The christian response to global warming

jsimms435

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this article is from the NASA web site

"The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.1
Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate.
The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century.2 Their ability to affect the transfer of infrared energy through the atmosphere is the scientific basis of many instruments flown by NASA. There is no question that increased levels of greenhouse gases must cause the Earth to warm in response.
Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in greenhouse gas levels. Ancient evidence can also be found in tree rings, ocean sediments, coral reefs, and layers of sedimentary rocks. This ancient, or paleoclimate, evidence reveals that current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming."

https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

What are your thoughts about what our response should be as Christians to global warming?
 

tango

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Whatever articles are presented, when the voices that shout the loudest about global warming belong to the same people who operate private jets it's really hard to take it very seriously. When just about every proposed solution begins with "introduce a new tax on..." it's hard to take it seriously.

Frankly if people who keep banging on about global warming aren't prepared to live like the Amish it's hard to take them very seriously. You know, a billion impoverished people with brown skin in some far-flung country will perish if the sea levels rise but I don't care, I'm off on vacation. Or I'm taking my SUV to work. Because me getting to work conveniently and having a good time is more important than a billion brown people surviving.

From a purely Christian perspective we have to ask if we believe God's promise that he would never flood the earth again.

ETA: I should probably stress here that I believe we should be good stewards of the planet God has entrusted to us, I just don't believe the endless obsession over carbon is necessarily a helpful one.
 
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jsimms435

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Whatever articles are presented, when the voices that shout the loudest about global warming belong to the same people who operate private jets it's really hard to take it very seriously. When just about every proposed solution begins with "introduce a new tax on..." it's hard to take it seriously.

Frankly if people who keep banging on about global warming aren't prepared to live like the Amish it's hard to take them very seriously. You know, a billion impoverished people with brown skin in some far-flung country will perish if the sea levels rise but I don't care, I'm off on vacation. Or I'm taking my SUV to work. Because me getting to work conveniently and having a good time is more important than a billion brown people surviving.

From a purely Christian perspective we have to ask if we believe God's promise that he would never flood the earth again.

ETA: I should probably stress here that I believe we should be good stewards of the planet God has entrusted to us, I just don't believe the endless obsession over carbon is necessarily a helpful one.
I believe the key issue here is one of stewardship. God put man in charge of taking care of the garden and from what I can see we have pretty much run things into the ground. All the time you hear about the amount of trash in the ocean and the earth warming. I don't see Christians doing much about it. I realize a lot of things are really out of our control, but what about just making an effort to recycle or walk when you can or ride a bike instead of driving
 

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I believe the key issue here is one of stewardship. God put man in charge of taking care of the garden and from what I can see we have pretty much run things into the ground. All the time you hear about the amount of trash in the ocean and the earth warming. I don't see Christians doing much about it. I realize a lot of things are really out of our control, but what about just making an effort to recycle or walk when you can or ride a bike instead of driving
You're kinda roaming all over the place with your complaints now, aren't you? Supposedly, your own choice of topic was global warming.
 

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I believe the key issue here is one of stewardship. God put man in charge of taking care of the garden and from what I can see we have pretty much run things into the ground. All the time you hear about the amount of trash in the ocean and the earth warming. I don't see Christians doing much about it. I realize a lot of things are really out of our control, but what about just making an effort to recycle or walk when you can or ride a bike instead of driving
I agree, global warming is as real as the signs in revelation, this means that the majority have fallen away or else this is all just our imaginations.
Politicians ranting and raving about climate change and buying bet boats and jets, Evangelicals preaching the teachings of Jesus yet buying expensive sports cars and jets... the mirror of hypocrisy..
Read revelations and you will see global warming/climate change spelt out for you up and down and side to side, are these not the signs and plagues prepared for the heretical generation and brood of vipers?
This means that out of all the professing Christians out there right now, only about a 3rd are marked by God, we are not to look forward to this great and terrible day because that means the mass has fallen away.
Capitalism in my opinion needs a reformation, they need to realign their moral compass because the greed of those powers that be are dodging the crisis and hiding from cave to cave while plowing through expensive goods and riches before they die and not giving a darn about generations to come... and most conservatives don't bat an eye, we say it's fine the way it is because at least it's not socialism, but they still need to be shaken up and reformed, probably won't happen, greed is the root of all evil and Christians should be appalled by how progressive it has become..
Meanwhile the Amazon is up in flames but hey that's news to me too...
https://youtu.be/_GApiVwGcVY
 

tango

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I believe the key issue here is one of stewardship. God put man in charge of taking care of the garden and from what I can see we have pretty much run things into the ground. All the time you hear about the amount of trash in the ocean and the earth warming. I don't see Christians doing much about it. I realize a lot of things are really out of our control, but what about just making an effort to recycle or walk when you can or ride a bike instead of driving
Many people do many of those things.

