My response to the divisive nature of some statements by fellow believers in Christ.
I’m getting pretty tired of seeing a reoccurring theme in the carbonphobe camp. Apparently, the Malthusian Marxists have become aware that Christians are a diverse group of people and that outside the basic tenets of Christianity, there’s little we unanimously agree upon. And, where there isn’t unanimity, there is a crevice in which to drive a wedge. And, some Christians are not only allowing this, they are actively engaged in this insidious preoccupation.
A writer at HuffPo, in an argument against climate skepticism uses a strawman tactic……. ”
“God would not give mankind the power to change the environment.”
Evangelical environmentalists would disagree, saying God wants us to be proper stewards of His creation. Plus He gave us free will, right?”
Another recent writer at HuffPo (Steve’s Rhino post……) states,
Biblical scripture: “We are here to manage God’s property”.
I’m a Christian, and I can’t understand how people who profess to love and follow God roll their eyes when the subject of climate change comes up. Actions have consequences. Were we really put here to plunder the Earth, no questions asked? Isn’t that the definition of greed? In the Bible, Luke 16:2 says, “Man has been appointed as a steward for the management of God’s property, and ultimately he will give account for his stewardship.” Future generations will hold us responsible for today’s decisions.
Again, more strawman arguments wrapped in biblical statements. There are many more examples. In fact, there’s plenty of other examples of people wearing their Christianity and trying to use it as a club to silence dissent from Christians. Their actions are deplorable and this needs to stop.
Now, I’m going to explore some Bible verses. For those not familiar, the Word is a Living Word and there are many lessons one can take from the same scripture. Today, we’re going to context this with our environment and resource utilization.
Well, first of all, let’s dispense with the Luke 16:2 reference. That has little to do with what we’re talking about. The text afterward makes it clear about what Jesus was talking about…… continuing in Luke
10“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? “
Oh, snap, what’s that bit about honesty? Can a bad tree bear good fruit? But, the thing in this scripture is about how we utilize what God has given us. More on that in a minute. Let’s address the “good stewardship” clause. But, first, let’s establish that we are the stewards of the land.
Genesis 1:26….. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
Okay, so we’ve established that it is God’s will that man being in charge of the happening on earth and over the flora and fauna and well, “over all the earth“. I guess we can get over our complex of being at the top of the food chain. Now, let’s explore what Jesus states about good stewardship…… as in the scripture above, Christ wants us to use the gifts of God wisely. Another view of this is found in Mathew 25:14-30
14“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talentsa of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
21“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22“The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
23“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24“Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28“‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Now, again, this is pretty clear on the meaning. God, in his infinite wisdom, gave us much. He’s given us the resources to do much more than what we started with. And, we didn’t do anything for this…. (“harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed”)
Now, look at what he’s done with the servants who utilized the resources he left them in charge of. Remember, Genesis establishes that we are given dominion, we are in charge, of the earth. He’s given use the “talents” to use. And, in Christ’s parable, the ones that used the talents were rewarded. But, look at the one who took the resources and left it buried in the ground! He says, “throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
God wants us to utilize the gifts he’s given us. Can anyone think of a better purpose of a chunk of coal than to make electricity from it? Does God want us to keep it buried in the ground and not utilize it for our benefit?
Now, does this mean we can carte blanche just start destroying our environment? Of course, not. That wouldn’t fall under good utilization of the resources given to us. But, before we start condemning people for utilizing God’s gifts, we need to establish what is and isn’t good for the environment. And, we probably shouldn’t use the word “environment” but use the words “God’s creation”.
For the record, until someone can show me that flora enhancing CO2 is actually bad for God’s creation, I’ll continue to reject the notion that enriching mankind’s life and assisting in the growth of the flora through the burning of so called fossil fuels is somehow bad for God’s creation. It isn’t. It is good. And, the same goes for a bit of warming. It has not been established that a couple of degrees warmer would somehow be detrimental to God’s creation. And even then, it still needs to be established that burning so called fossil fuels causes anything to happen other than making life better for mankind and the biosphere.
Now, let’s explore what happens when we reject utilizing God’s gifts. Biblically, we’ve already shown how God feels about it. But, in our experience today, what has been the results of our rejection of God’s gifts?
We’ve continued the impoverishment of 3rd world nations. We’ve denied them the resources to advance and utilize modern technology to it’s fullest. In a compromise with this pursuit of less CO2 burning we’ve literally poured food down our fuel tanks while people starve. We’ve displaced thousands of people to clear places where we can plant trees. And, we’ve significantly harmed the western world’s economies. Which, in the scheme of things wouldn’t make much difference until you realize that Christian charitable works begin in the Western society! My ability to donate to charitable causes is directly impacted by the cost of my electricity and fuel, and my ability to find a good paying job. What is Christian about all of this? God doesn’t want us to live in the darkness, neither figuratively nor literally. I see this as nothing but a stumbling block to fellow Christians.
You see what they’ve done? They’ve taken something entirely secular and tried to incorporate the faith based secular discussion into their theology. That’s backwards! There are several biblical references about trying to incorporate other religions and beliefs into Christianity. God doesn’t like that, either.
To the 300+ Christian leaders signing the ECI, if you noticed a decline in the plate offerings recently, you’ve only yourselves to thank. As a brother in Christ, I implore you to reconsider your stance.
Any serious responses are welcome.