The Pope and Climate Change
The recent statements by Pope Francis on global warming have been welcomed by many politicians and environmental campaigners. When a world leader such as the Pope, adds his voice to a cause, it is bound to have an effect on the issue. The Vatican has issued a 192-page "encyclical" document, blaming global warming on consumerism and greed. He calls on a new partnership between science and religion to combat human-driven climate change.
"The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth,” Francis wrote, blaming a toxic cocktail of overconsumption, consumerism, dependence on fossil fuels and the errant indifference of the powerful and wealthy. He described a hell on Earth should nothing be done, one filled with more methane and carbon dioxide, acidification of oceans and the crippling of the global food supply." quotes the Washington Post.
This all begs several questions:
- Should Christians get involved in such campaigns?
- Is that the Pope's job or primary concern?
- How does this fit with the Bible view of the future of this planet?
It is our view that we should always look to the Bible for guidance, as we believe this to be the Word of God.
The Pope believes that if Humankind does nothing, the planet will become a "hell on earth". Who is in charge of this planet? Will God permit the earth to be treated in this way?
The Bible says:
[Isa 45:18 NASB] 18 For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited),"
Clearly then, Christians should have confidence that no matter what Humankind does to the planet, God will not allow it to be destroyed, or become a wasteland.
Should the Pope - or other Christians - spend their time in social or political campaigning?
Christians should do what they can to help preserve the planet. We should respect what God has given to us. However after giving praise and glory to God in the highest, one of the prime directives is to spread the Gospel. Getting involved in other social issues detracts from that and we know from the Scriptures that this present Earth is only temporary and will be "made new" (Revelation 21:1). Hundreds, if not thousands of people die every day, never having heard the Gospel message. Is it not more important - especially for a church leader - to be imitators of Jesus and spend our time preaching?:
[Luk 4:18 WEB] 18 The spirit of the Lord [is] upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised".
With preaching and caring for the sick etc, there is plenty to keep a Christian busy, without getting involved in worldly matters. If we did manage somehow to make this world a better place, the "un-saved" will enjoy it for the rest of their lifetimes If they come to Christ, they could enjoy a paradise earth for all eternity. Which should be the highest priority for true Christians, to campaign or to convert?