I remember a friend who was notionally far more "environmentally conscious" than I was. He ticked the boxes as far as people could see. One evening we were at a party and there were a load of bottles waiting to be rinsed and put in the recycling. So he turned the tap on, rinsed each bottle in turn, and put the whole lot in the recycling. All well and good, but the amount of drinking quality water he used was substantial given the task. The next load of bottles surprised him - I part-filled one from the tap and turned the tap off. Then I poured that water from one to the next to the next, at which point he asked "are you serious about this?" (he could see the answer). He'd let several gallons of water pour down the sink as he rinsed the last drops of liquid out of empty bottles. I used maybe 12oz of water to do the same thing.

At my last house I periodically got letters from my gas company inviting me to take an energy survey so they could help me save money. In the UK we set the thermostat in degrees Celsius so numbers appear lower than in the US. The first question asked what temperature I set my thermostat, with options to tick from 20 to 25 degrees (approximately 68-78 degrees F). My answer was 18 degrees (about 65 degrees F), so I figured there probably wasn't much point answering the rest of the questions.

Much of what we can do to reduce is the sort of thing that doesn't generate great fanfare. It might score "good citizen" points to be seen taking a sackful of plastic to the recycling but it's better not to use the plastic in the first place. Not using it is far better, socially and environmentally speaking, but nobody sees it. Simply opting out from much of the overdone commercialism saves a huge amount of waste, not to mention a huge amount of money, but unless someone notices your lifestyle is fairly simple it slips under the radar, so you still get the occasional lecture from the person who flies every month but thinks everybody else should drive an electric vehicle to save carbon emissions.

The key thing is stewardship overall. It's all well and good to recycle but better to use less. It doesn't help anyone to plant a tree if you're going through single use plastic like there's no tomorrow. Recycling cans is great but if you're driving a honking great SUV that gets 11mpg you're missing the point. Solar power and batteries are great, but they require mining that pollutes the land where the mining takes place. Of course that bit is out of sight, so the person who drives a battery powered car can ignore the environmental damage caused by digging lithium out of the ground and lecture people about carbon emissions, even as they recharge their battery powered car using electricity from a coal-fired power station.

As a rule anything that focuses intently on a single issue is probably missing the point somewhere.
 

tango

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I agree, global warming is as real as the signs in revelation, this means that the majority have fallen away or else this is all just our imaginations.
I don't know that I'd describe the current/recent changes to the climate as being even remotely close to the events described in Revelation.

Politicians ranting and raving about climate change and buying bet boats and jets, Evangelicals preaching the teachings of Jesus yet buying expensive sports cars and jets... the mirror of hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy isn't a new thing. It's easy to spot these days as people preach one message while demonstrating they don't believe a word of it, although the irony of those people then wondering why nobody else believes their message seems more of a new thing.

Read revelations and you will see global warming/climate change spelt out for you up and down and side to side, are these not the signs and plagues prepared for the heretical generation and brood of vipers?
Really? I don't see the current observations matching the warnings of the Revelation. Yes, when the sixth bowl is poured out the sun will burn people but that's a far cry from the global temperature being projected to rise by 2 degrees Celsius in the next 20-30 years.


This means that out of all the professing Christians out there right now, only about a 3rd are marked by God, we are not to look forward to this great and terrible day because that means the mass has fallen away.
The two aren't related. You're mixing and matching verses as if one implies another.

Capitalism in my opinion needs a reformation, they need to realign their moral compass because the greed of those powers that be are dodging the crisis and hiding from cave to cave while plowing through expensive goods and riches before they die and not giving a darn about generations to come... and most conservatives don't bat an eye, we say it's fine the way it is because at least it's not socialism, but they still need to be shaken up and reformed, probably won't happen, greed is the root of all evil and Christians should be appalled by how progressive it has become.
Ironically much of capitalism isn't based on greed, it's based on wanting to create a better life for yourself. You work in order to receive a reward. You hire people to work for you so you can make more money. The most conspicuous of consumption is the froth on the top rather then indicative of the purpose of the philosophy. Is it greedy to plant seeds in the hope of reaping a harvest?

Equally, if not more, ironic is that many of the people who decry capitalism are showing more greed than many of the capitalists. They want it all, they want it now, and they want someone else to pay for it. In other words, I want it and I expect you to pay for it. How is that any less greedy than what they are criticising? Much of the desire of the people wanting socialism is nothing more than the politics of spite and envy. You worked hard for it but I want it, so I'll take it. If sowing seeds in the hope of a harvest is greedy, how much more greedy is it to expect to reap where you never sowed in the first place?

Meanwhile the Amazon is up in flames but hey that's news to me too...
https://youtu.be/_GApiVwGcVY
Forest fires are nothing new.
 

