In light of all the discussion that the recent statement on the environment and climate change has created, I think it is appropriate for me to clarify a few things concerning my personal position.
There has been some speculation that this statement means that those who signed it are endorsing the existence of Global Warming. I can assure you, from my perspective anyhow, that this is not the case. I am not a scientist. I do not have the ability to argue along scientific lines as to the existence of Global Warming or not. I am not trying, by supporting this initiative, to claim that Global Warming is true or not. There are, however, two specific reasons that I think this is an important issue to consider and address as conservative Evangelicals.
First, the issue of creation care is a biblical issue. For far too long those who have been the significant voices urging in the protection of the creation are those who will most often stand in opposition to biblical truth. This is shameful. Those of us in the Evangelical community have often been known as the ones who laughingly refer to our responsibility to “have dominion over the earth” as if that is some biblical principle that allows us to avoid our responsibility to manage what God has given us. This is no way necesitates the need to assume that the earth and its resources should be cared for to a greater extent than humanity, but rather it is an admission that although we are to use the resources the creation provides to care for humanity, we must not be careless or wasteful in that process. I support this initiative as a step in the right direction of recognizing that biblical Christianity and creation care should go hand in hand.
Secondly, this issue of Global Warming, climate change and creation care may or may not be true. As I stated before, I’m not a scientist and I will defer to their judgment on the issue. Since they are decidedly split in this area, it’s only fair to say we collectively do not know for certain what is occuring in the atmosphere and in our climate. Having said that, there is no denying that the topic of Global Warming is a partcularly significant topic, particularly among younger generations. Going one step further, it would also appear to be a biblical and moral issue. While I do not know if Global Warming, as popularly defined, is accurate or not, I do think it is safe to say that there is damage to the environment that is the result of irresonsible human behavior. That kind of behavior should be controlled by a biblical response of creation care. Due to the significant influence of popular culture promoting Global Warming, among other things, I think it is only appropriate that the Evangelical community address it as we would any moral issue that is known as a significant culutral issue of our day rather than try to dodge or deny the issue. It is important that the Evangelical community have some voice instead of simply allowing those in the mainstream who do not share our biblical value system to be the only voices of influence.
So, in conclusion, this statement is not an endorsement, on my behalf anyway, of Global Warming. It is, however, a recognition of the Evangelical community’s need to take a more prominent role in the advance of faithful, biblical stewardship of creation. I hope that we can all unite under that banner.