Discussing
SBC Climate Change

Chris Salzman

John Ferguson
March 11, 2008

((Northern) Irish Presbyterian typing:) Is there climate change? Probably. Is mankind wholly responsible? Probably not. Yes we are incredibly efficient at extracting carbon dioxide, etc from oil, but I think there are bigger problems, like local pollution, destroying unmanaged forests, industrial effluents, using too much fresh water, etc. Not to mention the developed world using up all the oil and depriving the developing world of a cheap and easy to use energy source.

Aesthetic Elevator
March 11, 2008

My problem with global warming is that the data they draw from is very limited — esp. if you're of the mind that the earth has been around for millions or billions of years. So temperatures have gone up a fraction of a degree in the last 150 years (basically during the history of meteorological science); they may go down a fraction of a degree over the next hundred years. <br><br>THAT SAID, I personally believe every believer should do their best to steward the earth God gave us. The word "sustainable" has significantly clearer implications IMO and is less politically loaded than "environmental," so this is the term I default to. Regardless of any global warming, we who are charged with stewarding this planet ought to do our best. Our best does not include stripping it of its resources (unsustainable vs sustainable), living wastefully and frivolously by producing and mass-consuming disposable products (and my definition here is broad) etc etc.

Milestone
March 12, 2008

Kind of reeks of compromising with the world. "Global warming", "climate change", or the environmental "disaster" du jour is not what this organization should be about. They need to quit worrying about public relations and stick to the gospel.

Jesse Phillips
March 12, 2008

love this blog and dialogue, thank you for your AWESOME posts<br><br>PLEASE SOMEONE explain to me why "creation care" is a priority!<br><br>But BRAVO to the SBC for taking a stand and saying this, since it's hopefully building bridges and giving them permission.<br><br>BUT, still I don't understand why we need to be special stewards of our environment. How much of a priority should it be? I try to conserve water and fuel and trash, and I recycle more than most, but why is this important. Do I need to do more than I'm doing? If so, why? <br><br>We need to focus on loving God, loving people, helping the poor, orphans, widows, sick, etc. Environment is not a high priority, biblically. God what do you think?

Environmentalist For Jesus
March 12, 2008

1. I'm a committed Christian and a believer that "All Truth is God's Truth". Figuring out that "Truth" is the hard part for us finite humans. But with the information that we have now, I cannot ignore the majority of scientists' beliefs and understandings. These scientists do not have to be Christians for me to trust their scientific knowledge over my own limited understanding of their life-long fields. If we are wrong at least we will be left with a cleaner and more beautiful Earth. (I'm including all environmental concerns and urgencies - not just Global Warming).<br><br>2. The church has dipped it's hand into politics in the past and it will have lots of trouble trying to escape now. Remember when the churches in the South supported slavery! Granted there was economical concern there but was it justified to take higher priority over life and Love of fellow humans? The fact that the Baptist church has shown support for proper Stewardship of the Environment is relieving to me and a bit over-due. As Christians we are not to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that anything not particularly pertaining to spiritual matters doesn't exist. How many times did Jesus talk about meeting the needs of the poor? Well, environmental problems are effecting everyone - especially the poor and it's mostly the faults of us westerners. So, I think it's about time that we faced our responsibility. <br><br>3. What better witness opportunity than to come along side non-Christians for a common cause &amp; goal! Actions speak louder than words! Preaching doesn't work so much anymore and Christians are labeled hypocrites. It's time to take action and be "with" the lost not "to" and "for" the lost. <br><br>4. Interesting that "public relations" doesn't pertain to the "gospel". I disagree. Public relations is "relationship with people" and so is the gospel of Jesus.

Bob Fetterly
March 12, 2008

No wonder SBC members leave Chrisitanity for cults (such as Mormonism) more than any other denomination. If this is your focus, you are no servants of Christ, and your efforts are for nothing.

Csalzman
March 12, 2008

Bob,<br><br>The SBC is the largest denomination in the United States, so it might follow that they have the largest number leaving. Still, I'd be interested to read those statistics. Do you have a link?<br><br>And I'm also interested to hear why you think climate change and environmentalism aren't worthy efforts? Care to explain a bit more?

ChrisWeller
March 12, 2008

Their is no doubt that we are required to look afer our planet. God expects us to. However there is no real scientific consensus on Global Warming despite what the massive media bias may suggest. As a matter of current recorded data there has been no rise in temperature since 1998 and ironically prior to that, these same 'experts' were telling us that we were going into a mini ice age.<br>As far as I'm personaly concerned I don't believe a word of it. Being married to a scientist and as a result having the opportunity to directly discuss the issue with other scientists, in their minds the subject is most certainly not an open and shut case. The concern is that anyone who speaks out against GW is roundly critisised.<br>It is no longer a scientific issue it is one of irrational emotion, heavily fostered by the ignorant media and self interest parties that stand to make enormous sums of money out of it.<br>The title 'Climate Change" is the new name for Global Warming it allows the self interest groups and other pro groups to weasel out when the weather cools down and justify it as a 'change'.<br>We have made a bloke by the name of Tim Flannery "Australian of The Year" because of his stand on GW. He has constantly pressed for geo-thermic alternative power sources but he doesn't tell you that he has substantial shares in a geo thermic-company. He travels the world constantly in what? A pollution spewing aircraft. Funny that eh? Al Gores house uses massive amounts of energy to run, even when he's not there but were' told it's green energy but it's ok because it comes from a non-green source. His film director has her own private plane which she uses regularly even for holidays (I don't personally have a problem with that. Half her luck). But It's ok to use this plane because she feels guilty. We forgive you dear.<br>We were told that the Y2K bug would get us, I was ridiculed at work when I said it was drivel. Who made money out of that?<br>We were told to beware of the Avian Flu, so thousands of people ran out and bought medicine, so much that our government had to order in thousands of tons to restock the shelves. Who made the money?<br>Now we have Global, oops sorry, climate change. So who's getting the money this time?

