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Chris Stewart

Collective Architecture's Chris Stewart discusses his overlapping roles as architect and member of the Scottish Ecological Design Association in promoting green design to a wider audience.

All things bright and beautiful

July 8th, 2018

Friends, God created the earth and everything on it. Man may have dominion over the earth but let us be clear, he must respect the laws of nature and protect the earth for all men to come. We are part of nature, we are not it’s overlords, we have to care for all as nature is our common home. We are the stewards of God’s creation.

The heathen tars the believer with the brush of climate change denier when nothing is further from the truth. They proclaim Christian beliefs and conservative ideology are bedfellows, and while the odd evangelical extremist may lack empathy for a polar bear, this is not typical of our flock. Religion is not the root of all evil, nor as Mr Dawkins put it non thought, we embrace science.

The thinking class looks down its nose at religion but fails to understand that religion is not a rejection of modern science, it is part of being human. What does life look like for the 7 billion souls who share the planet, 6 billion hold faith with a religious group. A further half billion practice traditional beliefs; Aborigines, American Indians, Chinese and African folk religions. More than 9 out of 10 humans have a spiritual perspective. The thinking class on the other hand dismiss the idea of God, they dislike the idea that human beings have the right to be on earth, they idolise mother Gaia and consider humans a flawed polluter on their perfect planet. If you hinted at caring for God’s creation you were already on the slippery slope to Pantheism. They think we live in a state of constant awareness of our sins and are fed a steady diet of ‘biblical steps’ to overcome our shortcomings. In other words it is Men and God who are the problem, why are Christians considered unsustainable.

Christians understand that "La cura della casa commune" (the care of the common home) is by far the most important challenge we all face, we understand that it is a deep love of nature that binds us all. This sense of connectedness gives rise to awe, humility and an awareness of humankind’s heedless arrogance and shortsightedness. That is why the one true world leader Pope Francis published an Encyclical on Climate Change & Equality ‘The Pope can see what atheist greens can not.’ A courageous, accessible, effort to make the world feel how real and serious the changes happening in our climate are and our joint responsibility of taking immediate action. Not all welcome the Encyclical and point out his ignorance regarding population growth, an issue where the Catholic church could make a real difference. This man will lack credibility until he acknowledges that contraception is a vital component in the fight against climate change, they fail to understand the preciousness of life. It is now not just safe to be Catholic and green, it is obligatory.

Paving the way is Operation Noah, the climate change charity has long preached the connection between caring for creation and faith. Most agree that climate change is real and caused primarily by human activity, but this is not an issue of faith. Churches are coming together to respond to a changing climate and explore threats through Scripture, testimony and practical application. We no longer struggle to see the connection between environmental issues, the teaching of the Bible, our daily bread and walk through life.

Some may say that in 7 billion years our ageing sun will burn off the last of it’s hydrogen, bloat up into a red giant and swallow the Earth and barring catastrophe the Earth, could sustain human life for another 2 billion years before the sun boils off the oceans. We agree that the planet was here before us but only by a few days, why argue the concept of time when we all share the need to care for God’s creation. Souls live forever.

“You shall not pollute the land in which we live … You shall not defile the land in which we dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people." NUMBERS 35:33-34

Reverend Green

 

The above is an extract from "A Guide to Being Unsustainable" which will be published by the Scottish Ecological Design Association in the next few weeks. To recieve a copy you require to be a member of the Scottish Ecological Design Association, membership information can be obtained at our new web site at the following link; https://www.seda.uk.net