"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15
Global Warming and the Christian
One of our readers posed a comment that I thought would make for an interesting post. The topic…why is global warming such a polarizing topic for atheists and Christians. After all doesn’t everyone want to take care of earth?
Before we look at this from a biblical perspective, let’s look at (at least at a high level) the science that is driving global warming.
At the basic level the premise for global warming is this…1) man produces harmful emissions (through technology); 2) those emissions are causing the earth to warm; 3) those emissions can/will destroy the earth if it is not stopped. I am sure that if I am wrong….some global warming advocates will appear and correct me. Recent articles have called into question the validity of the data being used to support the findings of global warming science.
The basic argument to combat global warming is good stewardship of the earth. There are extreme elements (perhaps even on the non-extreme side) that argue that more extreme measures must be taken to protect the earth (stop using gas, oil, etc…). It seems that every so often we have some who come out and propose a doomsday scenario where the earth will flood, or burn or will be un-inhabitable. These predictions (extinction of the human race, or all kinds of animals) pose some unique questions. Can man destroy the earth that God built? Better yet, if the Bible mentions nothing about the destruction of the earth by man’s hand… will it happen that way?
From a biblical perspective we should all be good stewards. Probably the most significant mention of this is the parable of the unjust steward. The point of this parable is found in Luke 16:10-12: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”
So how does this relate?
This parable is important because it says that we must be able to handle little so that we can be trusted with much. The parable specifically mentions wealth and property. Think about this for a second, if you throw a candy wrapper on the ground, are being trustworthy with God’s property? In essence…we are stewards over every blessing that God has given us. If we can’t be trusted with the more simplistic things (finding a trash can) then how can we be trusted with the bigger things (managing the Garbage Company). This includes the earth. We are obligated to be good stewards of it.
I recently found this list on a web site that talks about ways to involve kids in stewardship…however this is applicable to all of us as stewards:
Top 10 ways to involve kids in stewardship
|10.||Recycle everything from cans to clothes|
|9.||Consolidate car trips; read a book while you wait|
|8.||Shut off lights and appliances not in use|
|7.||Harvest what you plant, share what you harvest|
|6.||Share clothes with a sibling or parent|
|5.||Use e-mail rather than long distance|
|4.||Treat possessions as valuables|
|3.||Ride a bike or walk for short errands and exercise|
|2.||Wipe your feet|
Now to the controversy…
The split, at least for me personally, is when someone who believes in global warming says that man is capable of destroying the earth. What really gets me is a Christian who says that man can destroy the earth. Such a statement, not only labels the Bible as being errant, but places man on the same plateau as God. Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for everyone to do what they want. My family practices many of the things listed above. I cannot emphasize this enough…WE ARE TO BE GOOD STEWARDS WITH THE BLESSINGS GOD HAS GIVEN US!
Where I draw the line is on individuals who worship science over God. God has declared how this earth will meet its end. Anything other than that cuts against the grain of biblical truth and at least starts to place something over God. If science is telling you that man will destroy the earth, you know that cannot be true because God did not say they would in His Word. Case and point…global warming advocates will tell you that the earth will flood from the polar caps melting. This is in direct contradiction to the promise by God that he would never flood the earth again (Genesis 9:11). How can you believe in both? The short answer….you can’t. I have a hard time stomaching Scientists trying to tell me that the earth that God created (the most powerful God, who is capable of anything) can be destroyed by man. I resent that. We have power over nothing, and yet we can melt the world?
This, in my opinion, is why global warming advocates and Christians will tend to split when it comes to global warming. Christians will look at what is happening and say God controls it, global warming advocates will look at what is happening and say that man controls it. If you are a Christian you should avoid the temptation of believing that man can control the temperature and then worship a God that you proclaim controls everything. This is another point of the parable of the unjust steward. Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
It’s schizophrenic to try and serve both God and the science of global warming – They are diametrically opposed to one another.