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Ecological theology

The constantly multiplying environmental problems lead us, justifiably, to ask what should be the Christian’s relation to the created world. Does the Church really have answers to our current ecological problems?

The apostle John exhorts us in his First Epistle to be wary of false prophets and to examine the spirits of this world critically: “Test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world“ (1. John 4:1).

One thesis put forward by the false prophets has for a long time been that of placing human “spirituality” above everything else.

This has in effect displaced God from the position of Lord of all creation and inserted the human mind into this “spiritual” niche in His place. Could it be that precisely those “spiritual” needs have led our Western society into hedonism and indulgence of the consumer instinct?

A genuinely Christian form of ecological thinking will deny that a modern Orthodoxy lived out in the spirit of the age will imply the blessing and approval of everything around us.

Orthodox Christianity will be ready to bless those things that generate life but not the forces that aim to destroy such things.

The ecological thinking of the Orthodox Church emphasizes that, for the Christian, nature is always creating something new. Its greatest miracles are plants, flowers, and also new people.

In the same way, perception of the greatness that lies in little things is one of the fundamental principles of Orthodox ecological theology.

 

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