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Beyond Global Warming

I’m not a tree hugger, forgot about Earth Day on April 22, don’t know whether global warming is a natural or man-made phenomena, and believe that people are far more important than animals.

I see the danger of thinking that our well-being depends more on our respect for Mother Earth than on our Father in heaven. As one of our friends pointed out in response to my last post, earth care has become like a religion for many who have no hope of a life beyond.

But if this is “our Father’s world,” I’m not sure that it reflects well on him for us to be counted among those who are trashing it.

Over time, I’ve become increasingly convinced that, according to Genesis, God entrusted the care of the earth to our first parents– and through them, to every generation that followed. Moses later gave Israel principles of earth care. One of those instructions involved giving the land a a rest every seventh year. (Lev 25:1-4). Moses added that if Israel refused to give the land its rest, God would hold the nation accountable (Lev 26:33-35). The warning was fulfilled during seventy years of Babylonian Captivity.

Yes, the law of Moses was fulfilled in Christ who is now our Sabbath rest. But when the apostle Paul talked about the inspiration and value of all Scripture (2Tim3:16-17), I believe he was telling us that the Law and the prophets can be mined for timeless principles of wisdom.

Today, when we sing, “This is my Father’s world” we are adding our own voices to an ancient song that said, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him” (Psalm 24:1). This is the idea behind our Discovery Series on Celebrating the Wonder of Creation.

But couldn’t environmental clean-up be a time-consuming distraction for the family of God? Yes, I think it could be. I doubt that any of us would deny that it’s a losing effort. But we care for our bodies and health even though that too is a losing battle.

Respecting and caring for the environment doesn’t have to be a false religion. It can be a way of honoring our God and caring for people. Countless stories can be told about the effects of polluted water, toxic waste, and fouled air on the health of our children.

Again, until recently earth care has been the cause of “new agers,” pantheists and even atheists. But I wish we hadn’t left caring for our Father’s world up to those who only think of Mother earth.

That’s why I’m convinced that whether global warming is a man-made problem or the result of recurring natural cycles isn’t the real issue.

Let’s at least keep the conversation going :-).

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18 Responses to “Beyond Global Warming”

  1. dep7547 says:

    I believe that moderation is the key in this and every other issue. It is ironic though that when the Native Americans inhabited this continent it was well cared for. Even more ironic is the fact that many of the Euro-American missionaries that came to Christianize these people observed their lifestyles and desired that the members of their various congregations would exhibit such Christian values: They put the orphans and the widows first by offering them the choicest pieces of meat after their buffalo hunts and they used every part of the animal that was taken.

    They were not only excellent coservationists, but they had developed advanced agricultural techniques that produced the sweetest corn, beans and squash. Furthermore, they are the ones that discovered pools of naphtha and taught the Euro-Americans how to use it for heating purposes. In bringing Christ to them, we nearly exterminated the bison (which we now know contains only 30% of the cholesterol in our beef), “taught” them how to farm and used their naphtha to industrialize the world!

    In fact, we celebrate Thanksgiving every year to commemorate how we would not have survived here if not for them. Sadly,this holiday gets shifted constantly for commercial purposes instead of religious ones. This is not intended to knock Christianity; however, it is meant to show how excessive fanaticism in religion without seeking the will of our creator has had devastating consequences. I trust that I need not point out all of history’s anti-semitic movements as a result of Christ’s crucifixion–without which we would not have Christianity!

    I do not know about anyone else, but it still touches my heart when I remember the commercial of the Indian with the tear in his eye when he sees how society has polluted the world. Another idea these people have left with us is the proverb that we do not inherit the earth from our parents, but we are borrowing it from our children. Does anyone still doubt that God intended for us to take care of his creation?

  2. hal.fshr says:

    Mart, I see many valid points that you make about balance in concern for the environment and the eternal perspective. However, as the human race’s population increases and industrialization spreads through out developing countries, the by products of air pollution and non biodegradable land fills are heaping up consequences for the next generation. I grew up in the L.A. area before car exhaust emissions had been adequately dealt with. In the summer when we children would play in the pool my lungs would burn and there was pain if I took a deep breath. My eyes would water. To this day, I wonder if it might not have had some lasting impact on the health of my lungs. Imagine vast populations in India and China each wanting a family car and reflect on the impact. Whether or not a major increase in auto emissions warms up the atmosphere, its impact on clean air should be a grave concern. Global warming may not be the issue but many environmental issues should be of great concern to committed Christians.

