Friday, July 13, 2012

Climate change, the fear factor and why should Christians be afraid?

In his daily message on The Catch, John Fischer muses about the way businesses use fear to sell their products and services and wonders what Christians should be afraid of. One of the key themes of my book, A Very Convenient Truth, is that fear is dominating all sides of the discussion over climate change (or global warming or environmental trauma or whatever you want to call it).

In fact, it's the fear of change that is driving the discussion. On one side, people are afraid that climate change will cause ocean levels to rise and animals to become extinct and the earth to become unbearably hot with violent storms. On the other side, people are afraid that if the environmentalists' prescriptions are followed, that will ruin the economy, people will lose their jobs and society will suffer. Throw in pride and personal agendas, which tend to make people magnify the fear factor, especially if they stand to make a buck off it, and you have confusion and the dishonesty that comes with worshipping Mammon.

One of the reasons why fear is a lousy motivator is because it always keeps us off-balance. There's always something to be afraid of: something waiting to rise up and just when you think you've got it licked, another one appears, followed by another and then the first one comes back again. Think of Whack-a-Mole in the real world.

As John points out, Christ is the antithesis of fear. We have a positive target to focus on -- a "mark" to press towards -- and in so doing, we don't waste time and energy fighting against an infinite number of things. Also, by turning to the Word of God as our guide, we start to see new realities -- such as the "very convenient truth" that the "scary" things we're seeing now were foretold thousands of years ago. What's more, those same predictions tell us that these are the forerunners of Jesus' return and God's moving to earth to live with His people.

His Word also gives us a couple of things to focus on. One is our duty to bring as many people into the Kingdom as we can, through love and faith in His Name. The other is to understand and live by the First Great Assignment -- be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it: in other words, return to being caretakers for His Creation. That doesn't mean trying to fight global warming: it means being as good as we can be at caretaking, but also understanding that some things in God's plan may look "bad" to us now, but as we remain faithful to Him, we will see His glory.

In other words, since God told us this all was going to happen, "fighting" global warming actually puts us in opposition to Him. Do we really want that?

Perfect love casts out all fear. Stripping it down to its essence, the Word of God says that if we turn to Him and love others ahead of ourselves, He will heal the land (2 Chron. 7:13-14). In this world, that requires a whole lot of faith in order to believe, but without faith, you cannot please God; and really, what else has truly worked?

A Very Convenient Truth is an e-book, available (US $4.99) through online bookstores like Chapters, Barnes & Noble and Amazon, published through Smashwords.

No comments:

Post a Comment