A message from Martyn Isles of the Australian Christian Lobby:
“Net-zero by 2050. That’s where we are heading, so we’re told. It looks like in the post-pandemic world we are going to be increasingly preoccupied with climate change. Somehow, we are to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Meanwhile, everything from a transition to eating bugs over red meat for protein, to closing down substantial farming enterprises in the Netherlands and perhaps other parts of the EU, these are becoming the issues of the day. The Dutch farmers are the first victims of this climate change juggernaut – there will be more.
“But the world powers are getting this very wrong. I understand why they are getting it wrong, because they basically believe that human beings arose on this planet quite by chance, and in time proceeded to go on a destructive, and murderous, and an exploitative, and a cancerous rampage, which must now be stopped and we need to find the reverse gear stat because there is no meaning to history. There is no one in control of history. There is no destiny apart from that which we do, and we are cancer.
“I would think the same way, if I did not believe there was a God. I would think the same way, if I did not believe that there was any purpose to the history of this world. If I thought I was here by chance, and we were one of the gazillions of planets and we’re just very fortunate to be in the position that we’re in, I would think the future was pretty uncertain, and I reckon I’d get pretty nervous. But the truth is, that humanity is not a cancer on the planet. Rather, the planet was made for human beings. Notice the order is a little bit different. It was the environment into which human beings were placed as an act of divine intent, not to be subservient to it, or to be inferior to it, but to subdue it, to be legitimately and sufficiently supplied by it. Genesis is quite clear that what we see in the world around us was substantially put there for human use, and enjoyment, and sustenance, including plants, water, minerals, and animals (Gen. 1:28-30; 2:9-14; 9:1-3).
“The modern world has got this hierarchy completely wrong. Namely, the hierarchy of people over planet. But they’re getting another hierarchy quite wrong as well. Namely, that God is the greater steward of the planet than we are. We’re behaving as if the continued existence of the planet, and the paradigms, like the climate on which it depends for its existence – it’s all up to us. And of course, that’s deeply stressful. It totally depends on us. How can that be anything but stressful? In fact, it is a task so impossibly huge, and so at odds with human behavior, which is progress, which is dominion, which is advancement, which is growth, which is consuming – that the only real hope for these people who believe in this disaster – the only hope is proving to be the prospect of totalitarian power and control to bring humans to heel, to stop their cancerous rampage. Of course, not the humans that are making the plan – they can still have their private jets – the other little guys, they need to be brought to heel. That’s the way these centralized power schemes always work. The Dutch farmers are the early victims. But they are not the last victims.
“But I would like to propose a very different line of thinking. I’d like to propose that the fact that it is truly beyond me is precisely the reason why I am not stressed about it. I don’t need to get too big for my boots. Because there are some matters which are truly, ultimately beyond me, by design. Because they’re in God’s jurisdiction, not mine. That is why, when God renewed the command to be fruitful, and multiply and fill the earth, and to “increase greatly in the earth and multiply in it” (Gen. 9:7ESV) – He immediately accompanies that with a promise that He would meanwhile sustain the earth to that end – “While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease” (Gen. 8:22 – 9:7ESV). Yes, go and do something. Here’s a job to do, and don’t worry about this part of it – the sustaining of it, in the big global sense – I’ll do that. Nearly 8 billion people later, all things continue, not just because we are so clever, but because God’s not finished with it yet.
“These hierarchies really matter, and we’re seeing that right with this present madness. People over planet, and God over people, over planet. And it’s because we’ve messed them up, that we’re on the cusp of unthinkable costly, destructive “climate action policies” all around the world. And of course, lest anybody criticize, none of this is to say that there are not legitimate acts of creation care. National parks, removing plastics from the ocean, sustainable practices for fishing, for cropping, for hunting – so you don’t just pillage, and so on. But that is not where the environmental debate is at any longer. That is not the future of this issue at all, and to assume as much is to be very naïve. We are now looking at fears over an environmental disaster of epic and final proportions. So great that it cannot be solved, apart from rank destruction of good things, reversal of the dominion mandate, and totalitarian government powers. This, if it continues in this way, and advances as so many people on the world stage would like to see it advance, will be the beginning of sorrows. Why? Interestingly, at its essence, because once again we forgot God.
Appendix: The great chain of being
Did you know that in the Middle Ages people had the broad features of this hierarchy right? Even though they had many ideas that are considered to be wrong today, they had the basic order of God, then people, and then the rest of planet earth, right. This was called the “Great Chain of Being”, which was a hierarchy with God at the top, above angels. Beneath them were humans. Lower were animals and plants. At the bottom of the hierarchy was the mineral materials of the earth itself. For centuries the ‘great chain of being’ held a central place in Western thought.
Today many environmentalists have replaced God (who created and sustains the universe) with nature (planet earth). So, the item at the bottom of the order has been moved to the top!
This post comes from Martyn Isles of the Australian Christian Lobby.
Posted, August 2022