Climate Change and Christianity

I read a recent comment on the Spectrum website from a frequent commenter that I found puzzling:

“…but I wonder how many Adventists are at a point where they can vote for unlimited abortion, the complete destruction of the family as we know it, or a permanent ban on harvesting natural resources in order to save a rare owl or frog…”

I have no intention of touching on abortion of family destruction at this time, but the thought that Adventists would take a pro-position on denying climate change disturbs me.

There are more texts in the Bible about God being the creator of this world than there are about God being our redeemer. As Adventists, we set aside one day every week in recognition that God created this earth, yet we seem complacent on how we take care of it. Does this even make sense? Shouldn’t Adventists be the staunchest defenders of God’s creation?

I’d like to briefly touch on how the climate change deniers even came into being. It was about twenty years ago that the Koch Brothers and ExxonMobil, working inside the American Petroleum Institute along with a number of others groups concerned with their own financial well-being, became alarmed that the research was showing how devastating man-made pollution had become. They were also concerned that scientists as a whole had taken up the cause conclusively show that man was responsible. They hired a prominent public relations firm to study how to counter the effects of the oil industry’s negative press.

After considerable research, this public relations firm concluded that it would not be helpful nor necessary to disprove the conclusion that climate change was caused by humans, but, rather, what was needed was to “buy” a few climate scientists to say that there was “doubt” about the conclusions that scientists had claimed were man-made. To create a degree of uncertainty about the conclusions. “Doubt” was the single word that describes why we are where we are today.

This quarter’s Sabbath School lesson study is about Stewardship, part of which is our care and keeping of the earth. We were given the responsibility to care for the earth, not to rape and pillage its resources to the detriment of all life on the planet.

Yes, we do have a responsibility to all lifeforms which, as stewards, were entrusted to our care.

I could have presented a number of texts in support of our responsibilities to care for the earth, but I don’t think that creating a list of supportive Bible verses is a way to resolve anything. I will, instead, stick to a portion of just a single verse found in Revelation 11:18.

“…and shoudest destroy them which destroy the earth.” (KJV)

Some argue that God was talking about people when he spoke of the earth, but the Greek clearly translates the word earth as the “ground.” In some translations it says “I will hurt those who hurt the earth” but in all cases, the direct consequence is the same.

Here is what you need to know to understand the importance of this very short, prophetic, sentence:

  • This entire chapter is speaking about the end time. Most of us would not argue that we are in the end times. Therefore, this is about us, here and now.
  • This was written approximately two thousand years ago. Why is that significant? Simple. Two thousand years ago, they had no idea how to destroy the earth. There were no factories or automobiles belching out millions of tons of pollutants into the air every day. The only way they could have conceived of hurting the earth was, maybe, taking a club and beating it. Obviously, the whole book of Revelation was not written for them, but for us.
  • Since this was written when man had no notion of how it could be accomplished, you must next conclude that it had to be a direct inspiration from God. How else would John have put this one sentence into this dialogue of end times?
  • It makes it very clear that the consequence of man’s actions in damaging the world will be punished by destruction. A very severe outcome.
  • Unlike so many other admonitions from God, this one is concise, distinctly for our age and the outcome of the perpetrators are distinct and conclusive.

I don’t want to prejudge how God deals with any transgression, but “destruction” doesn’t sound like a good outcome.

We are losing hundreds of species from this planet ever year because of our man-made disregard for God’s creation. I can’t imagine any sincere Christian, let alone any Adventist, that would be willing to wipe out a species of owl or frog just so that they can continue to drive their pollution belching car or power their homes with electricity that is derived by the continued burning of coal. Even the very extraction of the latter has become a severe blight on the health of its miners.

In a world where even the mostly atheistically Chinese are willing to make dramatic changes in their lifestyle in order to combat the man-created blight on our environment, how can we as Christians continue to buy into the conspiracy of climate change denial in light of the fact that we’ve been warned almost two thousand years ago?

Lynden Williams is a 71-year-old retired broadcast engineer who lives in Tehachapi, California. He has been a Sabbath School teacher for more than 25 years—currently as one of the adult Sabbath School leaders at the Lancaster California Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Photo by Andy Chilton on Unsplash

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Pretty sad to think that, in all of the world, there is but one small (yet highly consequential) group that staunchly denies any human impact on the earth’s temperature: the political party in the U.S. represented by a creature whose demise can be attributed entirely to humankind’s all-too-frequent indifference–the elephant.

It’s even sadder, yet, to realize that Christians fuel much of this animosity toward GOD’S CREATION. As if God created junk that He has little concern for. There are published studies that demonstrate the hostility of religious people toward environmental issues, and I suspect–but don’t recall for sure–that Christianity outdoes all other faiths. Talk about E-M-B-A-R-R-A-S-S-I-N-G.

The comment that follows, by Mr. Peterson, characterizes well those who show utter contempt toward God’s creation and toward those who choose to treat it with respect. The author of the article made the observation that we are losing hundreds of species from this planet because of our disregard for God’s creation, and Mr. Peterson takes offense, declaring in response that the “people of God deny Him” and “make mockery of His word.” Absolutely dumbfounding.

I suppose then that if you had a rat or roach infestation, you would refrain from killing any one of the delicate tiny species and be angry if anyone else did. Maybe too, you would not take any medication or ointment for your elephantiasis lest you kill even a single filarial worm. Perhaps you offer up morning and evening sacrifices for all the ants of the world.

For those of you who have read this far, Jesus Christ said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.” (Mat. 10:24) Two sparrows. One penny. Dead. The will of God. And in Leviticus 16, God said, “Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering.” (v.9). One kid. Killed. The will of God.

More strikingly, when the people of God deny Him, make a mockery of His word, laugh to scorn those who cry in the wilderness, trample upon His warning, exalt their own foolishness as truth, Jesus Christ said this: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate.” (Mat. 23:37-38)

But though God unleashes the forces of nature (of brutal wind, a violent rocking of the earth and senseless anger) against a proud and haughty people, there is no repentance in them. What does He hear them say instead?

“Science will save us; and we will build a tower of salvation!” Rom. 1:26-27


May well be that the destruction of the earth has more to do with its inhabitants than the mere planet. God planted a tree-before he made the first co2 emitter. But a carbon cap and trade non-producer “business” and all those attendant taxes will fix what God did with a tree. Lets crush, drain the people-just for breathing, existing! Hey, when they decompose “dust to dust”, lets tax them for that, too. All that greenhouse dust!

Have we been good stewards, good garden-husbands?
Answer is apparent, but the solution is NOT the snake oil being palmed off like a blind pig in a poke.

Spectrum is scraping the bottom of the barrel for this screed.

Hi Lynden, I wrote this article almost 20 yrs. ago and it was published in 2001 in Ministry magazine. Perhaps a little different perspective. No one doubts “climate change” but what is debated is the degree in which there is anthropogenic “global warming” caused by mankind and is it statistically significant.