I turned on Moyers’ PBS special last night with a bit of trepidation. I feared another hatchet job that would reflect badly on evangelical Christians. So many stories like this look like a reflection in a fun-house mirror—recognizable but ridiculous; identifiable but distorted.
What I experienced instead was a pretty accurate and hopeful picture of both the church in America and the way that we could be seen in much more positive and accurate light in the future. The picture wasn’t perfect, of course, but it was like looking in a real mirror after a restful vacation, some good exercise and slipping into a new suit. We evangelicals looked stronger and more attractive than I thought.
Frankly, we look good in green.
When I watched the impact that the Boise Vineyard had on the skeptical forest service workers because they put their faith to action replanting a forest that had been clear cut and mined…
When I saw the conviction of Richard Cizik who combines a pro-life, biblically centered moral worldview with a deep conviction of “Creation care” because of a desire to obey the Scriptures…
When I listened to leaders (including at the end, a report about Pat Robertson!) who have opened their minds to scientific evidence about global warming—all because of its effect on the people and the earth God loves…
I saw the reflection of a church that is striving to fulfill the scriptures, bring justice to the weak, open their eyes to a genuine crisis, and care for God’s world as good stewards in a manner that is positively surprising to a cynical world. I saw a witness of word and deed that can "earn the right to be heard" again from those who have tuned us out.
Was some of this because the show reflected a positive “green hue” coming from Moyers’ own point of view? Certainly. And the depiction of those who believe Creation Care is not essential to our Christian discipleship was far less flattering. And certainly the ugly prospect of political maneuvering were front and center.
Whether we look good or not, is not the point of course, it’s what the Scriptures compel us to do that matters, regardless of political ramifications or public opinion.
But it sure felt good to look so good.
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