Richard Cizik is VP of Governmental Affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals. Lately he's given his best time to serving as an evangelist for global warming within NAE's constituency. This earned him a prime interview on public radio's Fresh Air this morning where Terry Gross dutifully lobbed him a bunch of softball questions.
What struck me about the interview was Cizik's references to his newfound focus on global warming as the product of his own personal "conversion" on the issue. Repeatedly he referred to this personal "conversion," explicitly drawing a parallel between his conversion to global warming and "a conversion to Jesus Christ."
Believe it or not, I have no opinion concerning global warming. I used to be an environmentalist but Calamity Jane scholars cried "Wolf!" too many times to retain my trust.
In this particular case, though, my concern is not Cizik's belief in global warming, nor his evangelizing others toward a conversion by which they come to share his convictions on the issue. Rather, I object to his explicit and constant use of Gospel language to argue his case in the public square. He reminds me of the past three decades of mainline religious leaders who redefined salvation as "liberation."
And I find the thought of global warming being the primary thrust of the man called to head up NAE's governmental affairs office to be spiritually repugnant. The frail elderly, defective newborn, terminally ill, and unwanted unborn are being murdered around the world at the rate of fifty to seventy-five million per year and Cizik evangelizes others by talking about his own conversion to global warming?
A courageous defense of the millions of unborn children slaughtered by the citizens of the developed world each year isn't likely to bring prime exposure on Fresh Air. But it will bring our Lord's commendation:
"I was unwanted in my mother's womb and you picketed the abortuary where my mother went to kill me. Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, my brothers, you've done it to me."
Mr. Cizik must be bound by his own conscience, but there's no reason for the Presbyterian Church in America to continue to pay his salary. The NAE has long been moribund and the recent tragic fall of its president alongside this squandering of its moral authority is only accelerating its decline.
It's time for the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America to stop wasting money paying the salaries and travel expenses of men who speak of their global warming "conversion" and evangelize for the Kyoto Protocol.