J N
March 13, 2008

Amen!

Csalzman
March 13, 2008

With all due respect, this is not a public relations issue. It's rather clear if you read their statements that they've approached this from a rigorous theological stance. Their conclusions are that this is part and parcel of the gospel.

Csalzman
March 13, 2008

Take a look at their four statements, I think they do a great job explaining why creation care is important. <br><br><a href="http://www.baptistcreationcare.org/node/1" rel="nofollow">http://www.baptistcreationcare...</a><br><br>Biblically I think the environment is an extremely high priority. Especially when it comes to loving others. If we mistreat the environment it has a very direct effect on others. If I pollute the water upstream, guess what the water looks like downstream?

Aesthetic Elevator
March 13, 2008

Huh, wow. I'm surprised and saddened by the number of comments here decrying this topic as outside of the Church's prerogative. It's attitudes like these, a pious-only, fundy point-of-view (which I grew up in), that have landed us in a self-imposed ghetto effectively limiting our witness and influence in the surrounding culture.

YT
March 13, 2008

I am remembering a scripture in the Bible about ... Seek "first" His kingdom and His Righteousness, and all other things "will" be added to you ... (Matthews ...)<br><br>Is this environmental issue "first priority to pursue" or later according to that scripture? In the book of Revelation, it says that at the end the fire will be everywhere. Can we (The Christians which is a minority) do something here "now" to minimize the impact what the Revelation says? Or are we ignoring the scripture in Matthews or the prophecies in the Revelation?<br><br>Let us look or study what kind of morality we have now in United States of America. Is it "right" for those, who are called as Christians leaders and who said for the Environmental issue, to say or switch the attention or priority away from the "Morality" issues? Is it also "right" nowadays for them to say that the environmental issue also a moral issue? Are we redefining the meaning of "morality"?<br><br>GOD's Word is the TRUTH. We should seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness first, ahead of all other issues including this environmental issue. If we really do these things, I believe that our daily actions are also kind to the earth. However, we are just the minority on earth. The majority will still pollute the earth so that the prophecies in the book of Revelation will still be fulfilled.<br><br>

Jason
March 13, 2008

Honestly I find this to be a little disappointing. I have a degree from both the scientific world and theological one. I definitely think it important that we be good stewards of the earth upon which God has placed us to live. So, yes, I support that end. My issue is that this whole "global warming" mantra just isn't played out sufficiently among peer reviewed researchers. Here are a couple of articles from your US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (although admittedly from a minority position) that have me laughing as the SBC jumps on a bandwagon off of which many scientists are now jumping. <a href="http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&amp;ContentRecord_id=927b9303-802a-23ad-494b-dccb00b51a12" rel="nofollow">http://epw.senate.gov/public/i...</a><br><a href="http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&amp;ContentRecord_id=84e9e44a-802a-23ad-493a-b35d0842fed8" rel="nofollow">http://epw.senate.gov/public/i...</a>

Jonias
March 13, 2008

Many of the comments above indicate to me that those writing the comments have not read the stance the SBC has taken on these issues (see the link in the article). The statements SBC makes are actually quite articulate and balanced. They go out of their way to mention that the supremacy of Christ is primary. But at the same time, because this is a pressing cultural issue (at least in conversation), it is something we as Christians should be attuned to and able to interact about. Should it be the most important thing we put our effort toward? Not as collective but perhaps for some individual Christians or organizations.<br><br>It seems as well that the touchstone for comment is global warming, however the SBC stance (as well as the larger discussion outside of the SBC) is much broader than that. Stewardship, sustainability, care, thoughtfulness. These are terms that should represent familiar everyday attributes to Christians. So even if you don't side with the global warming crowd (I'm still skeptical) there is plenty to learn and implement. We usually only think of stewardship in regards to money but it is so much more than that. A holistic life is one that is humbly thankful for the creation God has given us to live in and uses that creation to discover more about His wonderful creative work and to introduce others to God through that work. General and Special revelation still work hand in hand. Let's not abandon the manifestation of God in creation for a Special revelation only gospel. Build housing for the poor and tell them the gospel. Teach someone to read and hand them a Bible. Provide medical help and relate what Christ has done for you. Reflect on God's creation (with others) and proclaim what a great God he is and yet still turns his thoughts toward us.

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