Michael

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"if My people who are called by My name
will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face,
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

- 2Chron 7:14

Indeed there is a "global warming" coming, but not because of aerosol, refrigerant and cow farts... but because of sin.

"The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?" - 2Pet 3:10-12

Andrew touched on the solution in his blog - GLOBAL WARMING: A CALL TO REPENT!! And I've been sharing on Repentance as well (to the irritation of many). But from the Scripture, including the Kingdom Truth above from 2Chron 7:14, the answer to the problems the creation is experiencing is for God's people, the Church to "STOP SINNING."

Worrying or campaigning against pollution and natural gas is NOT going to change a single thing. Only True Biblical Repentance is going to have any real effect on the physical realm in which we dwell.
And again, God is not waiting for the heathen to repent, but for His Church to "wake up" and "turn from our wicked ways."

Instead of eliminating Styrofoam cups and hairspray, and raking in billions from emissions regulations... we need to cast aside the "hyper-grace" and "Jesus did it all" false doctrines by which some "teachers' today are raking in millions; embrace what the Scripture clearly states; and actually DO what God commands in His Word. For only then can God heal our land and bring restoration to His creation.

"For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now." - Rom 8:19-22

So... what should our response be as disciples of Christ Jesus concerning 'global warming'? STOP SINNING!

It really is that simple.

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
17 Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow."

- Isaiah 1:16-17
 

Andrew

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I don't know that I'd describe the current/recent changes to the climate as being even remotely close to the events described in Revelation.



Hypocrisy isn't a new thing. It's easy to spot these days as people preach one message while demonstrating they don't believe a word of it, although the irony of those people then wondering why nobody else believes their message seems more of a new thing.



Really? I don't see the current observations matching the warnings of the Revelation. Yes, when the sixth bowl is poured out the sun will burn people but that's a far cry from the global temperature being projected to rise by 2 degrees Celsius in the next 20-30 years.




The two aren't related. You're mixing and matching verses as if one implies another.



Ironically much of capitalism isn't based on greed, it's based on wanting to create a better life for yourself. You work in order to receive a reward. You hire people to work for you so you can make more money. The most conspicuous of consumption is the froth on the top rather then indicative of the purpose of the philosophy. Is it greedy to plant seeds in the hope of reaping a harvest?

Equally, if not more, ironic is that many of the people who decry capitalism are showing more greed than many of the capitalists. They want it all, they want it now, and they want someone else to pay for it. In other words, I want it and I expect you to pay for it. How is that any less greedy than what they are criticising? Much of the desire of the people wanting socialism is nothing more than the politics of spite and envy. You worked hard for it but I want it, so I'll take it. If sowing seeds in the hope of a harvest is greedy, how much more greedy is it to expect to reap where you never sowed in the first place?



Forest fires are nothing new.
Capitalism is a great thing and I understand the positive win win it's exactly why we have advanced in so many breakthroughs in overall life expectancy and comfortable living... but should conservatives just ignore statistics? Should we just allow national debt to drown our future generations? When we have other options? Big Pharma can change, Insurance can change, education can change, energy can change ALL without socialism.. my point is greed in high places and it's obvious, I also believe our presence here effects the planet (our environment) many studies prove this. So they both point to Sin, I can recycle and reuse all the day long but I can't trust others to do it so my little achievements do not benefit the whole, although it saves me some money like you said, but free energy used the correct way would be more efficient regardless if it slows down climate change or not.
Education is lazy, they do not teach you about the real life they tell us questionable history and tell us about greek gods and basic math... Imagine if they taught hospitality and medical fundamentals by graduation, I went to medical school and if you haven't noticed in Hospitals they treat everyone accordingly down to what generation they are and what religion they are... it's the most polite and sanest education I ever received...
we have no clue how long until Christ returns but I feel we got the attitude of "so what" when it would change the world if conservatives would unite with modernizing the environment with much cleaner air and less hostility. Jesus put hypocrites in their place but he always had a special divine understanding of how a human should behave towards other humans, I just worry so often that Christianity for the most part is losing it's senses.. I surprise atheist all the time when I tell them about what Jesus himself actually spoke and taught, I tell them how he went around answering questions in beautiful parables and he would only speak doom and gloom to those hypocrites full of pride, how he would heal the sick and comfort the poor who are far from perfect and who were sinners...
So my expression on climate change is that regardless we all know that something is deeply troubling globally, dead fish whales beaching, earthquakes, fires, pigs jumping off cliffs, blood rain and rivers, volcanos, ground breaking open, massive surge of hurricanes floods and tropical storms, etc.. and yes we may see it all because we are overloaded with world wide information but it's still right there in the bible that we would experience "knowing and hearing of" these things, I believe it's now that it was speaking of.
And no wonder, Christianity is luke warm, persecutions of Christians are every else but here yet we complain and throw stones at sinners..

