‘This is my Father’s world, and he does not care if I touch it!’ Christians and the climate

DENTON, Tex. (BNC) by Weylan Deaver — Cries of alarm go out about the future of Earth, along with accusations that people are destroying it and must take immediate, drastic measures or else face ruin.

It used to be conventional wisdom that the climate was cooling, then it came to be thought the climate was warming. Now, it seems enough for proponents of doom to simply say the climate is changing, and, whichever the direction, it is our fault. “Manmade climate change” has become a sacred tenet of political and cultural progressives that is used to scare, intimidate, tax, regulate, and even obliterate certain freedoms to grow government in the name of saving us all.

If the thermometer goes down, they say they were right. If the temperature goes up, they say they were right. Proponents of manmade climate change have crafted a belief that ends up being proven by whatever happens. Win-win for them.

Treating their view as impossible to falsify, and adhering to it with religious fervor, they become bolder by the day. To be a denier is to be held a fool, akin to believing the earth is flat, and to invite the scorn and retribution of those who, with few facts from the past, think they already know the future.

Much that we hear is untrue. Much that is called science is not. Data can be manipulated, statistics skewed, studies misrepresented or misconducted, outright lies told. For that matter, we don’t even have records for most of history. What we have are some shrill voices in an increasingly secular culture forecasting their vision of the future—a vision devoid of any Bible knowledge—and they demand the entire world listen, bow to their warning, and pay whatever cost to conform.

What should Christians think about the climate?

For purposes of this piece, we are not interested in studies and statistics (which are available, and used both to support and deny manmade climate change). Our interest is in God’s word. Where do the Scriptures weigh in?

The Bible does not contain the words “climate,” or “environment,” or “global warming.” The word “weather” is found once (ESV). There are many biblical references to specific weather events, such as rain, floods, storms, lightning, hail, heat, cold, snow, ice.

However much can be said, here are six things that cannot be omitted from any accurate understanding of our world.

First, God created the earth (Gen. 1:1). He made the sun and put us the perfect distance from it to sustain life on this planet. He made the earth’s annual orbit and daily rotation for days, seasons, years. Any climate theory that begins without God is handicapped from the start.

Second, God surveyed his creation and “it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). After God cursed the ground in the wake of Adam’s sin (Gen. 3:17-19), man would have to engage in agriculture while battling thorn and thistle, but that difficulty in farming does not imply delicacy of the planet. And, since the curse came while the first people were still alive, that means God intended the whole human race live in a post-curse climate.

Third, God is omniscient, “declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’” (Isa. 46:10, ESV). Before the beginning, God knew what natural resources would be needed to sustain humanity until Christ’s return. Is it reasonable to think that God made the world, that it was very good, that he put people in it, but then shortchanged us on the food, or water, or fuel, or space that we would need? Of course not. Jesus indicated that, when he comes back, things will be going on just as they were in Noah’s day before the Flood broke and “swept them all away” (Matt. 24:38-39). What will get mankind in the end is not nuclear winter, global warming, or some pandemic disease. Rather, it will be the return of Christ. To suggest man has the power to destroy Earth is an implicit attack on the omniscience and omnipotence of God.

Fourth, God told humanity, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28). Man was to go out and conquer the planet—not serve it. He was to gain mastery over animals—not simply co-exist with them. Nowhere did God say to Adam (or anyone else) that we should be concerned with overpopulation. Nowhere did God say that people are the planet’s problem. Many today think it our duty to make sure parents don’t have too many children. They think we should live in fear of affecting the environment in which we live. If we venture into the woods, we should try not to leave a footprint, not to break a twig, not to pluck a flower, not to do anything that would “harm” nature. Every variety of species, no matter how insignificant or unhelpful, must be jealously protected, no matter the cost or how detrimental it is to the human population. It is as though people are an unnatural, unwanted, poisonous presence on Earth. That is not what God said. This is my Father’s world, and he does not care if I touch it!

Fifth, God makes the weather. That is not to say every storm or drought is intentionally inflicted by God on someone, but it is to say he is in charge of it to do as he pleases, as with the rest of the cosmos. Jesus said that God “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). Notice the sun is “his sun.” He made it. He controls it. He never told us to live in fear of it. Numerous verses affirm divine control of weather (e.g. Psa. 65:9-10, etc.). If the climate is in God’s hands, it is absurd to think government regulation and education can put us in the driver’s seat to steer it where we will.

