The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Marching for creation

I believe God calls us to love creation as He does. Christian universalism should free us from concerns about personal salvation to concentrate on being God’s kingdom bearers and care for creation. With that and my child’s future in mind, I took my four year old to his first climate march here in Copenhagen.

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Michael, I think it great that you are teaching your young son to care about the environment. Cleaning up waste materials and nasty pollutants is a necessary and worthwhile goal. But that was not the primary purpose of the march he participated in. You called it a “climate march” so I presume it was all about blaming carbon dioxide for causing perceived harm to the environment. To quote you:

The many pollutants our lifestyles are pumping into the atmosphere are not just an immediate health hazard causing toxic smog in cities, but threaten an irreversible breakdown of the earth’s cycles (heating being just one such cycle) in which whatever action we take will be too late.

I would hope, as a wise and caring father, that you teach your son carbon dioxide is not one of the pollutants. Rather, it is essential to life on this planet. You must surely explain to your son that he breathes it in and out every moment of his young life; that he depends upon it for the food he eats.

I was taught science at school by a wonderful teacher who knew how to use poetry as a way to help his students remember the facts he was trying to instill in his young charges. Here is one of his poems that I learned from him and have never forgotten after the passing of almost seventy years. I would be honoured if you teach it to your son.

The plant makes starch in the bright sunshine,
With carbon dioxide and water;
And mineral salts and chlorophyll green,
To learn this by heart you oughter.

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Carbon dioxide is indeed essential. But too much of it and the Earth will cease to support human life. Venus is an example of a planet with plenty of carbon dioxide that’s extremely inhospitable to life.

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God didn’t intend for man to live on Venus, nor Mars for that matter, when He created the heavenly bodies. Earth is our intended home.

Blockquote There’s little danger to humans of too much CO2 in the air they breathe. Even the Environmental Protection Agency says 1000 ppm is the safe limit for lifetime human exposure. Space shuttle CO2 alarms are set at 5,000 ppm, and the alarm in nuclear submarines is set at 8,000 ppm!

If there’s little danger of humans having too much CO2 in their air, and a real danger to civilization from having too little, what’s the ideal level of atmospheric CO2? The answer? There’s a broad safe range – with far more risk of too little than too much. At low levels, with few or no plants, there’d be no people or animals, let alone civilization.

That’s true… so if we stupidly allow too much carbon dioxide to build through fossil fuel overkill and unrelenting industrialisation then we might end up like Venus… not a sensible move if we can help it, which we can.

What is definitely stupid is to spend energy and resources tilting at windmills instead of acknowledging that climate changes have occurred throughout history, and that the benefits of increased CO2 are real, especially evidenced by the re-greening of the planet in recent years, while temperature rise has been virtually non-existent since the turn of the century.

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Or maybe, there is an different motive for the world green movement. As Norm points out very little science behind it. Over industrialization could be a disputed claim… We really don’t know what is happening. And it could be said, if we do believe in a creation God, we could also believe this God might well take care of us. :grimacing:

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Well science indicates the planet has indeed warmed, which seems attributable to excessive pollutants pumped into the atmosphere since the beginning of industrialisation till now etc. Climate change has indeed also always been a naturally occurring fact… but what pollutants have done via the greenhouse effect is brought an artificial speeding up of these changes to where we get extremes in these otherwise normal weather events, i.e., unusually colder cold snaps and hotter more intense dry spells with the associated extremes in massive floods or ferocious fire storms beyond the considered norm. IOW… being slack with the planet causes these extremes not otherwise witnessed as we now do.

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I am not arguing that the Earth may have warmed slightly. I am concerned that carbon dioxide is included as one of your “excessive pollutants” when it is anything but, and in fact is beneficial to life on the planet.

It is beneficial to life up to a certain level above which it become detrimental and eventually catastrophic to life.
" Carbon dioxide, while vital for photosynthesis, is sometimes referred to as pollution, because raised levels of the gas in the atmosphere are affecting the Earth’s climate. Disruption of the environment can also highlight the connection between areas of pollution that would normally be classified separately, such as those of water and air. Recent studies have investigated the potential for long-term rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide to cause slight but critical increases in the acidity of ocean waters, and the possible effects of this on marine ecosystems." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollution

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This story from the BBC, would help here!

So if I “cut the cheese” - so to speak…I am releasing “molecules of freedom”. Sometimes we just need, the right labels.

I remember when French fries became Freedom fries due to France’s opposition to the Iraq invasion. Funny how freedom can become a pretext for invading another country which just so happens to have a lot of oil. Once again the word freedom is tied to a fossil fuel.

