Recently came across Brian McLaren's three emergencies in a blog post of his.

" 1. The Crisis of the Planet: How can we reorient our economy around sustainability and regeneration rather than consumption and environmental degradation?
2. The Crisis of Poverty: How can we address the growing economic gap between a powerful rich minority and the marginalized poor majority of our world’s people, especially when rich corporate elites have found ways to co-opt democracy and control political agendas here and around the world?
3. The Crisis of Peace: How can we move beyond the morally bankrupt and economically bankrupting endless wars of terrorism and counter-terrorism to pursue peace through justice and reconciliation in a world armed with too many and too-dangerous weapons?"

I totally agree. I find it is refreshing to find another christian who has the same priorities as those on my mind. Reminds me of that old Quaker quote: "True godliness does not turn men [sic] out of the world, but enables them to live better in it and excites their endeavors to mend it.". My understanding of our faith is that it calls us to look forward to the future Kingdom that can come to birth amongst us as we follow Christ. That is where we belong and we are going to feel a little bit homeless in this world because of it.

Simple, effective faith. Wait on God, learn to know God, help one another to do what God wants us to do, stand in God's power and go forward in it. Our stripped-down church structure is meant to help us respond to the call of God and to receive the functional spiritual gifts God equips us with through each other, ready to do what God would have us do.

There is a planetary emergency: carbon, poverty, war. I find a lot of confusion around, and a lot of fear. Christ's light can shine through the confusion and dispel fear. Is our faith functional enough to help us respond? Are we able to recognize and respond to God's call in this time, collectively and individually? The church of the future is built on how we live our faith today. Although we have rich endowment of gifts of our forebears in faith we can draw on, we have to fetch them out and use them. Have we trained, are we equipped to spread Good News to those who need help and direction in this time, calling them to belong in God's future world of peace and justice as well, and sharing the skills and tips we've learned so far on the way?

Views: 56

Comment by John Michael Wine on 11th mo. 16, 2009 at 8:14pm
Thanks, Alice, for the McLaren quote. And, I appreciate your summary of "carbon, poverty, war" true. Your question is a good one for all of us to mull over: "Is our faith functional enough to help us respond"? Mike
Comment by Raye on 11th mo. 17, 2009 at 9:28am

It seems to me that I am hearing a call to be ready to help with spiritual encouragement, and practical assistance. So, while I am reading more of the older Friends' writings, I am learning how to build and use rocket stoves, reduce my use of paper goods, keep the house much cooler, preserve foods without need for electricity, and grow food. I am also considering how to deal with the reactions of those around me, who do not have a deep and abiding life in Christ. These reactions are not likely to be pleasant, due to their fear and anger, and I need to stay anchored in the love of God, no matter what. I pray that you find good information and abundant strength in the Lord.
Comment by Stuart Masters on 11th mo. 17, 2009 at 3:48pm
There are many, including some liberal Quakers, who would argue that Christianity itself must take a good deal of responsibility for war, poverty and environmental degradation. Of course it is important to be clear about which version of 'Christianity' one is talking about; the Constantinian juggernaut or primitive Christianity revived? From a peace church perspective I am interested in the Biblical concept of shalom and the Quaker vision of gospel order. If we are to realise the peace, wholeness, justice and well being of God's shalom we have to bring our lives under the ordering of the spirit of Christ (gospel order). This is impossible without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and the mutual support and admonishment of the gather church. This is certainly not a argument against individual action and initiative. John Howard Yoder argued that, since the church was called to be now what the whole world would become eventually, the faith community should be a setting for innovation where new idea and ways of living are tried out and offered to the world as a gift.
Comment by Raye on 11th mo. 17, 2009 at 4:47pm
Stuart's comment prompts me to ask, how we are helping our brothers and sisters in our faith communities to follow that ordering of the spirit of Christ? This is not a rhetorical question, nor is it meant to make anyone uncomfortable, thinking that I am implying that our current efforts are insufficient. I am asking any who are willing to offer, just how they are being helped by the Lord, and in turn how they are helping other followers of Christ be faithful and obedient in their work to live on earth as in heaven. My prayer is that some who read about the outward workings that result from the inward work in the spirit, can be encouraged and recognize what it looks like. My sense is that the news media, indie to huge network, are not going to report on the turning toward humility and material poverty involved in some of the work.


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