Monday, November 20, 2006

Can evangelicals change the face of enviromentalism

The Baptist Standard writes about a new film that suggests that traditionally right-wing Republican evangelicals could have a big part in key enviromental reform:
A Canadian film team has released in United States theatres The Great Warming, a movie about climate change and the initiatives aimed at reversing its trend toward permanent ecologic damage.
Unlike other recent environmental movies, like Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, The Great Warming portrays evangelicals as a group with the potential to push governmental policies toward sustainable living.
It also has hearty endorsements from the National Council of Churches, the Evangelical Environmental Network, and the Coalition on Environment and Jewish Life, all of which have urged churches to host screenings and discussion groups about the movie...
Historically, evangelicals haven’t cared much for talk about climate change. Cizik said that’s because “environmentalism has a sort of a ‘left-wing tilt.’” Plus, many pastors never have preached about caring for creation. Once church members begin hearing sermons about the environment, he said, they’ll realize it’s an important issue.
The response will become significant when evangelicals change not only their lifestyles but their votes. Evangelicals comprise between 40 percent and 50 percent of the Republican base. Cizik said he believes if the largest group in the Republican coalition would demand its leaders work on climate change, clean air and pure water, then GOP leaders would listen.
I wrote about this somewhat a while back after reading Rob Bell's book Velvet Elvis.When we think about creation, remember that God calls it "good."
The word is used throughout the Creation narrative to say that God perceives his creation as "good."

"The God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation: seed bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.' And it was so. The next verse is significant: The land produced vegetation. Notice it doesn't say, 'God produced vegetation.'"

God empowered creation to do something.
We are empowered with loads of potential. All of creation is.
And this is for all you "tree-huggin-haters" :-) (who I admit, I used to be one of you):

"God then makes people whom he puts right in the middle of all this loaded creation, commanding them to care for creation, to manage it, to lovingly use it, to creatively order it... They are in intimate relationship with their enviroment. They are enviromentalists. Being deeply connected with their enviroment is who they are. For them to be anything else or to deny their divine responsibility to care for all that God has made would be to deny something that is at the core of their existence.
That is why litter and polution are spiritual issues.
And until that last sentence makes perfect sense, we haven't fully grasped what it means to be human and live in God's world."

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