Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

WWJD…About Climate Change?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 by JEL

I always thought Christians would be devout environmentalists. I mean, if you believe that the Earth is God’s creation, wouldn’t you do everything you could to preserve His work? Turns out I’m a little naive on the issue.

This is a terrific article about Rich Cizik and his conversion to the climate change cause. Mr. Cizik used to be vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). His “awakening” started in 2002 when he attended a conference where Sir James Houghton, a leading British climate scientist and promininent evangelical, was speaking.

“…for three days in Oxford, England, Houghton walked us through the science and our biblical responsibility. He talked about droughts, shrinking ice caps, increasing hurricane intensity, temperatures tracked for millennia through ice-core data. He made clear that you could believe in the science and remain a faithful biblical Christian. All I can say is that my heart was changed. For years I’d thought, ‘Well, one side says this, the other side says that. There’s no reason to get involved.’ But the science has become too compelling. I could no longer sit on the sidelines. I didn’t want to be like the evangelicals who avoided getting involved during the civil rights movement and in the process discredited the gospel and themselves.”

Cizik went to work. In 2004, he got the NAE to issue a paper “For the Health of the Nation” calling for “creation care” and living sustainably. Two years later, he helped organize the Evangelical Climate Initiative. Not everyone was pleased.

“I had people on my board who said, ‘Don’t touch the issue. If you do, we’ll make your life very difficult.’” Twenty-two evangelical leaders signed a letter urging the NAE not to take a position on global climate change.

But he pressed on…

Cizik believed he could still preach the gospel while also talking about these kinds of issues. “You need both. To go to bed at night and say that over a billion people live on a dollar a day and can’t go to bed themselves with a full stomach, can you live as a Christian happily in your suburban home, driving your SUV? Of course you can’t. Not as a real Christian. And if you happen to be a liberal, conservative or centrist, I don’t care. The gospel has priority over politics.”

Lenten Sacrifices

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 by PJM

For those who have lost track of time and haven’t seen Joe Biden’s forehead, today is Ash Wednesday–a day that marks the beginning of Lent. For many, this is a time of fasting and penance leading up to Easter. This year, bishops from the Church of England are calling for a cut in personal carbon use. Some of the ways they suggest doing so are to:

  • ditch electricity-sucking technology (like iPods),
  • eat more vegetables (that don’t require as much cooking as meat),
  • and don’t flush the toilet so often.

Overall, the gist of their suggestion is to go green for lent. I particularly like this because the result will benefit everyone and not just the individual making the sacrifice.

Faith and the Climate

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 by JEL

I saw an interesting story today about leaders from nine major world faiths (Baha’ism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism, Sikhism and Taoism) getting together in at Windsor Castle to talk about mobilizing their followers to combat climate change. I especially like Bill McKibben’s quotes at the bottom of the story:

“If Earth is in some way a museum of divine intent, it’s pretty horrible to be defacing all that creation.”

“And if, in Christianity and other faiths, we are called upon above all else to love God and love our neighbours, drowning your neighbour in Bangladesh is a pretty bad way to go about it.”