Poll – Southern Baptist Environment & Climate Initative

I just finished a post for SBC Voices linking all the important posts on the new Southern Baptist environmentalism debate. If you haven’t heard about this yet, it has all the makings for a major theme for this summer’s Southern Baptist Convention.


This initiative was launched by Jonathan Merritt, a student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He said the idea occurred to him in a theology class. It’s a great story about the consequences of ideas. I had a similar experience last semester and interviewed Dr. Gregg Allison about the issue.

Merritt drafted a declaration and gained the support of host of Southern Baptist leaders. The initiative went viral this weekend when news agencies reported it as a new position statement from the SBC.

Don’t let the name fool you. This is not an agency affiliated with Nashville. The ERLC and Baptist Press clarified, only the SBC annual meeting can make official statements. Of course, those are not binding on churches – even the well intended ones. The confusion was unfortunate, since it may cloud a real shift in opinion evident among some Southern Baptists.

I’ve created this poll to start the conversation here. It raises some great worldview questions, not to mention the role (or non-role) of the SBC in current political debates.

What do you think about a green SBC?

Creative Commons License photo credit: lorda

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10 Responses to Poll – Southern Baptist Environment & Climate Initative

  1. Tony Kummer says:

    I think it was a mistake to frame this as an “Southern Baptist” initiative. The previous resolutions may be weak, but they are the official statements.

    I really like the idea of saying more about the environment, but having a para-convention organization endorsed by all those denomination employees is a little confusing for outsiders and insiders alike.

  2. I’m not sure there are really enough options in that poll to adequately capture my opinion.

    Mine’s more along the lines of, “Yes, a biblical worldview will include environmental stewardship, and we need to ensure Christians understand that. But no, the SBC does not need to take official stances on what constitutes good environmental stewardship and push those agendas, particularly on matters on which there is not clear-cut evidence as to what constitutes good environmental stewardship.”

    Too long for the poll, I know.

    The way I see it, this issue should be framed similarly to the BF&M… specific enough to identify Biblical truths we Baptists hold dear, but not so specific as to try to narrow matters down to certain specific interpretations of Scripture.

    John Stickley’s last blog post..Baptists Going Green…

  3. Tony Kummer says:

    John – I agree the issue is very complicated for a little poll, I often say these polls are more entertainment than anything.

    By voting “Two resolutions said enough, the SBC should focus on missions, not the environment” you are saying the 2006 & 2007 resolution are enough for now.

    Richard Land made this point when he responded to this group. He points out that some of the language in the declaration was actually defeated by vote at the convention last summer.

  4. Terry Lange says:

    I do not think there is anything wrong with being a good steward of the earth, but to believing in global warming is going a little far. It is junk science and a cloak for the socialist/communist agenda. Al Gore is behind this nonsense, doesn’t that say enough? Global warming is nothing more than a big hoax.

    Terry Lange’s last blog post..Is the majority always right?

  5. Bryant Owens says:

    Although I agree that Christians are mandated to be good stewards of all that God has created, I do not see the currently hype of global warming as part of this mandate. Nowhere in Scripture are fear tactics allowed.

    Should we all consider living a more simple lifestyle? Yes.
    Should we all consume less? Yes.
    Should we all point fingers of blame based on science that is at best questionable and full of conspiracy? NO!!

    Our modern science on weather is less than 150 years old. This is a microscopic measurement of trends compared to the thousands of years of creation’s existence. Climate changes. Period. (remember Noah and the flood?)

    But it is GOD who controls climate change, not the creatures he placed here.

  6. Noah Braymen says:

    This is indeed unfortunate. I work at the erlc in Wash DC and there are many things that are unfortunate about this! I just don’t know where to start. Let’s see what happens today:^)

    In Christ,

    Noah Braymen’s last blog post..Chuck E Cheese

  7. Tony Kummer says:

    I think the ERLC has tried to represent the SBC position as expressed by resolutions in 2006 & 2007.

    Obviously there is some confusion about this “Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative.” I’ve talked to several people who think it is some kind of official SBC committee.

    But Baptist press has gone to great lengths to say this is not a statement speaking for the SBC. Their top news article says it all Seminary student’s climate change project is not SBC’s

    By the looks of our poll, this issue is not close to settled in Southern Baptist life.

  8. I believe the entry point for Christians in general and Southern Baptists specifically is the area of stewardship. Unfortunately, the buzz word is not stewardship but global-warming. I believe that this stuff is cyclical and that man really does not have as much of an effect as we would like to think we do. I think we give ourselves too much credit (if that makes sense at all) in having such a huge impact on the atmosphere and such.

    I would say, then, that we should be good stewards of what God has given us. In this case, it is the earth.

    Terry Delaney’s last blog post..Tired Before an Exhausting Exam

  9. Pingback: Why Albert Mohler Did Not Sign The Southern Baptist Environment & Climate Initative | Said at Southern Seminary

  10. Pingback: “We Get It” Declaration: Caring for the Environment and the Poor Biblically | Said at Southern Seminary

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