Religion Today Summaries - March 13, 2007

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff

Religion Today Summaries - March 13, 2007

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
 
In today's edition:

  • Letter Asks NAE to Rethink 'Green' Activism
  • Evangelical Body Stays Course on Warming
  • Christian Teens Flock to BattleCry in San Francisco
  • Attorney: U.S. Foreign Policy Must Include Religious Freedom

Letter Asks NAE to Rethink 'Green' Activism

An open letter from Focus on the Family’s James Dobson and more than 20 other Christian leaders encourages the board of the National Association of Evangelicals to rein in Richard Cizik, the association’s outspoken vice president for governmental relations in Washington, D.C., for his provocative statements on global warming and population control, Baptist Press reports. Sent March 1 to Roy Taylor, chairman of the NAE’s board and a minister with the Presbyterian Church in America, the letter from Dobson and others claims that Cizik has engaged in a “relentless campaign” in which he puts forth “his own political opinions as scientific fact.” Cizik, the letter also says, “regularly speaks without authorization for the entire organization” about an issue on which there is no consensus. “The existence of global warming and its implications for mankind is a subject of heated controversy throughout the world,” the letter from Dobson and the other leaders says. “It does appear that the earth is warming, but the disagreement focuses on why it might be happening and what should be done about it. We believe it is unwise for an NAE officer to assert conclusively that those questions have been answered, or that the membership as a whole has taken a position on the matter. Furthermore, we believe the NAE lacks the expertise to settle the controversy, and that the issue should be addressed scientifically and not theologically.”

Evangelical Body Stays Course on Warming

Rebuffing Christian radio commentator James C. Dobson, the board of directors of the National Association of Evangelicals, according to a story in The Washington Post, reaffirmed its position that environmental protection, or "creation care," is an important moral issue. Dobson and other conservative Christian leaders drafted a letter earlier this month denouncing NAE VP Richard Cizik for urging evangelical attention to global warming. However, NAE president the Rev. Leith Anderson stated that the board did not respond to the letter during a two-day meeting March 8-9. Instead, said Anderson, the board reaffirmed a 2004 position paper, "For the Health of the Nations," in which "creation care" is listed as one of seven key areas of evangelical civic duty. During the meeting, Cizik reported to the board on his work; there was no effort to reprimand him, Anderson said.

Christian Teens Flock to BattleCry in San Francisco

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that more than 22,000 evangelical teenagers prayed, sang and screamed at AT&T Park this past weekend during BattleCry -- an event that is part pep rally, part rock concert, and part church service. BattleCry founder Ron Luce showed teens the possibilities of living for Christ in a culture that bombards youth with un-Christian messages. "We will not allow the enemy to steal this generation," Luce said, while dividing Christians into three categories: Seekers, Students, and Stalkers (who are so committed to following Christ they find out things nobody else knows). Teens came from at least as far as Bakersfield and Los Angeles for the multiracial-but-controversial event. BattleCry meets with opposition from the public because their pro-Christian message is perceived as anti-gay or homophobic. During the event the youth were treated to several Christian musical acts and a Christian comedian.

Attorney: U.S. Foreign Policy Must Include Religious Freedom

OneNewsNow.com reports that a leading international religious freedom advocate says the U.S. human rights bureaucracy is dominated by "philosophical liberalism" and that efforts to promote democracy without a mandate for religious freedom are "doomed to fail." Williams Saunders of the Family Research Council, while praising President Bush's efforts to end the Muslim-on-Christian brutality in Southern Sudan, believes the administration has significantly "gotten it wrong" on religious freedom. For example, the failure to insist on genuine religious freedom in Afghanistan "underlies a deeper unease and confusion" within the foreign policy establishment, Saunders said. "[E]fforts to promote democracy around the world without promoting genuine religious freedom, in my opinion, both handicap U.S. foreign policy and are doomed to fail," says Saunders.

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