How should we, the church, handle the topic of climate change?
It's hard to go through a day without hearing something about climate change. This has become a very controversial topic in many circles. Scientists can't seem to agree on data collection techniques or on the models projecting future results. Politicians argue over the cause and can't seem to agree on any solutions to put forth for votes. Some say the changing climate is simply the ongoing changes of the Earth as supported by NASA findings of measurable changes in our axis tilt and distance from the sun; others claim that humans are causing it through carbon emissions. There has been a lot of terms like "existential threat" that has been used by our leaders and the media that have placed fear into the hearts of many people. So much so that in the world of psychology a new unofficial anxiety disorder has been named "Eco or Climate Anxiety" which has affected so many in our society especially our children and teens. But how should we, the church, handle the topic of climate change?
Why do you suppose people have so much anxiety about climate change? Could it be because of their fear of the unknown? I think this increasing fear is evidence that the church, as a whole, is missing a huge opportunity to preach Christ crucified to the world. As Christians, we believe that God created the Heavens and the Earth. We understand that God alone has the power to establish the sun and the moon or control the seasons like summer and winter just as His word says in Psalm 74. Do you think humans surprised God by inventing the automobile or caught Him off guard when we started utilizing fossil fuels to mold our world? Of course not, it was God who instilled the knowledge in a few of His chosen people that opened the door to those technologies. But the people of the world do not share this view.
The world has worked for generations to disprove God and remove God from everything. They have theories about creation that are taught in our schools as fact even though they have no factual evidence to prove them. They work hard to ensure God is not in our schools or any public forums and we, the church, continue to stand idle and allow it to happen with our lack of boldness. Because the world has no belief that all the world's events are in the hands of God, who loves them beyond comprehension, they lack hope for the future. We are told in Psalm 135 that God does whatever He pleases because He alone has the power of creation. We see this power exemplified by Jesus in Mark 4:34-41 as the disciples wake up Jesus fearful of the storm. Jesus just told the storm to be still and it was so.
No matter what your views are on climate change, the instructions to us are very clear...Do Not Worry! Jesus tells us not to worry about our lives, our clothes, or even about tomorrow in Matthew 6:25-34. This is the example we, as the church, should set for the world. We should not have church organizations jumping on the world's bandwagon magnifying its rhetoric, instead, the church should be preaching Christ crucified in the town squares bringing hope to the hopeless. We, as the body of Christ, should be sharing the love of God to all who will hear. We should be letting people in the world know that God has a future for them to prosper. There is a promise of an everlasting life that can be theirs if they simply ask for it. Why aren't we, as the church, standing up against this world and helping the lost find the peace that passes all understanding?
Jesus is coming soon, the signs of the times are there to see for anyone who has been looking. Prophecies are being fulfilled and they are being fulfilled at an increasing rate. Are you doing your part to stand up against the world that is causing so many to fall into depression and growing anxiety? Are you encouraging all those that God has put into your life? Do you introduce all of them to your friend, Jesus Christ? Are you diligent with your daily actions to hear the words, "Well done good and faithful servant", or are you getting blown around in the winds of the world like a reed in the wind?