  3. Gale L. Jarvis says:

    Good Morning everyone, Mart, i believe God has given us all of Creation to enjoy, and have the privelege of seeing, touching, hearing, using the different things He has Created for us to be able to have an abundant life, but as always comes the responsibility of taking care of, and sharing what God has blessed us with as individuals with others.
    I believe lust and greed has gotten us into many of the problems we are in, such as the forest fires, the near extinction of certain animals and fish, the polluted rivers, and streams.
    I believe in the absolute control of God with this Creation, we can abuse it, but never destroy it.
    The Lord has shown me that his desire for me is to always do what is right, even if everyone else throws their trash where ever they happen to be, obey the laws of the land, even though it seems like everyone desires to do what ever they can with out having to spend time in jail or prison, and it seems like even so many desire to break the laws, they are willing to go jail, or prison, either hating a person, organization, or our government enough to try to destroy them.
    I believe greed, lust, and pride are destroying not only our earth, but also our love for one another, even christians, in which i know grieves our God.

  4. poohpity says:

    In our fasted paced techno world a lot of back to the basics have gotten lost in our struggle to get there faster with less effort. I believe we have in the US created a throw away mindset even toward people. Our land fills are full of techno things that can not be recycled or dissolve back into the earth like our plastic grocery bags. As you said God gave us instructions to care for every living thing and we devalue even life itself.

    We place a high priority on being good stewards of finances yet we neglect the poor and push them aside. We have internet romance while neglecting human contact. We have constant contact with cell phones while neglecting time alone. We watch TV together instead of talking or playing a game. Oh my gosh the list goes on.

    I think that instead of “Global warming” God is trying to give us a “GLOBAL WARNING” take very good care of what He has given us or one day it will be all gone. If you really think about it all that is really beautiful in life is that which is living.

  5. lynntate says:

    “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” Genesis 2:15 NKJV. I refer to this verse often when the topic of the enviorment comes up. For so long the attitude that the world is ours to do with as we please has been supported not just by human society, but unfortunately by some Christians as well. As stated so well in some of the other comments, balance and responsibility have ofter taken a back seat to profit and needs of the moment. I have noticed not just in issues about the enviorment, but in politics and econonomics as well, a short sighted, self serving attitude seems to prevail. I recently read an article in National Geographic about pollution in China. We are not just sacraficing the earth, but each other, and the generations to come. I find it hard to believe that the Lord could or would approve of such behavior. With power comes responsibility. With our power to change the world comes the responsibility to care for God’s creation.

  6. carloto says:

    dear Mart,
    i totally agree with you that global warming (man-made or natural cycle) is not the issue here but the lack or the absence of love, respect and gratitude to the Creator of earth. “To love the Lord our God is the heartbeat of our mission”, as the song goes,- the mission towards His creation, the people, the earth and the universe, and all of His laws. “Global Warming” is just one of the consequences of sin. Christians are supposed to be Christ’s co-redeemer and our lives should reflect all of who God is. Everyday, every moment, let us examine our hearts and our ways that they truly reflect the heart of our Savior Jesus Christ. We should take the banner in loving and taking care of God’s creation.

