July 03, 2006

Evolution and Emissions Debate

The other day, I read an article on the global warming issue from a blog called "Independent Christian Voice". The article stated that although America makes up only 5% of the world's population, it contributes over 40% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. The article went on to state this:


Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of burning gasoline in vehicles. Scientists say the atmosphere can absorb a great deal of it, but many worry that people are adding more than nature can handle. They say the gases are building up around the Earth, trapping heat and raising the planet’s temperature.

After reading it, I felt compelled to comment and mentioned that I felt that sinking a bunch of money into global warming right now might not be smart when we are in such financial trouble with war and debt. I also linked a copy of an article, "Christian reluctance to jump on global warming bandwagon attributed to skepticism of evolution" - by a guest commentary to Answers in Genesis (Michael Oard) which stated:


Most of the reason for the hype to act now is because scientists now lean toward the idea that the climate can change abruptly 10 to 25°F in a matter of decades. That is why Crouch is afraid of a “runaway gallop” in climatic warming. This paradigm change in climatology is because of abrupt changes in oxygen isotopes (generally correlated with temperature) and other variables discovered in ice cores on the Greenland Ice Sheet.3 But their belief in abrupt climate change is a consequence of their “uniformitarian” worldview that ignores the Bible and the post-Flood rapid Ice Age.

So why are there prominent skeptics of the significance of greenhouse warming? The main reason is observations. We have observed a 30% increase in carbon dioxide in about 120 years and another 30% increase in carbon dioxide equivalents from other greenhouse gases. This 60% rise in carbon dioxide and its equivalents has caused a slight global warming of only 1°F.

The same article also stated that the costs of fighting greenhouse warming are "grossly" underestimated, and would likely reach into the trillions (most of which resting on western nations). In a world full of nuclear threats, wars on terrorism, and national deficits... do we really have the extra greenbacks lying around to sink into an imperfect Science that may be grossly overestimated itself?

The day after my comment was posted, a response post appeared on the "Independent Christian Voice" entitled, "Reader: ‘Do you believe in evolution?’". The post included my name a few times. The writer asked a few questions and made a few assertions, which I believe deserve another post. I know I try and keep it light in here, but keeping it light doesn't mean I don't have an opinion on weightier matters.

Here below are statements made by the Independent Christian Voice with my comments:

In response to our post yesterday about American drivers accounting for nearly half of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, reader sprittibee asked an interesting question: “Do you believe in evolution?”

The short answer: Yes, I do believe in evolution.

Evolution is one of the catalyst questions in Christianity. While your beliefs about it may not effect your salvation, it most certainly will affect your worldview... and your worldview is the window through which you evaluate all other thoughts. Even though I may not talk about it a lot here at Sprittibee's Blog, I most certainly have read up on the topic. I have been schooled (public school and college) to believe in Evolution - yet I have also read much and studied much on my own from both the Intelligent Design movement (which seems to be what our friend at "Independent Christian Voice" subscribes to) and Creationism. Being a Christian, as the Independent Christian Voice proclaims to be, I also draw truth from my Bible and pray for wisdom. I know what evolution means (and didn't need a definition of it given to me). Micro-evolution (gradual variations within a species - such as the breeding differences in dogs or the resistances in bacteria) is a well-known and documented fact. However, MACRO-evolution, which tries to sneak into the same definition (in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better life-form - like pond slime to monkeys) is a fairy-tale and there is absolutely NO proof for it.

Science has yet to produce a positive genetic mutation. Sure, a fruit fly may grow a set of extra wings, but what they don't tell you is that the fruit fly which grew the extra set of wings is STERILE and can't FLY.


