Jan 12, 2009

Green Bible vs. The End Times

By Todd Strandberg

A new Bible has recently been published that highlights verses it claims are related to environmentalism. The Green Bible calls for believers to protect God's creation, and it seeks to encourage more Christians, particularly evangelicals, to embrace "green" politics.

"In every book of the Bible, there are references to the world and how we should take care of it," said Rusty Pritchard, editor of Creation Care Magazine, an eco-friendly publication for evangelicals. "When you look at it through that lens, it really jumps out at you ... that God is calling us to care for the world around us."

The Green Bible is simple and streamlined in its design. Printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink, the book features a cotton and linen cover and more than 1,000 verses printed in green ink.

One would think that environmentalism would be exclusively embraced by more liberal Christian organizations. In recent years, organizations like the National Association of Evangelicals have taken up the green banner. In 2006, 39 evangelical colleges, leaders of aid groups and churches, like the Salvation Army, joined with Pastor Rick Warren to form the Evangelical Climate Initiative.

The Christian environmental movement has already created rather odd bedfellows. Warren has been invited to speak at national and international forums including the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the African Union, the Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Time’s Global Health Summit, and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation.

Rev. Richard Cizik, former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, has said that Christians have a biblical mandate to take care of the earth and that climate change is a crisis that needs to be addressed immediately. When asked how the concept of the rapture influences his planning, Cizik replied, "There are some who believe that environmental degradation is simply one sign of the coming of Jesus Christ. Therefore there is no need to take action. And again and again, evangelical scholars, pastors, seminary presidents, have said that this is wrong. It is heresy and is not what the Bible teaches."

The first problem I have with Christian environmentalism is the lack of an urgent crisis. The whole debate is centered around global warming, and recent data seems to indicate we are not in a rapid warming trend.

Last week it was announced that levels of sea ice are now at the same levels seen 29 years ago. Thanks to a quick rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those in 1979, the year satellite record keeping began.

The year 2008 also helped put the brakes on global warming by being the coldest year in just over a decade. You would have to go back to 1997 find a year with a lower average temperature.

There is no sign of a let-up in the cold snap. So far this winter, several western states have set records for snowfall. Alaska is in the midst of bitterly cold weather. Frigid temperatures have grounded planes, disabled cars, frozen water pipes, and even canceled several championship cross-country ski races.

I generally agree that global warming is a long-term problem. If we put more CO2 into the atmosphere, it would increase the temperature. As with any problems, time needs to be factored into the equation. In the light of Bible prophecy, I don't think there is need for immediate concern.

The Yucca Mountain Repository is the proposed main facility for most of America’s spent nuclear reactor fuel and other high-level radioactive waste. It is located in a desert on federal land adjacent to the Nevada Test Site in Nye County, Nevada, about 80 miles north of the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The government has been pouring huge amounts of money into this project. The latest total cost presented to Congress is running at $90 billion.

What keeps driving up the cost of this hole in the ground is the desire for this repository to last from 10,000 to 1 million years without any radiation leaks. Unfortunately, the world they are trying to protect from this spent nuclear fuel is not going to be here in 10,000 years. I would be hard-pressed to give them 30 years.

Jesus said when He returns to earth at the end of the tribulation, the vast majority of mankind will be dead and the earth will be in a state of total devastation. Everything environmentalists hope to achieve will be undone by man’s evil nature.

I think it is pure insanity for a minister of the gospel to become involved in any type of environmental issue. Because our souls are the only things that will survive this world, preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ should be every believer’s top priority.

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mat 16:26).