Vijay Jayaraj: Evangelicals Are Not Ignorant ‘Climate Change Deniers’

The popular media claim that evangelical churches are climate deniers. They caricature them as anti-scientific and ignorant.

Though many believe this to be a fact, the reality is far from it. Not only are these accusations false, they are illogical. Here is why.

What is Climate Denialism?

Before deciding on whether a church is a climate denier or not, it is critical to shed light on what it means to be a climate denier.

Not long ago, the term “climate denier” was used to define someone who does not believe in climate change, i.e., one who believes that there has been no change in the climate at all. However, the percentage of people who believe in “no change” was never large and is almost nil today.

Today, the term “climate denier” is used to define those who do not believe in dangerous human-induced climate change, also known as catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW).

These are people who either believe that the warming is not predominantly caused by humans or that it does not pose catastrophic problems to our environment. They are better described as “climate realists” or “climate skeptics.”

In other words, the term “climate denier” now refers to people who believe in climate change but not the hyper-sensationalized version promoted by politicians and Hollywood actors.

But the climate doomsayers have used the term coarsely without defining it. Even worse, the mainstream media have made the public believe that skeptics and realists believe in “no change” in climate.

Why then are evangelical churches branded climate deniers?

These churches have not taken any position on the issue of climate change. Instead, they appear to be largely neutral.

Nonetheless, doomsayers claim that evangelical Christians’ attitude towards climate change is determined by their religious beliefs, not by science.

They say that Christians don’t care about the environment because they believe in God’s sovereignty over His creation, implying that humans could do no great harm to the environment even if they tried.

But these claims are not true, and they arise from a wrong interpretation of Christian theology. Contrary to public perception, Christians are well aware of the need to care for the environment.

The Biblical stewardship of the environment is one of the central commands given by God to His people. In fact, this command forms the basis for laws that protect nature, laws that a naturalistic or materialistic worldview cannot justify.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Vijay Jayaraj