Bishop Jefferts Schori attempts to explain Christ’s thoughts on His creation:
“We are meant to love God and what God has created and to love our neighbors as ourselves,” Jefferts Schori said Tuesday. “Jesus insists that those who will enjoy abundant life are those who care for all neighbors, especially the ‘least of these’ — the hungry and thirsty, the imprisoned and sick — and that must include all the species that God has nurtured on this planet.”
The first sentence is awkward (since among the things God has created are humans). In addition, there is no biblical injunction to love those things which God has created, outside of humans (but rather to be good stewards of them).
It’s the second sentence, however, that makes me question Bishop Jefferts Schori’s understanding of Christ’s teachings.
Here’s the text from Matthew 25 which she seems to be loosely quoting:
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
As we celebrate Easter week, it seems almost wrong to have to say that Christ did not die for lilies, or rabbits, or future chickens (all lovely creations). No, Christ died for humanity. And when you and I clothe the naked person, visit the sick person, and go to those people who are in prison, we are following the mandate placed upon the followers of Christ to minister to our fellow human beings.
Interesting enough, Jesus also does not mention “abundant life” in the context of Matthew 25. Instead, that comes in John 10, as follows:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Now, in Matthew 25 (right before the section quoted above) Christ is telling the parable of the sheep and the goats. And, in John 10 (before and after the quoted section) Christ is talking about being the shepherd and caring for the sheep. But the juxtaposition of those animal references provides no support for us enjoying abundant life because we care for “all the species” on earth.
Those who worship at the Church of Climatology would seem to already have a bishop within their midst. Is it too late to ask that she not play so fast and loose with scientific data as she already does with biblical doctrine?