Biblical Apostasy

Biblical Apostasy
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The public spotlight has recently focused on mainstream evangelical Christians’ prospective stark contradiction of their faith. Though self-professed champions of family values, they and their church hierarchy are deemed likely to support an accused pedophile in a special election for U.S. Senator from the state of Alabama. His conservative credentials look to tip the scales of morality.

A similar evangelical ethical paradox is on display with progressive environmental reforms. The Bible urges humanity to be dedicated custodians of the earth’s natural resources. In a homily based on the book of Ecclesiastes, God says to Adam and Eve upon introducing them to the Garden of Eden: “See how lovely and commendable my works, and pay heed that you do not corrupt and destroy my universe, for if you corrupt it, there will be no one to repair it after you.”

Many evangelicals turn a deaf ear to these hallowed admonitions and dismiss the validity of a human-generated global warming threat as well as the need to combat climatic disruptions.

How to account for this hypocritical disparity regarding custodial responsibility?

The bulk of the evangelical clergy and congregations have chosen to view global warming through partisan, economic, demographic, and cultural lenses rather than green ones.

These perspectives have been cultivated by Republican Party leaders. They sensed that they could mobilize grassroots supporters by convincing them that environmental reforms were in reality doctrinaire partisan initiatives. Global warming has been portrayed as a liberal democratic plot to advance a political agenda. Evangelicals are told that the federal government’s authority is being expanded through environmental regulation aimed at redistributing wealth from the haves to the have-nots (Democratic voters, naturally). Individual freedom allegedly suffers in the process.

Many evangelicals also consider a burgeoning non-white minority population to be using environmental reform as leverage to acquire political clout and an economic advantage.

Culturally, mainstream evangelicals tend to associate federal environmental protection with the infernal intellectual elite who are supposedly using anti-pollution regulation to cement their political influence. You also hear some evangelicals complain about agnostic science having the temerity to play God with the elements by fiddling with climate change.

The case for evangelical anti-environmentalism doesn’t stop there. For the conspiracy-minded, environmental protection is a front for abortion rights, gay marriage, pre-marital sex, drug use, and animal worship.

You can also add two factors that reinforce evangelicals’ negative environmental attitude. There is the belief in a Second Coming of Jesus in which the world will self-destruct as all good Christians ascend to heaven. Given that foresight, preservation of the earth’s resources becomes superfluous.

It is also human nature to balk, if at all possible, at a scenario that poses formidable future lifestyle changes.

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