A New Evangelical Approach To Global Warming

Posted: January 24, 2009 by Josiah Batten in Current Issues, The Church
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I think most of us are aware that many conservative Christians are disregarding global warming.  There are numerous reasons and excuses for doing this, but it’s time we in the Church re-evaluate our stance on this issue.  We can no longer accept the standard blanket-answer mantra and simply dismiss climate change.  We need to articulate a reasoned position on this issue.  Thus, I will evaluate some of the mantras common in Evangelical Christianity and see if it truly is prudent to ignore global climate change.

Mantra 1:  The Earth can not be destroyed until Jesus returns, therefore we will escape a global crisis through the rapture.

I believe in the pre-trib rapture just as much as the next person,  but the second coming does not allow us to cast off our responsibility as stewards.  Have we ceased opposing abortion because Jesus is coming back?  Have we given up on sharing the Biblical view of homosexuality because Jesus is coming back?  No!  So why are we allowed to negate our responsibility regarding global warming?  God will demand we account for what we did with what He’s given to us.  If Benny Hinn is a bad steward because he stays at presidential suites during his crusades and lives in a $10,000,000.00 house paid for by his ministry, then are we not bad stewards for perpetuating and supporting a system that is unsustainable and will ultimately re-shape our planet?

In II Thessalonians 3:6-14 we read about how some of the Christians in Thessalonica were idle, probably because they were anticipating the Lord’s return.  Paul heavily rebuked them for this idleness!  To say we need not be concerned about global warming because of the Lord’s return is to use the same type of reasoning for which the Thessalonians were rebuked.  It’s to use the reasoning that says we know we will be called to account for what we were given, so we will bury it in the sand and neglect our stewardship.

Mantra 2:  God created the earth to sustain us, so we don’t need to be worried about a global crisis.

I think the earth can sustain us, but the manner in which we have chosen to use our resources is a system that is unsustainable.  The earch can sustain us, but we’re destroying the fundamental life-sustaining elements of earth.  We’re destroying things like the Ozone layer, our water, forests that provide air and natural habitats for millions of animal species.  God did create the earth in a manner that would sustain us, but we are destroying those sustaining elements.

Mantra 3:  Environmentalism is bad for business.

Actually, the extinction of life is much worse for business.  We measure everything in dollars, and our global GDP has been growing, but at the cost of basic life-sustaining necessities.  I think preserving life is much better for business than extinction is.

Secondly, the Church doesn’t exist to prop up our capitalistic structure.  We are willing to sacrifice our responsibility to be stewards of the earth for financial gain.  We have placed our greed above God’s mandate that we tend his good earth.

Mantra 4:  Global Warming isn’t really happening.

Well, I think it is.  But even if it were not, it would still be necessary for us to take care of the earth.  Even if global warming is not happening, we still have an unsustainable materialistic mindset focused solely on short-term profits while ignoring all long-term damage to forests, species, land, water, and air.

We now have the capabilities of making houses like trees. We could build cities that would function like forests.  This would require a huge financial investment, but in the long-run it would be well worth it.  We must reach the point where we are living a sustainable lifestyle.  Then, when Jesus comes back He will say to us “well done thou good and faithful servant.”

We in the Church must be more environmentally conscious than we have ever been before.  We must demand a sustainable system of living.  Maybe we should even amend our Constitution to give the government authority to handle this issue.  At any rate our days of denial must be over.  Christian responsibility does not cease just because an issue becomes inconvenient or a political party says it doesn’t matter.

God bless!

Josiah

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