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Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Christian Green Movement

The Christian-green movement has at its core the “Evangelical Climate Initiative,” a 2006 document that has now been signed by more than 200 prominent pastors and other religious leaders. It asserts that “human-induced climate change is real,” and calls on evangelicals to use more renewable energy and buy hybrid vehicles. Over the past several years, the cause has evolved from the objective of starting a conversation to targeting specific industries or practices. Christian environmentalists have also taken aim at proposed oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, among other things.

The movement bases its philosophy on the biblical ideas that Christians should never damage God’s world, and an admonition from Jesus to “protect and care for the least of these,” which the Climate Initiative says is a call to shield the poor, elderly and sick from the dangers of pollution.

The divide among Christians has centered on the creation accounts in Genesis. In the first chapter, God says on the sixth day, depending on the translation, that man will have “dominion” or will “reign over” the natural world. In the second, God creates the world and gives Adam naming power over its creatures.

Some Christian churches are taking a different tack on what “dominion” means. “It’s transitioning from a ‘God gave man dominion over the earth’ translation of the scriptures to a ‘God gave man responsibility over the Earth’ translation.

The movement has also led to a rift among Christians, as some high-profile leaders fear that churchgoers are letting themselves be used by secular activists. (Washington Times, 3/28/2012)

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