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Evangelical Spreads Green Message

Evangelical spreads green message
By Linda B. Blackford

WILMORE – J. Matthew Sleeth is a man of God and a man of science.

He is a physician who believes that the Bible is the literal word of God, that Jesus Christ walked on water, and that our addiction to oil and energy is killing our spiritual lives and violating a sacred pact with God.

As a “born-again” Christian preaching environmentalism, Sleeth is part of a growing phenomenon of evangelical Christians who think protecting the natural world should transcend politics. He spreads that message with his new book, Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action, and through an incessant speaking schedule before groups and congregations across the country.


J. Matthew Sleeth is eager to learn more about Kentucky and its environmental problems such as coal mining, particularly mountaintop removal. Coal, after all, provides all that electricity we take for granted, and its use releases pollutants into the air.

At an interview, he pulled a well-worn pocket-size Bible out of his back pocket.

“That’s a Biblical warning, the mountains being laid low is not a good sign,” he said. “When it was written 2,000 years ago, it was impossible to believe.”

Sleeth also thinks that his message will resonate with Kentuckians.

“Everybody can afford to put up a clothesline; not everyone in this area can afford a $20,000 hybrid car,” he said.

Saving the planet starts with small steps, but it ends up with big ones, he thinks, big steps that are too important to our physical and spiritual lives to be bogged down in politics.

“It can’t be about politics,” he said. “It can’t be if we’re going to engage 40 million evangelical Christians, and we have to engage them. We are, like it or not, on this planet together.”

Article courtesy of Vivian Stockman of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition





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