Climate Testimonies

Brittany Bennett

Awakening to the Climate Crisis

Climate used to seem like an unchangeable thing to me. My perspective was somewhat limited growing up, which is typical of course. I was homeschooled and my family moved many times. I consider myself to have been incredibly blessed through those experiences. Though we didn't live in one place long enough to notice transitioning, we did gravitate to similar, almost rural areas. My earliest contemplations of God occurred watching little critters go about their day and flowers blooming.

I was taught about the numerous famous scientists who were also Christians, and how important science is to society. Yet, when I got to my senior year in high school, my textbooks ended by describing evolution and global warming as two major hoaxes pre-occupying modern science. Though I wasn't quite convinced, I was discouraged. I decided to pursue education in teaching, and join in community at a nearby Christian college. I came to know scientists and science students who were also Christians. I felt right again about spending time studying the natural world.

I was still critical though, and avoided really thinking about climate change until my final year. I then watched some films, did online research, and listened to my peers give presentations in class. I had conversations with a man living in Bangladesh, whose country is experiencing the literal first waves of climate change. I noticed more related headlines and news. I read "Global Warming and the Risen Lord" by Rev. Jim Ball. I realized I had still been holding back my faith in Christ's resurrection work. I was looking at it considering my own abilities, afraid of the worst. But, Jesus knows and is going to save His people whether we have things figured 100%. The best we can do is come alongside Him, allowing Him to work through us. I find that opportunity incredibly graceful.

I'm concerned about climate change because of how people are affected by it, and how the gift of land and creatures are being disregarded. Even when I feel insulated from some aspects, I know that I have neighbors who are struggling with health and security. I know I've played a normal, compliant role. Yet, as a follower of Christ, I feel compelled by the love He exemplified in the way He cared for those on the margins. I've been there on the margin, and He's poured His love on me.

Our country was founded on principles which call for the fair address of an issue like this. As evangelicals we should supporting a higher standard, based on our deep understanding of our condition. We shouldn't ignore these problems. In their midst, we have opportunities to be examples of Christ's love, and show what kind of God we believe in. I hope that more young people and evangelicals will take a rooted and energetic stance in these challenges. I hope that our presidential candidates are paying attention to the needs arising from climate change. The candidate I can give support to will be one who shows strong committment to addressing these needs.