Dr. Rowen Williams, the current (104th) Archbishop of Canterbury, gaves a lecture at the Ebor Lecture, York Minster, to spell out why respect for the environment is not an optional extra, particularly for Christians.
Know for his tough stance on environmental issues, Dr. Williams issued some very challenging ideas to those who practice the christian faith.
“humanity should turn away from the selfishness and greed that leads it to ignore its interdependence with the natural world.
And God would not guarantee a “happy ending”, he warned.
Speaking on Wednesday he said just as God gave humans free will to do “immeasurable damage” to themselves as individuals it seemed “clear” they had the same “terrible freedom” as a human race.
“I think that to suggest that God might intervene to protect us from the corporate folly of our practices is as unchristian and un-biblical as to suggest that he protects us from the results of our individual folly or sin,” he said.
“God’s faithfulness stands, assuring us that even in the most appalling disaster love will not let us go – but it will not be a safety net that guarantees a happy ending in this world.”
Without a change of heart, Dr Williams warned, the world faced a number of “doomsday scenarios” including the “ultimate tragedy” of humanity gradually “choked, drowned, or starved by its own stupidity.”
The poorest and most vulnerable and our children and grandchildren would pay the heaviest price for climate change, he added.
“Whilst there’s nothing wrong in hoping for a miracle, relying on one does seem to be more than a bit reckless.
“We need to all do what we can now, or we’re giving up on this world.”
Personally, i’m pretty excited to hear someone in the church talking some sense about environmental issues. We are called to be stewards of the earth, not destroyers.
also: the more i read about this guy the more i like him; in his Advent Letter for 2007 he said: “…it is part of our Christian and Anglican discipleship to condemn homophobic prejudice and violence, to defend the human rights and civil liberties of homosexual people and to offer them the same pastoral care and loving service that we owe to all in Christ’s name.