There is too much scientific and historical evidence and documentation of evolution — as defined above — for me to disbelieve in evolution. But, don’t stop reading yet. The best examples of evolution are bacteria, viruses and diseases which have evolved dramatically during my lifetime, which is why we’re constantly looking for stronger and more effective antibiotics and medicines to combat the ever-changing — ever-evolving — threat. There’s sufficient scientific observation and documentation of evolution of animal and insect species to convince me of evolution and natural selection. As a matter of fact, my own dogs are products of evolution through selective breeding.
I agree with you that variations within species can be quite amazing. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is scary and yet interesting. However, if you are trying to use this to convince me that my distant relatives evolved from a mass of protoplasm in some primordial sea, you will not succeed. The 'science' of Darwin is based on trumped up fabrications and funded by property taxes. Critics are silenced. Scientists who dissent are likely to be un-employed if they let their views become public knowledge. I hardly call this scientific. Adolf Hitler once stated, "The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one." His minister of propaganda stated it this way:


"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
-- Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945
That is just what MACRO-evolution is. The biggest lie of our time. There isn't an amount of time large enough to fit between the amoeba and the astrophysicist to make the story of evolution believable.

Perhaps the intended question is whether I believe in secular science’s theory of the creation and/or evolution of our world as promoted in the “Big Bang” Theory and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution — or more specifically, am I a “young-earth” or an “old-earth” believer? The short answer: I don’t know — and, frankly, it doesn’t impact my faith in God and my life in Jesus either way.

I am glad that my brother at the Independent Christian Voice believes in God creating the heavens and earth (Genesis 1:1) as he stated in his post. I'm glad he believes that Jesus (The Word) was with God and was God in the beginning (as it states in John 1:1). However, my joy stops short when I hear that he does not know what to believe about God's Creation. Truthfully, I think your beliefs regarding young or old creation make a big impact - not only on your faith, but your life in general. It is a lot harder to believe in a God who uses the tool of millions of years to shape his universe. It is a lot easier to imagine that he is remote and apathetic towards us. It is easy to dismiss the miracles of Jesus and the wonders shown to the Hebrew slaves in Egypt if we think our God is only a cosmic dice thrower. It is also a lot easier to allow the Bible to be "only a good book" or "a lot of nice, moral stories" if we allow ourselves to imagine that God can't work miracles or work in ways that nature currently doesn't display.


What I find curious is how my belief (or lack thereof) in evolution should impact how I view the emissions report.
Climatology, just like Cryptozoology and Radiometric Dating all gain clarity when you allow ALL of the evidence to be presented - not just the well-funded, narrow-minded FLUFF. That is what is lacking in our public schools and that is why Darwinists are all in such a rage lately about Creation Science being presented equally in public schools. Again, I think it makes a BIG difference in how you view EVERYTHING.


Does sprittibee discount the report? She doesn’t say, although a reasonable person might infer that she does in fact discount the conclusions of the report with her citation of a Answers in Genesis article. I read the article and nothing in it would change my response to the emissions report.
The emissions report may be fact, or it may be fluff. I don't know. I don't know much about the Environmental Defense Agency (which supplied the charts for the Washington Post article and are seeing a "record" increase in giving due to the prolific media attentions to 'global warming').... but it seems to me that problems that are here now like Aids, Cancer, Hunger, Poverty and Missions should be foremost on the mind of a Christian - because they were foremost on the mind of Christ.


Whether you believe in global warming/climate change or not, it’s hard to deny the existence and effects of pollution. And no one will convince me that our vehicles’ emissions are not harmful to our environment. Based on that premise, Americans are contributing nearly half of all these emissions; yet, we only account for 5% of the population.

In our wanton consumerism, we have placed our pleasures and conveniences (big, inefficient cars with little effort toward conservation — “no one’s gonna tell us what to do with our lives”) above the rights and needs of our world neighbors as well as any negative impact on God’s creation. That doesn’t sound very Christ-like.


Here's where the Independent Christian Voice and I agree. I do agree with trying to find ways to curb pollution, making sure that the cars on the roads are up to standards, finding clean ways to deal with toxic waste, and being smart about recycling. I applaud the scientists who are working on bio-fuels and will be happy to drive a sludge-burning cellulosic ethanol car when they come available. Just because I believe the planet may not last forever doesn't mean I approve of poor stewardship.


