Thinking about the climate

SBC Creation Care

 I’ll be honest enough to admit that I often look skeptically upon the actions of men like Al Gore who preach about the need to prevent global warming and yet live in monstrous homes doing excessive damage to the environment. It seems to me that they struggle with practicing what they preach. As a result of their hypocrisy I am often, unfortunately, uncomfortable accepting the premise that they are trying to promote. As a result I, like many evangelicals, have been difficult to convince in regards to issues like Global Warming. That reticence to embrace their philosophy based on pre-determined biases, however, has probably impaired my ability to really consider their claims. If I am fair it is only appropriate to admit, at a minimum, that conservative evangelicals have not embraced creation care nearly to the degree that we should have, from a biblical perspective.  

Thinking along those lines, I am encouraged by a recent effort by leading Southern Baptists to admit our lack of support for creation care and admit that we should be more supportive of the need for said care. Beyond that, I am encouraged by our efforts to at least consider that these claims may have some level of validity in them. The initiative that I’m speaking about is the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative. It is led by Jonathan Merrit and has been endorsed by a variety of heavy hitters in SBC life. Men like Danny Akin, Malcomn Yarnell, David Dockery, Frank Page, Alvin Reid, Darrin Patrick and others have rallied around this effort to be more encouraging towards creation care and more willing to, at a minimum, consider the possibilities that others have espoused in regards to global warming, among other things. 

I would encourage you to run by their website and take a look. If you agree with the statement, sign it as well. I just finished signing my name to it. Hopefully this will be an encouraging step in the right direction as we make a concerted effort to care for God’s creation and consider scientific evidence from a biblical perspective and be better stewards of what God has given us.  

Micah is a husband to Tracy & a daddy to Grace, Kessed & Haddon. He’s Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. Most of all, he’s a debtor to grace.

19 thoughts on “Thinking about the climate

  1. I think you hit the nail right on the head. I too feel a bias against some in the Global Warming crowd. But this gives us no right to disregard biblical admonitions. I think the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative takes a very biblically balanced approach to this subject.

  2. isn’t it amazing who is attracted to this clearly unsubstantiated junk science….talk about a need for a new Conservative Resurgence…..Exhibit #1 is this initiative and who is being fooled by it…they should all know better and not get distracted by the extreme left-agenda…when will ever learn that teaming with the left = the right loses and so does the LORD!!!!!
    Get back to making the “main thing the main thing”…….

  3. Kent-

    Did you look at who signed this thing? Some of the most conservative men in our convention signed it. The thought that this is a conservative/liberal thing is fairly ridiculous, don’t you think?

  4. From a secular politics perspective, the liberals have been very quick to wrap their arms around this. And the direction it is taking, worldwide governance over (to begin with) carbon emissions and redistribution of wealth by charging carbon credits to the very rich who supposedly do more damage, are highly leftist philosophies. Just as it is easy for conservative Christians to get pulled into supporting something like welfare, which steals money from those who work for it and gives it to people who don’t work for it and which does not actually help the poor at all but puts them in a further state of dependency, out of their love for the poor, so too can conservative Christians get lured into supporting an initiative like this out of a Biblical concern for stewardship of God’s creation.

    So, no, I wouldn’t agree with you that it is fairly ridiculous.

  5. Dennis, I’m on my way out the door with my family, but I’ll try to address your comment quickly.

    The connection you are making between this statement and worldwide governance is a significant stretch. I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone on the list of endorsers who will be comfortable with the situations you propose. In those instances, I am quite positive they will condemn them. This initiative, however, is not in any way referencing the situation’s which you have described. In other words, you have erected and torn down a straw man.

    This statement, by itself, may have problems in your opinion. The argument you’ve made, however, doesn’t pertain to this statement.

  6. Does the Baptist statement propose worldwide governance or even carbon credit taxes? No, it doesn’t and I’m not saying it does. In discussing whether the global warming issue is a conservative/liberal thing, I am making the point that it has been liberals who have embraced this pseudo-scientific claim, and the things under consideration for dealing with this claim (Kyoto Protocol, carbon credits) stand to further a liberal worldview. And I also made the point that the because of the source and direction of the current global warming debate and despite the fact that the signers of the statement are conservative, this statement does have to do with conservative and liberal ideologies. So, I believe I have addressed the question of conservative/liberal where global warming is concerned directly.

    Concerning the statement itself, I believe it was a very foolish thing for these Southern Baptist leaders to do. As I allude to in my blog, I think the future will make this look as silly as it would if we had signed a global cooling statement in the 1970’s.

  7. WOW –

    When I first read and signed this document earlier today I never dreamed that so many would have such a visceral, knee-jerk reaction to it. It is a call to basic, responsible conservationism, not a wholesale sell out to the political maneuvering of the far left.

  8. I really don’t see my response as “knee-jerk,” although I do think the Statement could possibly be characterized as reactionary. Did you read what it said? “We resolve to engage this issue without any further lingering over the basic reality of the problem.” In other words, we don’t care if it is true or not, we’re still going to do something about it. It’s kind of like signing a contract with your doctor that gives him permission to operate on you whether there’s anything wrong with you or not. And the options on what gets done are coming from the far left.

    I think the resolution passed at last year’s SBC was probably a good place to stand, but this Statement goes beyond the prudence of that resolution.

  9. Micah:
    I didn’t use the word “liberal” or juxtapose the “conservative/liberal” into this debate. You did. I did use the word(s) “Conservative Resurgence” is needed…and meant by that that we need to refocus on Conservative values and not get distracted chasing rabbits. Global warming is not a proven…and even if it was…it seems to be a distraction to the real mission of the church.
    Did I see the signatories? Yes. Disappointed in a few. Predictable for a few. And a few usual suspects waiting for the next “green cause”. I think it should also be noted of those who didn’t sign. Patterson, Mohler, Roberts, Chapman and others…along with what they’ve said about the “global warming movement” in the past. Do we not find it a “coincidence” that the Pope issued a statement that not recycling(and contributing to global warming) is a mortal sin over the same weekend that Southern Baptists issued their letter?
    The “lefties” are hard at work here and putting us “one minded Bible believing Christian conservatives” on a guilt trip of not getting involved in their pet projects.
    This whole “global warming, attack people and America first” crowd leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The “leftie camel” has his nose stuck in the tent…..

  10. Micah, I was just rereading your first paragraph from your initial post. Seeing hypocrites does make it harder for us to accept the viewpoint they are espousing. But we have to remember (and remind others) that a belief system is not invalid merely because there are no perfect practitioners of that belief system. Some people refuse Christ because of some of the so-called Christians that they know, but that is really just a smoke-screen. Christianity is true or not true, not because of how well I do or don’t live it out, but because its claims match eternal reality. Likewise, (human induced) global warming isn’t false because Gore won’t live up to its implications or because of any other facts or opinions about Gore, but because its claims don’t hold up.

  11. Funny to debate ‘global warming’ after a cold wet winter like we’ve had. I think MOST of the ‘global warming’ in Missouri is from cow patties and Baptist pulpits! I’m still working on the linkage and the evidence for which is producing the most ‘carbon output’.
    More later…

  12. My problem with this is the title which, to the eyes of the uninformed reader, would lead one to believe it speaks for all Southern Baptists. I find it a bit offensive to use a title that seems to speak for all.

  13. This just proves what we all already know:

    We Southern Baptists are gifted at finding topics over which we can DISAGREE and call each other’s gospel FOCUS into question….

    Charles Brazeale
    Neosho, MO

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