For more than a decade, a series of environmental initiatives have been coming from an unexpected source—a new generation of young evangelical activists. Mostly under the public radar screen, there were new and creative projects like the Evangelical Environmental Network and Creation Care magazine. In November 2002, one of these initiatives got some national attention—a campaign called “What Would Jesus Drive?” complete with fact sheets, church resources, and bumper stickers.
Recently, more-establishment evangelical groups, particularly the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), also began to speak up on the issue of “creation care.” Leading the way was NAE Vice President for Governmental Affairs Rich Cizik who, on issues including environmental concern and global poverty reduction, began to sound like a biblical prophet. Cizik and NAE President Ted Haggard, a mega-church pastor in Colorado Springs, were attending critical seminars on the environment, and climate change in particular, and describing their experiences of “epiphany” and “conversion” on the issue. In 2004, the NAE adopted a policy statement “For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility,” which included a principle titled “We labor to protect God’s creation.” In March 2005, Cizik told The New York Times, “I don’t think God is going to ask us how he created the earth, but he will ask us what we did with what he created.”