The media bombards us with messages of wars, poverty, weakness’s of government, crimes of passion and hate, environmental and natural disastors which continue to shock us. This constant message about the continual woes of the world around us create a state of fearful confusion or indifference within many for the now and for the future. At times we may hear a feel good story which will help alleviate the pain and grant us a sliver of hope for us at this moment in time.
Shane blogs here on Outer Context
My argument, in sum, is that Pentecostal appropriation of fundamentalist approaches to theology – literal six day fundamentalism and narrow views of salvation and end times – has worked against the development of a ‘green’ theology; against any recognition that the message of the gospel is good news for the earth. This is because presumptions that the earth was created only 6000 years ago, and is soon to be destroyed in the apocalyptic return of Jesus, alonside concepts of salvation that prioritise the soul over and against the body, have meant that:
* the affirmation that ‘Jesus saves’ has been focused on saving souls, and not on the broader social (and ecological) implications of the kingdom
* the declaration that ‘Jesus baptises in the Spirit’ has been concerned with individual spiritual experience, and not on the broader work of the Spirit in the world
* the promotion of the idea that ‘Jesus heals’ has focused on the individual only and not extended to healing of the environment
* the belief in the immanent the end of the world has entrenched the concern for souls as a priority over and against social and ecological concerns
* the emphasis on financial prosperity has aligned the movement with the economic systems that have generated the environmental problems we now face.
The paper goes on to argue for a reframing of the Pentecostal message in such a way that we can truly claim to be preaching the “full gospel” – one that recognises that Jesus saves the cosmos, that Jesus heals a sick creation, that Jesus baptises in the Spirit for the sake of empowering the church to participate in His liberating of all the world (and earth), and that Jesus’ return results in the earth’s renewal not its destruction.
A Scripture comes to mind from 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
In unpacking this passage we can recognise that the opposite of power is weakness, love is hatred, sound mind is confusion and a reasonable deduction can easily say that the base of weakness, hatred and confusion is “Fear” The message of the Gospel of Christ must send us into every level of society to preach the good news and bring about redemption, hope and change where ever there is fear, hatred, weakness and confusion.