Today Pope Francis will issue an encyclical that will focus on the environment. There will be outcries from some who are opposed to his environmental views. But there will also be negative cries about the Pope getting involved in politics. My response is, “Why not?”
I am not defending the Pope’s positions on the environment. He and I probably disagree on some key areas. But I am defending his speaking out on the issue. I believe that those who want the church to be silent on issues other than religion have mistaken notions about the church and Scripture.
As a Protestant and descendant of the Reformation I hold the view that Scripture speaks to everything. The Westminster Confession of Faith tells us that the sixty-six books of the Bible are “the rule of faith and life” (1.2). I also believe, along with the Confession, that as that rule, Scripture speaks to everything, either expressly or by good and necessary consequence or principle (1.6). Scripture has something to say about the environment and how we care for our Father’s world. We should not be shy to admit this. Nor should we be shy about thinking deeply and biblically about such issues.
In fact, there is no subject, there is no issue, there is no situation, but Scripture speaks and speaks authoritatively. As Christians we should not be timid to think and speak biblically about politics, sexual ethics, the environment, science, – about all things – because our God is the Lord of all these areas.
Don’t let the world or even other Christians try to convince you that your faith shouldn’t be applied to all of life. Don’t fall into the misguided thinking that your faith is personal and doesn’t have much to say to other areas of life. We each have something to say because God has already spoken about all areas of life.
What areas do you need to think more biblically?