Proclaiming that global warming isn’t a real threat or that climate change has little to do with man’s behavior (as unreasonable as that may sound) doesn’t mitigate the fact that as Christians we have a responsibility to be wise stewards of God’s resources and His creation. Can sprittibee or the people at Answers in Genesis honestly say that we have indeed been good stewards?
I can say that we haven't been. We haven't been much good at anything by Jesus' standards. I don't disagree with you that some of us have a blatant disregard for all things green, either. Amidst jokes of "tree hugging" and "environmentalist wackos", there lies a truth about stewardship that is being grossly overlooked. I think that we could all use a LOT of preaching and teaching about how we can use our resources more wisely. What I don't believe, however, is that our use of resources is going to be the cause of some "global warming nightmare comparable to the extinction of the dinosaurs". I also don't believe that resources are really all that important in the scheme of things. People are what are important. Jesus didn't come to save the fossil fuels.


If we are, in fact, good stewards of our environment and all that God has blessed us with, and we press our government(s) toward policies that reflect good stewardship, the global warming debate would be a moot one because we would minimize any possible impact (whether real or imagined) on this earth. The controversy would be moot. But rather than own up to our own behavior, waste and contribution to the problem of pollution (especially an excessively disproportionate contribution), Christians are attacking the science and ignoring the simple principles of stewardship above and beyond any scientific arguments or evidence. In my mind, it’s simply common sense.

In the end, we as Christians must ask: What would Jesus do?

In the end, after asking what would Jesus do.... I think we should write a check out to Christian Aid, Compassion International, Mercy Ships, EEM, International Christian Concern or your favorite charity of choice that is reaching out to the persecuted and suffering with the hope of Christ and the bounty of His provision.

In the end, after asking what Jesus would do.... I think that we should request that our government continue to develop alternative fuels that use waste and burn clean... and continue to recycle... and re-think wasteful packaging.

I'm not the enemy of the "greenie". I believe in good stewardship. I just believe that there are more important things than our atmosphere. God is big enough to handle the ozone. We were not called to be fishers of environmentally safe ideas. We were called to be fishers of MEN.

For some alternative viewpoints to those expressed by Answers in Genesis, check out Hugh Ross’ website Reasons To Believe. Skeptics should give Ross and the site’s perspective the same consideration that they would expect others to afford them.
I've already checked out Reasons to Believe. I believe they are divisive and are sadly leading Christians astray. I was one of the first people they canvassed with mail-outs the year they started up, and I used to get their newsletter. After careful consideration and much research into all of the available information about 'young' and 'old' Earth Creationist viewpoints, I have sided with the Young Earth. It is the side the Bible takes. After all, aren't we asking ourselves what Jesus would do?


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34 comments:

Rhonda said...

WHY don't people know about macro vs. micro-evolution? Oh, I know. Because they don't question what they've been told in all those science classes (and, these days, history classes, vocabulary lessons, etc.).

cindy said...

Bravo, Sprittibee! Well thought and well presented. God bless you!

Peace,
Cindy.

My Boaz's Ruth said...

Because people believe what the experts tell them instead of the plain words of the Bible.

Sure, it doesn't affect THIS person't salvation if they don't believe the Bible on how the world came to be. (and the HUGE Thing there, for me, is no death before sin. The Bible says it. Jesus had to come and die for our sins so we would NOT die. So exactly what does it mean to his sacrifice if there was death before sin (which evolution requires) and therefore death did NOT enter the world by sin... oops.)

But there are people now who refuse to believe the Bible because "it isn't true" because scientists tell them about evolution and christians tell them scientists are correct, not the Bible. and therefore they aren't even willing to LISTEN to the miracles that happened in the New Testament, particularly the ones about a Savior that took on the form of a man, died for their sins, and was resurrected.

It used to be, in apologetics, a very powerful proof for God's existence was the Creation all about us. Evolution says that the Creation around us does NOT prove a Creator, it could have happened all by time and laws of nature. The church always gets in trouble when it looks at the world for its answers instead of the Bible and the Holy Spirit.

My Boaz's Ruth said...

As for global warming, two things I've seen recently.
1. Earth is at its hottest point since 400 years ago (400 years ago, Earth was hotter than it is now... What WERE humans doing back then to warm up this planet...)

