By Brannon S. Howse
You’ll recall that the National Council of Churches was started by Fabian socialists. So it is shocking that America’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, would allow one of its leaders to sign a declaration in concert with the NCC and other religious radicals. Why has Richard Land worked with so many politically correct organizations—the National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE), for example? Land is strangely unpredictable. On the one hand, he will sign declarations written by the radically liberal NRPE, and then he will say something I agree with such as:
The question is whether or not evangelicals allow themselves to be manipulated, allow themselves to be duped, and what we are to do is to judge everything by the plumb line of the Word of God. And the Word of God in the first nine chapters of Genesis gives us the foundational planks of a Biblical environmental ethic. And if you look at those you will find that they’re considerably at odds with the modern radical environmental movement.
Land, like many Christian leaders, appears to allow himself to be manipulated and/or duped by the ecumenical and environmental globalists. If Land had actually done as he recommends and used the Bible as his plumb line, he would know that 2 Corinthians 6:14 and 2 John 9-11 clearly forbid him from signing a document such as the NRPE’s “Declaration of the Mission to Washington” which is part of the organization’s “Interfaith Environmental Engagement.” The Southern Baptist Convention, through Richard Land’s participation, partnered with the National Council of Churches, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life. He signed the radical environmental declaration under the title “Executive Director, Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
Despite the complaints of many SBC pastors and members (including me), the trustees of Land’s office have not been willing to publicly demand that Land cease from his radical, pluralistic, ecumenical activities. They have had plenty of time to figure out his leanings. Land’s history of such work goes back at least to 1994 when he signed the “Evangelicals and Catholics” document that called for evangelicals and Catholics to stop evangelizing each other since both groups “are Christian.”
The Deception Spreads
The “evangelicals” fell for the trap, and now many leaders no longer seek to share the Gospel with Catholics. Meanwhile, the Church of Rome continues its evangelistic efforts. The same delusion that affected Richard Land evidently spread. Other signers of the Interfaith Environmental Engagement Declaration include:
Reverend Joan Campbell, General-Secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ;
Mr. Warren Eisenberg, Ecumenical Officer, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America;
The Most Reverend William B. Friend, Chair Committee on Science and Human Values, National Conference of Catholic Bishops;
Reverend Dr. William Gardiner, Director of Social Justice, Unitarian Universalists Association;
Sally Grover Bingham, California Diocese: Environmental Commission, Episcopal Church;
Dr. Elizabeth Bowen, Representative, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahai’s of the United States;
The Most Reverend Edmond L. Browning, Presiding Bishop, Episcopal Church of America;
Mr. John Carr, Secretary for Department of Social Development and World Peace, United States Catholic Conference;
Father Drew Christiansen, Director, Office of International Justice and Peace, United States Catholic Conference;
Mr. Robert H. Cory, Quaker United Nations Office;
Mr. Herman Daly, Senior Economist , World Bank;
Reverend Thomas Berry, Director, Riverside Center for Religious Research;
Dr. Henry Kendall, Stratton Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Chairman of the Board, Union of Concerned Scientists;
Mr. Alden Meyer, Director, Climate Change and Energy Program, Union of Concerned Scientists.
As you can see, the list is ripe with groups associated with the United Nations, ecumenicalism, and the promotion of socialism. Regarding the last two signers and their membership in the Union of Concerned Scientists, you may want to note that Helen Caldicott, in speaking for the Union of Concerned Scientists, has said, “Capitalism is destroying the earth.”
Tom DeWeese in 2008, wrote an article posted at worldviewweekend.com in which he detailed the history of the Union of Concerned Scientists:
Please note that the UCS was started in the late 1980s as a part of the Nuclear Freeze movement, which was proven to be funded in part by the Soviet KGB. The membership of the UCS has always consisted of less than 10 percent scientists and more than 90 percent generic America-bashers.
These associations alone should be enough reason for Richard Land not to sign his name to the “Declaration of the Mission to Washington.” But wait, as they say, there’s more! One of the other signers is the Reverend Thomas Berry, and Tom Deweese reveals that Berry is not only an environmental extremist but also an advocate of anti-Bible and pro-pagan spirituality:
Father Thomas Berry, a dissident Catholic Priest, is a prime spokesman for Gaia. Father Berry contends that Christianity promotes a “deep cultural pathology of human greed and addiction.” He advocates that the earth is disintegrating and that Christianity is to blame. In his book, Dream of the Earth (published by Sierra Club Books), Berry never uses the word “God” but speaks of a supernatural force in the universe. He says that “we should place less emphasis on Christ as a person and a redeemer. We should put the Bible away for twenty years while we radically rethink our religious ideas.”
