(Photo: REUTERS/Chris Keane)
Evangelicals are speaking out on the recent controversy surrounding climate change after former House speaker Newt Gingrich called Secretary of State John Kerry "delusional" and asked him to resign after the latter designated climate change as the "greatest challenge of our generation."
"We don't need partisanship when it comes to climate change. While climate change is a grave human health concern we miss the opportunities to innovate and create that next generation energy breakthrough when we make the conversation about gloom and doom," Evangelical Environmental Network President & CEO Rev. Mitch Hescox shared with The Christian Post in an email on Wednesday.
"We believe that God is asking all of us to be better stewards of His world and that means looking at the challenges to human life and working together to create opportunity and a clean environment for our children."
Speaking to college students in Jakarta, Indonesia, Kerry said earlier this week that only "loud interest groups" deny the reality of climate change, and described it as a serious problem that rivals disease outbreaks, poverty, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
"It is time for the world to approach this problem with the cooperation, the urgency, and the commitment that a challenge of this scale warrants," Kerry said, adding that it will soon be "too late for action to prevent the immense costs of doing nothing."
Kerry also called on Indonesians to push their government to respond more urgently to climate change. Indonesia has lost more than 40 percent of its tropical forests that store carbon absorbed from the atmosphere, CNN noted.
Former House speaker and GOP presidential candidate Gingrich criticized Kerry's remarks in a Twitter post, suggesting that the secretary of state is "delusional" and that he needs to resign from his position.
"Every American who cares about national security must demand Kerrey's resignation. A delusional secretary of state is dangerous to our safety," Gingrich tweeted on Monday.
In an interview on Tuesday with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, the former Republican presidential candidate said that he was "quite prepared to defend the argument that nuclear war is a far bigger threat to our society than is climate change." He also argued that Kerry needs to be held to a "higher level of seriousness" than his comments suggest.
Christian environmental groups that have urged bipartisan action to address the growing effects of climate change in the world, argued that this is a moral issue and should not be about politics.
"The Bible calls us to love God and love our neighbor, which today includes addressing the growing climate disruption that is already impacting millions of people at home and abroad. As a young evangelical, I'm not interested in playing partisan politics with this critical moral issue," National Spokesperson of Young Evangelicals for Climate Action Bew Lowe told CP.
"Climate action is an opportunity to unite us, not to further polarize our country. And I pray that God raises up visionary leaders who champion responsible climate and energy solutions that protect life, care for the poor, and secure a hopeful future for my generation to inherit."
According to a February 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center, only 40 percent of Americans said climate change was a major threat.