I don't know how many of you watched the Oscars, but it was an Al Gore Lovefest. Not only did he present an award with Leonardo DiCaprio (who praised Gore as a "great man" or something along those lines), but he won an Oscar for his documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," then was praised again by Melissa Etheridge, who won for best song (side note: please. A song about global warming beat out 3 songs from a hit musical? Please.) Al Gore is the hottest ex-Vice President ever, and he's leading a charge to, in his own words, "help people to see the reality of this crisis and be a part of the solution."
But then news reports came out about his own personal energy usage. In an ABCnews.com article, a group that was clearly looking to bring Gore down obtained public documents that state that he pays $30,000 a year in utility bills for his house, pool house, and pool. His spokesperson defended him, saying that each family has a "different carbon footprint," that we all need to reduce our footprint, and that the Gores' footprint is reduced to zero because of the donations they make to "carbon offsetting" companies. (You can find out more about this concept at carbonfootprint.com.)
But if global warming is as big a deal as Gore claims it is, the wealthy shouldn't just be able to use all the utilities they want and just pay extra to offset that energy usage. If Gore wants people to follow him into battle, he'll need to live more radically, more than just buying compact fluorescent light bulbs. A friend in seminary (Geoff Heth-- if you're out there, buddy, gimme a shout, it's been a while) used to say: If you want your people to bleed, you have to hemorrhage. In other words, you have to lead by example, and then some. Mr. Gore: I admire your passion, but until it's followed up by a radical lifestyle to follow suit, it will just look like a publicity stunt.
The implication for the Christian life is obvious: our passion for God will look artificial and hypocritical unless it is backed up by a consistent lifestyle. May we all have the strength to live a life that matches our beliefs. James 1:22- "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."