Saving the Planet
Is our planet really warming up? And, more controversially, are we responsible for the alleged rise in global temperature? To be sure, we are able to trace mankind’s introduction to sin, misery and death back to the unlawful actions of one man, Adam. For Scripture says that ‘through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.’ Romans 5:12. But does God hold us accountable for today’s supposed climate change? We might as well ask if the advent of the ‘Industrial Age’ has been bad for us? Have we been good stewards of the resources God has blessed us with and has told us to develop to His glory? Well, that would all depend upon a person’s worldview. Certainly we have been obedient to God by engaging in commerce, business, building ships, cars, factories, houses etc., for all this and more is included in the ‘Cultural Mandate’ that God has given us (see eg, Genesis 1:26-28; 9:1-7 with Matthew 28:18-20). Therefore, according to Scripture, God is pleased for us to develop His earth, for He says to us in His Fourth Commandment, ‘Six days shall you labour and do all your work…’ Therefore, idleness is disobedience! According to Scripture salvation comes to us through Jesus Christ’s obedience alone. However, ordinarily, our obedience to the Triune God brings temporal blessings; and haven’t the Christianized Western Nations collectively been blessed in abundance: medicine, medical technology, lower infant mortality, greater education, freedom of speech, stable governments, judiciaries etc., etc. etc. However, Secular Humanism in our own day is seeking to detach these blessings from their source – mainly by striving to revise history by removing all past reference to God from the heart of each Western Nation. In the West Secular Humanism wants Christianity without Christ or Christians! In the main Christians have let this happen, but are perhaps now awakening to these dangers. This distancing ourselves from God is far worse for us than breathing the fumes of any smog-causing chimney or car exhaust pipe. We can reduce smog by being better stewards of God’s resources, but looking after each other’s wellbeing can only be improved by repentance and a return to the Triune God through Christ.
If you hold the view that there really is global warming in our own generation, then think about this: There has at times been a correlation between weather extremes and amoral behaviour, eg, the great Flood in Noah’s day, and the sea-storm when Jonah tried to flee from the presence of the LORD. That God sovereignly controls the weather is not only seen in these two examples but also when Jesus calmed the storm and stilled the waves, and when the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind. Indeed, Scripture says that ‘He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.’ Matthew 5:45b. Therefore, if there really is any global warming today it too is under God’s sovereign control.
God holds nations as well as individuals accountable for their actions, but rather than the current ‘the-sky-is-falling’ ‘global warming’ panic in the West, there ought to be a systematic search of Scripture to find specific and general applications of God’s Law to the needs of our own generation. For, the token of the Promised Land of Old Testament times becomes the whole planet and beyond in Christ: ‘For the promise that he would be heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.’ Romans 4:13. Thus the whole ordered world is Abraham’s and our inheritance through the faithful obedience of Jesus. Faith in God through Christ is how we receive that inheritance. But, remove Christ and you remove God’s blessings to all nations (Gen. 12:3; Psalm 2), for, ‘Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law… that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles [ie, the nations] in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.’ Galatians 3:13-14. God has given His Son Jesus Christ all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). Therefore, the way for us (and the nations to which we belong) to inherit the planet is to observe everything God in Christ has commanded us (Matt. 28:20).
As good as it might seem, saving the planet is not by faithful obedience to recycling and reducing carbon emissions, but through obedient faith in Christ, for ‘to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.’ Daniel 7:14.