Ecology, Shamanism, Science, and Christianity – Part 2

By: Dave Hunt; ©2002
Dave Hunt explains that many Christians are joining what is essentially an anti-Christian ecological movement. Even Christian media sources do not seem concerned about the pagan basis for some of the ideas and goals.

 

Christians Come Aboard

Christians are joining an anti-Christian ecumenical movement, and the Christian media is reporting it favorably. One of the early organizations formed was the North American Conference on Religion and Ecology (NACRE). Its first international conference was held May 16-19,1990, at the Washington (D.C.) National Cathedral. In his role as president of the World Wide Fund for Nature, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was a prime organizer of what he hoped would be an “Assisi Event for North America”—an ecological conference patterned after Pope John Paul II’s gathering in Assisi, Italy, in 1986, of world religious leaders to pray for peace. [1] The climax of the four-day program came with an “Interfaith Ceremony and Religious Perspectives on Nature: Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Sihkh, Lummi Indians, and Christian beliefs regarding conservation and the envi­ronment, followed by an interfaith blessing of the Cathedral and the oak grove.” [2]

In March 1991 the Southern Baptists’ Christian Life Commission, directed by Richard Land, “held its first environmental seminar. Later that fall, the United Church of Christ convened an environmental summit for minorities….” The largest black denomination, the National Baptist Convention USA, involved itself in environmentalism at about the same time. [3] Also in 1991, Evangelicals for Social Action (Ron Sider, executive director) helped to organize a gathering of scientists and religious leaders to discuss rescuing the environ­ment. Several mainline Protestant denominations, along with leaders such as Robert Schuller, World Vision’s president Robert Seiple, and Asbury Theological Seminary presi­dent David McKenna, were enthusiastic about lending support to what is a largely a pagan movement. [4]

In an example of Christian media support for this unabashedly heathen movement and the top-level Christian involvement therein, Christianity Today reported happily upon this conference. No mention was made of the fact that it arose out of Moscow’s occult/New Age “Global Forum” at which Carl Sagan suggested that earth should be “regarded as sacred” to encourage treating it with “care and respect”—not because God made it, but because it (Gaia) made us. [5]

In May 1992, leading evangelicals again joined a coalition of science and religion spon­sored by the “Joint Appeal by Religion; and Science for the Environment.” [6] Sagan was its co-chairman, along with James Parks Morton, dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. “More than 150 scientists, theologians and… politicians… [met] in Wash­ington… with congressional leaders…. Among the participating religious groups were the National Council of Churches, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Consulta­tion of the Environment and Jewish Life, and World Vision….” [7]

“Joint Appeal” is based at New York’s huge Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, a bastion of New Age/ecumenical/antichrist deception, where a female “Christa” was dis­played on a cross. Its blasphemous dean, James Parks Morton, declares, “We are increasingly being called to realize that the body of Christ is the earth—the biosphere—the skin that includes all of us.” [8] Out of the May 1992 meeting came an environmental consortium, “The National Religious Partnership for the Environment,” which included the U.S. Catholic Conference, the National Council of Churches, the Evangelical Environmental Network, and the Consultation of Jewish Life and the Environment. [9]

Yet another similar organization, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE), was founded in 1993 by then Vice President Gore. NRPE, too, is based at St. John the Divine and has distributed tens of thousands of packets containing ecologically oriented prayers, sermon ideas, and Sunday-school lessons to Catholic, Protestant, Jew­ish, and evangelical congregations across the country. Beside World Vision, other evan­gelical organizations involved include Sojourners and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. NRPE’s director is likewise convinced that the ecocrisis will transform “what it will mean to be religious [and “Christian”] in the 21st century.”[10]

Redefining Christianity Through Ecology

Richard Austin (one of the speakers at the EarthCare ’96 conference) declared: “Christ is fully God and fully Earth…. He came to save the world.” Austin added that saving the earth is our job, too: “I hear the Bible calling us to redeem from destruction the Creation.” [11]

Yet Christ said, “Ye are from beneath, I am from above; ye are of this world, I am not of this world” (John 8:23). Furthermore, this world is “kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment… in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the ele­ments shall melt with the fervent heat; the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:7,10).

Thomas Perry, a Catholic priest, says the ecocrisis calls for “a new sense of what it means to be human [and] a new story of how things came to be.” What the Bible says about man’s origin in Genesis must be revised, along with the very meaning of mankind. Emphasis must shift from a possible heaven to caring for Earth, and ethics and morals must involve the rights of the natural world. Larry Rasmussen, Union Theological Seminary professor, calls for a “biospiritual faith” in which man is a part of the natural order of things “with no special claim on its resources and no special claim on God’s love.” [12]

Such pagan folly is gaining an increasing following among evangelicals, who now claim that Christ’s command to preach the gospel includes rescuing the environment. Such is the message of a course titled “Environmental Stewardship: A Biblical Perspective” taught at Youth with a Mission’s University of the Nations at their headquarters in Hawaii. Thus Christians enter compromising partnerships with the ungodly and expend their time and efforts on caring for the earth instead of preparing souls for eternity.

Yes, we ought to be prudent with natural resources. Many of the warnings about ecologi­cal problems, however, are alarmist exaggerations for promoting humanist solutions. More­over, most of the problems are due to the selfishness of sinful man and the corruption of godless governments. Christ did not call us to reform society. Men need to be regener­ated—born again through faith in Christ. While there are legitimate concerns involving this time on this earth, the great concern should be for eternity and heaven.

“Joint Appeal’s” executive director, Paul Gorman, has said that caring for the earth “is part of what it will mean to be religious in the future.” [13] Indeed, the environmental move­ment is redefining what it means to be a Christian.

Notes

  1. From the NACRE brochure, “Inter-continental conference on caring for creation,” May 16-19, 1990.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Laura Sessions Stepp, “Creation theories aside, they join forces to save the Earth,” in The Morning News Tribune (Tacoma WA), May 24, 1992, p. A3.
  4. “Religious Leaders Join Scientists in Ecological Concerns,” in Christianity Today, Au­gust 19, 1991, p. 49.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. New York Times, May 16, 1992.
  8. Tarrytown News, November 1984, p. 5.
  9. “Interfaith Project Aims to Protect Environment: Gore helps to launch partnership of Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant leaders. Grass-roots activity in thousands of congrega­tions is among its goals,” in Los Angeles Times, October 9, 1993. p. B5.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Calvary Contender, June 15, 1996.
  12. The Oregonian, April 10, 1993, p. C1.
  13. The Morning News Tribune (Tacoma WA), May 24, 1992, p. A3.

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