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Evangelism - Myers Mott Maggay Linthicum        

NAE Leader on Environment

(Interview with Richard Cizik from the New York Times Magazine, 4/3/05, p. 17)

     (NYTimes) "As a leader of the National Association of Evangelicals, you are going up against tradition by trying to persuade your 30 million members to care about pollution, global warming and environmentalism in general.

     (Cizik) "The Scriptures themselves, right in Genesis 2:15, say watch over creation and care for it. The air, the water, the resources - all have been given to us by God to protect. ... Environmentalist have a bad reputation among evangelical Christians for four reasons. One, they rely on big-government solutions. Two , their alliance with population-control movements. Three, they keep kooky religious company.

     (Times) "What is your idea of a kooky religion?

     (Cizik) "Some environmentalists are pantheists who believe creation itself is holy, not the Creator.

     (Times) "And what's No. 4?

     (Ciznik) "There's a certain gloom and doom about environmentalists. They tend to prophecies of doom that don't happen. Love at the movie 'The Day After Tomorrow,' in which New York City freezes over.

     (Times) "Talk about gloom and doom! What about evangelicals like Tim LaHaye, who discourage Christians from worrying about the environment because the earth will just be destroyed in the Second Coming?

     (Ciznik) "I don't agree with that.

     (Times) "Do you believe in the Rapture?

     (Ciznik) "Yes, I believe thazt will be a Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the believers in Christ will rise to meet him in the air. The dead first, and then those who are still living. ...

     (Times) "I would think you do have a disagreement with the administration, The president is under constant pressure from big business to roll back environmental protections.

     (Ciznik) "If the evangelicals can't convince the president, then no one can. 

     (Times) "Why would President Bush give evangelicals more say than he gives the business community?

     (Ciznik) "Look, the big corporate interests have an undue say in party policy. And into this reality come the evangelical Christians. And when confronted with making a choice, this administration will compromise. Because about 40 percent of the Republican Party is represented by evangelicals. They wouldn't want the two major constituencies of the Republican Party at war with each other."


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