It's courageous, it's prophetic, it's challenging, it's holistic, it's wonderful: That's what I think of Pope Francis' environmental encyclical "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home."
Quoting his patron saint, Francis of Assisi – who is also the patron saint of ecology – Pope Francis begins his papal letter with a beautiful verse from the saint's Canticle of the Creatures: " 'Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.'
"St. Francis of Assisi reminds us," writes the pope, "that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. … more >>
Several evangelical groups have praised Pope Francis' major encyclical on the environment released on Thursday, which warns that climate change is real and is impacting all of God's creation, including impoverished people in different corners of the world. Francis said that it's wrong to treat nature and other living creatures as "mere objects" for "human domination."
"We are grateful that the pope has joined with over 300 Evangelicals like Rick Warren, Rich Stearns, and Bill Hybels, and other Christian leaders who understand climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time and the greatest opportunity for hope. It's time to make hope happen by fueling the unstoppable clean energy transition, stopping the ideological battles, and working together," said in a statement Rev. Mitch Hescox, president & CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network.
"Creating a new energy economy that benefits all and addresses climate change is not about a political party but living as a disciple of Jesus Christ. We urge all people of good will, especially fellow Christian conservatives, to read and study these timely words from Pope Francis." more >>
Scientists are praising Pope Francis' upcoming encyclical on climate change, a major written work calling on Christians to care for the planet and reverse harmful effects, which is set to be released on Thursday.
"The encyclical is going to go out to over 1 billion Catholics — that's a way of getting a message across to a segment of society that the scientific community could never do," said Jeff Kiehl of National Center for Atmospheric Research, according to USA Today. "I mean it's just unbelievable."
NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt added: more >>
A congregation in Michigan seeking to restore a church sign has rejected a $500 donation from animal rights group PETA amid concerns over the conditions of their offer to help, but only if they can include their own message under Jesus Christ, saying: "Road to hell is paved with bacon."
J. Todd Vanaman, pastor of Dixie Baptist Church of Clarkston, told The Christian Post that the sign, known as the "Hi-Way Pulpit," is "not a billboard advertisement."
"PETA offered $500 for a one week advertisement for their cause, which is not in keeping with our purpose, therefore we respectfully declined," said Vanaman. more >>
"Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name" (Genesis 2:19)
In principle, few people are against protecting species that are about to go extinct. After all each of us has a favorite animal or bird, a favorite and familiar neighborhood species, and the thought of any of those becoming extinct strikes us as wrong.
In the book of Genesis, we find that the Lord made every living creature. If you think of the diversity of life on this planet; the truth that God made every creature is absolutely stunning. Not only did God make each creature, but he brought each creature before us so that we might name them. Just as God had named us we would give meaning to the abundance of what God made. To truly ponder the magnitude of this task leads one to appreciate those whose vocational life is committed to studying God's creatures and to agree with the late great theologian John Stott who reminded us "Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them!" more >>
When we hear children sing "America, the Beautiful," it makes us proud to be Americans and grateful for our beautiful country. Their voices remind us that "God shed His grace" on our nation, and it's our duty to protect our great American heritage and preserve its beauty for them and future generations. That's why it's so important that we support policies that defend and preserve America's "purple mountain majesties." Our national parks and public lands -- from Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon to public baseball fields and playgrounds -- are a gift from God that must be cherished and preserved.
For those of us who are pro-life Christians, we understand ourselves to be called by God to be good stewards of the bounty upon which all life depends, to protect and defend the beauty and purity of the land and water, to have clean skies and fresh air for our children to enjoy. As Genesis teaches us, we were created in God's image and entrusted with the proper care of His creation, to "tend and keep it" (Gen. 1:26; 2:15).
Many others share these values; as "America the Beautiful" reminds us, they are in fact American values. Our public lands are essential to our quality of life; they are our national treasures that belong to all of us. more >>