Do Evangelicals Believe Environmentalism Is Evil?
Not all Christians believe that environmentalism is evil. In fact, most believe in protecting God's creation.
Yesterday, Cord posted a clip from the disturbing video series, Resisting the Green Dragon, which "attempts to make the case that modern environmentalism stands contrary to Christianity and all Christian humans." I can't help but chime in and try to help put this video series in perspective, as a ridiculously fringe message from an ultra-conservative branch of evangelicals. (Of course, entertainers like Glenn Beck have a way of bringing the absurdist fringe to the mainstream and making it stick.)
While there certainly are ultra-conservative, self-serving evangelicals like those at the Cornwall Alliance, a broader survey of Christian attitudes finds that the majority of Christians believe in protecting all of God's creation.
Take, for instance, the Evangelical Climate Initiative. The coalition was launched a few years back by 86 top evangelical leaders, including big names and influencers like Rick Warren, bestselling author of The Purpose Driven Life, James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, and Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and their joint statement leaves little question about humanity's responsibility for protecting God's green Earth. They make four claims:
Claim 1: Human-Induced Climate Change is Real
Claim 2: The Consequences of Climate Change Will Be Significant, and Will Hit the Poor the Hardest
Claim 3: Christian Moral Convictions Demand Our Response to the Climate Change Problem
Claim 4: The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate change—starting now.\n
The trusted and revered Christians conclude: "We will not only teach the truths communicated here but also seek ways to implement the actions that follow from them. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, we urge all who read this declaration to join us in this effort."
These aren't liberal hippies, but true God-fearing evangelicals (did I mention the guy from Focus on the Family?).
But no need to take it from me. Here's Richard Cizik, former Vice President for Governmental Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, talking about why climate change is an evangelical issue, and explaining it a hundred times better than I—a heathen—ever could:
In all, over 67 percent of Americans "say they care about the environment because it is 'God's creation,'" according to a Sierra Club study. In fact, nearly half of that environmental advocacy organization—a "green dragon's" lair if there ever was one—attend worship services at least once monthly.
Want to learn more about Creation Care and the Christian responsibility to protect God's creation? Tri Robinson's book, Saving God's Green Earth, is a great place to start.