  7. daisymarygoldr says:

    Oh-Oh! It seems like someone is in big trouble for shooting off her big mouth:( Hereafter, it will be a strict adherence to the Pauline principle- “learn in silence with all subjection” and that is a promise! On a much serious note, I totally agree about Christians playing good stewards of the God-given task of caring for and protecting the resources we have been entrusted with, here on Earth.
    Mart and friends, you are 100% correct and I was wrong…the dialectical tension is resolved and I hope everyone is happy now. Having said this, I still don’t see a reason as to why we should go about planting trees to prepare for Christ’s second-coming?
    dep7547: I can understand your feelings about the tear in the commercial but I would urge you to look beyond that into reality- at the streams of tears flowing down our savior’s face as He looks at the devastation of sin polluting every unsaved soul. Should it be about environmental clean-up or is it about the blood of Jesus cleansing the trash and filth off every human heart? Come on gang, I think you will not disagree to agree with me that there are far more important things than Global warming for Christians to be concerned about as we eagerly watch and wait for Jesus’ return. As for me, I would rather respond like Jesus did to the political, social and environmental issues of His day! See you all in the next blog…I’ll be all ears with no more tongue wagging:)

  8. Mart De Haan says:

    daisymarygoldr, don’t apologize!! :-). You made some important points and gave us something to keep talking about. There are obviously different sides to this issue and more than one way to look at. Let’s keep the conversation going!!

  9. desert rose says:

    I have been told that one reason we as a country have so many health problems is due to the environment. I have been guilty of littering and God really brought me under conviction. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not – it is sin.”

    Everyone should take part in making our earthly home as healthy as it can be.

  10. dep7547 says:

    daisymarygoldr, I have to agree with Mart on this one–you do not need to apologize–we all have opinions! In supporting environmental issues, I do not mean to overlook any of the myriad of important facets of our creator. I was trying to emphasize the fact that being Christians does not exclude us from the human race and as such, even our best intentions are fallible.

    For example: if the subject had been on English literature, I would have liked to make the point that one of the first books written on proper Christian values was “Piers Plowman”. The author, Will Langland, extensively covered the seven deadly sins; however, as his first manuscript offended the aristocracy and his second one was misinterpreted by the peasantry which inspired Wat Tyler to lead “Wat’s rebellion, Langland had to write a third manuscript in order to produce an acceptable message.

    I am certain that he must have prayed for God’s will in delivering this message which must have weighed heavily on his heart! It is this kind of dedication that I meant for us as Christians to examine–even the best of intentions can be led astray if we do not continuously seek God’s direction. I hope this clarifies my earlier post.

  11. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart and dep7547, I agree- there are different sides to an issue and we all have our own opinions:) All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely (1 Cor 13:12). Have a good evening!

  12. Ika says:

    Hi Mart! Good morning!

    Sometimes when we follow the stream, we finally did not realize which is actually has to be done and which is actually do not have to be done. When i read Mart’s writing, my mind come up with the idea that when we try to depends on the others beside God, we unconsciously ignore Him.

    For example, i know that God had created the earth and everything. He created us so special so that He gave this world to be managed by us. He cares for us. But, when suddenly people talk about earth, and In the country where i lived, sometimes they said that “The earth is mad, because we did not respect it, we ignore it and so awkward that we did not care for it.”

    It is true that when we throw away the garbage anywhere, it could cause flood and create a terrible view. It is true that when we burn the forest, it will not be healthy to our atmosphere. But it is not about mother earth which is important, but the power that God had given to us to managed the earth which is matter.

    Because God has told us and give us the power to take care of the earth, we should do it. How? by, for example, planting the trees, and keeping the environmental healthy and clean. This is the appreciation of what God had given to us, not the honour to mother earth.

    have a great day!

  13. altrerosje.asri says:

    I think,
    If God decide this world should end then it will end right away. Yes, we have to take care of the earth, but I don’t think that we should leave it the way it is.

    When God created the world, He turn chaoz into a beautiful order (Gen 1)… And he put the first human in a more beautiful order – why else whould it called “a garden”?- Thus, Human was meant to shape the earth. And when they sinned and thrown away from Eden, surely they will try to turn the wild nature into “the order” they knew in Eden.

    Is Eden a myth? just like Xanadu or Utopia or any other “perfect world” epic in every culture in this world?

    Really, after the fall of man – and we do continue falling deeper – can we make “Heaven on Earth” the way the naturalist think we can? or … we can only slow its way to destruction? Either way… what is the hope in that?

