Vision Magazine, no. 19, Jan-Feb 1977
Steps Toward A
How could start practising the theology of enough? John Taylor quotes some suggestions from a Commission of the 1972 British Council of Churches Church Leaders Conference.
1. See yourself as a citizen of the planet.
Questions of poverty and environment are distorted if seen only in local or national terms.
Where you have a choice, resist obsolescence; choose the longer lasting. Support public transport with your feet and your vote. Question advertisements. Resist wasteful packaging.
3. Question your own life-style — not your neighbours!
4. If possible work out your way of life with the help of a group (Family, friends, congregation).
Ask such questions as:
How can we measure our real needs (by the standards of our neighbours or by the needs of the poor)?
How can we be joyful without being greedy or flamboyant (e.g. in hospitality)?
How far does our personal way of life depend on SOCIETY'S wealth? Can our society's way of life be simpler? Is there any such change we ourselves can work for?
How can we be good stewards without being over-scrupulous? What decisions about personal life are the decisive ones to make (e.g. budgeting, family size)?
How can others benefit from what we have (our home, our car and other possessions)?
5. Points to ponder.
Happiness is knowing what I can do without. My greed is another's need. Am I detached from worldly goods if I keep what I have and want to add to them?
Bishop Taylor adds a few starting points of his own.
Limit families to one child of our own and one adopted brother or sister.
Black-list brands we see advertised excessively.
Cut out second helpings.
Take the trouble and expense to find natural foods produced naturally.
Go for quality in what you buy and make them last, even if we have fewer of them.
Question your need of a car(s), restrain its use and share it where you can.
Pay cash every time.
Accept the extra effort and expense of using the products of poorer countries.
Go for a new style hospitality — simple fare and a much wider circle of guests.
Reprinted from the newsletter of Christian Advance Ministries, New Zealand, October, 1976.
By Permission. © Southern
Cross College, 2004. All Rights reserved.