So just what does the Declaration of the “Mission to Washington” proclaim? Here’s an example:
We are thinning the ozone layer and creating holes in it. We are poisoning the air, the land and the water. We are destroying the forests, grasslands and other ecosystems. We are causing the extinction of species at a pace not seen since the end of the age of the dinosaurs…Our own country is the leading polluter on Earth, generating more greenhouse gases, especially CO2, than any other country.
The only problem is that there is no evidence for these end-of-the-world scenarios. America is not the “leading polluter on earth.” Based on twenty-five factors, in fact, the Environmental Performance Index in 2010 listed America as the 61st Cleanest Country in the world out of 163 that were ranked. Nevertheless, the declaration stated:
We reaffirm here, in the strongest possible terms, the indivisibility of social justice and the preservation of the environment. We also affirm and support the indigenous peoples in the protection and integrity of their cultures and lands. We believe the wealthy nations of the North, which have historically exploited the natural and human resources of the Southern nations, have a moral obligation to make available additional financial resources and appropriate technology to strengthen their capacity for their own development. We believe the poor and vulnerable workers in our own land should not be asked to bear disproportionate burdens. And we must end the dumping of toxic waste materials disproportionately in communities of low income and of people of color.
Did you notice the words “social justice” in the first sentence of that quote? This is a phrase common to those who embrace socialism. The document is clearly referring to redistribution of wealth as it calls for “the wealthy nations of the North…making available additional financial resources” to poorer nations. The declaration continues:
Collectively, the nations of the world spend one trillion dollars a year on military programs. If even a modest portion of this money were spent on environmental programs and sustainable economic development, we could take a major step toward environmental security.
Sustainable development is the goal (to get a detailed understanding of “sustainable development,” read Grave Influence) in advocating these left-wing causes:
● Abortion on demand
● Population control
● Gun control
● Social justice
● Global governance
● The New World Order
● Socialized medicine
● Social welfare programs
● Elimination of property rights
● Elimination of national sovereignty
● Elimination of parental authority
● Elimination of free-market capitalism
● Education to serve the masses
● Public housing
● Re-distribution of wealth
● Legal positivism and judicial activism
● Hate-crime laws that criminalize Christianity
A key milestone in the sustainable development movement, the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro unveiled Agenda 21. The nearly 400-page document details how sustainable development is to be implemented in every country of the world. Its proponents admit that sustainable development is the framework for global governance.
And still more, the “Mission to Washington” declaration also calls for:
…phasing out all significant ozone-depleting chemicals, in halting deforestation and slowing the decline in species diversity, in planting forests and restoring other habitats and in realizing worldwide social justice. We believe there is a need for concerted efforts to stabilize world population by humane, responsible and voluntary means consistent with our differing values. For these and other reasons, we believe that special attention must be paid to education and to enhancing the roles and the status of women.
Worldwide social justice is another term for global socialism. Stabilizing world population for the environmental globalists means abortion on demand, population control, eugenics, and active euthanasia through socialized medicine that allows for rationing of healthcare. In order for these radical ideas to be implemented, the state needs to target the educational system with social justice curriculum—also known as environmental justice.
I wonder how many members of America’s Southern Baptist churches know that their association is tied to such an anti-biblical agenda. And what is it called when the enemy moves inside the camp unnoticed? Trojan Horse again!
The roots of this involvement are deeper than you might imagine. A 1992 article in the Directory of Environmental Activities and Resources in the North American Religious Community, prepared by an SBC office, listed Richard Land as the contact person. The report was a project of “The Joint Appeal by Religion and Science for the Environment.” The inside cover of the report noted that “support for the work of the Joint Appeal has also come from…The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation…Mr. Steven C. Rockefeller, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund…The Tides Foundation.” These are troublesome bedfellows for Bible-believing Southern Baptists.
