Evangelical Body Affirms Concern for Global Warming

The board of the National Association of Evangelical affirmed that "creation care" is an important moral issue deserving the organization's support and commitment.

NAE's president, the Rev. Leith Anderson, said that the board did not specifically respond to the letter sent by prominent evangelical leaders criticizing its vice president of government relations, but instead simply reaffirmed a 2004 paper that listed creation care as an evangelical responsibility, according to The Washington Post.

Earlier in the month more than two dozen well-known evangelical leaders including James C. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family; Gary L. Bauer, president of Coalitions for America; and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council wrote a letter to the NAE board urging it to take action against its vice president the Rev. Richard Cizik for his global warming advocacy.

Signers of the letter argued that Cizik failed to represent the evangelical body on global warming because he only spoke on behalf of evangelicals who believe that global warming is human-induced. However, there is no consensus among evangelicals on the issue and some believe global warming is mainly naturally caused.

The group of Christian leaders further noted that the policy director's promotion of global warming was diverting attention away from more important moral issues such as abortion and homosexuality.

However, despite the significant attention given to the letter and speculations that its content would be a key topic of discussion, Anderson said that the meeting ended on Friday with only the board affirming its 2004 paper, "For the Health of the Nations," that detailed seven areas of civic responsibilities of evangelicals: sanctity of life, nurturing the family, compassion for the poor, religious freedom, human rights, inhibiting violence, and creation care.

"I think there was a lot of support from me, from the executive committee and from the board for Rich Cizik," said Anderson to The Washington Post.

Anderson had voiced support for Cizik even prior to the meeting, calling him a "great asset" and highlighting the vice president's 25 years of service in Washington.

The names of Anderson and the new NAE executive director, W. Todd Bassett, both appear as supporters of the Evangelical Climate Initiative – a statement that recognizes the biblical responsibility of Christians to care for the environment and acknowledges that global warming is mainly caused by humans.

The two-day board meeting concluded with Cizik giving a report on his work in Washington and the board approving a 12-page statement on terrorism and torture.

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