Culture At Large

SBC Climate Change

Chris Salzman

On Monday, a number of "influential members of the Southern Baptist Convention" came out in favor of combating global warming.

Forty-six influential members of the Southern Baptist Convention, including three of its past four presidents, criticized their denomination in a statement Monday for being "too timid" in confronting global warming. "Our cautious response to these issues in the face of mounting evidence may be seen by the world as uncaring, reckless and ill-informed," the statement says. "We can do better."

As early as last year the selfsame leaders who have now made this a theological imperative were less than supportive in previous years.

"Some of us have required considerable convincing before becoming persuaded that these are real problems that deserve our attention," the statement says. "But now we have seen and heard enough to be persuaded that these issues are among the current era's challenges that require a unified moral voice."

They even have a slick web site. From their introductory letter:

We have recently engaged in study, reflection and prayer related to the challenges presented by environmental and climate change issues. These things have not always been treated with pressing concern as major issues. Indeed, some of us have required considerable convincing before becoming persuaded that these are real problems that deserve our attention. But now we have seen and heard enough to be persuaded that these issues are among the current era’s challenges that require a unified moral voice.

And here are the four statements from their site:

Statement 1 Humans Must Care for Creation and Take Responsibility for Our Contributions to Environmental Degradation. Statement 2 It Is Prudent to Address Global Climate Change. Statement 3 Christian Moral Convictions and Our Southern Baptist Doctrines Demand Our Environmental Stewardship. Statement 4 It Is Time for Individuals, Churches, Communities and Governments to Act.

From Statement 2:

Though the claims of science are neither infallible nor unanimous, they are substantial and cannot be dismissed out of hand on either scientific or theological grounds. Therefore, in the face of intense concern and guided by the biblical principle of creation stewardship, we resolve to engage this issue without any further lingering over the basic reality of the problem or our responsibility to address it. Humans must be proactive and take responsibility for our contributions to climate change—however great or small.

Do you have any thoughts about this? Any southern baptists read this blog and want to comment?

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, Theology