Extinction Rebellion, a Christian Response.

Last year, Dan Tomberlin wrote, “The sociopolitical tribalism promoted by postmodern social justice warriors is just as insidious as the racism & sexism of the modern era. Both are born of anger and hate. The Christian vision of New Creation is all tribes & tongues as one new humanity in Christ bound together in love. There can be no justice without love. Love transcends tribalism.”

Extinction Rebellion Logo

Let me start by saying how much I love and appreciate the theological contribution Dan brings to the table. However, as a postmodern social justice warrior, I don’t hate or get angry with anyone. I do find it frustrating when a Christians motto is ‘don’t know, don’t care, and don’t tell me.’ The kingdom is about love, yes! But its also a love for the things that God loves.

Recently, in various places around the world, you may have heard about a group called ‘Extinction Rebellion.’ They probably fit into Dan’s concept of a sociopolitical tribe, yet, upon closer scrutiny, they are not hateful or angry and seem to have values that a Christian could adhere to.

Extinction Rebellion has 10 principles:

  1. They have a shared vision of change. Creating a world that is fit for generations to come.
  2. They set their mission on what is necessary. Seeking to mobilize 3.5% of the population to achieve a system change – using ideas such as “Momentum-driven organizing” to achieve this.
  3. They seek to create a regenerative culture. Creating a culture that is healthy, resilient and adaptable.
  4. They openly challenge themselves and the toxic system. Leaving behind comfort zones to take action for change.
  5. They value reflection and learning. Following a cycle of action, reflection, learning and planning for more action. Learning from other movements and contexts as well as their own experiences.
  6. They welcome everyone and every part of everyone. Working actively to create safer and more accessible spaces.
  7. They avoid power structures, breaking down hierarchies of power for more equitable participation.
  8. They avoid blaming and shaming, we live in a toxic system, but no one individual is to blame.
  9. They are a non-violent network, using a non-violent strategy and tactics as the most effective way to bring about change.
  10. They are based on autonomy and decentralization to collectively create structures needed to challenge power.

Anyone who follows these core principles and values can take action in the name of the Extinction Rebellion.

As Christians, can we say amen to these values? Do we have a shared vision of change? – Do we want to see Love winning overall, to see all people committing to loving one another and knowing they are loved (as Jesus commanded)?  Do we want life for all people in the generations to come? To we care about the environment, the future, and future generations?

About Terry Threadwell

Dr. Terry Threadwell has thirty five years ministry experience. Author, educator and Director of the Institute of Progressive Pentecostal Studies.
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