In 2014, scientists boarded an ice-reinforced ship to sail through the seas of Antarctica to observe the rapid ice and snow melt from global warming/climate change (GWCC). Rather than cruising through the open water, it became stuck in the ice.[i] Adding to the irony, two large icebreaking vessels were turned back from rescuing the scientists because of massive ice and snow build up. Had this voyage succeeded, it would have been heralded as more “indisputable” proof that GWCC is a threat to this planet. Instead, the vessel was stranded in ice and the scientists onboard were rescued by helicopter. Astonishingly, the “experts” carefully argued their failure was not evidence against GWCC but evidence of bad weather. How do they get it both ways? Perhaps this story is more telling about “science” than climate.
The Bible exhorts men to guard sound doctrine in the heart, “avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called,” for by it some “have erred concerning the faith” (1 Tim. 6:20–21 KJV). Bible doctrine does not deny science. Leading men of the Bible, such as Daniel, Joseph, and Solomon, oversaw massive engineering projects, understood astronomy, studied law, and nature—all without contradicting their faith. Sir Isaac Newton’s deep love of Bible prophecy was no hindrance to his keen perception of the natural world. So, science, in and of itself, is not antithetical to a mature faith in God. However, not everything called “science” is, and in some cases is purely philosophical or quasi-religious rather than a systematic study of the observable and testable.
The Greek words rendered “science falsely so called” are where the words “gnosis” and “pseudonym” are derived. The KJV translators aptly translated them “science falsely so called.” For there is nothing like science which holds such unparalleled authority in contemporary society. By its assumptions laws are made, wars are planned, economies are driven, lives saved, and knowledge discovered. But as the KJV intimates, not all science is true and can be contradictory in comparison to the Word of God.
The Apostle Peter predicts—just before the second advent—unbelief and ridicule would abound with skeptics denying the destruction of the wicked via a worldwide flood. Thanks to the theory of evolution this prediction has come true. Noah’s flood once thought of as a historical event now appears phantasmagorical. Indeed, this denial is visible as people fly rainbow flags in celebration of what God calls “detestable” (Lev. 18:22 NLT). Those who deny the Noah’s deluge also find it inconceivable that fire will rain upon the earth because of sin (2 Peter 3:7,10).
Darwin’s theory—“so called science”—exerts a powerful influence upon most academic and theological institutions. In response to its nearly monolithic acceptance, many Christians reject the literal six-day creation and a worldwide flood as well. Perhaps not wanting to be labeled fanatical or idiotic, they sacrifice their faith upon the altar of “science.” Conversely, the Catholic Church has consistently subjugated the story of creation to the theory of evolution in the name of science.[ii] Now, under the same influence, churches are caving into dogma of man-made climate change.
Almost satirically, secular GWCC activists—who deny the Biblical record—have no qualms appropriating apocalyptic language of plague-like catastrophes falling upon the earth due to man’s climate sins.[iii] They warn of floods, droughts, hurricanes, depletion of fresh water, spread of deadly viruses, and massive animal deaths.[iv] Some alarmists even invoke the “myth” of Noah’s flood to make an analogy for the future![v]
Skeptics are not alone in their fears of GWCC cataclysm. Evangelicals, in 2006, formed the Evangelical Climate Initiative to find faith-based solutions for climate change.[vi] Pope Francis calls GWCC a man-made sin upon the earth.[vii] To atone for this “sin,” he promotes Sunday rest. In his encyclical letter Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, he asserts:
On Sunday, our participation in the Eucharist has special importance. Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, the “first day” of the new creation, whose first fruits are the Lord’s risen humanity, the pledge of the final transfiguration of all created reality. It also proclaims “man’s eternal rest in God.”…Rest opens our eyes to the larger picture and gives us renewed sensitivity to the rights of others. And so the day of rest, centred [sic] on the Eucharist, sheds it light on the whole week, and motivates us to greater concern for nature and the poor.[viii]
The pope’s address was not just an important statement for Catholics, but it also impacted religious organizations like World Evangelical Alliance, the National Association of Evangelicals, and Muslim leaders who desire working together for faith-based remedies.[ix] GWCC is building ecumenical relationships where faiths can lay aside divisive doctrine and unite for the prevention of another world-wide flood. But not everyone is convinced.