It seems to me that those most obsessed about freedom are unfortunately very specific about who needs it and if that freedom comes at another’s expense, then so be it.

I am all for reasonable legislation for the restriction of man-made pollution, but ‘the politics of environmental concern’ skew sharply left, toward more power in the hands of fewer people (as displayed in both Marxism, and fascism).

“People never give up their liberties but under some delusion.”

Edmund Burke, Member of the British Parliament 1780-1794

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https://thefederalist.com/2019/05/30/sorry-alarmists-climate-chaos-not/

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Why? What harm do you see coming from giving government officials appointed by democratically elected politicians the power to take the necessary steps to prevent increased food shortages, water shortages, floods, hurricanes, and diseases?

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There seems to be an inverse relationship between the size of government and the size of individual liberties.

I see a spiritual dimension to this: the devil moves people toward totalitarianism, with himself at the top–in order to more easily control them; whereas God promotes the individual’s freedom of conscience—and his pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness—because these freedoms point to Him as the ultimate source of all true liberty and happiness.

In Revelation, we see that the final earthly government under Antichrist will take over everything, including worship.

What liberties essential to human flourishing do you see limits on greenhouse gases violating?

My main concern is not greenhouse gases, but both 1) the pretext of environmentalism hypocritically used by power-hungry people to gain more political capital, and 2) the larger prophetic context of this global trend.

As Lord Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Human government is corrupt at best, and godly citizens should prayerfully strive to keep it on a leash.

Satan tried to tempt Christ himself with earthly power:

Matthew 4:8-9
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

—And we should note that Jesus did not deny Satan’s qualification to offer him “all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor”!

I perceive a trajectory toward growing unity in both church affiliations and government affiliations, for the centralization of power.

I would further argue that coming world events were laid out in broad strokes in biblical prophecy many years ago; and that many, or most, of these prophecies have not yet been fulfilled. To put this growing centralization of global power into prophetic context, from a futurist perspective, we should reconsider the prophet Daniel:

Daniel 2:31
“Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance."

A commonly suggested interpretation of the symbolism of the components of the statue is this:

1)Gold head = Babylon (specified by Daniel himself)

2)Silver chest and arms = Media-Persia

3)Bronze belly and thighs = Greece

4A) Iron legs = Western and Eastern Roman Empires

4B) Feet of Iron mixed with Clay = respective successors, for example, perhaps the EEC

The four beasts seen later in chapter 7 are often argued to symbolize those same four world empires of the statue, with the Roman Empire reviving and morphing into Antichrist’s empire:

Daniel 7:3
Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.

1)The lion = Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar, like the lion, was given a new heart)

2)The bear = Media-Persia

3)The leopard = Greece (the spots indicating Alexander the Great’s hellenization process)

4C) The fourth beast, with IRON teeth and ten horns = Antichrist

Further, it appears that the Second Coming of Christ will occur during the time of the feet of iron and clay, with Jesus the Rock coming against a world empire that perhaps encompasses the same area of all those earlier empires, since the entire statue appears to be standing (again) at that time:

Daniel 2:34-35
34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze , the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.

Again, we see an agglomeration of these same (revived) powers under the Antichrist spelled out in Revelation —

Rev. 13:2
The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.

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What a bunch of conspiracy theory nonsense. Do you seriously think people who want to take the necessary steps to reduce food and water shortages, floods, and diseases are part of a nefarious cabal motivated by nothing but power as an end in itself? that you actually find it so hard to fathom that someone could actually want to prevent the aforementioned disasters that you think it’s more likely they have an ulterior motive to… do just what exactly? Send people to gulags? Please tell me you’re not so lacking in critical thinking that you believe this…

You are twisting what I have said, Qaz.

I applaud valid steps to improve our physical environment, and to alleviate suffering. That wasn’t what I was attacking, but rather “the pretext of environmentalism hypocritically used by power-hungry people to gain more political capital.”

Certainly you recognize that there are innumerable power-hungry people in the environmental movement, with ulterior motives?

And that there are many naïve, but sincere, people—some with Ph.D’s—who don’t realize that they are on a broad path to destruction that is paved with good intentions?

And speaking of “conspiracy theories,” please reconsider the granddaddy of them all:

2 Cor. 4:4
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Eph. 6:12
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

2 Tim. 2:25-26
Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

1 John 5:19
We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

In summary, I think Marching for Creation would be about as helpful to humanity as Marching for Jesus–with all due respect to people who choose to do so…

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