PHILADELPHIA – This summer, the NAE, who has been connected with evangelical Christian ministries and churches for over the last 60 years, will seek agreements among evangelical leaders on strategies to tackle global warming.
This meeting comes as a surprise, considering NAE's stance on global environmentalism.
Historically, Evangelical Christians have been skeptical of the practice of environmentalism, because they view it as a godless movement which focuses on nature rather than on souls, according to Knight Ridder Newspapers.
In the recent polling held by National Association of Evangelicals, which consists of 52 members, 48 percent of evangelicals voted for setting the environment as an important priority after abortion with 52 percent and is growing.
DeWitt, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin, is a leader in a growing evangelical Christian movement to protect the environment in the name of God.
"This comes right out of the Christian calling of how we should live our lives on Earth," DeWitt said. "Christians are coming on board more and more because there really is an interest in seeking the kingdom of God beyond just individual needs."
In polling by the Bliss Institute last year of NAE, 52 percent of evangelicals agreed with the statement, "Strict rules to protect the environment are necessary even if they cost jobs or result in higher prices."
The group emphasized that this is the Christian responsibility to take care of the environment and point out the seriousness of the damage which has been done in the past.
‘We are persuaded that we must not evade our responsibility to care for God’s creation.’ The evangelical leaders wrote after a three-day retreat at Sandy Cove, Md. “We recognize that … there is no turning back from engaging the threats to God’s creation.”
A group of 30 prominent evangelicals met last summer to "motivate the evangelical community to fully engage environmental issues in a biblically faithful and humble manner, collaborating with those who share these concerns, that we might take our appropriate place in the healing of God's creation, and thus the advance of God's reign."
They include the Rev. Ted Haggard, chairman of the National Association of Evangelicals; David Neff, editor of Christianity Today magazine; the Rev. Jo Anne Lyon, executive director of the aid organization World Hope International; and the Rev. Dwight McKissic, senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas.