A Christian Response to the Climate Crisis

(c) 2019 by Barton Paul Levenson

The Bible states (Genesis 1:1-31) that God created the Heavens and the Earth "and saw that it was very good." God's creation is a good thing. This logically implies that to trash it is a bad thing.

There is a misconception, due to a poor reading of part of Genesis 1:28:

Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Some people take this to mean that Earth belongs to human beings, and that they can therefore do whatever they want with it. In the words of Ann Coulter, "Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it."

This is completely wrong. The Bible says clearly:

The Earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof.

(Psalm 24:1, 1 Corinthians 10:26). We are not to trash it, or even to regard it as our own; we are here to take care of it. God does not regard ecological damage lightly. Consider Ezekiel 34:

18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? 19 And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.

That being said, I must here deal with a grave misconception about the growing threat of global warming. Some well-meaning Christians have said this is not a problem because God is in control, so the damage can never get too bad. This is false. God has said that he will not wipe humanity out again as he did in Noah's Flood:

And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

(Genesis 9:11). He has never said that we cannot do catastrophic damage to ourselves. The argument "global warming can't harm us because God will protect us" is very like the one Satan gave Jesus at the Temple (Matthew 4:6):

And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Jesus's response is perfect:

7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Let us not tempt the Lord. Global warming is real, it is the result of human sin and human greed, and it is terribly dangerous to our civilization. Christians of all people should be prepared to fight this threat by supporting policies that phase out fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy, and restrict deforestation, because Christians of all people recognize the roots of this crisis in human sin, and the responsibility God's people have for preserving God's world.

Page created:07/03/2019
Last modified:  07/03/2019