Sixth, God made a promise. When the waters subsided, and Noah came off the ark, God made a statement still in effect: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Gen. 8:22). He did not say we would have cold and heat, and summer and winter as long as we listen to Al Gore, or as long as we sign the Kyoto Accord or the Paris Agreement, or as long as we drive smaller cars, or as long as we cut emissions, or as long as we reduce greenhouse gases, or as long as we recycle, or as long as we curb drilling for oil, etc. God said there would be definite seasons with wide temperature fluctuations as long as “the earth remains.” And he is in charge of that.

In conclusion, manmade climate change theory is fueled by a godless worldview. Doubtless, many have bought into it because of indoctrination, peer pressure, constant conditioning, or ignorance, and not because they had an anti-Christian bias. Nevertheless, manmade climate change is a theory propelled by a godless worldview. That is the only way the view can work. Because, if you believe God created and is in control, and you trust God’s promise on the subject, what is there to be afraid of when it comes to the climate? Fear kicks in when God is kicked out. Man without God is a scary proposition. Man puts himself in God’s place and then concludes he is the root of planetary destruction, working himself into a frenzy of fright, seeking at the eleventh hour to manage what he cannot possibly control: Earth’s climate.

Our view of the climate should be tempered by our knowledge of what God wrote about it. We should not be wantonly wasteful, intentionally polluting, or needlessly contaminating. But we should remember man is the apex of creation week, made in God’s own image (Gen. 1:27). Earth is about us—not animals, plants, oceans, ice caps, or the ozone layer.

Rather than climate change, our focus should be on character change. The only thing that can accomplish that is the gospel of Christ. If not, judgment is coming. “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 Pet. 3:7). In the end, clean is better than green.

Weylan is editor of Biblical Notes and works with the Sherman Drive congregation in Denton TX.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

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19 Comments

  1. Alfred Beyan

    Amen!

  2. dave

    Best sentence in the whole article is “Man without God is a scary proposition.” Atheists are completely terrified and paranoid since they believe it’s all up to humans to “save the planet.” And their “climate scientists” are just mere activists who go into that field to do something about it. The average person and far left kooks think these are normal scientists just going where the evidence leads them. Poppycock! It’s an agenda driven world view. Nothing more, nothing less.

  3. Roy Davison

    As someone whom I hope does not have “a godless worldview” but who has indeed “bought in to the man-made climate change theory” I would like to question some of the extreme statements in this article.
    Man is doing more than just “touching” the earth! One evening, way back in 1963, when I stood on an overpass near LA watching hundreds of cars and trucks stream past, I remember thinking, “All these dirty exhaust fumes we are spewing into the air are going to change the climate of the whole earth!” How could it be otherwise?
    There are Scriptures that indicate that man is to care for the earth. In the judgment, God will “destroy those who destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18).
    We are to be concerned about conservation of wildlife: “If a bird’s nest happens to be before you along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; you shall surely let the mother go, and take the young for yourself, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days” (Deuteronomy 22:6, 7).
    Israel was to let the land rest one year in seven (Leviticus 25:1-5). When they failed to do so, God gave the land a rest of 70 years!
    God will judge between the lean and the fat sheep that eat and drink what they want and then dirty the rest with their feet (Ezekiel 34:18-22).
    One of the things Job said in defense of his uprightness was: “If my land cries out against me, and its furrows weep together; if I have eaten its fruit without money, or caused its owners to lose their lives…” (Job 31:38, 39). When the wealthy misuse resources, it causes poor people to die.
    The rate at which non-renewable resources are being consumed is not sustainable. Such things cannot be determined exactly, but it can hardly be denied that the wealthy 20% are consuming at least 70% of earth’s resources. At some point there will be a significant shortage, prices will sky-rocket, the economy of the whole earth will be negatively affected, and especially the very poor will suffer and die. Just because God has given us abundance does not mean that we may waste it.
    Christians should do what they can to be good stewards of the earth’s blessings and distribute them more fairly. But in spite of efforts to reduce carbon emissions and conserve energy, the environment will continue to become more polluted. People will suffer and die because of rising seas flooding whole islands, dike breaches flooding lowlands and destruction caused by extreme weather conditions.
    Do your part to help preserve the environment, but do not worry too much about this old earth. God has promised us a new one, and it will be pollution free. But will it be for those who wantonly destroy this one?

