Monday, March 10, 2008

Southern Baptists Buying Into Y2K All Over Again

I use this sensational title, because I believe that Y2K was an event which badly damaged the credibility of claims by the church, painting us as a paranoid bunch who latch onto any looming disaster, imagined or not. Some of the most credible experts of the time warned us that there was much to fear and prepare for before the Y2K disaster struck. Many Christians interpreted the forthcoming disaster as having particular eschatalogical significance. Many holed up in their shelters, bought hundreds of gallons of bottled water, stocked up their guns and ammunition, and bought a lifetime of food. However, these same Christians were shown to be in error when the year 2000 came and went while airplanes flew safely through the air and millions pranked their friends by throwing the electric breaker box.

It is becoming increasingly popular (especially with the rise of Emergent thought in the Christian community) to jump on the socially hip bandwagon of various causes. There are some worthy causes (extreme global poverty or the battle against AIDS, just to name a couple), but there are also some causes which will, I believe, be found out to be imaginary. Specifically, I am referring to the "fight against man-made global warming."

What has prompted my writing this is that on Monday, "a group of Southern Baptist leaders said their denomination has been 'too timid' on environmental issues and has a biblical duty to stop global warming." One section of the statement reads:

Even in the absence of perfect knowledge or unanimity, we have to make informed decisions about the future. This will mean we have to take a position of prudence based partly on science that is inevitably changing. We do not believe unanimity is necessary for prudent action. We can make wise decisions even in the absence of infallible evidence.

"Informed decisions"? Informed by whom? Informed by the supporters of the Global Warming hypothesis, or informed by the detractors? And since when is it necessary for Churches to take positions on any and every world event? I sure hope the PCA does a press release soon regarding whether they think that Kate should end up with Jack or Sawyer on Lost (we all know she belongs with Hurley!).

They say that this qualifies as a "wise decision," but I beg to differ. If global warming is not real, and the Southern Baptists invest resources into fighting global warming, then moneys which could have gone to worthy causes (such as the spread of the gospel, the printing of Bibles, the founding of seminaries, etc.) will instead be given to supporting and reinforcing a hoax which, in the future, will inevitably color the Church as being blown about by any wind of change, much like the advocates of eugenics or the Y2K fear mongers.

I cannot defend my skepticism of humans as any cause of global warming here, because this is a theology blog, and I am not a scientist. I have, however, read the works of several scientists who have convinced me that there is no consensus on global warming, and that this supposed "consensus" is wrong. I would recommend the following articles:

Don't Believe the Hype by Richard Lindzen (From the Wall Street Journal)
WSJ Editorial by Richard Lindzen (June 11, 2001)
Carbon Dioxide's Day in Court by Jay Richards (Biola University)

I don't expect you all to agree with me that man-made global warming is a false implication drawn from the 'evidence', but I do hope you all will think twice before letting your theology or your wallets follow the extraordinarily weak evidence others set forth in support of a seemingly noble cause. Remember, just because someone says something loudly and repeatedly does not make it so, nor does it create a consensus. No matter how much bullying the Global Warming crowd does against those scientists who dare to speak up, it is far from established fact that human beings are the cause of global warming (it has been happening ever since the last ice age - long before the invention of hairspray or the internal combustion engine). Instead of investing ourselves in the fight for climate change (a laughably impossible cause on par with a colony of ants trying to move a Buick), we as the Church of God ought to invest ourselves into bettering the lives of the needy now, not 300 years from now.

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