Friday, October 19, 2007

Climate Change (15) - Caused by Disobedience

What human disobedience causes God to allow a judgment that does so much harm to the earth? The events described in Revelation are caused by three main sins. Firstly, the church is lukewarm and lacking in zeal (Rev 2,3). This translates into a variety of false religions and idolatry. Secondly, human rebellion manifests itself through enormous growth in political power. The people of the world reject the kingdom of God and choose to build the kingdom of man. The kingdom of man eventually morphs into a world empire.

The third area of disobedience that brings the judgment described in Revelation is a lifestyle that uses the earth that God placed in our care as a tool for human pleasure. God gave us dominion over the earth, so we could work with him to establish and expand his kingdom throughout this earth. Instead of accepting this challenge, we have used the earth for human plans and pleasure.

The events described in the book of Revelation happen during a time when consumerism is rampant and global trade is important to sustain it. Here is a paraphrase of parts of Revelation 18.

The people glorified themselves and lived luxuriously. The merchants of the earth became rich through the abundance of their comfort. They produced consumer goods that you would not dream about: gold and silver, designer jewellery, stylish clothing, delicate and delicious foods, fashionable furniture, trendy electronics, opulent cars, magnificent SUVs, air travel, exclusive holidays. Some merchants even trafficked in human lives.

People are dressed in the latest fashions and adorned with the finest jewellery. They dine in delicate and delectable luxury.
This passage is a good description of life in our part of the world over the past century. This lifestyle was not part of God’s plan, but is the outworking of life without him.

Materialism and consumerism are the sins that bring the judgment of global climate change to the earth. In a sense the meteorologists are right in saying that human lifestyles have had a negative effect on the world that God has entrusted to us. Their only mistake is in not tracing this behaviour back to rejection of God.

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