The current issue of “Assemblies of God Heritage” magazine (GPH 2010, pgs.16-26, 69) has a wonderful article on the Pentecostal origins of Earth Day. You can download the article “John McConnell, Jr. and the Pentecostal Origins of Earth Day” as a pdf. I recently visited with Darrin Rodgers (editor of Heritage magazine and Pentecostal historian) about this topic and thoroughly appreciated his recent article on it. I think you’ll be surprised by what you find. This article is the reason I’ll be celebrating Earth Day this year (on Sunday, March 21st)…thank you John McConnell, Jr. Just one brief snippet to whet your appetite:
McConnell’s purpose was to promote “a climate of peace and justice as a prerequisite for ecological preservation”…[as opposed to its now having become, at the hands of Senator Nelson,] a political protest against pollution.’
You can also watch a lengthy interview of John and Anna McConnell concerning Earth Day by Darrin here.
I continue to struggle with a pentecostalism that is given to one of two extremes: unthinking emotionalism with zeal and an anything-goes stodgy critical liberalism. While the former is the more traditional manner among pentecostals, the latter is apparently more typically normative among those who are educated beyond the grad-level in Biblical studies. It is a strange thing to be exposed to these two extremes within a week in a setting among pentecostal leaders.
Where is the middle? Those who would be critical in their thinking about all things pentecostal (while holding to a conservative hermeneutic), but zealous and impassioned. I was thankful to encounter and interact with such middle pentecostals at both events (as well as to have such in my own congregation), but wonder…why aren’t THEY the ones who are leading the charge in the wider pentecostal circles? Is there room for a middle pentecostal leadership that holds a place of priority among the wider pentecostal body or is there only room for the extremes (the one in the wider Church; the other in wider academia)?
In the end, I hope and pray I am a pentecostal disciple of Jesus that loves God with all my being and am faithful to His revelation in whatever circle of influence I find myself…