Deb Cole responds to Jacqui Paterson, Virtual Theology Chat: Crisis? What crisis? .
Thoughts from Rev Jacqui Patterson’s reflection on Sustainable Development 16.09.2021
Sustainable Development – ‘Jesus is the master of the creator universe and of human history. He is the one in control of all … upon which the physical cosmos depends … that is the theological meaning of scientific and technological enterprise. (Science and technology) have always presented themselves as the instruments for solving human problems, though without its theological context it becomes idolatrous and goes mad.
From a Christian perspective one has confidence in the absolute belief in God as Creator and sustainer of all and His covenant with His people as confirmed by Jesus that takes us back to the original intention of creation; with Him in relationship we have dominion over His creation.
It comes down to each person who calls Jesus Lord, it is the honest searching of the Holy Spirit into out hearts and souls, testing and tempting in order to heal and restore. If our core is entitled, greedy, proud, lazy, malcontent then any action and inspiration will be tainted with that and action required in the world will come from these dark places of our soul. If we cannot or are unable to honour the tapu and the mana within ourselves how will be able to honour the tapu in creation around us, others, water, the earth, the heavens, animals. If we don’t understand tapu and mana then any inspirational action for sustainable development will perpetuate the imbalance in these areas and so we become further removed from the essential nature of all life around us. When God is not the centre of all that I believe and practice then I will not be inspired by the Holy Spirit, by the Godly but by good intentions what I do will cause death. Genesis 3 reminds us that it was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that brought death, the good as much as the evil. CS Lewis says:
“the most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of your nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs. There is not one of them which will not make you into devils if we set it up as an absolute guide.”
Natural creation is organic, we diminish or elevate one area the effect is to ripple through the whole. As Rev Jacqui said, we need to slow ourselves down, take time to walk, to smell the flowers, listen to the bird calls, hear the chatter of shells as the tide rolls in and out and resist the temptation to panic and fear that if we don’t act now all will fall apart. It is only in the stillness and quiet that we know God’s presence clearest.
When I can live a sustainable life, balanced life, a flourishing and peace-filled life in Jesus then I can be confident that the Spirit that dwells in me will guide me in a full and Godly participation in the sustainable development conversation, even if it is silently in prayer.
 Dallas Willard The Divine Conspiracy p. 336
 CS Lewis Mere Christianity p.23/24
 Ps 46:10