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Environmental Evangelicals?

September 22, 2008

Earlier today, the Barna Group released an interesting report titled “Evangelicals Go ‘Green’ with Caution”. It takes a look at the Christian (broadly defined as Catholic, mainline Protestant, and non-mainline Protestant) and a separate look at the Evangelical (as defined by Barna) response to and participation with the environmental movement. The report can be found here.


The report shows that “Most Christians are not satisfied to be mere observers of the green movement. Three-quarters of self-identified Christians (78%) agree they would like to see their fellow Christians take a more active role in caring for God’s creation in a way that is both informed and biblical. Among evangelicals, 90% would like Christians to take a more active role in caring for creation, with 67% agreeing strongly.” Personally, I agree with this. Christians should take the lead on the issue of caring for the creation that God made us stewards of.


While most Christians agree with each other and with the general population that we should do more to care for the environment, there is disagreement and uncertainty about global warming. Among evangelicals, just 27% firmly believe global warming is even happening. As for me, I am highly doubtful. This is where looking at the issue Biblically comes into play. There are a number of different angle from which to approach this, but I will only address a couple.


I believe in a literal interpretation of the creation account in Genesis. God created everything in six days. I believe the account of the great flood is a true, literal account. That would mean the earth is only six thousand to seven thousand years old. No matter how sophisticated your computer models are, if you do not account for these truths, they will be inaccurate.


I also believe that God is completely sovereign. That means He is in complete control. It has often been said that not only does He own the cattle on a thousand hills, He owns the hills the cattle are on. The Bible talks about the end time. I think this would hold true, regardless of your view of the end times. I do not believe God will allow the earth to be destroyed in such a way that it would circumvent His ultimate plan.


We have started to do some recycling at our home. When the kids asked why, I chose not to give them information about a global warming crisis that I believe does not exist. I gave them an economic reason. This is what I told them. Our trash goes to a landfill here in Smith County. When the landfill is full, the county will have to secure another place to put trash. That will cost money. If we slow down the rate of filling the landfill, we can delay a major government expense. This allows my taxes to remain lower and me to keep more of my money to use as I see fit. Do something good for the environment and your wallet. Start with recycling.

Do you agree or disagree that Christians should do more to protect the environment? What do you do? Do you have practical suggestions for the rest of us? Please share in the comments.


Grace & Peace,


John

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