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From our Pastor

From our Pastor

This summer, Australia has endured the worst bushfires ever recorded in human history. So far 10 million hectares has burnt – that’s almost the size of England! We have experienced a national sense of shock, then compassion, and now we are in a national season of blame.

Some want to blame industry and climate sceptics for the inaction that has led to global warming and longer dry spells. Others want to blame the ‘greenies’ who protest against preventative controlled burns. Being anti-authoritarian, most want to blame the government.

Our inclination to find blame belies our assumptions that it’s someone’s fault, that it was preventable. To what extent it was preventable is impossible to prove. That we quickly assume, as Westerners, it was caused, or was preventable by human actions, is my point.

We believe in a more or less ‘closed’ universe. Whatever gods or spirits there may be in this world, they do not intervene. Our world is a closed system of cause and effect. Natural laws cause the sun to rise and the rains to fall.

In a closed universe, if I control my diet and exercise, I will lose weight and become healthier. If I work hard I get ahead. If we burn excessive amount of fossil fuels, the world gets hotter, and drier, and bush fires become more intense. If we control burn, we can manage fuels and prevent fire.

I am not against such assumptions. They are, in good part, true. Where I disagree is the view that we can sufficiently understand things, foresee things, and manage things such that we are in control.

Our understanding is partial, our foresight is blinkered, and our sense of control is illusory. Only God is all knowing and all powerful, and he loves us.

David Rietveld 

Senior Pastor