Meh.. *sips tea calmly*
 

Andrew

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"if My people who are called by My name
will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face,
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

- 2Chron 7:14

Indeed there is a "global warming" coming, but not because of aerosol, refrigerant and cow farts... but because of sin.

"The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?" - 2Pet 3:10-12

Andrew touched on the solution in his blog - GLOBAL WARMING: A CALL TO REPENT!! And I've been sharing on Repentance as well (to the irritation of many). But from the Scripture, including the Kingdom Truth above from 2Chron 7:14, the answer to the problems the creation is experiencing is for God's people, the Church to "STOP SINNING."

Worrying or campaigning against pollution and natural gas is NOT going to change a single thing. Only True Biblical Repentance is going to have any real effect on the physical realm in which we dwell.
And again, God is not waiting for the heathen to repent, but for His Church to "wake up" and "turn from our wicked ways."

Instead of eliminating Styrofoam cups and hairspray, and raking in billions from emissions regulations... we need to cast aside the "hyper-grace" and "Jesus did it all" false doctrines by which some "teachers' today are raking in millions; embrace what the Scripture clearly states; and actually DO what God commands in His Word. For only then can God heal our land and bring restoration to His creation.

"For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now." - Rom 8:19-22

So... what should our response be as disciples of Christ Jesus concerning 'global warming'? STOP SINNING!

It really is that simple.

“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Cease to do evil,
17 Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Rebuke the oppressor;
Defend the fatherless,
Plead for the widow."

- Isaiah 1:16-17
I agree Michael!
My point exactly is that we should not misinterpret these signs as delightful but as a signaling from God to His people that we are become lukewarm, feeding the greedy by ignoring the hope that we can overcome and restore our sanction and stand up to injustice even if it means persecution for the time is NOT APPOINTED! It could be another thousand years for all we know but we need to see the signs as a warning and calling "COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE"
Sadly so many have become bewitched by joining the crowd of "how much longer Lord will you continue us to suffer??" I say for a time, times and half a time! Stop giving in and look around and be vigilant to stop injustice! Mankind needs you
 

jsimms435

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You're kinda roaming all over the place with your complaints now, aren't you? Supposedly, your own choice of topic was global warming.
Nope. the post you highlighted mentions earth warming. How is that "roaming all over the place"?
 

tango

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Capitalism is a great thing and I understand the positive win win it's exactly why we have advanced in so many breakthroughs in overall life expectancy and comfortable living... but should conservatives just ignore statistics? Should we just allow national debt to drown our future generations? When we have other options? Big Pharma can change, Insurance can change, education can change, energy can change ALL without socialism.. my point is greed in high places and it's obvious, I also believe our presence here effects the planet (our environment) many studies prove this. So they both point to Sin, I can recycle and reuse all the day long but I can't trust others to do it so my little achievements do not benefit the whole, although it saves me some money like you said, but free energy used the correct way would be more efficient regardless if it slows down climate change or not.
All sorts of things can change without as fundamental a change as shifting to a totally different system. The trouble we have now isn't so much capitalism as the kind of corporate cronyism where those at the bottom face the ravages of capitalism while those at the top are cushioned thanks to having too much government on hand to regulate competition out of the market. It's a nice place to be where you can get laws written to create a huge regulatory barrier to new market entrants, where you can privatise profits while socialising losses, where you can take big risks knowing that if you win you win and if you lose the government takes money from everybody to bail you out so you can roll the dice again. None of this can be considered free market capitalism.

I know this is mixing concepts a little here but small government doesn't involve a huge national debt. The country survived for almost 200 years before breaking the link between the dollar and hard, tangible commodities (specifically gold). It survived just fine with prices slowly declining over time, where if you didn't need something you didn't buy it yet. Next year the price will be a little cheaper, because someone figured out how to make it for less and it was still every bit as good. Now we're chasing everlasting growth and things are made to be thrown away, usually by the companies that gush about their environmental credentials, while they make things designed to last one month longer than the warranty and of course the whole thing isn't user-servicable so you pretty much have to send it to the landfill.

Many things could change, and probably would change in a truly free market. But when regulations keep new players out of the market, however noble those regulations may appear, the result is the sort of thing we see now. When an Epi-pen costs a few bucks to make and the company that makes them can hike the price from $300 to $600, what stops a new player entering the market and selling the thing that costs them $5 for maybe $100? Chances are it's regulation - the rules are worded so as to appear to protect the little people (you know, can't have some unregulated entity producing something as important as an Epi-pen, or insulin, or whatever else is priced at some silly level) but actually does more to protect vested interests (because, you know, can't have some newfangled Johnny-come-lately showing up and undercutting us).