    • Hi Roy! It’s good to see you! 🙂 I don’t think this guy is saying we should be careless with the earth: “Our view of the climate should be tempered by our knowledge of what God wrote about it. We should not be wantonly wasteful, intentionally polluting, or needlessly contaminating.” I do agree with you, we need to take care of the planet and what God has given us, of course. I just think “global warming” is not scientifically proven. We’re homeschooling our children, and Aaron’s science proves that it’s totally unscientific. I won’t go into the details about it here, but if these folks could study the “science” behind global warming, there’s no scientific proof for it.

      • Roy Davison

        Well, Sandi. How long can you sniff an exhaust pipe without dying? Each US gallon of gasoline burned puts 13 lbs. of fumes into the air. Since petroleum comes from under the ground, this is an injection of new carbon into the biosphere. There are more than a billion cars worldwide. And you are trying to tell me that “science” indicates that this has no impact on the climate? You will not convince many people in Los Angeles or Beijing that there is no man-made climate change! That evening in 1963 when I concluded that exhaust emissions would change the climate worldwide, I was 23 years old, revisiting the place I had lived when I was 13. Ten years earlier you could see beautiful mountains in the distance and they were proud that they did not have smog like LA! That day, no mountains could be seen through the smog. Some residents of LA try to fly in only at night, so they do not have to see the color of the “air” they breath.

        • Roy, I agree with you on this. I see the same thing happening in Colorado. However, some days are clear, while others are not. I just don’t think it has anything to do with “global warming.” Dr. Jay L. Wile (who is a scientist) basically says that global warming is a farce. He’s a “Christian” scientist. He says that the development of global temperature did not show a steady increase (I think for the last 100 years). However, only the local temperatures are changing over the landmass. Some show an increase, and some show a decrease. I also know there is only so much trust we can put into these scientists (while this one claims to be a Christian, other scientists are telling us we came from apes).

          • Roy Davison

            Yes, Sandi. As you know, temperature is just one aspect of climate. Others include air quality, water quality, rainfall, rainwater quality, humidity, storm intensity and frequency, and heat distribution. Theoretically, the man-made increase in heat-capturing gasses in the atmosphere would be expected to cause a rise in temperature and more even heat distribution. Only God knows the temperature of the whole world! Yet, in fulfilling their God-given assignment of “subduing” the earth (Genesis 1:28) and using available data, NASA concludes that “Worldwide since 1880, the average surface temperature has gone up by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), relative to the mid-20th-century baseline (of 1951-1980).” – http://climate.nasa.gov/resources/global-warming/ It may not sound like much, but that represents a lot of calories. A more even heat distribution might be verified by the greatly accelerated melting of ice at the poles, which will cause the sea level to rise significantly and flood many islands and low-lying areas. Large land masses near the poles, such as Russia and Canada, may benefit from the changes. The parts of the world that probably will suffer are areas where many poor people live. The wealthy will leave, but subsistence farmers and fishermen will not be able to do so unless they get help from wealthy nations (if any are left), which is not likely to happen. Our civilization is not immune to the same forces that reduced great civilizations of the past to ruins. God is certainly in control, but Biblical history indicates that He often allows man to suffer the consequences of his own selfish actions to encourage him to repent. He has also stayed off ruin when people repented.

    • Roy, I’m not able to reply to your last comment, so I’m replying here. I totally agree with what you’re saying, and thank you for sharing the links with all that interesting information. I will say, however, I’m not terribly worried about a tiny 1.4 °F increase. I have an atlas that shows the landmasses of ancient times and water and ice is in places it’s no longer in now, and it just shows me that the earth is constantly changing. Yes, we should take care of our planet, by all means. I’m just not worried about it or in living terror over it. In the meantime, we need to do what we can as individuals to keep the planet clean for our children and their children, etc.

