The Bible and Global Warming
Not being much of a Bible scholar, or anything even resembling a Bible scholar, I had to dig around on the Internet to find this. Still, I was curious if scripture had anything to say on the subject of global warming. Turns out it doesn’t. There are some general passages about droughts and fires and stewardship, but nothing directly on point. As is often the case, it’s up to us to use our God given brains to figure out what to do.
Some (of course) have found evidence for global warming being part of the apocalypse:
The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.
Seems a bit vague to me. I think Revelation was written for the purposes of providing apocalyptic and doomsday quotes. The world is going to end someday, I’m sure if anyone is around afterwards they will be able to point at the relevant passage in Revelation that “predicted” it.
A more liberal reading of the Bible in regards to global warming starts with Genesis:
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
— Genesis 1:28-30
From this it seems clear that we have been given stewardship of the Earth. Moving right along we come to 1 Corinthians, Apostles of Christ:
So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
— 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
This means that stewards should do their job well. Which means that if humans are causing global warming, we are going against God’s will. Kind of contrived logic in ways, but certainly nothing radical in it. To paraphrase: Scriptures say the earth is ours, but we are expected to take good care of it. Or else!:
“The nations were angry; and your wrath has come.
The time has come for judging the dead,
and for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your saints and those who reverence your name,
both small and great—
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”
— Revelation 11:18
Muahahaha! Booming voice from clouds, etc. OK, God probably doesn’t really say “Muahahaha!” That was poetic license.
Moving right along, now seems like a good time to toss out that despite my sometime irreverent relationship with God, I mean no one of any faith any offense. And if something I write ever does cause offense, I will certainly apologise. People may disagree on almost everything, but we are each free to seek our own path to the divine. Mine apparently involves a lot of humor.
(The above image of Henry Alford is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit, and I’m pretty sure the copyright on it expired last century.)