Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of the 15,000-member Northland church in Florida, has released a new documentary titled “Our Father’s World,” where he reminds Christians that God made people stewards, not owners of the planet, and that environmental issues are Christian issues.
“Scientific evidence now is very much backing up the Scriptural mandate that we need to take care of this Earth. All of the credible scientific organizations of the world are showing the degree to which the environment is being harmed by our pollution, by the disobedience to the first commandment that He (God) gave us,” Hunter says.
The 26-minute long documentary is available for viewing and download free online, and includes interviews with leading evangelical scholars, including Bill and Lynne Hybels, Tony Campolo, James Merritt and Mark Liederbach.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013Joel Hunter’s environmental documentary seeks to inspire Christians, avoid controversy
Evangelical mega-church pastor Joel Hunter has never been afraid of controversy. He’s taken bold positions on a range of topics throughout the years and has been attacked by some for serving as a spiritual advisor to President Obama. But as he and his media team release a new documentary urging Christians to care for creation, they seek to sidestep the scandal and opt instead for inspiration.
The film is titled “Our Father’s World” and features a wide range of evangelical influencers including, Tony Campolo, Bill and Lynne Hybels, Matthew Sleeth, and Mark Liederbach, a Southern Baptist seminary professor. The video was carefully developed over several years, and you’ll notice Read more…
Monday, January 21, 2013The new evangelicals: A return to the original agenda of Christ
I am one of those evangelicals who, in Professor Marcia Pally’s words, have “left the right.” As a former President-elect of the Christian Coalition of America, I resigned that position and all other positions that would box me into ideologies that were becoming insidiously narrow and negative. As a 64-year-old pastor, I may not yet be representative of my generation or profession in my political openness, but I am one of a growing number of white evangelicals who are making biblically-based decisions on an issue-by-issue basis, in a wider circle of conversations than ever. We are put off by the “hardening of the categories” that is stifling not only intellectually, but also spiritually. Read more…
Friday, June 15, 2012Evangelicals and Climate Change: What Does the Future Hold? (Pt. 1)
When it comes to the issue of global warming, the label conservative and liberal won’t necessarily help you determine if an evangelical Christian is a proponent or skeptic. Why? Because even within the inner core of conservative evangelical circles people are divided over the issue, with both sides asserting that science is clearly on their side. Take The Christian Post, for example: Dr. Richard Land, CP’s executive editor, is among those who are skeptical that humans tip the scales toward global warming, while Dr. Joel C. Hunter, CP’s senior editorial adviser, believes controlling human behavior may be in order. Read more…
Monday, December 12, 2011Caring for the Environment Is a Mandate From God
There are plenty of practical reasons to be concerned about the environment and unchecked growth. Sprawl leads to higher taxes. A drained aquifer could lead to water rationing and higher costs. Pollution affects all manner of living things, from plants to humans.
Still, those reasons aren’t enough for everyone.
So the Rev. Joel Hunter offers people of Christian faith another reason to care for our natural resources — because God commands it. ”It was our first commandment when we were placed down here: Take care of the garden.” Hunter said. “Really, it’s a matter of obedience.” READ MORE
Thursday, November 3, 2011Whatever Happened to the Evangelical-Environmental Alliance?
In the fall of 2005, Joel Hunter, the senior pastor of a 12,000-member megachurch in central Florida, signed on to the Evangelical Climate Initiative—a landmark public statement acknowledging that human actions were causing the Earth to warm. The central message—“creation care,” as it became known—was that the biblical commandment to protect God’s creation was relevant to modern-day environmental issues. Soon, Hunter had distributed 20,000 creation care pamphlets to pastors around the country, and his parishioners were sifting through garbage to see how much trash his church produced. At the time, a slew of news articles took Hunter’s commitment as a sign that environmentalism could become an ethical rather than a political issue. “Hunter and others like him,” wrote The Washington Post, “have begun to reshape the politics around climate change.” Today, with climate change skepticism hitting a new high, the same sentiment seems laughable. Whatever happened to the evangelical-environmental alliance? Read more…
Sunday, August 14, 2011Saving the Earth Is New Mission at More Churches
At Christ Church Unity south of Orlando, they’ve replaced paper napkins with handmade cloth napkins, plastic forks and knives with metal utensils, disposable plates with china plates. Leftover food scraped from the plates is fed to a church member’s pig, Mr. Greengenes.
Northland, A Church Distributed is competing to become one of the most energy-efficient facilities in the United States in a contest sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In the past year, the Longwood megachurch has reduced its monthly electric bill by more than $500 a month. Read more…
Thursday, May 26, 2011Why Creation Care Matters to Our Faith
Tuesday, January 18, 2011FAITH IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE: CREATION CARE
Part 6 in a series of teachings from Dr. Joel C. Hunter about how to approach today’s issues biblically, respectfully and effectively.
Monday, July 19, 2010US Evangelical churches pray for Gulf Coast communities
Evangelical churches across the US, including several megachurches, joined in a national day of prayer for the Gulf Coast community on Sunday.
The National Day of Prayer for the Gulf, sponsored by the National Association of Evangelicals and the Evangelical Environmental Network, brought Christians together in praying for the residents of the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill.
Organisers had planned to pray for the oil to stop gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, but now that the new containment cap seems to be stopping the oil leak, the prayers focused instead on the long-term recovery process.
“I do think the shift in emphasis will be how do we ask God for His help and the help of the church in the long-term recovery process both in nature and in terms of people’s livelihood,” the Rev Joel Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed near Orlando, Florida, told The Christian Post on Friday.
Hunter, who is an NAE board member, said he plans to talk to his congregation on Sunday during “family time” about the oil spill and ask them to pray for the affected Gulf Coast communities.