Education is lazy, they do not teach you about the real life they tell us questionable history and tell us about greek gods and basic math... Imagine if they taught hospitality and medical fundamentals by graduation, I went to medical school and if you haven't noticed in Hospitals they treat everyone accordingly down to what generation they are and what religion they are... it's the most polite and sanest education I ever received...
I've never spent any meaningful time in a US hospital, my experience is limited to a couple of trips to the ER for matters that were dealt with there and then and I was out within an hour or so.

You're right about education, it teaches all sorts of useless things while not teaching people what matters. It increasingly fails to teach people how to think, while teaching them what to think, thereby making sure they'll be ideally suited to shout at people on social media while not having the faintest idea how to explain why they think a certain way. Of course the people who can't explain why they think a certain way make ideal serfs because they'll never question much of anything, they just know that anyone who has a different view must be wrong and ostracise them for being wrong. If kids can come out of school and have no idea how to balance a bank account, how a credit card works, how to create and manage a basic household budget and the like, they are set up to fail. Small wonder credit card debt is out of control, and the chances are many of the people with crushing debts can barely even understand what happened to them.

we have no clue how long until Christ returns but I feel we got the attitude of "so what" when it would change the world if conservatives would unite with modernizing the environment with much cleaner air and less hostility. Jesus put hypocrites in their place but he always had a special divine understanding of how a human should behave towards other humans, I just worry so often that Christianity for the most part is losing it's senses.. I surprise atheist all the time when I tell them about what Jesus himself actually spoke and taught, I tell them how he went around answering questions in beautiful parables and he would only speak doom and gloom to those hypocrites full of pride, how he would heal the sick and comfort the poor who are far from perfect and who were sinners...
This is very true. Sadly many people prefer to point out how Jesus supports their personal political stance rather than looking at what he actually taught. It's easy to come up with "10 reasons why Jesus would vote (the way I vote)" but you probably don't have to look very hard to find "10 reasons why Jesus would vote (the other way)" if you're willing to be intellectually honest. It's easier to modify Jesus to make him more like me (and therefore make me appear more Christlist) than it is to modify me to become more like Jesus and genuinely become more Christlike.

I get the impression that, if we were to borrow the words spoken to the woman caught in adultery, "neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more", and look at how this is applied today, it seems that those on the left are quick to pull the "neither do I condemn you" and act as if everything is OK, while those on the right are more prone to pull the "go and sin no more" while condemning the person for their past sin. It's like a doctor who either looks at a sick patient and says "no, you're fine just as you are, off you go", or who tells the sick patient to get better and then come in for an appointment. Both are useless.

So my expression on climate change is that regardless we all know that something is deeply troubling globally, dead fish whales beaching, earthquakes, fires, pigs jumping off cliffs, blood rain and rivers, volcanos, ground breaking open, massive surge of hurricanes floods and tropical storms, etc.. and yes we may see it all because we are overloaded with world wide information but it's still right there in the bible that we would experience "knowing and hearing of" these things, I believe it's now that it was speaking of.
And no wonder, Christianity is luke warm, persecutions of Christians are every else but here yet we complain and throw stones at sinners..

Meh.. *sips tea calmly*
We certainly aren't doing a great job of looking after the planet. Regardless of the issue of carbon emissions and what, if any, effect they might have on the climate we know that dumping plastics everywhere is bad, we know that polluting everything is bad, and we know that the earth is struggling under the weight of the pollution. One question that always needs to be considered when looking at things like natural disasters is whether they are actually becoming more frequent, whether they have always happened but social media spreads word like wildfire, whether they always happened but human activity has created a bigger impact (coastal storms are less of an issue when the coast isn't lined with expensive oceanfront property), and to what extent nature is balanced and human activity has simply unbalanced it (e.g. nature's design often provides for drainage for increased rainfall but humans paving over runoff areas can result in water flowing downhill faster, causing flooding elsewhere).

My concern with pointing at all sorts of things as if they were proof that The End in an escatological sense is just around the corner is that it causes a loss of credibility. I remember around 1990 there was a lot of talk about the "signs of the end" that were coming and how they were all around us, and yet here we are nearly 30 years later . Even in Paul's day there were people who thought the end would be "any day now" so that's nothing new. Too much focus on The End in an eschatological sense isn't helpful, not least because it makes it more likely that people will ignore the concept of The End in a personal sense. Whether this earth lasts another week or another million years, none of us has a cast-iron guarantee that we will wake up tomorrow morning. If we fuss over every little thing as a "sign o' the times" then each passing prediction that proves wrong makes us look silly.

Of course every person like that guy who spouts such utter nonsense is like the boy who cried wolf. Why should anyone listen to us if we keep making random predictions that always prove to be wrong?
 

