Young Evangelicals Torn

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Marcia, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    Very extensive article from today's front page of the Washington post - excerpt below. It is mostly about the changing attitudes of young evangelicals but mentions Rick Warren's upcoming conference with Obama and McCain as well. I have a comment about the 1st paragraph. Merritt is the son of a So Baptist pastor.

    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']http://tinyurl.com/6g4tuy[/FONT]
    Excerpt___The environment was the first issue that Merritt cared about passionately that did not fit his traditional Republican mind-set. He remembers sitting in a class on systematic theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina last year and his professor saying: "When we destroy God's creation, we are destroying God's revelation. It's similar to tearing a page out of the Bible."
    For a Southern Baptist, the Bible is the infallible, literal word of God, and that stuck with Merritt.
    "I could feel God making my heart sensitive," he recalls.
    [….]…Merritt has also been exposed to leaders of the "emerging church," a youth-driven Christian movement that has grown through an online network and encourages small meetings in homes, bars and coffee shops. Merritt attended an event recently and found enlightening what one organizer called an "ironic hipster revival and book reading." Its leaders tend to be politically liberal, and Merritt was provoked by questions they posed, such as "How did the Gospel become married to the American political system?" ____End
    ======================MORE=======================


    I don't think destroying creation is the same as tearing a page out of the bible! I wonder if a prof at SE Baptist Seminary really said this? Creation is general revelation; the bible is special revelation. Are evangelicals really getting to the point of thinking that creation and God's word are the same thing?? [​IMG] I think this may be a result of the emerging church, mentioned above as well.
     
  2. StefanM

    StefanM
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    Note what the article said. It said it was SIMILAR, not the same.

    I do think it is a matter of good stewardship to protect the environment. It is not as important as some other matters, just like treating a broken ankle isn't as important as treating a clogged artery, but it is still important.
     
  3. Marcia

    Marcia
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    I have to say I do not think it is similar at all. It's not a good thing, but it's not similar, imo. Also, I think saying "similar" could be construed as equating the two.

    Are we going to get so focused on protecting the environment that it overtakes efforts to spread the gospel? That is what I think will happen.

    While we should be good stewards, it should not be a major issue in the church, imo. I was into the environmental and animal rights movements before I was saved; in fact, I'm still vegetarian.

    Here's my challenge: If evangelicals really care about the environment, they will become vegetarian. Masses of land used to feed cattle could be used to produce much more crops to eat. There are are hard stats on this.

    I am doing a lot more just by being vegetarian than most people, so I have zero guilt in this issue.

    See
    http://debatewise.com/debates/432-vegetarianism-can-save-the-world-from-global-warming-and-poverty

    http://www.fixingtheplanet.com/vegetarian-and-vegan-saves-energy-water-and-animals

    Evangelicals better be ready to walk down that road if they want to work with with the serious environmentalists, many of whom are New Agers, Neopagans, and vegetarians.
     
  4. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    Marcia,

    Perhaps there is some sense in which we care about God's creation, such as maybe from this verse "And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." Rev 11:18

    But perhaps this verse is meant to say that the destroyers of the earth are those that destroy mankind, the tyrants, et. I think of the images of Hitler's war against Europe that devasted both people and land.

    But I think what Merritt is saying has gone too far. His professor would have better seved this man by explaining the difference between natural and special revelation. He approaches was seems to be a deification of creation and the bible.

    If a wicked man in their anger take a bible and tear all the pages out is the Word of God destroyed? God forbid! Is the Word of God paper and ink? Don't get me wrong, I think the words are very, very important. But the paper and ink are not God.

    Destroying the creation for the sake of one's lust, be it for power, war, or money; or perhaps a depraved man who harms animals for fun, I believe is dishonoring to God. Think of how the righteous are: "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." Proverbs 12:10

    This is not teaching some sort of weird animal rights activism. It is teaching that the righteous are tender, even to animals. But we will slaughter and eat them regularly! :laugh: But the wicked are cruel.

    This reminds me of a story. After I was born again the Lord was really changing my thinking. I had once thought the souls of people lived in trees or animals and felt like the killing of an animal was the same as killing a human being. The Lord changed my view on this, and so I shot a turtle in the head and made turtle soup.

    Someone will find that funny. And if your wondering why I shot the turtle, then you have never tried to kill a turtle to make soup. :laugh:
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    Either way Merritt was trying to equate his perceived abuses of creation to a disrespect for the word of God. Just another liberal reaching to prove what is indefensible.
     
  6. Marcia

    Marcia
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    Hi, RB! Thanks for your thoughts.

    Just a couple of points. My OT prof used to talk about how the "land" in the OT was significant to the Jews because it was God's gift to them - taking them to the Promised Land, and how it signified so much more than just the ground or land as we see it. So I think when the Bible talks about destroying the land (earth) it may mean the abuse of what God has given them, and the abuse of his legacy to them. "Land" had a special meaning beyond what we give to it as seen in the context of the OT. My prof was good at explaining this; I'd have to find my notes!

    Of course, all the earth is groaning (Rom. 8), waiting for redemption. We are not going to be able to redeem it. I think when we solve one environmental problem, another one will pop up. Not that we should be wasteful or pollute.

    Also, would like to point out that there is a lot of cruelty in the production of meat. Factory farming is very cruel and I think it's wrong. Some of it is horrific (I'm not talking about small farms here). So if some believers knew about this, they might want to stop eating meat or at least get free-range meat.

    I used to believe similar to the way you did but I was pretty much a pantheist and thought that animals were as valuable as people because everything was imbued with a divine force or consciousness. Of course, I do not believe that now. However, I am glad I don't eat meat because of the factory farming. Also, I lost all taste for it.
     
  7. ReformedBaptist

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    That's unfortunate that those who farm and harvest animals for consumption do so in an inhumane manner. I am sure (without really knowing) that it is financially motivated. I would probably still eat them anyway though. In these cases each person must have their faith to God in the matter, whether it be right or wrong.
     
  8. billwald

    billwald
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    >Of course, all the earth is groaning (Rom. 8), waiting for redemption.

    Obvious hyperbole. This earth is a wonderful place. There is nothing wrong with it that isn't caused by humans.
     
  9. born again and again

    born again and again
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    Jesus is still the only one who saves
     
  10. Marcia

    Marcia
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    I don't this is hyperbole at all. It is metaphor but not hyperbole. It is in the context of how corrupt sin has made creation and the suffering vs. the complete physical redemption we look forward to:


    The ground was cursed in Gen., bringing decay and death to God's creation, which had not been there. Decay and death are terrible things. No matter what man does, there will be decay and eath in creation until the new earth.
     

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