Updated (1:30pm, 2/20) I like using humor and sarcasm in driving home a point--it is an effective tool in communication especially when dealing with issues like this. BUT, after receiving some off-forum (and a few on forum) comments from those whose opinions I do value, I have decided to update this article calming down the sarcasm significantly, but still dealing with the heart of this important issue. Please forgive me for the needless offense my original entry caused any of you.
Grace and peace to you all,
2 Cor. 6:3-10
The Purpose Driven Environment?
Rick Warren has written the most successful book in US publishing history--the Purpose Driven Life. He has made a lot of money and since has been involved as a voice for many social causes such as ministering to people with AIDS and world hunger. I have also been involved in both of those issues for several years (18 years with AIDS; and 27 years with world hunger). There is much ministry to be done in both of those fields and I hope that Mr. Warren is not only addressing their physical need, but more importantly, addressing their spiritual need by uncompromisingly proclaiming the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ (sola fide, sola gratia, solus Christus. However, having read much of Mr. Warren's published material, there is no printed evidence that either the gospel he professes is sufficient and the gospel he proclaims is central to his "purpose" even within the social cause.)
But now, Rick Warren is spearheading a global effort called the Evangelical Climate Initiative. There's only one problem with this issue--global warming really doesn't exist. This is nothing but a recycled (no pun intended) left wing political agenda that has infiltrated evangelicalism; and Warren and company more than willing has peppered the ECI with numerous biblical proof-texts (almost all of the scriptures he uses to justify this cause are taken completely out of context--too many to list here. Unfortunately, I still think he's still reading "The Message" rather than a genuine translation of Scripture).
Global warming is a myth beloved. The planet is not as fragile as some make it out to be. What's "fragile" are the politics associated with this "cause." In actuality, our planet has only gotten 2-3 degrees warmer in the last 100 years and not uniformly but in limited regions. Mordantly, I can see why they call this "a crisis!" This is really another attempt to make environmental policy by junk-science, isn't it? One obvious example: at the end of the 19th century the scientific technological indicators for measuring the earth's global temperatures were not advanced or sophisticated, to be considered absolutely trusted as to accuracy and reliability of whatever their findings produced.
But one has to ask of our brother this: is this a midlife crisis or a global crisis? I say that not to attack Warren's person, but follow this progression with me for a minute: He changed the hair; changed the wardrobe; grew the goatee; last summer he announced he was curing world hunger, but patently couldn't; I hope he realizes that addressing the AIDS issue is much more complicated than meeting with BONO and throwing large amounts of celebrity money at it; rather than developing his passion for these issues biblically, he proof-texts them ad nauseam (you have to admit, no one does this better than Rick); and seemingly he isn't content with what his biblical duties as a pastor are (shepherding, discipleship, bible exposition, prayer, church discipline, proclaiming the gospel, etc.). So then, what does one do now with virtually unlimited wealth, a large platform, an eager media, and so many social issues to try and fix? Buy a bright red-turbo-charged-hybrid car? No--too obvious and too easy. Instead, he helps lead and create the Evangelical Climate Initiative.
Global Warming is Prejudiced: It Doesn't Like Poor People
Warren asserts: "Millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors." Ah, there it is... the driving economics behind it all. Playing the poverty card is a familiar dodge in socio-economic political causes. He is more than implying here that inherent to global warming is a bias against the poor regions of this world. This doesn't make any sense whatsoever. If the U.S. is the number one polluter/industrial nation on the face of the earth, why isn't the fall-out of such pollution going to hurt us more than any other nation? And, according to Warren, this pile up of destructive greenhouse gas emissions is purely a human induced plight. Hasn't he or members of the ECI read that the number one affecting agent to our climate is due to the sometimes sporadic solar activity from the sun? And who is going to rid us of this devastating problem facing this world? Rick Warren and his band of merry politically liberal evangelical men. Foolish.
And here is the all to familiar recognizable hypocrisy of this kind of liberal social cause--the rhetoric rarely matches the reality. I.E. - Does Warren and his environmental sycophants all drive electric cars? NO, of course not. Has Warren and all his environmental flatterers stopped flying in jet airplanes? NO, of course not. Do they all live in completely natural home environments free from all manmade power and fuel? NO, of course not. Does this mean that the next time Mr. Warren is going to hold a PDL conference, that we should give him plenty of time to get there, for he must be arriving in the only politically correct vehicle still left to mankind: the horse and buggy? NO, of course not. This does raise an important question though: would he consider the numerous methane emissions by his "purpose driven horse" an environmental risk and danger to the atmosphere and a serious threat to the depletion of the O-Zone and the melting of the Arctic glaciers? I wonder if there is some rumbling on K-Street that Al Gore has invited Mr. Warren to accompany him on his next trip to Saudi Arabia to address the Arabs on this pressing issue? Though said tongue and cheek, don't put it past him folks...
