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  1. #1
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    Default Evangelicals + environmental issues, anyonewith personal experience?

    I think I've heard some actual cases where some strongly religious groups had some opinions about environmental issues that they used religious arguments to justify, but it has always seemed strange as the issue that was talked about seemed to not have anything to do with religion. I'm not sure, though, how it would be justified or explained to the people following that belief, or whether this is common. (I also have vague memories of other odd issues being related to religion that don't seem to go with religion, but I may easily just be imagining them, as I have no details in my head.)

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    Well, in a different situation, I remember a Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church speaking of how we must preserve and respect the home that God has given us, and this responsiblity includes environmental protection.
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    In a Biblical context, as I understand it, mankind has dominion over the earth and the concept of dominion carries with it a responsibility of stewardship. That implies wise use and protection of what is being managed.

    If my memory is not faulty, the OT laws dictate a protection of the land, allowing it to lie fallow every seven years, Sabbath years. I'm rusty on this, but one of the prophets spoke of the people being exiled from the Promised Land, in part because they refused to give the land it's Sabbaths. During the exile, the land went fallow and received its rest. It seems like kind of a big deal to God from that perspective.
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    A lot of the banter I see come up in evangelical factions is that it's still strongly believed in spots that global warming is actually a myth.

    There is a general admonition that God gave people the earth and it is our job to care for it to be good stewards... but some of the stances seem more political in nature.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    A lot of the banter I see come up in evangelical factions is that it's still strongly believed in spots that global warming is actually a myth.
    This is because most modern evangelicals have been listening more to political propaganda than actual biblical teaching. One hundred or so years ago the primary social ideals for evangelicals included education, good health, and separation of church and state. My how times have changed.

    I'd agree with Cafe though about the idea of Man being given dominion over the earth and therefore having the responsibility of stewardship. This would be grounds for evangelicals to support environmental issues.
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    I've heard something similar to what Jennifer says, but also I've heard some say that because God gave us the earth for all eternity then it's heresy to believe that it'll be destroyed or that human life will ever be allowed to end on this earth.

    Also, it was a common belief in the industrial revolution that having dominion over the earth meant, basically, conquering it and doing as we please with it. The stewardship angle seems to have come later on, in Protestant circles.

    St Francis of Assisi was an environmentalist, most definitely - he advocated even in his day the idea of living in harmony with nature and respecting it all as a manifestation of God's goodness. He had an almost pantheistic mentality, wherein all life is linked together by the 'breath of God' that animates us all, so like even cutting down a tree is hurting a brother, or something like that. In a way he was quite similar to the native Americans.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    I think I've heard some actual cases where some strongly religious groups had some opinions about environmental issues that they used religious arguments to justify, but it has always seemed strange as the issue that was talked about seemed to not have anything to do with religion. I'm not sure, though, how it would be justified or explained to the people following that belief, or whether this is common. (I also have vague memories of other odd issues being related to religion that don't seem to go with religion, but I may easily just be imagining them, as I have no details in my head.)
    I'm not exactly sure what you're after. I guess I could consider myself an evangelical Christian. I believe the Bible teaches us to take good care of the earth. I have been taught that the Bible teaches us to be "good stewards" of the creation. Is that what you meant?

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    I don't know any evangelicals personally, but I've seen them represented in the news media as generally opposed to environmentalist ideas. It seemed to me to be a combination of conservative politics and a belief that the end times were near, which would negate any need to preserve the Earth for future generations.
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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    I think I've heard some actual cases where some strongly religious groups had some opinions about environmental issues that they used religious arguments to justify, but it has always seemed strange as the issue that was talked about seemed to not have anything to do with religion. I'm not sure, though, how it would be justified or explained to the people following that belief, or whether this is common. (I also have vague memories of other odd issues being related to religion that don't seem to go with religion, but I may easily just be imagining them, as I have no details in my head.)
    A lot of people like to tie everything in with religion so that they don't have to justify their perspective. In this case, I think it's an excuse to believe in things in a manner that cannot be argued against. It may simply be more a way of concealing their personal bias towards that view than anything else.

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