The Christian church worldwide has always sought to improve people’s welfare. It has been the forerunner for justice and freedom. That is understandable, because Jesus demands that we love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31).
How then, in light of the best scientific and historical knowledge, ought the church to respond to climate change? How do we love our neighbors when it comes to global warming?
Loving our neighbors doesn’t stop with sending roses or being polite to them. We measure our every action and our every choice by whether it harms them or promotes their wellbeing (1 Corinthians 10:24).
Now the Scriptures are very clear—they ask us to seek the good of others, to love others based on God’s definition of love, goodness, and righteousness. That implicitly means we do not encourage lies and support sinful endeavors, regardless what the surrounding world thinks.
So how can we love our neighbors with the way we use and treat our environment?
Of all the environmental issues at our hand, climate change is the most controversial and most talked about issue in the last two decades.
Beyond any doubt, the earth’s climate has always changed. And, yes, it is changing now.
But as a post-graduate student researcher in climate science, I came to recognize that to understand the current state of our climate, we need to put it in historical perspective.
Whether you’re a young earth creationist or an old-earth creationist makes no difference. Recent changes in our climate can be better understood by analyzing our earth’s climate in the context of the past 2000 years—since Jesus was born.
In the first century A.D., when Romans ruled much of Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East, the world was experiencing what climate historians call the Roman Warm Period. Our Lord, His disciples and the first-century church probably experienced climatic conditions similar to what people experience today in Israel and Palestine.
Global temperatures declined after the Roman Warm Period, then began to rise again during the tenth century.
The eleventh and twelfth centuries are known as the Medieval Warm Period. Not long after St. Francis of Assisi wrote his hymn “All Creatures of our God and King” (based on Psalm 148) in 1225, global temperature began to drop again.
Francis would not have known about what climate historians call the Little Ice Age, of which the temperature decline that began in his day and continued through the fifteenth-century Reformation was the precursor.
After the Reformation, global temperatures began to drop drastically. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the most intense of the Little Ice Age, were two of the coldest in the last 3000 years.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Vijay Jayaraj