Andrew

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All sorts of things can change without as fundamental a change as shifting to a totally different system. The trouble we have now isn't so much capitalism as the kind of corporate cronyism where those at the bottom face the ravages of capitalism while those at the top are cushioned thanks to having too much government on hand to regulate competition out of the market. It's a nice place to be where you can get laws written to create a huge regulatory barrier to new market entrants, where you can privatise profits while socialising losses, where you can take big risks knowing that if you win you win and if you lose the government takes money from everybody to bail you out so you can roll the dice again. None of this can be considered free market capitalism.

I know this is mixing concepts a little here but small government doesn't involve a huge national debt. The country survived for almost 200 years before breaking the link between the dollar and hard, tangible commodities (specifically gold). It survived just fine with prices slowly declining over time, where if you didn't need something you didn't buy it yet. Next year the price will be a little cheaper, because someone figured out how to make it for less and it was still every bit as good. Now we're chasing everlasting growth and things are made to be thrown away, usually by the companies that gush about their environmental credentials, while they make things designed to last one month longer than the warranty and of course the whole thing isn't user-servicable so you pretty much have to send it to the landfill.

Many things could change, and probably would change in a truly free market. But when regulations keep new players out of the market, however noble those regulations may appear, the result is the sort of thing we see now. When an Epi-pen costs a few bucks to make and the company that makes them can hike the price from $300 to $600, what stops a new player entering the market and selling the thing that costs them $5 for maybe $100? Chances are it's regulation - the rules are worded so as to appear to protect the little people (you know, can't have some unregulated entity producing something as important as an Epi-pen, or insulin, or whatever else is priced at some silly level) but actually does more to protect vested interests (because, you know, can't have some newfangled Johnny-come-lately showing up and undercutting us).



I've never spent any meaningful time in a US hospital, my experience is limited to a couple of trips to the ER for matters that were dealt with there and then and I was out within an hour or so.

You're right about education, it teaches all sorts of useless things while not teaching people what matters. It increasingly fails to teach people how to think, while teaching them what to think, thereby making sure they'll be ideally suited to shout at people on social media while not having the faintest idea how to explain why they think a certain way. Of course the people who can't explain why they think a certain way make ideal serfs because they'll never question much of anything, they just know that anyone who has a different view must be wrong and ostracise them for being wrong. If kids can come out of school and have no idea how to balance a bank account, how a credit card works, how to create and manage a basic household budget and the like, they are set up to fail. Small wonder credit card debt is out of control, and the chances are many of the people with crushing debts can barely even understand what happened to them.



This is very true. Sadly many people prefer to point out how Jesus supports their personal political stance rather than looking at what he actually taught. It's easy to come up with "10 reasons why Jesus would vote (the way I vote)" but you probably don't have to look very hard to find "10 reasons why Jesus would vote (the other way)" if you're willing to be intellectually honest. It's easier to modify Jesus to make him more like me (and therefore make me appear more Christlist) than it is to modify me to become more like Jesus and genuinely become more Christlike.

I get the impression that, if we were to borrow the words spoken to the woman caught in adultery, "neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more", and look at how this is applied today, it seems that those on the left are quick to pull the "neither do I condemn you" and act as if everything is OK, while those on the right are more prone to pull the "go and sin no more" while condemning the person for their past sin. It's like a doctor who either looks at a sick patient and says "no, you're fine just as you are, off you go", or who tells the sick patient to get better and then come in for an appointment. Both are useless.



We certainly aren't doing a great job of looking after the planet. Regardless of the issue of carbon emissions and what, if any, effect they might have on the climate we know that dumping plastics everywhere is bad, we know that polluting everything is bad, and we know that the earth is struggling under the weight of the pollution. One question that always needs to be considered when looking at things like natural disasters is whether they are actually becoming more frequent, whether they have always happened but social media spreads word like wildfire, whether they always happened but human activity has created a bigger impact (coastal storms are less of an issue when the coast isn't lined with expensive oceanfront property), and to what extent nature is balanced and human activity has simply unbalanced it (e.g. nature's design often provides for drainage for increased rainfall but humans paving over runoff areas can result in water flowing downhill faster, causing flooding elsewhere).

My concern with pointing at all sorts of things as if they were proof that The End in an escatological sense is just around the corner is that it causes a loss of credibility. I remember around 1990 there was a lot of talk about the "signs of the end" that were coming and how they were all around us, and yet here we are nearly 30 years later . Even in Paul's day there were people who thought the end would be "any day now" so that's nothing new. Too much focus on The End in an eschatological sense isn't helpful, not least because it makes it more likely that people will ignore the concept of The End in a personal sense. Whether this earth lasts another week or another million years, none of us has a cast-iron guarantee that we will wake up tomorrow morning. If we fuss over every little thing as a "sign o' the times" then each passing prediction that proves wrong makes us look silly.

