Climate Change and Evangelism

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A frightened – and frightening – rump of the evangelical community has launched an attack on the climate change consensus, suggesting that it is somehow inherently anti-human.

The first volley in the most recent attack came last Monday from the Rev. Jerry Falwell – the Moral Majority founder who has done so much to reintroduce religion into American politics. Falwell, who apparently has an inside track on the devil’s thoughts and tactics, said that climate change was “Satan’s attempt to redirect the church’s primary focus” from evangelism to environmentalism.

By Friday, the (Right to) LifeSite was reporting on the deepening schism in the evangelical movement between those who are urging attention to climate change and those who are trying to politicize the science. While the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) has urged its members to support policies that will address climate change, the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance (ISA), led by Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson, is saying that “Global warming is not a consensus issue and our love for the Creator and respect for His creation does not require us to take a position.”

LifeSite explains this position by saying “Environmentalist doctrine presupposes that the answer to climate concerns is the elimination of huge portions of the human population through mass abortion, sterilization programs and numerous other means.”

(Clearly, I’ll have to go back and reread the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, because I missed the whole section on attacking humanity. I thought we were talking about energy conservation and better urban design.)

In its recent letter, the ISA says, “We believe there should be room for Bible-believing evangelicals to disagree about the cause, severity and solutions to the global warming issue.” Notwithstanding that, “we are evangelicals and we care about God’s creation.”

The last word on that interpretation must got to a commenter on ThinkProgress , who offered:

‘A little Old Testament for Rev. Falwell: Gen. 2:15 which says, “The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden as its gardener, to tend and care for it.” The Hebrew word for tend can also mean “to serve” and the world care may be translated “to keep save, preserve, protect.”

‘That mandate has never been rescinded.’

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