by Franklin L. Kirksey
Global warming is a hot topic of discussion these days. It appears that the movie called "An Inconvenient Truth" and other documentaries could fan the flames. According to the "experts," global warming refers to an increase in the earth's temperature caused by human activities resulting in a multiplicity of cataclysmic events.
Evangelical leaders have yet to reach a consensus on this hot button issue. A document titled "Climate Change: an Evangelical Call to Action" was signed by 86 evangelical leaders, but James Dobson, D. James Kennedy, Charles Colson, Richard Land and Donald Wildmon have written an appeal to the National Association of Evangelicals not to endorse such a statement. In an article titled "How Should We Respond to Global Warming?" World Magazine (Feb. 25, 2006), E. Calvin Beisner explains that the plan proposed would cost $50 trillion to lower the earth's temperature by 0.2°F.
There is still much debate in the scientific community on the subject of preventing global warming. According to Beisner, Roy Spencer, senior research scientist on climate change at the University of Alabama-Huntsville and Paul Driessen, senior policy advisor for the Congress of Racial Equality and author of "EcoImperialism: Green Power, Black Death" take issue with several parts of the Evangelical Climate Initiative in "An Examination of the Scientific, Ethical, and Theological Implications of Climate Change Policy."
Man has attempted for centuries to predict the weather. Many are amazed to learn that almost 2,000 years ago the Holy Spirit inspired Simon Peter to issue a warning about global warming in his second epistle. He writes, " the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up" (2 Pet. 3:10b). Without question global warming is coming to this planet. Peter adds: "For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (2 Pet. 2:5-9; 3:5-7).
Preparation for global warming must include repentance which is a change of mind and heart that leads to a change in direction based on a godly sorrow over our sinful condition. C. S. Lewis explains in Mere Christianity: "Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms." Peter writes, "The Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9). The Apostle Paul boldly declares, "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead" (Acts 17:30-31). The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the gospel we must believe to be saved (see: 1 Cor.15:1-4). After being born again, believers are exhorted to prepare themselves by "holy conduct and godliness" and spiritual growth in "grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" according to 2 Peter 3:11, 17-18.
While we should be concerned with the environment of planet earth we must remember that ultimately man cannot save it. Peter writes, "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night " (2 Pet. 3:10).
The late Vance Havner often said that the Christian thinks in terms of three worlds: The world that then was; the heavens and the earth which are now; and the new heavens and new earth (2 Peter 3:13). A flood destroyed the first world; fire will destroy the second, and the third world will last forever.
It is my fervent prayer that we will all keep our priorities straight about the coming global warming.