Steven Rockefeller assisted in writing the “Earth Charter,” a document now elevated as the New Ten Commandments and brought to the United Nations in the Ark of Hope. The ark is a replica of the Ark of the Covenant adorned with New Age, environmental, and ecumenical artwork.
The Tides Foundation is another wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing organization. Discover the Network reveals this about it:
Established in 1976 by California-based activist Drummond Pike…Among the crusades to which Tides contributes are: radical environmentalism; the “exclusion of humans from public and private wildlands”; the anti-war movement; anti-free trade campaigns; the banning of firearms ownership; abolition of the death penalty; access to government-funded abortion-on-demand; and radical gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender advocacy. The Foundation is also a member organization of the International Human Rights Funders Group, a network of more than six-dozen grantmakers dedicated to financing leftwing groups and causes.
And then there’s the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. Discover the Network reveals the following about this progressive group:
Laying its junk science aside, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment renders two invaluable services to the political left. These partisan clerics intone the proof-texts of the Green movement in the language of brimstone and redemption, conferring an air of sanctity to the left’s agenda.
I’m thankful the SBC church I attend has a senior pastor who is equally disgusted by these alignments and has had the courage to call out Richard Land by name in a sermon broadcast on the radio. Because the SBC allows some of its leaders to be involved in such ecumenical and unbiblical endeavors, I personally give only to my church in ways that are guaranteed not to benefit the SBC headquarters. Whether an SBC church or not, I have urged my radio listeners to consider giving only to their local church in a way that assures the funds stay under the control of their church, instead of a denominational headquarters that may be participating in questionable activities.
I have also explained on my radio program that almost every denomination in America is involved in some sort of unbiblical political correctness or doctrinal compromise, and I am not talking about just mainline churches (it is a given that they are now completely apostate). I am referring to such “evangelical” churches as the Southern Baptist Convention, Evangelical Free Churches of America, Assemblies of God, Church of the Nazarene, and Christian and Missionary Alliance, to name just a few.
The SBC-authored article in the Directory of Environmental Activities and Resources in the North American Religious Community boasted that the Southern Baptist Convention’s Christian Life Commission hosted an environmental conference that “offered participants guidance in starting recycling programs at their own churches.” The article also lauded the SBC for producing a brochure on “the need for…social justice in making energy choices.”
There were far more important issues facing the church in 1992 (as there are today) than to waste time and resources teaching churches how to start a recycling program. Perhaps when and if the church in America actually learns how to biblically evangelize the lost and how to train students and adults in a comprehensive biblical worldview, then we can talk about recycling. Besides, studies have shown that recycling can be a waste of money and actually produce dangerous byproducts:
“People in New York and other places are tilting at recycling windmills,” says Porter, who left the E.P.A. in 1989 and is now president of a consulting firm, the Waste Policy Center in Leesburg, Va. “There aren’t many more materials in garbage that are worth recycling.” Porter has been advising cities and states to abandon their unrealistic goals, but politicians are terrified of coming out against recycling. How could they explain it to the voters? How could they explain it to their children?
A detailed report in the New York Times, written by John Tierney and entitled “Recycling Is Garbage” revealed that “recycling newsprint actually creates more water pollution than making new paper: for each ton of recycled newsprint that’s produced, an extra 5,000 gallons of waste water are discharged.”
An article in the Bismarck Tribune summed up the lengthy Times article this way:
Few people know that almost all the virgin pulp that goes into making paper is produced on tree farms that wouldn’t exist if we didn’t use these trees to make paper. Secondly, it’s a fact that we have three times more trees than we did in 1920. Recycling paper is a manufacturing process that can save landfill space but produces a harmful chemical sludge that must be disposed of properly. It would be safer to allow these products to biodegrade naturally.
According to the New York Department of Sanitation, it costs $50 to $60 a ton to pick up the regular garbage and take it to a landfill. It then costs $150 a ton to deal with the recyclables, and at least 40 percent of what is separated to be recycled ends up in the same landfill as the regular trash anyway.
Rather than being preoccupied with recycling, church and denominational leaders would be wiser to worry about the huge number of their students who walk away from the faith before and after high school graduation. It is precisely because parents and church leaders have not addressed from a biblical perspective issues such as radical environmentalism and the rise of earth worship that so many churched youth buy into philosophies that are not truly Christian. Colossians 2:8 warns of this:
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
Copyright 2012 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.