Things trigger me. The Cornwall Alliance have triggered me ... perhaps that's what they wanted? They claim Christ, I know that I know Christ, and I am offended by their rhetoric to the point of anger. We all have our thresholds, and when we're pushed too far we react.
This is my reaction - is it Godly?
I'll give details a bit further on, but the question I want to pose is, when is anger ok? Anger is a dangerous emotion but not in itself ungodly. My triggered reaction could also be wrong because I am myself deluded ... I accept that possibility. As with all emotions, understanding the context and getting the facts is really important.
Now, I am generally ambivalent about people who distort facts for their own agendas; we're so surrounded by factual abuse all the time (for example, the pervasive advertising and political rhetoric) that we've become largely numbed to the almost-lie and the outright lie.
But when someone denies a deluge of clear and robust evidence, and then also invokes the authority of Christ to support their delusion, and (ab)uses the suffering of people as an emotive lever for their distortions -- that's when my threshold is really crossed and I get angry.
I recognize that some may do this out of a genuine belief in their non-truth, and in such circumstances I get merely irritated and can accept that they are not deliberately setting out to deceive. Then I have to transform my anger at the situation into compassion for the person -- all the while being very careful to examine myself that I am not in turn being arrogant, self-righteous and Pharisaical.
So I have a recent problem; I've encountered a persistent and actively promoted delusion from named Christians who are using the suffering of the poor to invoke additional emotive support for their position. I don't know if they genuinely believe their own fallacy -- it's possible -- but I still feel angry.
What is this about? It's about a Christian organization (at least in name) saying that the multi-generational suffering caused by climate change is a lie, that there is no problem, and then actively calling on people to oppose any action to address climate change in the name of protecting the poor!
It's that last step that pushes me over the limit; believe your delusion if you want, but for heavens sake don't abuse the real suffering of the poor for your agenda, when in fact all you're doing is adding generations of increased suffering!
For the record, I am a Christian (and not just culturally-Christian ... I know Jesus), I live in one of these countries filled with the poor, and I know the facts of climate change.
How am I supposed to respond? The Cornwall Alliance describe themselves as "A coalition of theologians, pastors, ministry leaders, scientists, economists, policy experts, and committed laymen, the Cornwall Alliance is an evangelical voice promoting environmental stewardship and economic development built on Biblical principles." Sounds good so far.
Their website is filled with great evangelical sounding language, their statement of faith could be taken from many a mainline church, and they even have the ubiquitous "Donate" button. It almost makes one want to join.
But scratch the surface and you find they are firmly in the climate change denial camp. I don't know how anyone who does due diligence on the facts can possibly come to that conclusion.
The kicker is in their latest "Landmark Document" which says “Protect the Poor: Ten Reasons to Oppose Harmful Climate Change Policies”. This is reprehensible.
To be clear, this is what they want: to promote inaction on responding to the largest long-term global threat facing the world, and which places the most vulnerable on the front line of impacts.
And they do this in the name of Christ.
Why are Christians so silent and unthinking on this issue?
Why have we allowed Christ to be leveraged in creating an irrational polarization among the global minority population of one country who suffer under the delusion of self-importance simply because of the power their internal actions have on the rest of the world?
What should be my response? Our response? What is the Christian response?
Anger against abuse of the weak and vulnerable seems to me to be Godly.