Calvin on the Environment - A Reformed View
For a brief moment I want to look at what John Calvin says about man's relationship with God's creation.
"It is clear," cites Jason Foster, "that for Calvin, the creation is subject to the ongoing sovereign and providential governance of God. Commenting on Psalm 104:4. Calvin says, 'By these words we are taught that the winds do not blow by chance, nor the lightnings flash by a fortuitous impulse, but that God, in the exercise of his sovereign power, rules and controls all the agitations and disturbances of the atmosphere.'(11) Calvin rejects the view that created things are infused with the necessary inherent energy to sustain themselves absent divine providence, and instead, insists upon the necessity of God’s sustaining activity in governing the world.(12) So even though God... commands man in the pre-Fall period to maintain the quality of the creation, it is God who ultimately controls and cares for it, both directly and indirectly."(13) (Reformed Perspectives Magazine, Volume 7, Number 51, December 18 to December 24, 2005 )
11- Calvin, Commentary upon the Book of Psalms, Calvin’s Commentaries, Vol. VI, trans. by James Anderson (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2003), p. 146.Global Luke-Warming: A True Environmental Threat
12- Calvin forcefully remarks, “It were cold and lifeless to represent God as a momentary Creator, who completed his work once for all, and then left it. Here, especially, we must dissent from the profane, and maintain that the presence of the divine power is conspicuous, not less in the perpetual condition of the world than in its first creation.” Institutes, 1.16.1.
13 - Importantly, Calvin employs preservation language in describing God’s relationship to nature: “[A]s the world was once made by God, so it is now preserved by him, and that the earth and all other things endure just in as far as they are sustained by his energy, and as it were his hand.” Catechism of the Church of Geneva, Calvin’s Selected Works, Vol. 2, trans. by Henry Beveridge (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1983), p. 40.
There is a global warming going on today folks--a global luke-warming. A cooling off from the gospel to pursue tertiary concerns that make the planetary temporal issues preeminent (fabricated mind you) and eternal ones surrounding mens souls of a lessor concern. This whole issue is so incongruous that not even Dr. Dobson (to his credit) and the Evangelical Co-Beligerents are not weighing in on this. Some twenty-two of the nation's most high-profile evangelical leaders, signed a letter in January declaring, "Global warming is not a consensus issue." Among the signers were Charles W. Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries; James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; and Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
This fascination that Warren has about the planet seems nothing more than the byproduct of BONO's liberal influence over him. I guess Rick "still hasn't found what he's looking for..." Doesn't he realize that the Lord is not only the creator of this earth but its sustainer as well? Paul says in Colossians 1:16-17 "For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things [consist] are held together." Our Lord sustains this earth--we are not that powerful to do so. Are we to be good stewards of God's creation... yes. Don't liter; keep the streams, rivers and lakes clean; protect the air we breathe... not a problem. But global warming lacks the conclusive scientific data to be dogmatic about its potential fallout and destructive effects on mankind. The ECI is playing on peoples fears with unfounded and in many cases, inflated information.
Here is the link you can read for yourself. And another one here. Make sure you check out those "major Christian leaders" who are the signatories on this initiative. Very underwhelming.
Stay in the O-Zone; the Obedient Zone
In the wise words of my friend, Dr. John MacArthur, he says, "if you think we've made a mess of this planet, wait 'til you see what Jesus does to this place one day when He comes back." So what do we do in the midst of this globally fabricated artificially induced raising of the earth's temp crisis that Warren so desperately wants to be the champion of?
Keep on with your biblical duties (begin with the Sermon on the Mount [Matt.5-7]) and then try the following:
-trade in your hybrid cars (they actually cost you more $ in the long run)And continue to ask yourself beloved, in order to save the planet what kind of horse is Rick Warren willing to ride?
-drive an SUV, if you can afford one;
-build a campfire;
-turn up the heat;
-use oil and oil by-products;
-grill outside more often;
-fill up your gas tanks;
-take long trips with the family;
-smoke cigars and pipes if your conscience allows;
-and continue to fly jet airplanes.
(All for the glory of God of course.)
PS - Please notice, I'm not completely insensitive to Mr. Warren's environmental concerns. To show my empathy, I chose to use a dark-green color on the subheading titles and blockquote. I'm doing what I can to help Rick in this cause.
For further information, please read the following two articles: We're Not Destroying the Planet by Rush Limbaugh; and The Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) was funded by abortion group by Peter C.Glover. Always follow the money beloved--it reveals volumes.