Tuesday, December 14, 2010

God on Global Warming

Does God have something to say about global warming? I think He does. But I’m guessing it’s not what you think. That was a teaser. I’m going to tell you some other stuff now before I get to the money quote.

First of all, the Bible doesn’t have a lot to say about planetary maintenance. Almost any discussion on Christian environmentalism necessarily starts with Genesis 1:28.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
A lot of environmentalists hate that passage because, to them, it seems like Judeo-Christian carte-blanch to rape the planet. Of course that’s not true.

Beyond that, there’s some instruction on cropland management (Exodus 23:10-11; Leviticus 25:1-7); a few passages that indicate proper treatment of animals (Deuteronomy 25:4; Proverbs 12:10; Proverbs 27:23) and directions for proper waste management *snicker* (Deuteronomy 23:12–13). One could put aside the whole discussion by simply stating God is in control, and that would be fine. And of course, Christians don’t believe Earth to be permanent, anyhow (2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1).

I’m sure I’ve missed a few passages, but the point is, there’s just not a lot in the Bible that would facilitate a discussion on environmentalism in general. And global warming is a modern term, surely the Bible has nothing on that. Or does it?

This passage, the conclusion of the flood story (Genesis 8:22), jumped out at me the other day:

“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”

I find it interesting that the passage states both “cold and heat” as well as “summer and winter.” I don’t believe that was God being redundant. It won’t win over any of your atheist friends, but I think that is a pretty clear promise.

(Here is a blog I found that routinely discusses Christianity and environmentalism.)

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