Somewhere between 94 and 184 million gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico since the April 20 drilling rig explosion, according to government estimates. BP was able to stop the oil from gushing into the Gulf for the first time on Thursday after nearly three months.
Experts are still analysing the pressure in the well to determine if there is a leak elsewhere. The pressure as of Friday was 6,700 pounds per square inch, which means there could be a leak or that so much oil has spilled that it will take time to build up pressure, according to CNN. A pressure higher than 7,500 psi would indicate a low chance of a leak.
The Rev Mitch Hescox, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network, was in several Gulf Coast states this weekend to pray with local Christians for their communities.
He recalled memories from his trip to the Gulf Coast in June.
“I think the most poignant was putting my hands in the oil and just seeing how it stains all of creation – the grass, the water, and even the animal – and hearing the people tell their stories how they can no longer shrimp or get oysters out of those waters, and that their whole life was destroyed,” Hescox said.
The evangelical environmentalist said the feeling among the people he met in the Gulf Coast is that it will take decades to clean up the devastation from the oil spill. Yet despite the great obstacles they see ahead, Christians in the area remain hopeful that God will “correct the problem”, he said.
“God is the source of their strength,” said Hescox, who will be in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana this weekend to pray with the Gulf Coast communities. “When someone would start talking negatively, others would jump in and say God will deliver us we have to keep hope and have to trust in God.”
Churches in the Gulf Shores, Alabama-area held an inter-denominational sunrise service Sunday on the beach at Gulf State Park.
The Rev Leith Anderson, president of the NAE and senior pastor of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, said the leaders of the seven Sunday services at his church would lead congregants in prayer for the Gulf Coast communities.
“America has a long tradition of calling for prayer when we face national challenges,” Anderson told The Christian Post. “The Gulf oil spill is a major national challenge. We are just doing what Americans and evangelicals have been doing throughout our history.”
Thursday, July 15, 2010Oprah.com: Interview With Pastor Joel Hunter
Thursday, May 20, 2010Dems put faith in religious right to help boost party agenda
By Alexander Bolton – 05/17/10 07:13 PM ET
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) have turned to evangelical Christians in a last-ditch effort to move immigration reform and climate change legislation.
Democrats are making a direct appeal to the GOP base by turning to evangelical Christian and other religious leaders, and there’s some evidence that the talks could be fruitful.
“We’re encouraging Southern Baptists to reach out to senators and congressmen to encourage Democrats and Republicans to quit playing politics and deal with immigration reform in a fair way,” said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Read more…
Friday, May 14, 2010Let There Be Light
Pastor Hunter gives the keynote speech at the Interfaith Power and Light National Conference in Washington, DC, May 3, 2010.
Thursday, May 13, 2010American Power Act Announcement
Dr. Joel C. Hunter stands with government officials and power company executives in support of The American Power Act, which seeks to reduce carbon emissions at the country’s biggest polluters including power plants, heavy industry and transportation.
DR. HUNTER’S COMMENTS AT THE ANNOUNCEMENT (37 minutes in):
“Added to the obvious practical benefits of this package is its moral aspect. It is never too early or too late to do the right thing. All religions and non-believers alike have a sense that being a good steward of the earth and atmosphere is the right thing to do. The Bible, the Koran, the Vedas of the Eastern traditions all say that to protect the earth is to honor God. In Genesis 2:15, God orders us to cultivate the earth and keep it. That means we have to balance protection with production. We are not just interested in fighting pollution but poverty as well, ‘green’ should mean a growing economy as well as healthy environment.
“And the time for action is now. It is the business of those with a political perspective to calculate success, but legislative success is not the standard for moral action. I don’t want to be standing before God on Judgement Day saying, ‘I would have worked to protect the earth and the poor but I didn’t think we had the votes.’ It’s never too early or too late to do the right thing.”
Friday, April 23, 2010Pastor: God Communicates through Word and Nature
God communicates with people through the written word and through nature, said a Florida megachurch pastor on the eve of Earth Day.
Pastor Joel Hunter of Northland, a Church Distributed, in Longwood, Fla., cited Romans 1:20 Wednesday evening at the Hope for Creation event. He said like the Bible verse, which says God’s invisible qualities can be seen through creation, God allows people to understand Him through nature.
“The word of God is really both nature and Scripture but in Scripture it commands us to do exactly what we are doing tonight, and that is to guard God’s creation,” said Hunter, who co-hosted the Hope for Creation event with Dr. Matthew Sleeth, the founder of Blessed Earth and the visionary behind the event. Read more…
Wednesday, April 15, 2009Irreversible, Irreplaceable—Wildlife in a Warming World
This educational mini-documentary reveals how faith, science, art, and conservation voices are joining together to discuss the threat of climate change to wildlife and talk about hope for the future. It features several Christian leaders including Northland’s senior pastor, Dr. Joel C. Hunter.
Monday, February 16, 2009The Greening of Jesus
Dialogue, by Mark I. Pinsky, Harvard Divinity Bulletin
Riding the train down to London last summer, after a two-week fellowship on science and religion at the University of Cambridge, I noticed an article in the Independent newspaper about a new book which reinforced that notion of an increasingly irreligious Europe. It is true that outward signs of faith-apart from biblical passages emblazoned on London’s famed red double-decker buses by jesussaid.org-are difficult to come by.
But I found deeply felt Christianity alive and well in an unlikely setting: the academy’s scientific community. To many, this may seem counterintuitive. The evangelical theologian Alister McGrath told us he once believed that “science was the ally of atheism.” Yet among our other lecturers at the Templeton-Cambridge program were major figures in science, from cosmologists to biologists to particle physicists, who pronounced themselves believers. Of course, given the interests of the late Sir John Templeton, who endowed the fellowships, in the relationship between science and religion, this should not have been surprising. Read more…