Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mohler on the Hypocrisy of Green Redemption

On today's Briefing podcast, Dr. Albert Mohler discusses the theologically liberal Union Seminary in New York decision to divest from fossil fuels arguing that fossil fuels are sinful. Mohler's response is simple and straightforward: such a decision may have landed Union Seminary in TIME Magazine, but that does not absolve them of their hypocrisy:
There’s something inherently consistent about a Christian who says I’m not going to invest in anything that sexually explicit, any form of pornography. I don’t want to be involved in any stock in any company that would involve itself in those materials, but that consistency would require that that individual also not be a user of pornography. It makes no sense to divest yourselves of fossil fuels and then crank up the car and go home satisfied with your decision. But we also need to recognize that a certain amount of intellectual dishonesty is in play here. It is probably true, indeed, it’s almost certainly true, that the use of fossil fuels impacts the amount of carbon emissions that end up in the atmosphere and that that contributes in some way to climate change and it is certainly true that we should be concerned about that. But, at the same time, in terms of the current world, there is no other energy technology that drives our industry, our lives; not only provides air conditioning in cars and everything else that we use, but is fueling the local hospital and everything else we consider important. To divest from fossil fuels is to say we want those businesses to disappear, but that would consign the world to look like something far more like the dark ages than anything we might contemplate. There simply is no current alternative. We can hope and pray that such alternatives will appear and we should encourage, in terms of our economy and political life, real alternatives that could lead to an independence from the use of fossil fuels or our current dependence on it. But this is one of those actions which in retrospect isn’t much of an action at all. It’s intellectually incoherent and it is ethically inconsistent, but this is not just to throw stones at Union Theological Seminary. Because the reality is, whether on the left or the right, part of what it means to be a sinner is to involve ourselves, if we are not careful, in just this kind of hypocrisy, of intellectual dishonesty, and of ethical inconsistency. It is a reminder to evangelical Christians of how dependent we are upon the Bible and how dependent we are upon the church, in terms of a reasoning community under the authority of the Bible, to come to terms with what our responsibility is in every dimension of life, including our economic lives. But we do know this: divesting your endowment of fossil fuels will get you much celebrated within the pages of TIME magazine.
The green movement, in all of its manifestations, is a movement of hypocrisy. President Barack Obama, for example, recently traveled on Air Force 1 (which requires the flying of two large airplanes) across the country to give a speech about global warming and carbon emissions. Few, apparently, noticed the irony. But that is the way it goes with the modern environmental movement. They see the speck in their brother's eye while ignoring the plank in their own.

You can listen to the entire podcast here or read the transcript here.
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