Ellen Loudon

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I have been writing an essay about creation and salvation all week which has had quite an effect on me. I really have been empowered by Scripture to make sense of my environmental ethics. Not that I am done but I feel I am at least on my way. I was also spured on by a sermon preached by Jerry Falwell on Sun 25th (Dave Walker also blogged about it the other day). His attitude and argument made me a bit cross. After a legnthy tirade against the ‘trendy’ scaremongering of ecologists, Falwell concluded:

There’s no need for the church of Jesus Christ to be wasting its time gullibly falling for all of this global warming hocus-pocus. We need to give our total focus to the business of reaching this world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and stop running down meaningless rabbit trails that get our focus off of our heavenly purpose.

Anyway, I was so cross I decided to write Jerry an email. This is what I wrote:

Dear Jerry
I read your sermon, 25th Feb with great interest as it shocked me that you might feel it necessary to preach such a politically charged argument on the only day that some people get to hear the word of God. It might have been more useful to preach from the bible rather than from your president’s manifesto or the national review. There was not one bible quote to back up your flawed argument.

I would like to give a counter argument that is scriptural: The Lord God loves this earth (if you read Genesis you will see what great care he took to create it for us). Even if global warming turns out not be such a threat surely we have responsibility to give it back to God in a similar state in which it was created? How would it be if you made a lovely toy for your child, one that would sustain it and give it great pleasure to use, only to have it slowly destroyed and handed back broken. Even if your child (or you) no longer have any use for it I am not sure that this act wouldn’t evoke some sense of disappointment within you. Doesn’t seeing rainforests without trees, land full of garbage, and mountain tops being plundered and shaved make your heart ache? how much worse must that be for a God that made these beautiful things for us?

The truth is nobody needs as much as we have. The USA and UK uses so much of everything. We know we don’t need it because other countries survive without using so much. How hard is it to turn off a few lights when you leave a room, walk occasionally instead of using the car for every journey, not take that extra flight or recycle tins and glass? By giving up so little we can do quite a lot.

We have been called by God to sing a wonderful song of praise to all creation (see psalm 148) and not just to humanity. I am not sure how a landfill or an empty mountain with it’s top sliced off can ‘burst into song’ (Isaiah 55:12) or the missing trees of the rainforests ‘clap their hands’ (Isaiah 55:12)? Should we not be standing up against this sort of plunder of Gods creation? This is the sort of witness that people need – this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the man who stilled storms (Mark 4:35-41), walked on water (Mark 6: 45-56), who has the power to heal, cast out demons and even bring people back to life (carry on reading Mark and you’ll see all this). The kind of God who creates, the Christ who heals, the spirit who makes our relationship with God possible loves the whole earth not just people. It is all part of the plan. In 2 Peter 3 we see that their will be a ‘new heaven and new earth’ and I believe that just as when the flood covered the earth (Genesis 6-8) and dramatically altered our relationship to it, this apocalypse will mean a ‘new’ earth and not a different one.

I have just read a really good book about creation that I think you might like. It is balanced and informative, and evangelical. David Wilkinson ‘The Message of Creation’. In the Bible Speaks Today series, published by IVP. One of the significant points it makes is that good stewardship of creation is a responsibility for all Christians and is a mark of our difference – we don’t just plunder, we manage wisely and give back to the earth as well as take from it. This has to be part of a mission to the world, part of our witness of actions as well as words (James 2:17). It is a part of the Gospel of Christ and it was also a concern for the early church (see Romans 8: 18-30 – our creator liberates!).

Please be sure that this is issue is not about politics or about being trendy, this is about being a good Christian steward of creation.

Thanks for such a stimulating sermon and I hope that your journey in Christ is peaceful and joyous.

Love and blessings
Ellen Loudon

Written by ellenloudon

March 1, 2007 at 11:01 am

6 Responses

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  1. If we create God in our image (best we don’t) Is Jerry Falwell’s god a total tosspot?There are some alternative views at http://www.rejesus.co.uk in a module called green Jesus.Anyway, I hope you get a reply and post it.LBx


    March 1, 2007 at 4:56 pm

  2. Well said Ellen. I’ve put a brief entry on this and linked to here – hope you don’t mind!


    March 1, 2007 at 5:41 pm

  3. So have you had a reply as yet?


    March 5, 2007 at 6:46 pm

  4. no word from jerry yet. He is probably reading the book I recommended. I am sure he will get back to me (won’t he?).

    Ellen Loudon

    March 6, 2007 at 1:38 pm

  5. Ellen, you are a better woman than I. Your patience and grace with this man and his (insert rude word of preference here) views are admirable and Christ-like. I applaud you. If only they had the slightest chance of moving him on just a smidge.But then perhaps we’re all a bit stubborn…but we’re not turning it into a ‘ministry’ like Jerry Falwell…

    Tracey Wheeler

    March 7, 2007 at 8:30 pm

  6. You might be waiting for a while for your reply. He’s dead. He died in May aged 73 or something. Surely though his rejection of the overwhelming scientific evidence of global warming is only being consistent with his beliefs? To quote the raging bigot… “The Bible is the inerrant … word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible,without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc.” If we are to progress as a species and continue to evolve we need to use all the tools available to us. Refusing to acknowledge the evidence is not helpfull no matter how admirable it may be to follow your beliefs. Oh, and here’s a few other Falwell gems inspired by his “beliefs””AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah’s chariotters.” “Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions” “The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews” “It appears that America’s anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying, thank God, and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men’s movement which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening” Charming fellow.


    August 2, 2007 at 4:17 am

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