Pastor column: What does the Bible say about climate change?

·4 min read
Pastor Michael F. Chandler
Pastor Michael F. Chandler

In a previous article, we learned that our praise is to God. Like King David we are to offer our glory — the very best skills we possess — to the Creator and the One who gives us life. We, His servants, bring our glory to the one who is glorious above all (Ps 108:1-5). The Christian hymn, “Immortal, Invisible, God only Wise” was put to the tune of a traditional Welsh ballad and captures this challenge. Scottish pastor and lyricist writes, Walter Chalmers Smith (1824-1908) writes,

Immortal, invisible, God only wise, in light inaccessible, hid from our eyes. Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days, almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise. Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light, nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might. Thy justice like mountains high soaring above thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love. To all, life thou givest, to both great and small. In all life thou livest, the true life of all. We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree, and wither and perish, but naught changeth thee. Great God of all glory, great God of all light, thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight. All praise we would render; O help us to see ‘tis only the splendor of light hideth thee.

As we noted, the stark contrasts of the Creator to the creature are plain. The Bible explains the nature of the One whom we worship as immortal, invisible, and the only wise God (1 Tim 1:17; 6:16). The Creator is glorious (Ps 8; 19:1-6), eternal (Ps 90:1-2), almighty, and victorious over His enemies (Ps 2; 37:20; 68:1). He rules over all (Ps 103:19) and no one can question His power, justice or the decisions He makes (Is 40:21-31; Dan 4:34-37). He gives life to all — man and animals alike; all depend upon Him for their very breath and sustenance (Ps 104:10-30). Though He cursed the earth because of man’s sin and subjected it to groaning (Gen 3:17-18; Rom 8:20-22), yet His Son Jesus Christ upholds all things by the word of His power (Heb 1:3). This is the way of things until the day of final judgment when the earth and its works will be burned up and a new heaven and a new earth will replace the present system (2 Pet 3:10-13; Rev 21:1-8). Such is the irrefutable testimony of Scripture.

Prolific hymn writer and USA Presbyterian pastor Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written a new song to support the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Adapted to the same Welsh tune as Smith’s biblically sound lyrics, The Climate is Changing (2021) exchanges “the truth of God for the lie” and worships and serves the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever (cf. Rom 1:25). Ecumenically liberal-minded Christians now sing,

The climate is changing! Creation cries out! Your people face flooding and fire and drought. We see the great heat waves and storms at their worst. We pray for the poor, Lord — for they suffer first. We pray for the animals here in our midst who cannot defend their own right to exist. We pray for the mountains and forests and seas that bear the harsh footprint of our human greed.

We thank you for people who treasure the earth, whose faith has long taught them its beauty and worth. We thank you as well for the children and youth who look to the future and speak out the truth. We thank you for leaders, courageous and brave, who know that the earth is worth fighting to save, who care about justice and what they should do, who listen to science and work hard for you. You love this good earth, and you sent us your Son! May we love our neighbors — there's work to be done. May we, by your Spirit, do all in our power to care for your earth in this critical hour.

Friends, the current language of climate change is incompatible with biblical teaching. It is altogether godless and ascribes to little man far more power than invested him by the Creator. Believers are herein warned to worship the Creator rather than the creation and fully embrace the claims of His Son who came into the world — not to save the earth which He loves — but sinners for whom He gave Himself that they might not perish but have everlasting life.— Scriptures to Memorize: Hebrews 1:10-12

Pastor Chandler serves Victor Valley Bible Church at 16439 Hughes Road in Victorville. Services are held each Sunday at 10:15 AM and Live Streamed on Facebook. For more information visit our website at www.victorvalleybiblechurch.org or email the pastor at bibletrom@gmail.com.

This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Pastor column: What does the Bible say about climate change?

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