I will not use my time here to discuss the validity of global warming. It is not a spiritual or religious matter but a science issue that has been politicized. However, it is an issue believed to have a global impact that requires more than an individual response.
Yet, the debate does evoke a discussion of spiritual and religious matters, truths and principles, fundamental to Christian faith and thinking. I will attempt to briefly state them clearly.
First, there is no conflict between science and religion. Pure science and pure religion are in harmony. And neither has a prejudice for itself and against the other. The struggle has been and will always be with people, with the Christian who will not trust the scientist and with the scientist who does not believe there is a truth beyond the natural realm. There are two bodies of truth for us to learn and by which to live. Revealed spiritual truth we know from the His Word and the discovered natural truth we know from His creation. Both bodies of truth are from God and teach us about God, ourselves, his will, and our life in all matters (Romans 11:33-36).
Second, there is no conflict between God’s sovereignty and our responsibility. There are two fundamental principles of God’s sovereignty. He gives mankind the responsibility to execute his will and he holds us accountable for that execution. God designed the earth to sustain human life (his will) and by his sovereignty gave mankind dominion over the earth (our responsibility). Then, he will judge us for the execution of his will (our accountability to God for his will). So it is man’s responsibility to use that dominion to protect the earth as he uses it to sustain his existence. Then, fundamental to the whole relationship between God and man is that God allows us to face the consequences of our choices and actions — even if such consequences threaten our very existence. That is a key element of our accountability to His sovereignty (Genesis 1-3).
Third, the mission of the church is salvation by the gospel — not political engagement or social activism. Clearly our world needs social change in all arenas and communities. Clearly political engagement of the people is an essential duty of our nation’s citizenship. Individually the Christian will engage the public arena to influence the cause of righteousness. The church will engage the public arena to give benevolence to troubled lives, convict souls of the gospel and righteousness to believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation, and nurture and train the church in the ways of God. The church impacts social change and influences political actions by seeking the conversion of souls to believe no matter she finds them. While I an individual believer will engage the world from my faith, the church must not lose site of her single mission– the salvation of the lost (Matthew 28).
Whether global warming is real or not and what to do about it, is not a theological or religious discussion and so I will leave that in the arena where it belongs. Yet, as with many of this nature, the thrust of the discussion goes to the heart of what folks believe to be truth on all sides of the discussion. Christian and unbeliever alike needs to see clearly what is right and good and true and not be trapped by the political and social and economic agendas that pollute and twist so much of what we hear (2 Timothy 2-3).