Christian Social Action

At this moment in history there are many arenas of unnecessary suffering and justice that call for the focused attention of Christian contemplatives.  None are more important than the pressing reality of global climate change.  If we destroy life on our planet home, we have destroyed the context for all arenas of justice-making.  

Most of us who are drawn to the sort of Christian meditation and prayer that we follow at the Empty Bell are examining our lifestyles for ways to simplify our lives by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.  Many of us are contributing to environmental organizations that have “boots on the ground” in the forests, wetlands, rivers, mountains, plains and oceans--and in the courts--trying to save and heal our irreplaceable inter-connected natural environment.

Jonas is Board Chair of the Kestrel Land Trust, and partnered with them to produce a video glimpse of the beautiful Pioneer Valley they work to preserve:

In our worldwide Christian community, we applaud all those who are motivated to meet the challenges of global climate change from a heart that seeks, serves and loves Christ in all things.  It is our faith that all creation has been birthed from nothing through Christ (John’s Prologue) and that God has charged us with the responsibility to wisely steward our fragile web of life on this planet.  So far, we Christians have not done a good job of acting in concert with our faith and our Christian responsibilities.

In this spirit, we post this fine article from the Christian Century Magazine by one of our favorite Christian environmental heroes--Bill McKibben--will be educational.  We need to both get the word out about the facts of global warming, while simultaneously articulating the deep spiritual sources of our actions for environmental healing and environmental justice:

Engaged Buddhism

Many non-Buddhists--and some Buddhists--have criticized those who practice Buddhist meditation as way to escape their relationships, their work or their social and political responsibilities.  Some have even said that meditation is nihilistic or narcissistic.  We believe that these criticisms, especially when they come from people with no actual experience of Buddhist meditation, are not only mistaken: they are dangerous.  They are the kind of stereotypes that can lead to inter-religious violence.  Still, we should consider the possibility that certain kinds of Buddhist practices can be deflected from their wholeness and beauty by immature teachers or by people in certain cultures. 



images © Robert Jonas