Job Ebenzer, director of Environmental Stewardship For The Evangelical Luthern Church of America said in the July 19, 1997 issue of the Ventura Star newspaper that, "Many times, heaven and not earth as been the churches' focus, but when you recite the Lord's Prayer, it actually says: "Thy will be done ON EARTH.as it is in heaven."
Psalm 36:5, 6 tells us that God is concerned for animalkind and humankind alike. Psalm 145:15 and 37:29 speaks of God's plan that the earth is to "endure FOREVER." The Bible in Both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures clearly speaks of the "meek hearted" from amoung humanity, as well as animals and nature living in peace and harmony forever.
2 Peter 37:9, 29 says that, "We are awaiting a New Earth in which righteousness is to dwell." The Native American author Sun Bear wisley points out in his book Black Dawn, Bright Day that in the Bible where the Bible speaks of Jesus talking about "The end of the 'world'," the word here "World" is actually a mistranslation. The actually Greek word found here is suppose to be this "AGE", taken from the Greek word "AEON". See the footenotes in the Living Bible or Living Translation Chapter 9 and 24 of Matthew.
So Jesus is talking about the end of this present system of things and 'NOT' the end of this physical planet earth, as the vast majority of Evangelical/Fundamental Protestants teach.
Because of the Evangelical churches' concern over the ancient theme of the Cananite cult and it's immoral and violant philosophies and practices that were against the God of the Bible, an extreamist parnoia of the femine type attributes of God such as compassion and empathy have resulted.
The fact is that the Bible does speaks very clearly that though God is Spirit and therefore is neither male nor female physically in gender, still God has the perfect blend of both fatherly and motherly qualities. After all, let us remember that in the Beginning God said to Jesus: "Let us created them (the humans) in OUR image. " And so, it says that "God created them both male and female." See Gensis 1:2.
Thus, it would seem clear that God does not consider femine attributes as inferior or insulting. Infact, Isaiah 49: 19 actually discribes God's love for the ancient people as being like how a nursing mother cares for her newborn baby, saying also that Israel people "were the child of God's womb." God's Son, Jesus, broke many of the ancient man-made rules of his times that were based on discrimination. See John 4:7-42.
McDonough speaks in his book how it has been tragic for women, for the church and for the wider earth community as a whole that the vast majority of churches have chose to based their their additudes on the earth and woman and those not in their groups on the social customs and traditions of the dominate views of their society instead of follow the example and creative lead and Gospel of Jesus.
Historians of women's equality rightly have pointed out how history proves that additudes that belittle and degrade women seems to come from the precise seem sources who also exploite the earth and hunt animals for mere cruel sport. Does the future salvation of our earth and it's preservation lie souly on imperfect humankind's effort? While we as individuals, and collectively do our part, Revelation 11:18 says that: "GOD WILL bring to and end those who are ruining the earth." Psalm 104:5,24 reads: "The earth IS to endure FOREVER."
Our understanding of the earth and all life upon it and the visualization of it's coming renewl and restoration and it's connection to God could and should inspire a call for a renewed earth-based spirituality appropriate for our time.
© 2005 The Earth Eden Project
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