EthicsDaily.com is a Baptist internet site dedicated to nurturing good relations between Baptists and Jews. It is also a site that promotes the politically correct environmental cause and tries to give it a Scriptural twist-going so far as to reinterpret Christ's great proclamation of His messianic calling (Luke 4:18-19) as a pro-environmental statement! For the last few years this site has selected a "Baptist of the Year" and for 2007 decided to confer the honor on Al Gore. Here's what the editorial says:
Al Gore is EthicsDaily.com's pick as Baptist of the Year for 2007. He has pressed for the global good with a compelling message about the danger of climate change and a clear call for moral responsibility, knitting together science and faith, reason and passion. He has refused to be distracted by the character-assassins, the fear-mongers, the science-deniers and the merchants of short-term gain. He has remained faithful to his mission of protecting the earth and its inhabitants. In the opening paragraphs of his Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Gore said, "I have a purpose here today. It is a purpose I have tried to serve for many years. I have prayed that God would show me a way to accomplish it."
With an acknowledgment of Providence, Gore tethered his speech to his moral vision. He quoted the Bible, refused to make God responsible for human inaction, called squarely for an ethic of love for neighbor, confessed human failure and placed moral authority at the tip of the needed plan for planetary redemption. His address was profoundly Christian without being offensively so.
"The earth has a fever. And the fever is rising. The experts have told us it is not a passing affliction that will heal by itself. We asked for a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth. And the consistent conclusion, restated with increasing alarm, is that something basic is wrong," he said. "We are what is wrong, and we must make it right."
The EthicsDaily.com editorial went on to blast Baptists for all but ignoring St. Al.
Regrettably no Baptist has received less applause from Baptists than Gore, a shameful but not unexpected reality from a people snarled in religious fear, suspicious of science and stuck in the rut of spiritualized reading of the Bible.
Now I wonder where in all the Bible any Baptist, or any sane man for that matter, ever found any reference to "planetary redemption" as being part of the mission of God's people or any people. I will not again repeat the constant stream of criticism that the science behind Gore's doomsday scenario is flawed; that the current trend is part of the endless fluctuations of climate; that man's efforts can and will make no difference to trend; and that anyway, who can say that the current situation is the optimum one for the earth? What I will say is that what Al Gore is promoting is not Christianity but socialism on a worldwide scale. His vision is the old liberal notion that lay behind the "social gospel." It was proved a myth back in the 1920s and will be proved a myth again. It is not part of Al Gore's mission to bring in the new heavens and the new earth (for what else is "planetary redemption"?). It is not the Church's job to save the universe but to preach the gospel. That is not "the rut of a spiritualized reading of the Bible." It is the plain meaning and message of the Word of God. You can follow St. Al or you can follow St. Paul who refused to preach any other message than Christ crucified. You can have St. Al if you want. I'll go with St. Paul, even if Al is designated Baptist of the Year.