The New York-based Union Seminary has garnered a great deal of criticism and mockery for holding a chapel service in which students confessed to plants.
On Tuesday, Union posted a photo of the chapel service which showed a student sitting on the ground before several potted plants to offer confession, mainly over failures to protect the environment.
“Today in chapel, we confessed to plants. Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor. What do you confess to the plants in your life?” tweeted Union.
The tweet was met with numerous comments on Twitter criticizing the practice, seeing it as evidence of pagan practice at the school and mocking the confession as ridiculous.
Popular Christian satire site The Babylon Bee was among the critics, running a piece on Thursday titled “Disaster At Union Seminary As Giant, Angry Carnivorous Plant Does Not Accept Students’ Apologies.”
“Campus faculty say the event was a success, as there are now far fewer humans around to pollute the planet,” joked the satirical piece.
For its part, Union defended the service in a series of tweets, explaining that “our community confessed the harm we’ve done to plants, speaking directly in repentance.”
“We are in the throes of a climate emergency, a crisis created by humanity’s arrogance, our disregard for Creation. Far too often, we see the natural world only as resources to be extracted for our use, not divinely created in their own right—worthy of honor, thanks and care,” the Seminary stated.
“Churches have a huge role to play in this endeavor. Theologies that encourage humans to dominate and master the Earth have played a deplorable role in degrading God’s creation. We must birth new theology, new liturgy to heal and sow, replacing ones that reap and destroy.”
Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, denounced the chapel event and tweets made in defense of it on his podcast “The Briefing” as coming from a “modern secular worldview.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski