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August 1, 2017

Scientists have had difficulty naming the global problems of weather.  Years ago it was the threat of cooling down, while more recently it has been the heating up affect.     Identifying the root causes has been even more complicated.  At the present time the chief culprit seems to be carbon emissions.  Huge efforts toward international agreement, at immense expense, are being applied, with catastrophic threats of doom providing the impetus to action.  Any naysayers are ridiculed, sidelined, debunked and defunded.  That should raise many more questions than it has to-date.

As long as memory and statistics exist weather has been changing.   Anyone my age can attest to that without scientific validation.  Our parents, grandparents and theirs told the stories of yesteryear’s weather extremes.  But, unquestionably, we are going through a serious phase of weather disruption.  The daily news bombard us with pictures of horrendous fires, frightening floods and mudslides, crushing, crippling earthquakes, deadly famines, and devastating tsunamis.  It is happening all over the globe.

Happily, but also worrisome, scientists, rushing to find root causes and ultimate consequences, are the only voices being heard.  What does climate change really mean?  What is behind it?  What can be done to stop or control it?  Politicians and people clamour for explanations.  It is not acceptable anymore, but God-centered, biblically committed theologians have their own questions and possible enlightenment to offer for consideration.  Is the Sovereign God of the universe, Maker of heaven and earth,  involved in all of this?  Is He trying to get the attention of His troubled creation?

Faithful readers of the Bible know that for millenia God has used weather as an instrument of judgment and moral correction.  That is the point of the flood of Noah’s day, the brimstone of Sodom and Gomorrah, the “if’s” of Solomon’s prayer at the inaugeration of the first Jewish temple, Jonah’s forced trip to Ninevah, the dour warnings of the prophets, and the fiery judgments spoken of in II Peter and The Revelation, wrapping up the end-times scenario.

The question I am raising with all sincerity and concern is this: Is climate change, its dangerous and destructive results, merely the result of environmental mismanagement, or is it an act of God Almighty, judging mankind’s rejection of His works and ways?   Is it a dramatic call to the acknowledgement and repentance of the crass indifference of nations and societies to His rule, commands and grace?  Are we living with the consequences of rejecting the sufficiency of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection to cleanse us from all unrighteousness?  Are we being prepared for the end of things as we know them, and thus the return of Jesus Christ to set up a new heaven and a new earth?

If these things are true, (and they make good biblical sense!) then the devil is gleefully feeding our concern over carbon emissions in order to deceive or distract us from the real issue:  A loving voice from a holy God, calling us to repentance?  “Do not love the world, (its systems, control and ways) nor the things of the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.  And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.”

Sobering thoughts with which to search our hearts, to interpret the news, and to bring us to repentance and dependence upon the saving work of Christ Jesus, our Lord.  Is it time to take our eyes off the symptoms, so as to consider the real cause?

A fellow pilgrim,  Arnold Reimer


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