Finances: Biblical Wisdom/Radical Action

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A Church-wide conversation

Tuition and Fees. Tuition Assistance. Application Process. Application Process Videos. Sending Ceremony. Alumni Quarterly. Course Catalog. Why does God allow drought, famine and floods? This passage gives us some hints. The image of the potter shows God as the potter and the people and nations as the clay.

From a human point of view it seems that God will scrap that bit of the plan and start again — but his ultimate plan — a perfect creation — is never thwarted. The choice is ours, do we bring disaster on ourselves, or do we change our ways now to avert that future and allow God to re-mould us. As we consider the fate of the Earth, this image of the potter is powerful. The Old Testament prophets saw the natural world as being responsive to human actions Jeremiah ; ; ; see also Isaiah ; Hosea In our modern culture we see environmental abuse only in economic, political or technological terms.

Ecological abuse will have negative consequences on the future generations and the most vulnerable will be most impacted. We have tended to concentrate on the love of God for human beings, forgetting that we are part of Creation. On the sixth day, God did not only create human beings, he created the whole web of life — living creatures with humans as part of the web. Onesimus is a slave who was serving Paul in prison and has become a Christian during that time.

Now Paul returns Onesimus to Philemon with a request that he should be welcomed back with the status now of a Christian brother. Philemon, presumably a wealthy Christian who hosts a church in his home, is asked to respond with welcome, forgiveness, and generosity. This passage challenges us within the global community of the church, where the gap between the rich and poor is widening so hugely. According to Oxfam, eighty two percent of the wealth generated last year went to the richest one percent of the global population, while the 3.

Climate change is impacting hardest on those most vulnerable and yet it is the wealthy who create most of the carbon emissions.

He actually does the opposite! When he meets someone who is very enthusiastic, he confronts them with very difficult demands. The crowds were following Jesus and yet instead of encouraging them, he emphasizes rather the cost of discipleship. It means that nothing should take priority over our allegiance to Christ. We will need to make decisions about our lifestyle, consumption, political allegiance, holiday habits, travel choices etc.

This section of Luke is presented as teaching for all the crowds who were following Jesus. We are challenged to become disciples, not just followers and that has a cost. We need to sit down and look at our lifestyles and decide what must change — just as in building an extension on your home or preparing for a battle, if we do not plan the potential consequences range from ridicule, through to financial ruin or and military occupation. The potential costs of discipleship are spelled out.

We have to consider our priorities, and understand that following Jesus will take precedence over family ties and obligations, over relationships and commitments, over security and comfort, over possessions and finances, over popularity and crowds. Why should we therefore make the huge changes to our lifestyles that are necessary for climate change to be slowed down? These passages unpack some of the reasons why:. Human responsibility The story of the potter shows us that although God is Almighty, yet he allows us as human beings to make choices. Climate change and environmental degradation are results of the choices that individuals have made in our personal lifestyles and governments have made in their choices around economics and technology.

Although the situation is bleak, it is not yet too late, the clay can be remoulded. Our individual choices make a difference — and when those many small changes are networked with multitudes of others, they can lead to transformational change. Care for other members of our Global Family The story of Philemon and Onesimus reminds us that we have a responsibility to care for people who are vulnerable. We recognise as sisters and brothers people from all across the world.

There is an urgency to act, as floods and drought increase we will see a rapid increase in climate refugees and impact on safety and security. We are called to be disciples Jesus called people to be disciples, it was not just a physical following. If our lifestyle as Christians is the same as those who are not Christians then we need to ask ourselves questions — have we been transformed from the culture of the day which worships consumerism?

Acts Life Group Study 7/8 | Radical Generosity | Westminster Chapel

The place to start is here: follow your heartbreak. We cannot all be involved in all the environmental issues, so identify the one breaks your heart. Perhaps it is climate change and the face of drought and famine. Educate yourself about the impact of climate change on a country or community where you have links. Commit yourself to doing an electricity and fuel audit of your home and your church. See how you can make small changes geyser blanket, lift sharing, changing light bulbs. Get your Church denomination to divest from investments in fossil fuels.

Look at where your pension money is invested, can it be taken out of fossil fuels? Perhaps it is plastic which breaks your heart, clogging our oceans and lands. Commit yourself to stop using plastic bags for shopping. Reduce one-use plastic for your family. Start a campaign at church! Get the local churches in your community to put pressure on supermarkets to stop using plastic bags. Sign a petition to get the Minister of the Environment to ban plastic bags — as has been done in Kenya and Rwanda. Commit to bring your own bag when shopping; 2. Put pressure on your local store to stop using plastic bags; 4.

Or perhaps it is the loss of biodiversity that breaks your heart, as animals and birds die out due to our neglect and greed.

Christian Science

Commit yourself at home to stop using chemicals and products that kill insects. Promote them at church and school. Start an organic garden. Find a part of Creation near you that you can care for and encourage others to get involved in river clean -up, local park or nature reserve.

Finances: Biblical Wisdom/Radical Action
Finances: Biblical Wisdom/Radical Action
Finances: Biblical Wisdom/Radical Action
Finances: Biblical Wisdom/Radical Action
Finances: Biblical Wisdom/Radical Action
Finances: Biblical Wisdom/Radical Action

Related Finances: Biblical Wisdom/Radical Action

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