View Points: Al Gore's Environmental Spirituality
Though I appreciate Al Gore's good intentions, I'm concerned about his beliefs. If he becomes vice president, will his convictions fuel America's growing enchantment with earth-centered religions?
The personable spokesman for global environmentalism voices some genuine concerns, but would his earnest, articulate answers blur the meaning of Christianity?
"I am a Baptist," he tells us, but how does he view God? Could his beliefs spur the timeless tendency to dilute truth with pagan persuasions?
Gore's best-selling book, Earth in the Balance; Ecology and the Human Spirit, offers some alarming clues. In it, he:
FINDS ANSWERS IN PANTHEISTIC CONNECTEDNESS: "A modern prayer of the Onondaga tribe in upstate New York offers another beautiful expression of our essential connection to the earth: `O Great Spirit, whose breath gives life to the world and whose voice is heard in the soft breeze make us wise so that we may understand what you have taught us'" (p. 259).
SEEKS WISDOM FROM PAGAN RELIGIONS: "The richness and diversity of our religious tradition throughout history is a spiritual resource long ignored by people of faith, who are often afraid to open their minds to teachings first offered outside their own system of belief.
"But the emergence of a civilization in which knowledge moves freely and almost instantaneously throughout the world has spurred a renewed investigation of the wisdom distilled by all faiths.
"This panreligious perspective may prove especially important where our global civilization's responsibility for the earth is concerned" (p. 258-259).
VALIDATES GODDESS WORSHIP: "The spiritual sense of our place in nature predates Native American cultures; increasingly it can be traced to the origins of human civilization.
"A growing number of anthropologists and archeo-mythologists argue that the prevailing ideology of belief in prehistoric Europe and much of the world was based on the worship of a single earth goddess, who was assumed to be the fount of all life and who radiated harmony among all living things.
"Much of the evidence for the existence of this primitive religion comes from the many thousands of artifacts uncovered in ceremonial sites. These sites are so widespread that they seem to confirm the notion that a goddess religion was ubiquitous throughout much of the world until the antecedents of today's religions - most of which still have a distinctly masculine orientation - swept out of India and the Near East, almost obliterating belief in the goddess. "The last vestige of organized goddess worship was eliminated by Christianity.
"It seems obvious that a better understanding of a religious heritage preceding our own by so many thousands of years could offer new insights" (p. 261).
BLENDS CHRISTIANITY AND PANTHEISM: "My own faith is rooted in the unshakable belief in God as creator and sustainer, a deeply personal interpretation of and relationship with Christ, and an awareness of a constant and holy spiritual presence in all people, all life and all things" (p. 368).
"My understanding of how God is manifest in the world can be best conveyed through the metaphor of the hologram; I believe that the image of the Creator, which sometimes seems so faint in the tiny corner of creation each of us beholds, is nonetheless present in its entirety" (p. 265).
Earth-centered spirituality and pantheistic gods sounds good to people who don't know Scripture - but they can never heal the earth. The true God is separate from His creation, not in or part of it.
Al Gore's well-meant manual for global salvation will only deepen our problems. Feminine or earth-centered spirituality may be "politically correct" today, but it mocks biblical Christianity.
Like Israel who witnessed God's miracles and settled in the promised land, America is turning from God's Word to the beliefs of pagan neighbors within one generation.