Sunday, August 2, 2009

Global Warming - Fact or Fiction

A Christian Perspective and a Call to Action
By Senior Pastor Tri Robinson

One of the greatest debates today deals with the issues that surround global warming. Volatile discussions on this subject have been added to a long list of world crisis topics and have polarized people into opposing camps. For the Christian that desires to be informed on global concerns, it is becoming increasingly difficult not to join forces with one side or the other.

When the Lord first prompted me to develop an environmental ministry at the Vineyard of Boise, I had a strong conviction to keep it free from political bias. This has been a great challenge due to the fact that the environment is a topic that is so politically charged. As Christians, we have got to remain rational and view the world’s problems as they truly are, weighing them against Biblical truth in logical ways rather than joining in extreme social reaction.

The truth is - the globe is warming – the facts are rapidly becoming indisputable. The temperature of the sea is rising, glacial ice is receding, and the world’s climate is changing. This warming trend is not only affecting ecosystems but also clearly increasing hurricane activity and intensity. There has been an increase of over 100 Category 4 & 5 hurricanes across the earth in the past 15 years. The focus of the global warming debate isn’t so much centered on whether the earth’s oceans and atmosphere are warming but rather why the phenomenon is taking place now.

Is it something caused by human influence or simply the result of natural weather cycles? One camp emphatically claims that global warming has occurred due to the misuse and overuse of fossil fuels that have been creating a greenhouse effect - trapping warm air beneath the earth’s atmosphere.

The other camp denies this accusation, claiming that what is alleged to be scientific fact is mere hypothesis. They also cite historical weather records and trends to prove that the earth has always gone through climatic cycles and the present warming trend is just one of those cycles. Either way you look at it, global warming is a very real concern.

For the Christian who cares about the earth and humanity, it is essential that we don’t put our head in the sand on this very crucial phenomenon. No matter what has caused the earth’s temperature to elevate, the result is hurting creation and devastating people’s lives. For those of us who spent time helping in the clean up of the destructive Gulf Coast hurricanes in 2005, the reality of the matter became very evident. In our nation’s history, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have caused humanitarian disaster only to be equaled with the Great Depression.

The manifestation of the warming of the ocean has made many Christians aware of the need, causing them to prepare to meet new and increasing demands of humanitarian aid in order to minister in compassion and mercy. Like never before in recent history, the Church must rise to the occasion for humanitarian service. It is not an hour for the Church to remain lethargic or silent.

Global warming may be a direct result of natural climatic cycles and changes, or it may be human caused. Regardless of global warming, the growing international demand and negligent use of gas and fossil fuels are becoming a great concern. For any of us who care deeply for creation we must examine the facts and search for solutions to the problem.

Editor's Note:
An alternative view about global warming.

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