      • Okay, coming back to this. That 1 degree is a bit concerning. Add another 60 years to that, and it’ll be 2 more degrees on top of that one (assuming it’s continually rising). Anyway, who knows. The scientists are on both sides of the spectrum on this subject. As long as we fear God, and do what we can to be pleasing to Him (i.e. taking care of the earth He’s given us), there’s nothing more we can do but trust in Him. Hopefully, he’ll come before NY will have to start building dikes like the Dutch. 🙂

  4. Very good article.

  5. AMEN…GOD IS IN CONTROL…WE ARE STEWARDS FOR SURE…BUT WE CANNOT CAUSE EARTH TO BURN.ONLY GOD CAN MAKE DIRT BURN…AMEN !!!

  6. Joe Wheatley

    I don’t understand why so many Christians deny climate change. You might as well say the earth is flat or deny gravity. The article says., “We should not be wantonly wasteful, intentionally polluting, or needlessly contaminating.” but that is exactly what we are doing. The statement that, “If the climate is in God’s hands, it is absurd to think government regulation and education can put us in the driver’s seat to steer it where we will” could be expanded to say that since God created our bodies along with viruses and bacteria we should not try to treat cancers, malaria or strep throat. Everyone needs to read Roy Davison’s comments again and take them to heart. The earth will survive but in what condition? Do we want our gr-gr-gr-grandchildren to live in a world where New York, Philadelphia, Boston and all of Florida are under water while California is a desert waste land? Turn to God and scripture for information regarding our souls but listen to trained scientists for information regarding the world in which we live.

    • dave

      Your “trained scientists” are just activists who tweak data, lie to get the desired results and want to punish prosperity – AKA the USA. Sad you’ve been duped.

      • Joe Wheatley

        I cannot understand why people with no scientific background want to put down those people who have years of study in universities and years of applying their studies to real life situations. When your doctor tells you that you are a diabetic do you tell him, “No doc, you are just caving into the drug companies, I know that I don’t have diabetes and even if I do, God gave it to me so I will just go on living as I have been and if I die, I die”? No, you recognize that the doctor knows more than you do and you follow his instructions. Same with climatologists, when they say the earth is getting warmer, if you don’t want the east coast to be under water you do what they tell you.
        A fear of education has been a persistent thread in conservative churches of Christ all of my life. This one reason why we have so many preachers who go to 2 year preacher schools rather than universities and seminaries. We need to listen to those who know more about a subject than we do.

        • I think it’s because those “scientists” have lost our trust. Think about it. These “scientists” teach as “fact” (not theory) that we all come from apes and that the earth is billions of years old (just look at what they’re teaching at Universities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0u3-2CGOMQ).

          Another thing, America is likely one of the sickest nations on earth. I’ve never seen so many sick people in the thirteen years I spent in Holland as I have in just one year of being in the United States. Hospitals and clinics are popping up on nearly every street corner. I can name FIVE within a one-mile radius of our home. The medical industry has become Big Business. For example, they’ve had a cure for cancer since before the 70s and were treating people with this cure, but our lovely FDA jailed these doctors and shut them down because it was a natural cure and couldn’t be patented (www.worldwithoutcancer.org.uk).

          These “scientists” tend to have an agenda. So … we no longer “trust” these “learned” people, who want to keep their religion/faith of Evolution and are only interested in band-aids for cancer so they can make money (think about all these “run for the cure” donation programs; they’ve been doing this for over 50 years and they still haven’t “discovered” a cure for cancer). Yes, it’s true, they ARE in league with the drug companies. We need to do our research. As you said, don’t be afraid of educating ourself. I TRUSTED these doctors with my life! I believed if there was a natural cure (meaning: “God-made”) for my cancer, the doctors would give it to me. Nope! I learned that the hard way. When I cured my cancer with a vitamin within ten weeks, after battling for two years under their poisons (Genesis 1:29, it was a concentrated form of apricot kernels that cured me), my family physician said he felt cheated in his education, and if he ever got cancer, he’d take Vitamin B17 himself.

          It’s simply foolish to put these so-called scientists above our God, our Creator, who knows all, is all, and does all. He’s got a lot more years on these so-called scientists than they do on God. Think about what these “great minds” did for George Washington back in the day. Yes, they’ve improved since then, but they’re still “practicing” medicine, and I refuse to be their guinea pig anymore. Forgive me and my passionate reply, it’s just this wonderful medical system we’ve got nearly killed me, and may very likely kill me in the end (long story: went through a failed–from an adult–stem cell transplant that could still turn on me).

