Many people hear the term Christian spiritual ecology, and think, ‘what is that?’ In general, spiritual ecology is an emerging field that recognizes that the environmental and ecological issues that we face today, are spiritual at their root. Therefore, it is a recognition that the solution to this problem must also be spiritual. The ecological disasters that we struggle with today are symptomatic of a deeper spiritual root. At this root is a spiritual disease that manifests itself with a diversity of symptoms.
Christian spiritual ecology therefore, is the analysis of that root disease from a Christian worldview. It is an acknowledgement that God created the universe with purpose and meaning. Nothing in the world is meaningless or without value. After all, God called everything that He created beautifully good. So we must acknowledge the inherent value of the earth and all its inhabitants.
What role does Christian spiritual ecology play in our gatherings?
The nature-based activities we conduct are geared towards bringing an awareness that God is everywhere present and fills all things. Creation is not separate from her Creator. God is in all things, and gives all things the ground of their being. Thus, everything in creation communicates to us on a deeper level, if only we have the eyes to see, and the ears to hear. This is the core goal of spiritual ecology. We need to awaken our senses to the Divine indwelling and value of all things.
Because our communion is rooted within Christianity, we seek to correct many of the misconceptions regarding our relationship with nature and our responsibility towards creation. One of these misconceptions is the command to have dominion over creation.
Gaining a fuller understanding of dominion
Dominion does not mean domination. Rather, in its original understanding, it means to ‘act according to the Lord.’ Therefore, properly understood, dominion means to relate to nature in the same way that God relates to us. Ultimately, God lived sacrificially for us, dying so that we might live. Thus, our responsibility is to live sacrificially, dying to our own desire and will. We must do this in order to save creation.
Christian Spiritual Ecologists are the Spiritual Guardians of the Earth.
As creatures made in God’s image, we are called by the opening chapters of Genesis to bring the earth to fullness and completion. We are to protect and care for it. This is the attitude and relationship we seek to awaken within Christians. We desire to help churches and Christians become the spiritual and physical guardians of the earth. No longer seeing nature as a resource to be mined, but rather, as a brother, sister, and mother worthy of love.
Christian Spiritual Ecology and the Bible
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.Romans 8.19-23
Paul is clear when he writes to the Romans. Creation is alive. And creation awaits with eager longing for the children of God to be saved and transfigured. In order that creation itself may be saved and transfigured.
God clearly loves all of His creation, not just humans. But humans have been given a special role within the creation. And that special role is to be saved and transfigured, so that creation itself may also be saved and transfigure. Salvation, as we use the term, is defined by its original meaning in the life of the early church. Salvation meant healing. It meant being made whole. Not simply gaining eternal life, but abundant life.
Therefore, we are saved in order to save.
Join us as we strive to create a more peaceful world as we seek to meet the Creator, through the creation. Strive with us to develop an authentic Trinitarian communion, as we honor our God, demonstrate love to one another, and show compassion upon all of nature.
Rewild Church .:. Christian Spiritual Ecology and Wilderness Church Community .:. Hunterdon County New Jersey NJ