2. They have taken measurements and all the planets in the solar system are getting warmer. This just may be something in the natural cycle of thing.
"Global Warming on Mars?"
"Global Warming on Pluto puzzles Scientists"
"the truth about global warning -- it's the Sun":
"Perhaps we are devoting too many resources to correcting human effects on the climate without being sure that we are the major contributor."

"Interplanetary Day After Tomorrow":
"The entire solar system - not just our one small planet -- is currently undergoing profound, never-before-seen physical changes. This paper will address and scientifically document a wide variety of significant examples, drawing from a host of published mainstream sources. "


As for that global warming percentage... 40% was the number they were using back in the 70s. The number I hear more recently is 25%. National resources Defense Council

Sprittibee said...

Hey Rhonda. I've been sick or I would have called to say Hi since we're in Texas briefly. ;)

Thanks Cindy! God bless you, too. Wish we had time to stop by and say Hi while we're in TX.

My Boaz's Ruth - Thanks so much for your comments and contributions (links) to the conversation. I will enjoy reading them!!!

MonicaR said...

Wonderful response Sprittibee.

Martin LaBar said...

Are you sure that young-earth creation is "the side the Bible takes?" I'm not sure that it takes sides on this, and there are people who take the Bible very seriously who don't believe in young-earth creationism. (As well as those who do, of course!)

God speaks to us not only through Scripture, the church, and the Holy Spirit, but through nature, and the evidence of nature seems to be that the earth is very old. I have never read from a geologist with academic credentials who believes that it isn't, and I have read from Bible-believing Christian geologists who believe that it is.

Thanks for your post, which I found through the Christian carnival.

Sprittibee said...

Thanks Griz. :)

Martin Labar... thanks for your comments. My dad was a geologist that believed in Creation. Have you ever studied the materials that Kent Hovind has put out? I highly suggest that even if you have doubts that the earth is old, you would check them out. If you are interested in them, you can get them from drdino.com. You will be amazed at the evidence which is presented. There is also the Creation Evidence Museum in Glenrose, TX where human footprints are found in the same layers as dinosaur ones. Also, here's a quick link that gives a few examples that evolution is impossible: Proof Evolution is Wrong.

Martin LaBar said...

Thank you for responding to my comment. I visited parts of the three sites you recommended, and was not impressed. See here for my impressions, if you are interested.

Didaskalos said...

I have posted a lengthy response to your lengthy response that can be found here on Independent Christian Voice. It was certainly too long to try to post here.

Future Geek said...

God is big enough to handle the ozone. We were not called to be fishers of environmentally safe ideas. We were called to be fishers of MEN.

I'll say right out that I'm coming at this from a totally different perspective than you. I am an agnostic, rationalist, secular humanist evolutionist environmentalist.

But I can see that you have given this matter a lot of thought, and that your opinion is not just a kneejerk reaction.

I want to ask you one question, to start a conversation about our different worldviews. Nonbelievers are often asked, "What if you are wrong about god and heaven and Jesus?"

Well, my question to you: "What if you are wrong about your statement that 'God can handled the ozone'?"

What if god will not handle the ozone? What if mankind has caused global warming, there is a serious problem, Jesus isnt' due back for a few thousand more years, and god has no intention of intervening in climate change?

What kind of world will your children grow up in if that's the case?

Martin LaBar said...

Future Geek, perhaps your question should have been "What if God wants humans to handle the outcome?" A Christian believes in an all-powerful God, who could certainly handle global warming, if He chose to. However, He might not choose to, punishing us for our bad stewardship, for example.

Sprittibee said...

Martin, I appreciate the way you didn't spotlight my name a bunch in your post. I felt that the Independent Voice was dragging me into a debate when I had only asked a simple question out of curiosity in response to his post on emissions. I don't have huge amounts of blogging and writing time seeing as how I am a homeschool mom with a 9 and 7 year old... and am trying to be a wise steward of my first duty first.

