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Dear Patriarch And Archbishop: When You Preach, You Should Sound Like Christians

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Dylan Pahman has a bit of an issue with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. It seems the two have written an op-ed for the New York Times in response to Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’. The only problem is, according to Pahman, the two don’t sound like Christians.

The Patriarch and Archbishop’s op-ed could have been written by a deist like Thomas Jefferson, or a UN bureaucrat versed in God-talk. Sure, they vaguely mention God and creation. But the Gospel message of the Son of God become Son of Man, Jesus Christ, who suffered, died and rose again to save the world from corruption, sin, and death — a global cause and calling if there ever was one — is missing in action.

Does the meeting of the Creator and creation in the person of Jesus Christ have nothing to teach us about environmental care? Does the sanctification of the River Jordan at his baptism have nothing to tell us about our responsibilities over this world’s oceans, rivers, lakes and streams? Does the blood and water that flowed from his side on the cross and consecrated Golgotha have nothing to tell us about the salvation of the earth? Does his ascension into the heavens among the clouds have nothing to teach us about what we put into the air? If yes, who of all world leaders might be competent to spread this good news?

Pahman asserts that we don’t need more political pundits, United Nations cheerleaders or public service announcements from those eager to save the planet. We need spiritual guidance from men and women of faith who are not afraid to preach or ashamed of the Gospel.

Does not our world today desperately need pastors to point us to the only hope that transcends all our fears, the one who trampled down death by death, Jesus Christ? And if our pastors prefer, rather, to be political pundits and cheerleaders for the UN, who will fill the role they have abandoned? Who will provide healing, comfort and reconciliation to all people, regardless of political prejudice or station in life? Who will point the world to the one who so loved it that he gave his only Son as “a gift to all living creatures and all living things”?

Pahman answers his own questions here: it won’t be Bartholomew or Welby.

Read Pahman’s piece here.

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Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.

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