By Michelle Vu
“Whether God created the Earth in a millisecond or whether it evolved over billions of years, the issue we agree on is that it needs to be cared for today,” said Rich Cizik, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Evangelicals, in a statement. [Click on the link in the title for the entire article.]
(Bill Hybels is briefly mentioned as one of the pastors who has signed the "Evangelical Climate Initiative")
Where God meets big business — and it's soon coming to a church near you
The Times Online (UK)
December 27, 2006
American Evangelical Christians scare the hell out of secular Britons and, while their reputation may be unfair, it has been long in the making and is reinforced by some truth.
First came the monstrous sexual hypocrisy and fraud of Jim Bakker, then the foaming homophobia of Jerry Falwell — whose rants have included declaring Aids to be “the wrath of God” and saying that Hillary Clinton was more hated by conservative voters than Satan.
And more recently the European Left has been concerned about an American Religious Right bent on ensuring that the Book of Revelation’s apocalyptic prophecies come true through the current President’s policy on Iraq, Israel and the Middle East.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Evangelicals have a very different, but also damaging, image. The damp-palmed jeans-clad vicar who plays guitar in a Christian rock band does not scare anyone but fashion writers.
Somewhere between these two caricatures there may be an answer to the riddle about why Britain and America, nations with history, language and culture in common, have grown so far apart on religion.
That answer may just be found in Willow Creek Church, near Chicago, recently rated in a survey including 2,000 pastors as the most influential of any in America. It has grown from virtually nothing into an Evangelical megachurch with weekend congregations of 20,000, assets of $150 million (£76 million) and an annual turnover of $26 million. If that sounds like a business, that is because it is run like one: Harvard and Stanford MBA s handle the day-to-day management.
In the past decade Willow Creek has tried to export its formula to Britain and other countries through a separate $17 million-a-year association that has a branch office in Southampton. It now has 891 churches and other groups in Britain, from which almost 3,000 British delegates have attended its teaching conferences. [Click on the link in the title for the rest of the article.]
The 50 Most Influential Christians in America
The Church Report