A Tory MP has used the Bible to argue against the Church of England scrutinizing oil companies over the effect they have on climate change.
"Before being too critical of the oil companies," David T.C Davies told the Commons today. "Could I suggest the Church of England Commissioners read the Bible? Matthew 25, the parable of the oil lamps and the ten virgins.
"It was the five virgins who lived happily every after who had a cheap and ready supply of this much maligned fossil fuel."
Davies was speaking to Caroline Spelman, the former Tory environment secretary who now speaks for the Church of England Commissioners in parliament.
The Commissioners manage an investment fund of £6.7bn for the Church. It has asked oil giant Exxon to carry out an impact assessment on the effect of climate change policies on that company's portfolio and strategy.
Spelman told Davies she did not share the same interpretation of the Bible when it came to belief in climate change.
And she told him when she visited the Arctic soon she would "very much in mind the recent news the British research station is in danger of sinking into the sea".
She added: "The Church Commissioners have bee recommended with a number of prizes for their work on an ethical investment strategy which includes taking account of the risk climate change does pose."
The parable cited by Davies is seen as teaching people to be ready for the Day of Judgement.