Michael Crichton, best known for works like Jurassic Park and Congo, wrote a fictional account of the nefarious influences of government corruption and environmental policy called State of Fear. Though a novelist, Crichton is also a Harvard graduate in anthropology and medicine, who views GWCC with deep skepticism, seeing all the hysteria as “an invitation to totalitarianism.”[x] One researcher believes the alarm over GWCC is akin to a “medieval doomsday syndrome.”[xi] Although the public has been told the opposite, not all climate scientists agree about a human-caused “greenhouse effect.”[xii] The media often ignores contradicting reports critical of GWCC, as well.[xiii] A study published in Nature in 2002 reporting a “net cooling on the Antarctic continent between 1966 and 2000,” is an example of information which did not make the news.[xiv] And when two scientists from Harvard published a study raising serious criticism against GWCC, they were attacked and calls were made to suppress their work.[xv] Disturbingly, pro-climate scientists pressured journals to fire editors who published articles questing anthropogenic global warming.[xvi] Additionally, leading climate scientists hid results contradicting the theory of increasing global temperatures by CO2 from the public.[xvii] One can hardly fathom such actions being justifiable, especially if “truth” and “evidence” were on their side.
Not only is their own behavior telling upon the source and strength of their argument, but so is history. The Washington Times reported climate change was responsible for causing glaciers in Greenland to melt, the disappearance of ice sheets, increasing Arctic Ocean winter temperatures, and the erosion of polar ice caps. However, this was not published in 2017, but in 1922.[xviii] Apparently, scientists and mariners noted that from 1896–1922, there was a period of global warming affecting the Arctic Ocean which they could not explain. Well before celebrity activists and corporate sponsors wanted to save the planet from warming, scientists warned of global cooling. In 1973, an Iowa newspaper ran an article titled “The Earth is Cooling, Return of the Ice Age is Feared.” Typical of other articles at the time, it displayed a picture as evidence of Baffin Island, Canada with the caption reading:
Snow cover remaining on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic after the summer melt-off of 1970 is in sharp contrast to the same area, relatively snow-free, seen in an aerial photo…taken a decade earlier. Reflection of sunlight off such year-round snow cover is considered a possible contribution to global cooling.[xix]
The New Scientist in 1975 reported—a rather strange finding in light of today’s talking points—that “for 30-odd years the northern hemisphere has been cooling down, in spite accumulating dust and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”[xx] Summing up 30 years of dire global cooling predictions from the scientific community, one commentator observed:
Science magazine (Dec. 10, 1976) warned of “extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.” Science Digest (February 1973) reported that “the world’s climatologists are agreed” that we must “prepare for the next ice age.” The Christian Science Monitor (“Warning: Earth’s Climate is Changing Faster Than Even Experts Expect,” Aug. 27, 1974) reported that glaciers “have begun to advance,” “growing seasons in England and Scandinavia are getting shorter” and “the North Atlantic is cooling down about as fast as an ocean can cool.” Newsweek agreed (“The Cooling World,” April 28, 1975) that meteorologists “are almost unanimous” that catastrophic famines might result from the global cooling that The New York Times (Sept. 14, 1975) said “may mark the return to another ice age.[xxi]
But skepticism for global warming is not just the pastime of successful novelists, fringe scientists, conservatives, and oil company executives, it is something Christians should consider.
When Noah preached, the leading men of the age laughed and scoffed, perhaps saying, “For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:4c KJV). They could not fathom how nature or God could wipe out the entire world by a flood. So confident in their wisdom they said to Noah “Leave us alone! What can the Almighty do to us?” (Job 22:17 NLT). Today’s inhabitants also tell God to leave them alone, while preaching the earth will once again be inundated by water. But, this disaster may be averted through humanly wisdom and government control.