Of course every person like that guy who spouts such utter nonsense is like the boy who cried wolf. Why should anyone listen to us if we keep making random predictions that always prove to be wrong?
I enjoy reading your responses Tango!
I do believe the world is shifting gears and that alone can be frightening, such rapid change from one generation to another can set off an alarming and threatening feeling almost like a bewilderment vibe.
My grampa used to tell my dad when he was young that the end is near, he was raised a farmer and lived his whole life farming, no tv, maybe a radio to listen to the Pope for the first time and stories but anyway he told my dad that his world absolutely flipped when he heard a roar and witnessed flying machines soaring above his head leaving him shocked and frightened, very alien to him... now today that terrifying experience is a daily experience. It would be interesting to be able to go back and record every natural disaster and compare it to todays records just to see if this has always been the case.
I feel it actually always has been the case now that I think about it, I mean there are islands on old maps that just disappeared so maybe there was a sudden melting of ice somewhere that sunk em that was never recorded.
Maybe its a subtle hint that when "news" or "gossip" is increased and heightened that perhaps its about time to emphasise the importance of spiritual communion with one another before the chatter drives us all mad and we start forgetting how to civilize as decent and Godly human beings..?
I mean the roman era went completely sideways with death arenas and public persecution of Christians, I can at least say with confidence that our state is less barbaric than that, yet we are hearing the chatter approaching more violently than before (or so it seems) and so here we are once again in pursuit of strengthening our bond in the Body of Christ. :)
I feel better now lol thanks
 

tango

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I enjoy reading your responses Tango!
I do believe the world is shifting gears and that alone can be frightening, such rapid change from one generation to another can set off an alarming and threatening feeling almost like a bewilderment vibe.
Things are certainly changing, technology is moving on and sometimes it does seem bewildering. The critical thing to remember is that change is nothing new, it happens all the time and people have always resisted it or felt bewildered by it, while some embrace it.

My grampa used to tell my dad when he was young that the end is near, he was raised a farmer and lived his whole life farming, no tv, maybe a radio to listen to the Pope for the first time and stories but anyway he told my dad that his world absolutely flipped when he heard a roar and witnessed flying machines soaring above his head leaving him shocked and frightened, very alien to him... now today that terrifying experience is a daily experience. It would be interesting to be able to go back and record every natural disaster and compare it to todays records just to see if this has always been the case.
Sometimes a change makes a big difference - as you say going from peace and quiet to loud flying machines overhead must have been a shock. Likewise recent changes in computer technology are concerning because of implications regarding manipulation, privacy etc. It's a good reason to limit time spent online because what social media tells us is true may not be what is actually true - I think it was Joseph Goebbels who was quoted as saying that if you repeat a lie often enough people come to accept it as truth.

I feel it actually always has been the case now that I think about it, I mean there are islands on old maps that just disappeared so maybe there was a sudden melting of ice somewhere that sunk em that was never recorded.
Curiously, scientists who tell us that rising sea levels will end life as we know it as the same scientists who tell us that the earth was once a huge land mass that split apart into the continents we now know. Apparently the temperature rising a couple of degrees will end life as we know it, while land masses breaking apart and drifting across the oceans didn't. Funny old world.

Maybe its a subtle hint that when "news" or "gossip" is increased and heightened that perhaps its about time to emphasise the importance of spiritual communion with one another before the chatter drives us all mad and we start forgetting how to civilize as decent and Godly human beings..?
News and gossip are one thing, the notion of a "viral meme" is something quite different. If you take a scan over a site like Facebook it probably won't be very long before you come across a meme trying to turn a complex political matter into something as simple as a one-liner. Sometimes they point out an absurdity in the rules - like the one showing a car crashed into a tree with the text "when you're driving down the street and your license expires" - it is rather silly that a driving license that expired yesterday isn't necessarily considered to be a valid form of ID, or indeed valid proof that the holder is fit to drive. Often a meme with a more political slant is about virtue signalling and demonstrating membership of this tribe over that tribe rather than anything else.

Take two memes I've seen as examples. One was posted by a vocal left-wing person I know and said "instead of calling it gun control, why don't we call it massacre prevention?". Sure, call it what you want, it won't change anything. You could ban motor vehicles and call it "interstate pile-up prevention". You could understand that an estimated 100,000,000 people own firearms and a tiny fraction of them commit atrocities - if anything the number of firearm owners who cause deaths with their firearms is probably less than the number of motor vehicle owners who cause deaths with their vehicles. You could talk about intent but it doesn't make a lot of difference to the guy who is dead - the person killed by the nutter shooting up the local Wal-Mart is just as dead as the pedestrian who got hit by a driver paying more attention to their phone than the road. The other showed Donald Trump being thanked by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for his contributions to an African-American scholarship fund and wondering why the Democrats are calling him racist now. Except what did the poster actually show? Maybe it was as described, but all that is clear is that the three men are in one picture - for all the casual observer knows it could have been Trump being taken to task by Al Sharpton over some racial injustice, whether real or imagined. The picture may or may not show what it says it shows and, without doing more digging than I'm inclined to do, there's no way of knowing for sure. But both memes serve as virtue signals - the first lets everybody know that the poster supports gun control, even if they aren't willing to put much thought into their stance beyond "guns bad" while the second makes it clear to all that the poster supports Trump. Neither is likely to change anybody's mind, they are little more than the online equivalent of wearing your membership card (to a political party, pressure group, whatever) on a chain around your neck for everybody to see.

