Filtering by Category: Creation Care
Pope Francis' increasingly powerful statements on global warming highlight that climate action is becoming a growing moral imperative for all people of faith. Why? Because climate action is about saving people. The pope's highly anticipated encyclical will come after a long history of the Christian community pushing for climate action.
Last September 40,000 people attended London's largest ever climate march. This was a big achievement for an issue that struggles to catch people's attention. After all, as psychologists point out, it is notoriously hard to mobilise people around issues that are invisible, uncertain, set in the future and require them to make sacrifices.
Evangelical Clergy Say Addressing Climate Change Is Pro-Life
Dr. Joel C. Hunter talks about the visible impacts of climate change with Dr. Scott C. Hagen, director of CHAMPS Lab and professor at the University of Central Florida, and Rev. Mitch Hescox, president of The Evangelical Environmental Network.
Evangelicals in Florida turn to climate change and call on Gov. Scott to act
Evangelical leaders in Florida have taken on climate change as a cause and are trying to increase pressure on Gov. Rick Scott to take action, while criticizing Sen. Marco Rubio’s stance on the issue.
“He’s smarter than that,” Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland church in Longwood, said in an interview.
This evening, Hunter will moderate a discussion at his church on why Christians should care about climate change. Among the panelists is the Rev. Mich Hescox, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network, who wrote a letter to Rubio about his widely publicized comments doubting man’s contribution to climate change.
Hescox is also gathering signatures for a petition aimed at Scott.
“As Christians, we believe that God's grace empowers us to honestly confront the challenges we face and change for the better,” it reads. “We are failing to keep our air and water clean for our children, contributing to a changing climate that most hurts the world's poor, and putting Floridians at risk as temperatures and sea levels continue to rise. To meet these challenges, we need leaders who understand our duty to God’s creation and future generations. That's why we are calling on Gov. Rick Scott to create a plan to reduce carbon pollution and confront the impacts of a changing climate.”
Hunter, who is a spiritual advisor to President Obama, says he’s taken to urging congregants to do their part: Turning off lights that aren’t needed, setting air conditioning at a reasonable temperature, keeping car tires properly inflated.
He said he was neither panicked nor preoccupied with the issue. “But this is part of what I think is the moral responsibility of the church to lead in areas that can benefit and protect people.”
Asked about Rubio’s comments, he said: “There are certain aspects of this where qualified scientists could disagree, but not with the overwhelming conclusion. I don’t doubt his sincerity, but I understand his political constituency and so does he.”
Rubio lashed out at liberal critics by saying they won’t accept the settled science that life begins at conception.
“I”m pro life so everything about it, I’m in,” Hunter said. “But even if that’s true, two wrongs don’t make a right. It’s not like you can prove the validity of your stance by saying the other side has a wrong stand. That’s not logical.”
Pastor Joel Hunter announced Wednesday that he is launching an inter-faith initiative to raise awareness and action regarding climate change.
The iniative, called Blessed Tomorrow, brings together Muslim, Jewish, Catholic and Protestant faith leaders who have pledged to work with their congregations and communities in response to climate change.
“Faith leaders and their communities have been at the forefront of moving America forward throughout our nation’s history. From abolition to human rights, we have been there to answer our call to care for all of God’s creation. Blessed Tomorrow builds on that tradition by bringing together a diverse group of leaders from across the country who are committed to making an impact on one of the greatest moral imperatives of our time — climate change,” said Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, a Church Distributed in Longwood.
Blessed Tomorrow expands Hunter's advocacy among evangelicals that care of the planet is founded in the Scriptures, and not the exclusive domain of liberals and environmentalists.
Blessed Tomorrow provides simple, proven resources faith leaders can use to empower their members and communities. Congregations are urged to create a Path to Positive plan, which will guide them to be better stewards of God’s creation for the sake of future generations.