The People of Nineveh vs Jesus
I’m generally not interested in discussing whether global warming is real. If it is real I’m not very interested in discussing how scary it is. I’m not very interested in the scientific reality or illusions behind it. I’m not very interested in the political ramifications or solutions because of it.
For me, global warming has called into question my very existence. For me, unless I can get to the point where I know there is no God, global warming is a spiritual issue. And once upon a time I learned in Sunday school that Jesus is the answer to spiritual questions. Not too long after that my Sunday school teacher taught me I should be very careful what questions I ask. But I digress.
Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threatsIs Jesus the answer?
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.
-Bob Dylan, My Back Pages
Last Thursday I re-listened to a public conversation between two men I greatly admire, the Rev Greg Boyd and the Rev Jim Wallis. The conversation took place in October last year at Bethel University in St Paul, MN.
This question was posed, “If your politics are centered on what Jesus says, where would Jesus rank global warming in the scheme of God’s plan on Earth?” Politics clouded the ensuing discussion. They both enjoyed some Old Testament support of their position that the environment is important. They heartily agree that the conversation about Jesus and the environment should take place.
I didn’t hear much about what Jesus actually says or does. (7mb mp3 available here)
Jim and Greg tend to be thought of as less conservative evangelicals. Here are three, more conservative organizations that repeatedly show up in comments to some of my posts.
The Interfaith Stewardship Alliance and its Cornwall Declaration: On environmental issues James Dobson, Chuck Colson and Richard Land support this group over the leadership of the National Association of Evangelicals. It’s an interfaith group which precludes it from mentioning Jesus. I have absolutely no problem with interfaith groups collaborating. I welcome it. We all need to work together. But they don’t and probably can’t present a Jesus answer.
The Interfaith Council for Environmental Stewardship: mostly it’s an echo chamber for two organizations, the above mentioned Interfaith Stewardship Alliance and the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty (in the next paragraph). From what I can tell it has no policies or documents of its own. The website exists to point to the other two.
The Acton Institute: in their website’s Environmental Policy section they echo links to the Cornwall Declaration. They also have a core policy document the purports to be “Protestant Wisdom on the Environment.” The protestant document doesn’t contain the name Jesus.
Here’s a rosy picture of these religious groups. The $ indicate ExxonMobile funding. The people icons are key individuals to the linked organizations. (The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow has no religious intent that I could find.)
I’m a pretty dumb guy. I need things mapped out really clearly otherwise I could get lost. Is Jesus the answer? I’m hearing a resounding, maybe.
Next up: two years is too long. I’m done waiting on the experts.