Are humans fundamentally selfish and greedy? Or is there a spark of compassion in all of us that inspires sacrifice for the sake of others?
The Anglican and Evangelical Churches of Canada have staked much on the expectation that Christians of this generation will be actively compassionate – towards generations to come. They have introduced into the baptismal vows a commitment to work for the integrity of creation.
In Christianity baptism is a sacrament or ceremony founded on biblical verses that report the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. In most denominations baptism is essential for the true commitment of an individual to the Christian faith.
The Baptism service has always included questions that challenge the intended Christian to commit fully to the faith, either by the individual or by “stand-ins” (god parents).
This summer the Joint Assembly of these Churches agreed on the adoption of a new promise in the Baptismal vows. The individual seeking baptism must agree
“To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.”
The adoption of this promise into the baptismal vows followed a lengthy study of “Marks of Ministry”, a guide or framework for individuals who desire to live a full life as Christians. This and other commitments in the baptismal ceremony demand that individuals pursue a moral life, guided by Christian teachings.
4RG has stated many times that moral judgement and moral behaviour are necessary to avoid the potential disasters of climate change. The great religions of the world all support this necessity.
In the next years we will see if the struggle to check global warming prevails over the deep down satisfaction with the material benefits that developed countries have enjoyed through the extravagant use of fossil fuels.