Though the Bible indicates a serious temperature increase upon the earth (as everything will be set ablaze with fire), it does say that prior to that end—during the 4th plague—the sun will “scorch men with fire,” (Rev. 16:8c KJV). Yet, there is no indication this intense burning from the sun is in response to CO2 emissions, conspicuous SUV usage, or ambivalence to the environment. The 4th plague is specifically designed for those who receive the “Mark of the Beast” and “[worship] his image” (Rev. 16:2 KJV). While the Bible warns that God will punish those who “destroy the earth” (Rev. 11:18 KJV) it has nothing to do with CO2 emissions.
Contextually, Revelation 11:18 is within the 7th Trumpet, promising reward for the righteous who “fear [his] name,” and punishment for “them which destroy the earth.” The next verse features the temple and ark of the covenant where seismic natural disasters follow. In short, verses 18 and 19 highlight the impending justice and mercy of God with the ark of the covenant, followed by unprecedented natural disaster.
How ironic would it be to punish men who “destroy the earth,” and then open the ark of covenant—where “an earthquake” and “great hail” spring forth—to destroy the earth. The “earthquake” and “great hail” found in 11:19 allude to the 7th plague (Rev. 16:17–21), wherein the final judgments are poured upon wicked men. Environmentalist-minded Christians would have us believe that God is punishing the inhabitants of the earth for the very thing he does in the next verse.
Since we dare not charge God with hypocrisy, we must examine the whole of Scripture and compare. If all we had was Revelation 11:18–19 we would have to conclude the judgment found in these verses refers to the ark of the covenant in context of judgment. Thus, “those who destroy the earth” must be connected with the ark of the covenant where wrath bursts forth. There is little in the law of God punishing men for willful destruction of their natural environment. Something within the ark requires justice. For this, Isaiah 24:5–6 is instructive:
The earth also is polluted under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are found guilty: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. (ASV)
According to Isaiah, the pollution of the earth comes as a result of transgressing God’s law and breaking His “everlasting covenant.” While all the commandments of God are important for faith and salvation, only one references the earth. The fourth commandment, exclusively, points to God’s creatorship while promoting a rest for both man and nature (Ex. 20:8–11). When the Sabbath is violated, curses were promised to disobedient Israel (Ex. 31:14–15; 35:2; Lev. 26:30–35; Num. 15:31–36; 2 Chron. 36:21; Neh. 13:18–21; Jer. 17:27; Ezek. 20:13–33; 22:26–31). Even the earth is avenged because it was prevented from resting on the Sabbath (Lev. 26:30–35; 2 Chron. 36:21).
Consequently, those “who destroy the earth” are they which fill it with a curse due to their disobedience to God, particularly violating the holy law of God found inside the ark of the covenant. Therefore, the earth—according to the Bible—is not polluted by coal power plants and SUV utilization, but because men break the Law of God and defile the earth with sin. We find this same reasoning just before the flood (Gen. 6:3, 5, 11–13).
Science told men in Noah’s day that rain and a worldwide flood was preposterous. Today, science tells us that doubting destruction of the world by a flood is preposterous. Yet, science dismisses sin and scoffs at the world being destroyed by fire. We must ever recall how science promoted bleeding, mercury dosing, suppressed hand washing, denied the use of lemon juice in water to fight scurvy, and lauded frontal lobotomies. If there is any institution we should have healthy skepticism toward, it is science. In the final analysis, there will be global warming and it will be in response to the actions of men, but it will have nothing to do with CO2 and everything to do with a slighted sovereign, under whose throne are two stone tablets.
[i] Christine Dell’Amore, “Antarctic Ship Rescue: 5 Lessons From the Trapped-Vessel Drama,” National Geographic, January 4, 2014, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140102-antarctica-ship-trapped-ice-rescue-akademik-shokalskiy-world-science/; John Turner, “Research Ship Trapped in Antarctic Ice Because of Weather, Not Climate Change,” The Guardian, January 3, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/03/antarctica-ice-trapped-academik-shokalskiy-climate-change.