  14. dlk51lyz says:

    Praise Our Father GOD Almighty,Our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit!!!Please forgive me any biblical errors,I mean none.I am a Christian who loves the outdoors,who thinks Earth Day should be the way we Christians think everyday!This earth that GOD made for all of us is very speedily being thrashed to the point of no return.This earth isn’t our salvation and many won’t be saved thru Our Savior.That is the choice we have had since Jesus died for our sins.And He Is Risen!!!You and I have been given salvation,don’t you think future generations deserve a world to live in to make those same choices and have enough time,food,water,oxygen,etc.Not living and looking like someone or something out of a bad futuristic movie.That can and is happening right now!!No hyperbole.GMO’S are 80-90% of what we eat everyday.That doesn’t stand for GOD Made Ours.That stands for taking what GOD made for us and making something bad for you and me.Farm raised,cloned,gmo’s? Eat up,it’s killing you,don’t care?I pray for Jesus to come every second,come LORD come!!I also know it might not be right now,next week,next year,next century!!You don’t either.You may not have to lay in ,live in,eat in,but that doesn’t give you or me the right to thrash the place!Tree hugger?Earth lover?You bet!I’m just as guilty.I have just started recycling plastics ,eating greener and organic if I can ,walking everywhere I can,small town.And I still have time to read my RBC devotinal,study my NKJV Study Bible,go to church on Sunday,say my prayers,you get my meaning?GOD IS GOOD,GREAT,AWESOME!HAS TO BE,HE GAVE US OUR SAVIOR AND SALVATION,HE EVEN BLESSED US THRICE AND SENT US THE HOLY SPIRIT!I’m far from perfect,anyone knows me knows that,but don’t say you don’t care.That’s just plain dumb and lazy.GOD made this planet and all that’s on it,an awesome gift from an AWESOME GOD!!!Treat it as such!Remember there’s always time for saving long as there’s still time.dlk,out.Don’t bash me too bad,please forgive me again.Jesus is coming and we’ll all be held in what,for actions and lack of.BYE!

  15. sjd says:

    I had the privilege several years back to travel to India on a mission trip. There was a great amount of pollution where we visited in southern India. The Christians we visited there were very active in trying to clean up the land and water. Their concern was understandable because of the severity of the problem. The situation could make a major threat to health in the area. The country was also in the process of a major immunization against polio at the time. I remember seeing more people with evidence of polio in one day than I have seen in a lifetime in the USA. I agree with you that we are to be good stewards with all that God has given to us including this earth. We can not restore it to its original state. Only God will do that in the end. But I believe it is not only an act of obedience to care for this world, an act of honoring our Creator, but also an act of love to help provide for the welfare of one another.

    We had the opportunity to interact with some seminary students there in Bangalore. We were concerned about the emphasis there was on the “earth reform” without the presentation of the Gospel. During that time we reviewed the Biblical argument for caring for the Earth. However I challenged them with the statement that I would rather see someone living in a hut with sewage running by their front door with them knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior, than for the individaul to live in a clean environment and be destined for hell. Good stewardship of this earth is right, but we must keep the eternal salvation of those living on this earth as our priority. We are after all ministers of reconciliation.
    Thanks for the chance to interact.

  16. lilu1314h says:

    God is love.

    It’s an act of love when we love God’s creation.

    We care for the environment because we love Him.

    Many disasters happened due to Global Warming.

    One of the God’s commandment – ‘love our neighbour’. If we love our neighbour, we can do something.

    God bless!

  17. daisymarygoldr says:

    Very well said, sjd! It kind of helped to unburden the heaviness of my heart- almost felt as though I was the only odd one out there:)
    Making people aware about diseases- prevention and control, risks of GMOs, gene therapy, drug resistance and environmental hazards is what I do on a daily basis to earn my living. Having tinkered with the cloning of “environmental clean-up” genes, its terrifying to get a glimpse of the actual picture of the world sitting on a ticking time bomb…it is indeed very scary to be involved in a ‘losing battle’ as Mart mentioned.
    As we go about planting the seed of His living word our only comfort lies in this- everything will pass away and He will make all things new- a new heaven and a new earth in which God will be glorified by the ‘trees of righteousness’ which He himself will plant(Isaiah 61:3 KJV).

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