For some Christians, teaching the science of climate change contradicts religious beliefs. But a growing group of evangelical environmentalists has been working to change that view.
For a few years, Richard Cizik, the Vice President for Governmental Affairs with the National Association of Evangelicals, has spoken out as passionately in favor of addressing climate change as he has against abortion, gay marriages or embryonic stem-cell research. You can read an interview with him at Grist and hear one from NPR.
Despite his being isolated by several other religious leaders, Cizik is not alone. The New York Times has also featured Jim Ball, a Virginia minister who relies heavily on the Bible for his guidance in going green. He explains:
“Colossians, chapter 1, verses 15 to 20 is the touchstone text for me,” he said. “‘All things have been created by Him and for Him. All things have been reconciled by His blood on the cross.’ The Apostle Paul tells us we are called to be ministers of reconciliation, and that means caring for all things.”
Both men advocate what is widely-called “creation care,” which includes preserving the landscape and the livelihoods we have been given. And both men wisely see how climate change poses a direct risk to creation.
Recently there has been more good news. The NAE has backed Cizik’s creation care agenda, reaffirming that “environmental protection … is an important moral issue.” We will need as many voices as possible speaking out on climate change if we are to avoid the worst.