Bad Preachers Make Good Politicians

Two opinion pieces in Canada’s National Post caught my attention tonight. The first is by Jonathan Kay, posted yesterday, entitled “Bad Science: Global-warming deniers are a liability to the conservative cause”. The impression one gets from reading this article is that people (conservatives) who doubt that “Climate Change” (nee “Global-Warming”) is a real, scientific fact, themselves actually belong to a certain category of persons which includes skeptics of the lunar landing and so on. Mr. Kay cites a scholarly paper, makes a great sounding argument and really succeeds in making a climate change skeptic (like me) feel pretty small and even small-minded for having repeated the, apparently, foolish though oft-repeated argument that a growing number of climate experts are doubting the popular ideology touted by the media. Before reading the next paragraphs, click the above link and read Mr. Kay’s article.

Then, right after reading that “Global-warming deniers” are on the side of “Bad Science”, I was glad to receive a shot in the arm from a syringe full of conservatism to innoculate me against Jonathan Kay’s ideological virus. This one was by Terence Corcoran entitled simply, “Bad Politics”. His point was that Mr. Kay’s so-called experts, cited in his article, are barely qualified to write on the subject. But even so, their shoddy analysis smacks of nasty Inquisition-type black-listing in which legitimate scientists with politically incorrect ideas become heretics according to the enlightened priests of the Climate Change Temple.

Aside from the science and the politics, this little debate within the pages of the National Post is worth mentioning in this blog for another reason. It’s a good example of how Christians can be tricked by solid-sounding arguments, complete with experts and evidence, into doubting once-held biblical convictions. All it took, for Mr. Kay to nearly persuade me that I am a narrow-minded, conspiracist and militant denialist on the subject of climate change, was some quotes from a paper purported by him to have been written by experts who have allegedly proven their dogma is only doubted by fringe, right-wing whackos. And actually, even if Mr. Kay is excused for naively trusting the credentials of the authors of the paper he cited, his whole argument boils down to this: climate-change skeptics must be practicing “junk science” simply because climate change believers have more votes on their side. But when did good science become democratic? How many scientific break-throughs would have never gained recognition if we only ever accepted the majority view? In fact, doesn’t truth often run contrary to popular opinion?

If you are a preacher, are you afraid to exposit those texts of Scripture which plainly imply the deity of Christ? What about the passages on the wrath of God against sin? or total depravity? or male spiritual-leadership in the home and in the Church? or the exclusivity of the Gospel? Do these sorts of texts in Scripture strike fear in your heart because you fear popular opinion? Are you intimidated by the chorus of “experts” who magically seem to endorse exactly what pop culture thinks about controversial doctrines? If we who preach the Word of God ever find ourselves shying away from those biblical truths which bear a higher political cost, there are only two options left: repent immediately or quit the ministry.

" 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands,  7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.  8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,  9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,  10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,  11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,  12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.  13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.  14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you."  (2Ti 1:6-14 ESV)