Our planet is very, very sick. It’s running a nasty fever that will spike much higher before we can reverse it. It’s the fault of every human being who lives in or contributes to industrialized society. As Calvin De Witt forcefully explains in this issue (p. 18), we must face up to the reality of global warming and do so now.
- As rational beings we can no longer use the excuse that we don’t know about it.
- As human beings we want to avoid the catastrophes that global warming will bring upon us and our children.
- As Reformed Christians we care about God’s good earth and want to be responsible stewards of it—for God’s glory and all creatures’ benefit.
We Can’t Stop It
Let’s get real, though. Even if we all went cold turkey on our addiction to fossil fuels, the effects of what we’ve already done will continue to raise earth’s temp for centuries. Instead, with
so many “have not” countries industrializing at a phenomenal rate, more pollution is being spewed into the atmosphere than ever before.
We live in denial. We see the writing on the wall. The Daniels of our day have interpreted it for us. But change our ways? Our governments don’t have the guts. Industry doesn’t have the conscience. And we consumers don’t have the willpower.
What Will Happen?
As De Witt points out, the ever-rising fever will certainly cause our planet to become even sicker. If Jesus tarries, it may die.
So why even try? Why should Christians invest the effort and make the huge sacrifices required to even attempt to spare our planet? Won’t the actions of everybody else stymie our noble efforts?
So why do it? Because Jesus walked out of that grave.
To a world that knows only the inevitability of death, Jesus proved that life has the final word. If we die in Jesus, then we shall live. If the world dies, then he will make it live again. That’s our only comfort. The kingdom of God, teeming with renewed life, is on its way. Jesus’ resurrection begins it and proves it. We cannot do it. He will.
That kingdom is already here—not yet in fullness—but it’s here. We catch glimpses of it where people of faith live in obedience to their Lord. Their lives take on the shape of things to come. They begin living in shalom with their God, with each other, and with their world. They act lovingly to Creator and creature alike. Like Jesus’ resurrection, they are visible signs of that coming kingdom already peeking out, showing now already how it shall one day be.
Regardless of what others do, ambassadors of that other kingdom live differently because they stop seeking what the Gentiles seek—bigger homes, cars, toys (Matt 6:25-34). They seek the kingdom and its righteousness. They do what’s right also for this planet.
Who knows? Maybe if we live an Easter lifestyle others will follow. It doesn’t take much salt to season food or much light to dispel darkness. We might yet catalyze humanity into finding a way.
Let’s go for it. Let’s start making those hundreds of small, energy-wise choices. We can’t save the world. But we can point to the One who can. He has risen!