          As for “fear of education” being dominant in “conservative churches of Christ,” I honestly don’t know what a conservative Christian is. Either we abide by God’s Word or we don’t. Is there really such a thing as a “liberal” and “conservative” in God’s eyes? I take it you’re not a “conservative” and that means you’re “better” in some way than those who are? How are “conservatives” (assuming they even “know” they’re conservative) supposed to take this comment? The churches of Christ are the Lord’s body. When you put down His Kingdom, you’re putting down our Lord and Savior.

          Having come from a denominational background, I can say, our preachers learn A LOT MORE in those two-year preaching schools than they do in those opulent 4-year Universities and Seminaries. We shouldn’t be fooled by what the world has to offer (1 Cor. 1:27).

          I think a “fear of education” is when we put our full and complete trust in doctors who serve Big Pharma and not ask God to lead us to the truth of what can heal us. That, to me, is how we educate ourselves.

          God is all-powerful and all-knowing, and I and my husband believed He provided a cure for cancer for His children. After doing research and “educating” himself, and through A LOT OF PRAYER, God led my husband to that cure, and I’m here today because of it.

          Yes, listen to those who are “smarter” than us, and seek out wise counsel, but go to God first.

          Blessings,

          Sandi

        • Roy Davison

          Problems are caused by (1) glorification of human wisdom, (2) complete rejection of human wisdom. When God has spoken, human wisdom will not do: “The foolishness of God is wiser than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25). To be a Christian and a church of Christ human wisdom must be rejected in matters of religion. Although I have a university education I have utmost respect for two-year preacher training courses. They offer a more advanced and intensive curriculum than what is required for a Bible or Theology major in a university B.A. program. Usually every book of the Bible is studied in addition to Greek, homiletics and Christian evidences. What God says about man is emphasized rather than what men say about God. Because human theological wisdom must be rejected to become a Christian, some Christians mistakenly think that all human wisdom must be rejected. But a Christian must love the truth (2 Thesalonians 2:10). He must “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). In this exchange certain things have been said that are not based on evidence but are merely disrespectful, unkind expressions of prejudice and contempt: “Far left kooks,” “You might as well say the earth is flat,” “Sad you’ve been duped,” “Man-made climate change theory is fueled by a godless worldview.” There are indeed dishonest scientists just like there are dishonest preachers, and we must beware of both! But it is not true that all scientists and preachers are dishonest. Many “scientists” are not scientific and one can be scientific without being a scientist. Personally, I have not been “duped” by far left kooks or oil company propaganda. In 1963, through observation and sound reasoning, I concluded that worldwide climate change would occur. If people keep throwing garbage in a pond, it will become a filthy pond. When I participated in an evangelistic campaign in British Columbia 50 years ago we were told that we could safely drink the water of Shuswap Lake that is fed by snow from the mountains. When we camped in Scotland, a farmer said we could safely drink water from the burn (mountain stream). When we camped in Norway, local people warned us not to drink water from the creek because it was polluted by a factory upstream. At a Christian camp in Belgium we were warned not to drink water from the creek because it contained runoff from fields where poison was used to kill rats. It is wise to listen to warnings. At the same time, it is not wrong to be skeptical. Scientists themselves are to be skeptical as part of the scientific method! So they cannot be offended if we are skeptical and want to test and critically evaluate what they say. But when they show us a truth, as Christian lovers of truth we ought to accept it and thank them for it (Proverbs 23:23).

  7. Kenneth Petere

    Thank you Bro Roy for biblical info regarding the article, this information is quite an eye opener for me, I am in total agreement with you.

  8. Good points here, however, the Bible also states that God gave Adam the the Garden to dress and keep and to care for. We must be good stewards of the earth that we have been given, and realized that it is our responsibility to take care of it. it is not only ourselves, but the animals who reside here with us that we must think of.

    I do not fear climate change, but I am terrified of the destruction of green spaces and natural areas. We are given bodies as well, but we should not mistreat them with riotous living. The same applies to the earth. Just the perspective of an environmentalist Christian. Counterpoint is good.

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