Should a Christian be Concerned About Global Warming?
As a Christian where should I stand in regard to the global debate on the greenhouse gas reduction efforts of radical environmentalist? Should I support further regulation of refineries and industries that emit large amounts of CO2? Should I support politian’s who are voting to put the Nation deeper in debt to reduce CO2 emissions? How much regulation is enough? Ultimately the question is: “How concerned should I be about protecting mother earth?”
First, Christians need to recognize that the earth was made for man and not man for the earth (Gen 1:26). Anything that seems to flip that perspective is unbiblical.
Second, anything that seems to present “mother earth” as a goddess must be recognized for what it is: idolatry. It is idolatry to treat the earth as an entity that needs to be preserved forever. The Bible is very clear the earth will not last forever (Heb 1:10-12). God has promised Christians a new heaven and a new earth (2 Pet 3:13). Ultimately the planet will be destroyed again.
“But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” (2 Peter 3:7, ESV)
Third, the earth is cursed. It is not perfect. Nor can man make it perfect.
“And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; ” (Genesis 3:17, ESV)
Thorns and thistles, mentioned in verse 18, represent the effects of the curse. The climate changed. The need for clothing changed (and on and on). God has the power to create an earth that does not need any temperature regulation--never too hot or too cold, but that is not the earth we are living on. The earth we are living on is cursed.
And the fact is that no amount of reduction in CO2 emissions will change that. Should the Christian live with a fear that the planet is going to get so warm that it will be impossible to live here? No. God promised Noah that there would always be cold. God promised that there would always be seasons.
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” ” (Genesis 8:22, ESV)
The fact is: the earth will remain as long as God wants it to remain and it will remain not even a minute longer than God wants it to remain. And there isn’t anything man can do to alter that fact.
So when the further regulation of green gas emissions increases the global cost of energy the people that suffer the most are the poor in third world developing nations. This must be unacceptable to the Christian. He or she has been instructed by their Lord and Savior to love their neighbor as themselves (Mat 19:19). An increase of gas prices of quarter or fifty cents per gallon will get a grumble out of an American but it doesn’t really change their standard of living all that much. However, the same increase in a third world country where the average annual income is $2000 is phenomenally different.
The earth was created by God for man. The resources on the planet are to be used wisely and we are to be the best stewards of those resources.
Regulations which protect those resources should be implemented. For example, dumping pollutants into one’s drinking water supply is stupid. Every Christian should be in favor of regulations that protect one’s local source of drinking water. Man cannot survive without water and he does not have a promise from God that all water will remain potable.
This requires wisdom. Some government regulation is absolutely necessary and is required as a result of the fall of man and the curse of the earth. The government is a God-ordained authority for which all Christians are expected to obey (Rom 13:1-5); however, in America our democracy gives us the freedom to vote politicians in and out of office.
This requires a choice and any politician that is voting to put the Nation into greater debt to protect the earth from man is not voting the way the Bible would have him or her vote, and he or she should be voted out of office. (Christians don’t lock themselves into one political party and then vote that way all their lives!)
Presently (2011), the number one priority of every politician, without regard to political party, must be deficit reduction not environmental protection (Rom 13:8). Not a penny more should be spent to protect another endangered wolf, smelt, bug, plant, weed, lizard or anything else. We must stop the foolish spending to protect that which was created for man to use, consume, and enjoy.
Wise stewardship of what God has provided is what God expects--not an idolatrous worship of the planet through an agenda to protect the eternality of the earth. This imbalance really comes from a desire to deify creation and to pronounce God as some un-knowing, un-caring, aloof being (Rom 1:18-25).
Only God is eternal and only God, through Christ, can grant eternal life. God was in Christ “reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Cor 5:19). Man, as a subset of creation, was not merely a peripheral focus in His redemptive plan, but was the chief objective in Christ dying for “the sins of the world” (Mat 13:38 & 42; 1 John 2:2). The planet did not sin, but Adam’s sin brought the curse to the whole of creation, and the whole of creation eagerly awaits sin’s removal (Rom 8:19-24). The curse can be removed as quickly as it was pronounced, and one day it will be done without the help of any man, movement, special interest group, or political party (Rev 22:3).