A number of government leaders from around the world are making louder noises in acknowledgement of global climate change, and the necessity of responding to it with new, stronger policies and action in order to prevent dangerous alteration to the world’s environment. Even the Murdoch news empire, a recent strident climate-change denier, has converted, and now declares it as truth!
The Bible also acknowledges the degradation of the world’s environment. It tells us that the creation is subject to futility and decay, and that it “groans as in labour pains” (Ro 8:22). Those who acknowledge climate change will say that this catastrophe is the fault of human mismanagement, and short-sighted trashing of the environment for economic advantage. No doubt much of this is true.
However, the Bible also says that God subjected the creation to futility and decay (Ro 8:20)! It says that He did this in hope that the creation itself will be set free from this state of decay, not only to be restored to its pristine state, but “glorified”, made infinitely better, greater and richer than it ever was before (Ro 8:21), in the eternal new heaven and new earth (Rev 21:1-5). This is to accompany a similar liberation and glorification of God’s people (Ro 8:21 – i.e., the resurrection from the dead to eternal life).
This truth means that we shouldn’t be too shocked or dismayed at the troubles that come to the global environment, and that we are free to realistically acknowledge them. It also means that we should not be fearful or despairing in the face of them, but actually full of the hope of the redemption of creation, and express that faith in stewarding and renewing the environment wherever God enables us.
Grace and peace, Jonathan.