Summary: Is there such a thing as climate change? If so- does it mean the end of the world is soon? What should Christians think and do about these huge subjects?
"Climate change- the end of the world? A Christian response" Lk 21:5-32. WBC 22/05/05pm
Again- apologies. I am ill prepared for this! Not an expert. Ran out of time this week.
- always think "why did I decide to cover this?!"
- I’m not going to be able to do this justice. Certainly not on the ’sign of the times’ bit. Need to look at my ’2006 end of the world?’ sermon (on web)
4 points all beginning with ’Qu/Kw’!
Firstly: I have lots of questions about this:
- is climate change some of the fear/terror/judgement/prophecies in the Bible?
o Sign of the end of the world? Jesus’ immanent return?
o If it is: why is it so conspicuous by its absence in the Christian world? Why isn’t anyone addressing it?
" Could be of HUGE importance!
o Why isn’t this stuff addressed? Could it say something about Christians?
- Why, when it is addressed by the few Christians, do I always want to run a mile?
o Is it right to scare people into the Kingdom, as folks did with ’thief in the night’/ ’late planet earth’ (Hal Lindsey)
o What of the fear of ’being caught in the cinema when Jesus returns?’
- Is this another ’scare’? Was ’nuclear war’, then ’Ice Age’ now- ’Global Warming’
Well- Climate change seems to be a confirmed fact!
- our winters and summers are different! Undeniably
Whether it is ’global warming’- that laden terminology that places the blame on mankind and the burning of hydrocarbons- is still in debate… though listen to this!:
The State of the World? It Is on the Brink of Disaster The Independent UK Wednesday 30 March 2005
An authoritative study of the biological relationships vital to maintaining life has found disturbing evidence of man-made degradation. Steve Connor reports.
Planet Earth stands on the cusp of disaster and people should no longer take it for granted that their children and grandchildren will survive in the environmentally degraded world of the 21st century. This is not the doom-laden talk of green activists but the considered opinion of 1,300 leading scientists from 95 countries who will today publish a detailed assessment of the state of the world at the start of the new millennium.
The report does not make jolly reading. The academics found that two-thirds of the delicately-balanced ecosystems they studied have suffered badly at the hands of man over the past 50 years……
Certainly the fact is: our climate is changing, faster than it ever has in recorded history- and it’s going to change all of us
- changes of 200 years now happen in 10
- some variations ARE there in our history (Thames freezing over in 1700s. Gulf Stream shutting down or volcanic haze?)
o but they have never happened like this before
- the ’cold pump’ of descending water at the arctic has slowed dramatically!
But- question one- is it the end of the world?
CLIMATE CHANGE- END OF WORLD?
I do think these could be some of the things spoken of in the Bible. Waves. Sun rising with scorching heat.
- in spite of me thinking most of the ’shaking of the heavens’ is apocalyptic language rather than geological fact (See ’2006 end sermon’)
But this does not mean it’s the end of the world, nor irreversible, nor unavoidable!
To me they fit into the ’signs of the end times’ that Jesus speaks about:
- the ’end days’ that have been in place since Jesus ascended
- the ’birth pangs’ that He speaks of…
…but His word is:
Mt 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
Interestingly enough- Jesus plays down the hype of the whole thing and says
- these events are nothing unusual
- "if someone says ’the date is… here He is… buy this book’- don’t panic or pay much attention to them. The end is still to come"
Even in the early church (very much characterised by ’eschatological expectation’… immanence) Paul’s advice was
- get a job. Get married. Get on with it. Get on with spreading the good news. DO something…be practical
- 2TH 3:11 We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.
- And I fear that is what WE are going to have to do