[ii] Ishaan Tharoor, “Pope Francis Says Evolution is Real and God is No Wizard,” The Washington Post, October 28, 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/10/28/pope-francis-backs-theory-of-evolution-says-god-is-no-wizard/?utm_term=.da381431ad01.
[iii] Justin Gillis, “Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun,” New York Times, September 3, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/04/science/flooding-of-coast-caused-by-global-warming-has-already-begun.html.
[iv] Brian Clark Howard, “5 Dire Warnings From Bipartisan Report on Climate Change’s Economic Impact” National Geographic, June 25, 2014, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/06/140624-bipartisan-report-risky-business-climate-change-science/; Melissa Denchak, “Are the Effects of Global Warming Really that Bad,” National Resource Defense Council, March 15, 2016, https://www.nrdc.org/stories/are-effects-global-warming-really-bad; Christine Dell’Amore, “‘Deadly Dozen’ Diseases Could Stem From Global Warming,” National Geographic News, October 7, 2008, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/10/081007-climate-diseases.html.
[v] Peter D. Ward, The Flooded Earth: Our Future In a World Without Ice Caps (New York: Basic Books, 2010), 22.
[vi] Tik Root, “An Evangelical Movement Takes on Climate Change,” Newsweek, March 9, 2016, http://www.newsweek.com/2016/03/18/creation-care-evangelical-christianity-climate-change-434865.html.
[vii] Bradford Richardson, “Pope Francis Calls Climate Change a ‘Sin,’” The Washington Times, September 1, 2016, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/sep/1/pope-francis-calls-climate-change-sin/.
[viii] Francis, Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ of the Holy Father Francis on Care for Our Common Home. (Vatican City, Italy: The Holy See, May 24, 2015), , http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html.
[ix] Katharine Hayhoe, “Science and Faith Can Solve Climate Change Together,” Scientific American, November 25, 2015, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/science-and-faith-can-solve-climate-change-together/.
[x] Michael Crichton, State of Fear (New York: Harper Collins, 2004), 580—583. See also http://www.michaelcrichton.com/state-of-fear-authors-message/.
[xi] Arthur Rörsch, “The Progress of Science—Past, Present and Future,” Humanities 3 (2014): 442, doi:10.3390/h3040442.
[xii] Alex Epstein, “‘97% of Climate Scientists Agree’ is 100% Wrong,” Forbes, January 6, 2015,
https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexepstein/2015/01/06/97-of-climate-scientists-agree-is-100-wrong/#132db7ba3f9f; Arthur Rörsch, “The Progress of Science—Past, Present and Future,” Humanities 3 (2014): 442–516, doi:10.3390/h3040442.
[xiii] James Taylor, “Updated NASA Data: Global Warming Not Causing Any Polar Ice
Retreat,” Forbes, May 19, 2015, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2015/05/19/updated-nasa-data-polar-ice-not-receding-after-all/#8701eed28921.
[xiv] P.T. Doran, et. al., “Antarctic Cooling and Terrestrial Ecosystem Response,” Nature 415, no. 6871(January 2002), 517–520, doi:10.1038/nature710.
[xv] David R. Legates, “Global Warming Smear Targets,” The Washington Times, August 25, 2003, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2003/aug/25/20030825-090130-5881r/.
[xvi] A.W. Montford, Hiding the Decline (Anglosphere Books, 2012), 2–3.
[xviii] “Strange Things Happening in the Frozen Arctic,” The Washington Times, December 3, 1922.
[xix] “The Earth is Cooling, Return of the Ice Age is Feared,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, April 14, 1973.
[xx] John Gribbin, “Is Atmospheric Dust a Blanket or a Sunshade,” New Scientist 67, no. 959, July 24, 1975, 198.
[xxi] George Will, “30 Years Ago, Headlines Warned of Global Cooling,” Press and Sun-Bulletin, April 3, 2006.