Polar Bears have become the poster child in the effort to
raise awareness about the effects of climate change, with
governments being pressured to add them to the list of
endangered species. People who live in northern latitudes
have a great deal of respect for this cunning carnivore,
often making note that the only thing more dangerous than
a polar bear is a mother protecting her cub.
While most people donít want to see the polar bear driven
to the point of extinction, the real question may be whether
there is anything more dangerous than an environmental
extremist zealously protecting their ideals at the expense
of true scientific data and common sense. The challenge in
addressing todayís environmental concerns is to differentiate
between conservation of our environment and environmentalism.
While I still believe that Christians should be good stewards
of their environment, and involved in public debate on
environmental concerns, it is important that we maintaining
a firm Biblical foundation in addressing todayís hot button
Speaker of The House, Nancy Pelosi (D- CA) has been quoted on
numerous occasions as saying "The Bible teaches us, to minister
to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship, to ignore
those needs is to dishonor the God who made us." Biblical
scholars and theologians have challenged the idea that the
Senators statement is scriptural, which leaves the question
of what the Bible really says about environmental issues?
Are the polar ice caps melting simply because we have abused
the environment for so long, or is this all part of Godís plan
to bring the world to the apocalypse? Should we try to repair
the damage done to the ecosystem as part of our duty to care
for our bodies as the temples of the Holy Spirit? Did God
create man for the Garden of Eden, or did God create
the Garden of Eden for man?
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,
and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of
the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over
all the creatures that move along the ground." Genesis 1:26
We haven't even gotten out of the 1st chapter in Genesis,
and God makes it very clear that man is "rule over all the
earth." Mankindís job function is to have dominion over the
garden God created. One day while Adam and Eve are puttering
around the garden, they did the unthinkable, and commit the
"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the
LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the
cool of the day." Genesis 3:8
Adam and Eve are over there in the trees hiding
behind their fig leaves, because they know what
time Dad gets home from work, and they know
they are in big trouble. As Christians, we talk
about the original sin in terms of disobedience,
the curse of comparison, and we play the blame
game because Adam stood there and watched it
happen. What we sometimes loose sight of is the
idea that mankind lost the freedom to worship God
in the way he intended.
In the Apostle Paulís letter to the church in Rome he notes
that people had "exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and
worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-
-who is forever praised." Greek and Roman culture both
celebrated the worship of some kind of deity of nature or
fertility and good crops. In our modern society people are
still directing their worship toward created things, but
rather than worshiping a graven image, people are paying
homage to high sounding ideals of environmentalism
that are tantamount to idolatry.
While it can be argued that mankind does impact the
environment, it is interesting to note that the buzz word
has changed from "global warming" to "climate change."
That way whether there is global warming or global cooling,
the rhetoric can still be used to blame mankind for all
types of natural disasters. Philosophically, that would put
mankind in control of its own destiny, where in theory
mankind may some day learn to live in harmony with nature.
However, given the nature of humanity, its lusts and greed,
only taking mankind out of the equation would restore the
balance of nature. Groups like "The Voluntary Human
Extinction Movement," (VHEMT) consists of volunteers who
have made active life decisions to remain childless, to
reduce humanity's ecological footprint on the Earth.
VHEMT will ultimately be short lived, but it exemplifies
the extremes that some environmentalist are willing to
embrace, in their misguided worship of nature. From a
Biblical perspective God created the garden, and then
placed man in the garden, and gave him dominion over
the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the plants
of the garden. Mankind was not created to worship the
created, but the creator, anything less is to dishonor
the God who created us.
In the New Testament we find Jesus encountering the
Samaritan woman, and tells her, "a time is coming and has
now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father
in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers
the Father seeks." John 4:23
When people came up to Jesus and asked what works they
needed to do to be saved, his response was "believe on me"
That is an act of worship!! .
There are a couple of places in the Old Testament where the
prophets talk about the mountains melting like wax in the
presence of the Lord. The New Testament gives us several
references to not only the destruction of the old world,
but of the creation of a new world.
2 Peter 3:10-14
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The
heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements
will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and
everything in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind
of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly
lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its
coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the
heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a
new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this,
make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at
peace with him.
It is almost a case of "common sense isn't as common as it
used to be" because even in the early church it seems to
have been common knowledge that the world as we know it
wouldbe destroyed and replaced with a new one. The passage
from 2 Peter was written about 67 AD while the apocalyptic
book of Revelations wasn't written until about 95 AD, and
gives a much more detailed look at end times.
There are plenty of things that happen in todayís world,
aside from global warming that I believe take us a little
closer every day to the events described in Revelations.
However, what is probably over looked in all of the
symbolism and pending catastrophes, is the worship of God.
Which is where it all started, God creating man in his image,
and given the free will to choose to worship God. As we make
choices about the products and services we will use, and
their impact on our environment, it is important to remember
that the message of the church should be the gospel of
Well said, indeed! Course, I'm biased. You and I sound a lot alike and I sure like ME. Now, in all seriousness, this topic needs to be seen, read and heard and there wasn't a single point I disagreed with. OH, that's not a critique, right, well, there were a couple of misspells and one word that should have been plural. Okay? I loved reading that there are others here at FW that are looking for a city, whose builder and maker is God. In ways you'll likely never know, this encouraged me.