Lord’s’ and that our role is one of stewardship – temporary caretakers who will one day be called to account for how well we have discharged our duties. This is reinforced in Revelation 11:18 which talks about God destroying those who destroy the earth.

Some argue that it is arrogant to imagine that humans negatively impact the environment at a global level. Yet in Scripture we see a direct correlation between the behaviour of humans and the health of the whole earth. The ground is cursed as a result of Adam’s sin. With the Flood, human sin results in the destruction of most life on earth, and what is spared is saved with the help of Noah.

’Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.’ (Genesis 3:17) In much of the world we have sought to distance ourselves from the physical labour of producing food, but for hundreds of millions of farmers around the world, it is a fundamental and painful part of life.

关键词: Christianity Today, environment, ecosystems, poverty, water, Plant With Purpose, stewardship, deforestation, fertility, caretakers, human impact, creation, neighbours, Western responsibility, kingdom

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回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Ron-Allen_ (-1)

As I read this I became very aware that I am so uninformed on the needs of so many areas in the world. So many places that need assistance with so many things. I may not be in a place where I can leave and go to these places. Nor am I saying that I am the right person for the job. However, I am aware that these places and needs must have a greater voice. I am in the process of gaining more information about these issues so that I can help in my small part to give voice to these needs. It is my prayer that more people will do the same. I thank you for sharing. Peace and Grace ---

回复 标记 0 支持 反对 Pete_Houston (7)

Thanks - good article.  I went to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002 and was struck by the low profile of a Christian voice.  Yet there are different initiatives in Southern Africa that combine agriculture, urban vegetable gardening, and re-forestation with poverty alleviation and Christian witness.  I read the article, "Ecology, the New Opium of the People" by Samuele Furfari in response to your article.  Unfortunately it represents a fairly typical, simplistic view that polarises and demonises environmentalism, when in fact we face a far more complicated situation theologically, economically, developmentally and practically...

回复 标记 1 支持 反对 MisionGloCal1Scott (12)   

Muchas gracias por esta presentación y desafío. Muy buenos los ejemplos, reflexión y testimonios. Es clave pensar en el tema del Reino de Dios y como bien mencionas "el pensamiento del reino puede servir como una guía para nuestras opciones de planificación y nuestras elecciones individuales"





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