Now, Religion in the News, a report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is from The Sacramento Bee, January 21, 2006, with the headline: “Pastors Warm To Environment. Can a group of religious leaders do anything about global warming? David Thompson thinks they can.
‘Nearly every religious tradition is committed to the stewardship of the earth,’ says Thompson, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Sacramento, and president of the Interfaith Service Bureau. ‘If we can work together on this, we can effect change.’
“Thompson and a diverse group of religious leaders, including Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Scientologists will participate in a first-of-its-kind meeting with scientists and legislators. If Thompson and others have their way, worshippers in the pews will hear a lot about environmental issues in the coming year.
‘Taking care of God’s creation is a basic tenet of all faiths,’ Thompson says. At a congregation meeting last spring, the Unitarian Universalist Church in Davis decided to take steps necessary for their church to become a ‘green sanctuary,’ a program sponsored by the National Church to encourage congregations to become more environmentally aware.”
Tom: Dave, I remember back in college there were a number of books related to a population—the population was going to grow so big that it was going to do the earth in. And then there was one along agricultural lines that we’re going to run out of food, and these were by serious scientists. And none of that ever came about, so I’m not an expert on global warming, but I’ve had the experience of being a skeptic, okay?
But that issue aside, one thing I do know is that this ecumenical—this interfaith movement to solve problems, it’s bad news. It is…you know, this pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, he is an ecumenist, and how he’s going to work with Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Scientologists and Unitarian Universalist churches, that’s a larger problem to me, because it has to do with a person’s eternal destiny, not just saving the earth.
Dave: Well, he’s a Presbyterian—that means a Calvinist, and that means he doesn’t believe in the Rapture; and that means that, you know, Christians are in the process of taking over the world.
Tom: But, Dave, as I have a chance to interrupt, there are many Calvinists that believe in the Rapture.
Dave: Yes, there are some, but they would be in the minority among the Calvinists.
Tom: It’s certainly not the traditional eschatology of Calvinism in reformed theology.
Dave: Right. So they believe, in fact, that Christians are in the process of taking over the world. These would be reconstructionists. And, you know, this thing…we’re going to be here for maybe thousands more years, and we had better take care of the planet.
Now, there are a lot of problems, Tom. You mentioned the ecumenism—what does that mean? Well, you’re in bed with people who do not believe the gospel, they do not believe the Bible. Buddhists—he says, “Oh, all faiths…” you know, that God has given us this mandate to take care of the earth. Buddhists are basically atheists, so they certainly don’t believe that. Any idea of taking care of the earth would come from another foundation.
But look, what is the problem with our earth? The problem is that men are in rebellion. They’re defying God about Israel, for example. These Presbyterians, they are trying to get the large institutions to sell all their stock in companies that help Israel, or that sell products to Israel. They are trying to destroy Israel economically. They want Israel out of there, okay?
So number one: How are you going to join with someone to take care of the earth who already is in defiance of God concerning His people Israel? And the Bible is very clear: It is through Israel that God will bring His blessing upon this earth, okay?
Furthermore, they’re in rebellion against God because they reject the gospel; they reject Jesus Christ. The problems of this world would be solved if we would all abdicate the throne of our little lives and turn ourselves and our families and our cities and our countries over to God, and say, “Father God, we believe in You. We believe in our Savior the Lord Jesus, who You sent to die for our sins. And, Lord, we want You to be in charge of the UN; we want You to be in charge of the Federal Government and the State Government,” and so forth and so on, okay? That’s the solution, the only solution! Well, but you’ve got a bunch of people who are in rebellion against God, but they’re going to solve their problems…
Tom, I have probably given the illustration many times: I go to the race track, and I bet on that nag. It can hardly stagger out of the starting gate, and day after day, it never finishes the race. Day after day, week after week, I bet on the same old nag. You would come to the conclusion that my loyalty to that horse far exceeds my common sense! And now, these people are betting on mankind. Who got us in this mess? Mankind! Beginning with Adam and Eve and on down, we are the ones, our selfishness and so forth. And our attempts to make a paradise out of planet earth while we’ve been thrown out of God’s paradise…
So we are betting on ourselves, betting on that same old nag that has failed every time. So this is a major problem.
Now until they stop their rebellion against God, how are you going to join with people like that? They’re evolutionists; they’re concerned about endangered species, for example. Endangered species? I thought that was how evolution worked. It doesn’t make sense! But now we’ve got our finger in the pie. And oh, Tom, I’m sorry, it’s just basically absurd, it’s tragic, and I don’t know what can be done about it. We can only call people back to the Word of God.
Tom: Yeah. Dave, we’ve seen this over the last quarter century through the New Age Movement, through many other trends, so called, in the church and the world. When you move in this direction, then “Mother Earth” becomes your goddess, Gaia. And many people then step forward in a religious mode and say, “We need to worship. We need to get back to the sacredness of Mother Nature, and begin to worship Mother Nature.” I mean, Dave, it’s happened before, and why isn’t it going to happen again with this sort of ecumenical thrust?
Dave: Well, Tom, that’s where we’re going. But there is going to be a man who will arise who will claim that he is God, and he will demand the worship of the world. But it’s all interrelated. It’s a defiance of the true God.