Three mainline Protestant clergy issued a statement condemning President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, saying it “violates the values and vision that are basic to Christian faith.”
As reported by Anglican.ink, “The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, and the Rev. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, who serves as missioner for creation care for the diocese and for the Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ, as well as the Rev. Jim Antal, president of the Massachusetts Conference, UCC, and conference minister” issued the statement.
The Bible doesn’t reveal, explicitly or implicitly, whether man-made global warming is real, let alone whether the Paris climate agreement is the best response to it, and no historic Christian creed or confession does so either.
The resurrection of Christ, however, is central to the Bible and to all Christian creeds and confessions from the Nicene Creed and Apostles Creed to the present—including the 39 Articles of the Anglican Church and the Statement of Faith of the United Church of Christ.
It’s a bit ironic, therefore, to have an Anglican publication reporting approvingly the claim of Episcopal and UCC clergy that withdrawing from the Paris agreement “violates Christian faith” when some one-third of Church of England clergy don’t believe in the resurrection of Christ, some American Episcopal clergy don’t, either, and ditto for the UCC.
What we’re seeing here, as Cornwall Alliance Senior Fellow Dr. James Wanliss explains in his book Resisting the Green Dragon: Dominion, Not Death, is the substitution of environmentalist religion for historic, Biblical Christianity. For these people, commitment to a particular scientific theory about how much warming comes from CO2 added to the atmosphere, and what the results will be for ecosystems and human economies, is more central to the Christian faith than belief in Christ’s resurrection—apart from which, the Apostle Paul says, our faith is in vain:
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:12–19).
Thanks be to God, there are Christian thinkers who not only affirm the resurrection of Christ but also think a whole lot more soundly about climate change.
Cornwall Alliance Senior Fellow Dr. Roy W. Spencer, a leading climatologist, explained his reasoning in favor of withdrawing from Paris here. Cornwall Contributing Writer and Certified Consulting Meteorologist Anthony Sadar explained his reasoning in favor of withdrawing here. My explanation is here.
Dr. Beisner is Founder and National Spokesman of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.