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What Now? National Association of Evangelicals Board Meeting

Contact: Loralei Coyle 202-682-4131, 202-905-6852 cell, lcoyle@ird-renew.org;  Radio Interviews: Jeff Walton, jwalton@ird-renew.org; both with the Institute on Religion and Democracy


WASHINGTON, Mar. 7 /Christian Newswire/ -- This Friday the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) will meet in Minneapolis for the bi-annual board meeting. This will be the first board meeting since Ted Haggard stepped down as its president. One of the most pressing issue that will be discussed at this meeting will be NAE's Vice President's Richard Cizik and his "Creation Care" statements. The NAE Executive Committee passed the following motion at a previous meeting:


"Recognizing the ongoing debate regarding the causes and origins of global warming, and understanding the lack of consensus among the evangelical community on this issue, the NAE Executive Committee, while affirming our love for the Creator and His creation, directs the NAE staff to stand by and not exceed in any fashion our approved and adopted statements concerning the environment contained within the Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility."


Jerald Walz, IRD Vice President and NAE Board Member, commented:


"There has been a growing contradiction between, the Board's official position on environmental stewardship and, statements that have been made on behalf of NAE, especially regarding climate change.


"Richard Cizik continues to step outside the approved policy areas of the NAE. Cizik using his public position has made statements that exceed NAE's goals. Cizik has claimed that global warming is real. Cizik has also used his NAE title in endorsing a petition against torture that alleges that the practice 'is condemned in word but allowed in deed' by the Bush administration. Yet the same petition makes no mention of torture being practiced by any country other than the United States. Similarly, Cizik has backed the Evangelicals for Darfur petition organized by the "progressive" Christian Sojourners group. That petition targets President Bush, as if he were the main obstacle blocking humanitarian intervention to stop the Darfur genocide.


"All of these controversial political judgments go well beyond any plain scriptural teaching. None of them has been authorized by the NAE board. None of them would have consensus support in the evangelical community."


The Institute on Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981, is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches' social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.