“The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” – 2Peter 3:10
This week’s UN Climate Report gave dire predictions.1 It outlines a path where it is not God who destroys the world with fire, but – as we should have expected – it is humanity …
In the Garden we walked with God and our role was to care for His creation (the act of naming gives responsibility, creates compassion). But we rejected God’s calling and our sin has left creation in “bondage to decay” (Rom 8:21-22). So we should expect the signs of decay, like global warming.
But expected is not inevitable. This is a really important point for Christ followers — we live not in decay, but with resurrection hope! We created sin. Sin created death. Decay was all we knew, until Jesus. In Christ sin and death were defeated. He brought release from all bondage. Nothing is inevitable. Rather than avoid or ignore or deny, Christian’s should live in this hope – that Good change is possible.
Still, the steps forward are daunting. I believe the UN is right, it will take national, worldwide action. But I do not believe I am helpless. Quite the contrary, if I change and you change — good acts multiply. Not because of human effort, but the Spirit alive and working through us!
So what are we do? Fundamentally we buy less. We buy things that last or can be repaired. And there are also many little steps to take. My family gardens, we raise the thermostat, we use cloth napkins, we compost (toss in your bills, it is cathartic!), and recently we are trying to get away from plastic:
- We make our own cleaners or buy refillable products (and I just bought wool dryer balls)
- We started buying Shatto milk in the glass reusable jars.
What are things you do to help the environment — that my family can incorporate?
1 — Christians are often against climate change. I suppose in our confused battle over evolution (which the bible doesn’t rule out), Christians grew wary of any kind of science. So now our reflex action is to reject before the scientist has chance to explain. But pause and consider…
Beyond what scientists teach, from personal experience our world’s weather is changing. There are more extreme events. Fires. Floods. Record heatwaves. Take this last winter in Missouri. Having grown up here, I know the winters used to be colder and snowier. This past winter was one of the most mild I can remember, until February, when it was record setting two weeks of cold (think what happened in Houston, unprecidented).
But, more importantly, let’s look at scripture. Of course you may respond, climate change isn’t in the Bible. It does not speak to it directly — but much of our life is not directly in scripture, yet scripture continues to speak directly to us. As pointed out above, sin has left the world in “bondage to decay” (Rom 8:21-22). So Christians should expect signs of decay. And, since we are the creators of sin, we should expect ourselves to be the cause of that destruction… like human caused global warming!
Now, if climate change was caused by sinful humanity, then God’s way would save us from it. And here again scripture guides us. What is the root of global warming? A scientist might tangent into green houses gases, but as Christians we realize scripture does not talk about carbon. Instead it speaks to greed. Why do we create so much pollution? What holds us back from going “green”? It is our desire for more. The cheaper it is, the more we can afford. So we seek cheap labor and cheaper energy to get the goods. We exchanged quality for disposable. Filling landfills and using resources. Expelling emissions. All to fill up our houses… are you like me and wonder, how did we get all this junk?!
Jesus, who saves, calls us to the way of simplicity. He calls us to let go of our need for more, to make our journey through the eye of the needle easier (Mt 19:24 this is why the poor are blessed Lk 6:20, see also James 1:9-11). If we could accept the simple life — how many of the world’s problems would be saved?! I believe climate change is one of those problems!