Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

This month I want to address the really hot topic of climate change. There are so many arguments and so much confusion on this topic. What I want to do is try and bring a Christian perspective to it, which I will follow on with, in the message of the month for October. Before I begin, I want to state that I am an ardent conservationist. I spent more than 50 years of my life wandering the hills, back country and wilderness areas of New Zealand. I view all such areas as sacred. They carry the imprint of the Father’s creative hand and should be treated with the utmost of respect. Any abuse of this planet (and there are plenty of modern-day examples of such abuse) will cost humanity dearly.

Col. 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

The point is that we don’t own this earth and nor do we, or our actions, hold it together. This is done by, in and for, Christ. God created this planet and gave it as a gift to His Son. He gave us stewardship rights over it, but not at our own discretion, not without accountability – and He never, ever withdrew His Spirit from this land and left it to us. Nor will He ever do that – we are only here for 3 score years and ten, how can that qualify us to be true custodians of it? Only Christ has that role. Most of the current arguments regarding climate change are atheistic. They assume there is no God, or if there is, he/she/it has no interest or control in planet earth and has left it completely in the power of human beings. This is not only unbiblical; it is blasphemous and arrogant. We as followers of Christ should not be swayed by this way of thinking. Our mandate is to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we may prove that the will of God is (Rom 12:2). We are not to be conformed to the thinking of this world so that we can acquiesce to its purposes.

Will this destroy the planet?

In Genesis 11 we read the story of the Tower of Babel. Current humanity got together, came up with a plan and began to execute it. God came, had a look, and was impressed. He stated that “nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them” (Genesis 11:6). But to stop reading here completely misses the point. God intervened, trashed their plans and totally disempowered them from their work. Why? Simply because they were taking life on earth in a direction that was opposed to His purposes. So, what is impossible for humanity to achieve, is anything that cuts across God’s ultimate purposes. No one has that power. God doesn’t allow it. If we must make “how dare you! “statements let me add one. How dare we think we can destroy this planet! It isn’t ours to destroy – the destruction of this plant is not in God’s plan – read Revelation Ch 18-22. Also, how dare we think we can fix it, improve it or even understand it, without first seeking Him as to what it needs at any given time, what role He will play, and what role He requires from us! How dare we think God will allow the creation He loves, to be, managed, stewarded or even destroyed, in a way that is contrary to His purposes. Does that mean we can do whatever we like here with no consequences? Not at all. We will suffer the consequences of any abuse, not only as sons being disciplined by their Father, but also by the land refusing to cooperate with our efforts to gain what we need from it.  Will this destroy the planet? No! It will just alienate it from us, and we will have to completely change tack to get back in harmony with it. Are there examples of abuse today? Absolutely, and it grieves me, and I know it grieves God. But there is also clear proof that over the last two hundred years, we have gleaned much from this planet that has been incredibly beneficial to humanity and the flora and fauna. We have done lots of good things and made some useful gains over the last 150 years. This is all documented if anyone wants to take the time to research it. So, what do we say about all the current arguments, opinions, and advice? Is there a Biblical perspective we can embrace? I believe there is, but you will have to wait until the message comes out a bit later this month where I will share from Ezekiel 14 which speaks to this whole issue. Until then, you may like to mediate on the following verses from Psalm 107. Note carefully who is determining whether the planet is either fertile or a waste land. None of this is fixed in place. It is all subject to our faithfulness and it is changed accordingly, by God.

Psa. 107:33   He changes rivers into a wilderness  And springs of water into a thirsty ground; 34 A fruitful land into a salt waste,  Because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it. 35 He changes a wilderness into a pool of water  And a dry land into springs of water; 36 And there He makes the hungry to dwell,  So that they may establish an inhabited city, 37 And sow fields and plant vineyards,  And gather a fruitful harvest. 38 Also He blesses them and they multiply greatly,  And He does not let their cattle decrease.

God Bless you, Bruce Billington