Climate Change and Stewardship
Instead of asking "How's the weather?”, many people these days are asking, "How's the climate?” With the recent U. S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, many people are running around declaring that the human race is doomed.
As Christians, we know that a time is coming when God will resolve all human and weather problems, but do climate agreements change the end result one way or another? I would say not.
The first five words in the Bible are "In the beginning, God created..." (Genesis 1:1 ESV). These words are the framework for all of creation's relationship with the Creator -- including our own. The one true God, who is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (in all time), cares for each of us in a personal way.
This is more than amazing on so many levels, isn't it?
The major problem with many people in the age we live in is that they're moving away from God instead of towards Him. By that I mean they only, if at all, see God as a mental construct of the human race rather than objective reality and fundamental truth. We humans, the atheists say, are the apex of existence (our own gods) rather than servants of the one true creator god.
Thankfully, everybody seems to have figured out that the world is just a bit bigger than people. So when it comes to the world around us, the modern non-Christian citizen, when confronted with various climate activities such as hurricanes, floods, high tides, tropical storms, cold winters with massive amounts of snow and ice, tornadoes, droughts, even mountains erupting in molten fire, has a tendency to think that human activities -- power plants, extracting resources from the earth including coal and oil, flying through the air in jet planes, and more -- are what cause these climate events. Their thinking is that if we change our behavior, we can change the climate in order to save the human race from mass extinction. The main way to solve this is by spending money to support and subsidize changes in human activity in other parts of the world; it would have cost us up to $140 trillion to follow through with the Paris Agreement. Even spread over 30 years, that kind of expenditure could bankrupt our country.
Granted, there are good reasons to get people to change some of their living styles in different parts of the world, but money spent and lifestyles changed will not mitigate the climate events named above because they are part of God's creation, alas fallen, and serve a purpose that we just cannot see from our limited perspective
When we see ourselves biblically, we understand that as created beings, we respond to God's truth through servanthood. We have been given dominion over creation by God, but this does not mean we ultimately control creation. It means that we have been given authority (from the Hebrew root word 'mem-sha-law' for dominion) to work with God to exert power (from the Greek word 'kratos' for dominion) to help God maintain a healthy creation that works for as many people as possible.
This kind of behavior is called stewardship by Christians. We learn stewardship by applying biblical stories, parables and principles found in the wisdom literature to care for the world around us that supports our lives. We can do better, of course, and have learned many valuable lessons over the last several decades.
However, God the Creator is in complete control of the world. Move closer to Him and don't be bothered by the cries "the world is doomed.” And pray for those moving away from God to turn back.
For Christians, our future is assured, and it's always great to have more people join us on the journey into an eternity with our Creator. Christian stewardship is a powerful ministry to non-believers.
Member, Riviera Baptist Church