Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Apologetics - Climate Change

What is a Christian to think about the climate change debate? As with the marriage debate, let us take a step back and look at what God has to say about it.

Genesis 1:28 says this: “And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” What do we learn from this? One is that man is meant to be a steward of creation. A steward is someone who manages and takes care of another’s property. So man is meant to take care of creation.

Something else we learn from this verse is that man is meant to be fruitful and multiply. Having children and taking care of creation are connected. Saying we have to have fewer children (or no children) and abortions are good for the environment is no different than the pagans who would sacrifice their children to the gods for favorable weather. Children are always seen as a blessing in the Bible.

Creation was not meant to be the way we see it now. Think back to Genesis 1. God created everything and it was very good. Hurricanes, out of control wildfires, extinctions, pollution… none of this was the original intent. So why is it like this? Is it man’s fault? Well….yes, actually. In Genesis 3 (which we will talk more about next week) God says to Adam “cursed is the ground because of you.” Creation is cursed because of man’s sin.

Later in Genesis we read about the worldwide flood. This again was because of man’s wickedness. A flood of that magnitude very easily could have affected the climate. It may be here that volcanos, hurricanes, and even the ice age came from.

But just as man is the reason creation is cursed, it is through man that creation is redeemed.
“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. ” (Romans 8:19-23)

We long for the day that Jesus returns and makes all things new. On that day there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1) and creation will be restored. Environmental advocates often fall into the idea of thinking that the earth would be better off without humans, but the Bible teaches the exact opposite. After all, Jesus himself became man.

One final thought: God had the ultimate control over the creation, and that includes the climate. “You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.” - Nehemiah 9:6 (emphasis mine). So be a good steward of the corner of creation God has given you, but don’t forget that it’s the Creator who is ultimately in control.
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