Moyers Revealed


Last week, veteran journalist Bill Moyers debuted his documentary Is God Green? on PBS. The film comes at a time when evangelicals across this country are divided on environmental issues--most notably what is known as global warming. The film takes viewers inside the lives of evangelical Christians who have a deep concern for taking care of the environment and inside the national debate on global warming.

Sometimes we wonder about the hidden political agendas of journalists. Jimmy Akin over at JimmyAkin.org and today Tim Graham over at Newsbusters reported on this in the blogosphere: Moyers openly admitted before the broadcast that as a liberal Democrat, he was hoping to swing the evangelical vote so the Democrats could take over Congress. Moyers said this just minutes before an interview for the film with Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, an associate professor of historical theology and social ethics at Fort Lauderdale-based Knox Theological Seminary. Beisner also is one of several authors of the paper "A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming" from the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, a group of diverse clergy that adopt the premise of Genesis 1:28 and believe the frenzied call to address global warming now is exaggerated. The paper is signed by more than 130 theologians, scholars and scientists, including former director of the National Hurricane Center Neil L. Frank.

Read the full transcript of the program here and hear it online here.

The new term for this new green movement among some evangelicals is “creation care,” the notion that as believers we are responsible for being good stewards of God’s property. While caring for the earth is a principle outlined in Genesis 2:15, we can't ignore Genesis 1:28, where God commands Adam and Eve to "fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Clearly there is a balance AND an important warning.

This new idea of caring for the environment by supporting a global warming initiative has received criticism from the evangelical community for being the issue that far-left environmental groups push behind a conservative disguise. I'll be blogging about some of the reporting I've done on this topic in the future. But for now, the challenge for Christians is clear: We are not called to worship the creation above the Creator, and we need to carefully examine our alliances.


Comments:

Thanks, Christina. There are two reasons I tend to side with Moyers (all the while knowing that he has not been a friend of evangelicals): 1. I had a conversation with Cal Beisner after his interview, and he told me about his sharing his faith. Since Cal knows that I'm a strong creation-care advocate who's crossed swords with him for over ten years, I think he would have told me if this is indeed what Moyers said. 2. If anyone is savvy on politics, it would be Moyers. I can't imagine that he, who is probably a liberal independent, would EVER make such a confession -- especially to "the enemy" (environmentally speaking). For him to make such a confession would immediately call into question his credibility -- and a reputation that's taken him a lifetime to build. (And probably the reason he is willing to go to the law on this matter.) A few weeks back, Chuck, in fact, used erroneous information (for which he has weakly apologized) to accuse the supposed funders of the Evangelical Climate Initiative of deliberately trying to split evangelicals on the environment with this statement. This called into question the integrity of all the evangelical signers. In my book, that's political hardball, not Christianity. I believe that Chuck, Jim Dobson, and James Kennedy know very well that creation care is a responsibility for followers of Christ and that we need to begin to show it. Chuck even said so in "The Body." I'm convinced that they're using their political clout for the advantage of the Republican Party, which has a dismal record on caring for creation. Since these leaders have elected to make Cal Beisner their spokesperson, I doubt that they would confess to believing Moyers' side of the story over Cal's. I love Breakpoint and Chuck Colson -- most of the time! But on this issue, I believe he and his big media buddies are going to lose integrity and influence big time. I'd love for them to be bold and humble enough to admit that they have gone down the wrong trail on this. The evangelical community is simply going to say goodbye to them as leaders they can trust. Because of this, I proposed to Dobson and Colson and the leaders of the Evangelical Environmental Network for years that we call a truce and come to a table for conciliation. (Of course, I don't think the gatekeepers at Focus or Breakpoint have ever passed along my appeal to the "corner office.") One of the problems with opinion makers like these men is that they're often too busy creating opinions, and not diligent enough in listening to them -- even opinions of fellow conservative evangelicals. It is odd that Chuck invokes Francis Schaeffer's name, as he did today in his excellent commentary on the "CNN Snuff Film," yet totally avoids Schaeffer's views on the environment. To me the bottom line here is that Calvin Beisner either lied about Moyers or he betrayed him by making public what was not intended to be public. It is time for Chuck to get rid of this albatross.
I wanted to make it clear to everyone reading that any blog post on this site does not necessarily reflect Chuck’s position. The posts you read here are the opinions of The Point bloggers, and even we disagree... Also, Dean, you assume that Dr. E. Calvin Besiner is lying. Please see “Dr. E. Calvin Beisner Responds” at www.jimmyakin.org. Here's an excerpt from Beisner's counsel to Moyer's counsel (posted on Jimmy's site): "He sincerely believes that he accurately summarized in the newsletter his recollection of a private conversation with your client that was not recorded prior to the interview on camera. He also believes his recollection may have been influenced by a conversation he and your client had on the way to the airport following the interview." We've got two different recollections here.
If Chuck is at all concerned about his own integrity, he'd be wise to detach himself from Calvin Beisner and the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance as quickly as possible. That ad hoc group is now badly tainted by Beisner's lie about Bill Moyers and his subsequent lack of integrity. If there ever was a legitimate counter to the Evangelical Climate Initiative in that bogus "environmental" group, it has now been hopelessly compromised. I am ashamed, as an evangelical, by Beisner's lack of Christian character.
Hi all, I've got a longer post commenting on Dean's thoughts on the main blog... Also, check out www.jimmyakin.org. Jimmy's blog was one of the first to talk about Beisner's statement about Moyers. Moyers offers a rebuttal on Jimmy's blog. An excerpt from Moyers' email to Beisner: "You are not telling the truth. In fact, what you wrote in the ISA newsletter is an outright lie. You claim that 'When Moyers interviewed me for the documentary last spring, he very candidly told me that he is a liberal Democrat and intended for the documentary to influence the November elections to bring control of Congress back to the Democrats.' I said nothing of the sort -- nothing. To the contrary, I told you that I am an independent..." See more at Jimmy's site...
I had to laugh when Christina Holder wrote that Bill Moyers is a liberal who wants Democrats to take back control of Congress. Well, Breakpoint folks consist of a bunch of conservatives who want Republicans to maintain control of same. The Breakpoint crew prides itself in having a "Christian worldview" when it's nothing more than a conservative American viewpoint that advocates not only being pro-life and anti-gay, but also in favor tax cuts for the rich, oppose any type of environmental measures and be strong proponents of the military. The Religious Right has to be in bed with corporations such as Exxon-Mobil, since it's the only way the Republican Party can get big bucks to run their political campagins. What the war-mongers at Breakpoint really want is to protect the American way of life that favors no sacrifice and the basic greed of capitalism. Witness Calvin Beisner saying basically that it's more important to mine coal than for the people downstream of the coal mine to have clean water. Your cover is starting to be blown off folks. You distort certain verses of the Bible for your benefit. As for me, I think I will continue read and support groups such as Evangelicals for Social Action.
Naively, I started to watch this program. I don't think I got more than fifteen minutes into it before turning it off. It was obviously political to me.
If interested, discussion on this documentary is also occurring at the Worldchanging blog here: http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/005039.html




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