For good measure the way social media increasingly works is that it either wants to annoy you so you'll engage with posts, or show you the things you want to see. Either way you're not getting an accurate representation of what real people think out there. It sometimes seems like it's almost impossible to figure what the public at large think about something - even the people who supposedly do that sort of thing professionally struggle. Look at the polls leading up to the 2016 presidential election - in every poll except the one that mattered it was clear that Hillary Clinton was going to win and the only question was the scale of her win. Then the one poll that actually mattered turned everything on its head.

I mean the roman era went completely sideways with death arenas and public persecution of Christians, I can at least say with confidence that our state is less barbaric than that, yet we are hearing the chatter approaching more violently than before (or so it seems) and so here we are once again in pursuit of strengthening our bond in the Body of Christ. :)
Even without the bond in the body of Christ it's good to look at issues and discuss rationally. Even without the common label of "Christian" if we can't express our thoughts and opinions, explain why we think what we think, listen to others with different views explaining what they think and why, and discuss the relative merits of each argument, all we do is fall into the trap of thinking there are only two ways. Then instead of seeking common ground, instead of trying to figure out whether this exception or that provision could be made, we fall into little more than "my side good, your side bad" and end up being part of the problem.

We might disagree on all sorts of issues - recent topics here have included the border wall, gun control, healthcare reform and the like. Many of these are complex issues that aren't the kind of thing that can be reduced to simple one-liners. In theory we should be able to discuss different opinions on all these things without resorting to name-calling or straw man arguments or the like. As Christians we should be held to a higher standard still - Jesus said the world would know we were his disciples if we loved one another. We can love without agreeing, but if our disagreements aren't done in the context of love something is wrong. As a poster I greatly respected on another site I used years ago once put it, we should be able to disagree without being disagreeable.

I feel better now lol thanks
:)
 

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Nope. the post you highlighted mentions earth warming. How is that "roaming all over the place"?
You also referred to the "amount of trash in the ocean" and to several undefined concerns which you described as not taking "care of the garden" and mankind allegedly having "run things into the ground."
 

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Nope. the post you highlighted mentions earth warming. How is that "roaming all over the place"?
You also referred to the "amount of trash in the ocean" and to several undefined concerns which you described as not taking "care of the garden" and mankind allegedly having "run things into the ground."
 

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You also referred to the "amount of trash in the ocean" and to several undefined concerns which you described as not taking "care of the garden" and mankind allegedly having "run things into the ground."
Yes, which has to do with the issue of stewardship. Our lack of care of this world that God gave man the responsibility of in the garden. I am equating "global warming" with the fact that mankind has not done a good job with its task of stewardship.
 

tango

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Another thought about environmental issues. We should be good stewards of the planet God gave us. We shouldn't focus on what is created to the extent we lose sight of the creator.
 

Josiah

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I'm no Dr. Phil.... but it seems to ME there's something in people that almost WANTS to be afraid of something, WANTS to fear that the sky is falling.... or maybe those who NEED people to be in some constant fear. As soon as one "OMG, we're all gonna die!!!!!" thing passes, something new comes to fill the void. Ain't saying any of the are overblown or fake, just seems weird to me. But then, I'm no psychologist.
 

tango

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I'm no Dr. Phil.... but it seems to ME there's something in people that almost WANTS to be afraid of something, WANTS to fear that the sky is falling.... or maybe those who NEED people to be in some constant fear. As soon as one "OMG, we're all gonna die!!!!!" thing passes, something new comes to fill the void. Ain't saying any of the are overblown or fake, just seems weird to me. But then, I'm no psychologist.
That seems very true. We need something to keep people scared, and something that gets people crying out for a single government to cover global matters. What better global bogeyman than something created by man that will kill us all? Because, you know, we can pay lip service to it all and tell the little people how bad they are for wanting to warm their homes in the winter while the ultra-wealthy swan around in private jets lecturing the little people, we can ship stuff from around the world because it's a bit cheaper than making it here, and then whine about the consequences while proposing nothing better than "introduce a new tax on...."

So I think I'll stick with my standard approach. I keep the heat down because it saves me money, but not down so low it's too cold for comfort. I run the air conditioning in the summer as needed, tempering it so the electricity bill doesn't get out of hand. And based on having a fairly low carbon footprint in general I won't feel even a little bit guilty when I get into a plane to take a foreign holiday every once in a while.
 
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