So, I hope you will not be offended if it takes me a little longer to put together coherent answers for you. I wrote the other post in a matter of 30 minutes or so, and I appologize for not checking out some of the links more thoroughly, however, you can download a few of Dr. Kent Hovind's ENTIRE seminars at DrDino.com (his website). The one that would pertain to this issue is called "The Age of the Earth". I intend to use a lot of Hovind's material for my series "Why I Believe in 6 Day Creation". It takes about 2-3 hours to listen to them, but it is well worth it. You might not agree (as I may not) with all of Dr. Hovind's doctrinal stances, but he is SOLD OUT for the Lord and I consider him a wonderful brother in Christ (and have met him and his son personally a few times and have heard them speak). I would be much happier if you would give him the benefit of the doubt on the merit of his video seminars rather than one article linked on his website which may or may not be penned by him. I realize his videos tend to be long, so if you would rather just read my summerized materials, check back in here in the next few days and I'll start a 3-4 post series on the data I typed up (taking notes from his seminar and elsewhere). Then we can discuss not only the scriptural issues behind 6-Day Creation (which some may feel are debatable), but also the scientific evidences themselves.

DIDASKALOS -
I did read your response, and I would ask that you also check back in here to view the series I listed above in my note to Martin. Thanks.

Future Geek - Wow! Thanks for responding. I'm glad that my beliefs didn't scare you off and that you seem open to real discussion, even if we don't see eye to eye. I meet a lot of Darwin-backers who are not open to real discussion on the matter and would rather sling mud than talk. I appreciate your notes a lot. I also appreciate that you told me where you are coming from. Not to detract from Martin's comments below yours, I also believe that God is all-powerful (not a God that simply put things in motion billions of years ago, but a God that began the universe - uni (one) verse (spoken sentence) - with His purposeful command, "Let there be!" (Gen. 1:1)

I believe as the Bible says that His purpose has always been to create children that would love Him not because they HAVE to (free will), but because they have seen all the other alternatives and they CHOOSE/WANT to love Him back.

Matthew 22:36-38 -
36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[a] 38This is the first and greatest commandment.


Believing that God loves us (the wicked and the righteous alike)...

Proverbs 15:3 - The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

Matthew 5:45 b - ... He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.


... it is impossible for me to believe in a world that would not support human life (which I gather is the fear that global warming talk inspires). That just doesn't fit in with the plan of the Bible.

I never said I was against good stewardship in my previous posts about this topic. Only that I don't think any amount of money we throw at this problem/laws we make is going to FIX global warming (if it is a true phenomenon). Perhaps you might check out some of the interesting links provided here in my comments section by My Boaz's Ruth (Global Warming on Mars?, Global Warming on Pluto puzzles Scientists, and The Truth about Global Warming - It's the Sun). Looks to me like the sun is the culprit behind the increase in temperature anyway, and there's not a human Bruce Willis space-cowboy that can fix that. If the problem is really the sun (and if there really is a problem), the only thing we can ALL do is try and be wise with our stewardship and keep praying He will not punish us for our misuse and disregard. From my personal knowlege of God's love (see my testimony to know what I'm talking about), I don't think He will punish us for this type of thing. Like I said, I think fossil fuels are the least thing on God's mind.

The best way I can explain to you my take on the last days would be to just let Jesus do the talking. After all, I never want to guide anyone else into a false understanding or following. I don't expect or want anyone to follow ME, but to follow HIM.

1 Timothy 4:16 - Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Here's some of what the Bible says about the last days and what they will be like:

1 Peter 3:3-18 -
3First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." 5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.


14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

17Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.


God bless to all who are commenting. I enjoy reading what you have to say. May our planet hold up until the last days and may we all be found in His Book of Life!

Credits: New International Version (NIV) - Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Future Geek said...

I think I need to restate my question:

What if you are totally wrong about Jesus and god? What if there is no god? What would be the "good" thing to do in that case?

I looked over the links provided, btw. This is a very weak case for the sun causing global warming. Richard C. Hoagland is a crank. He believes in a human face that was constructed on mars. And his global warming theory has nothing to do with the sun - it's 'hyperdimensional.'

The Guardian article is misleading as well. Read it. Compare what the lead says to what the scientists say.

The one about Pluto has nothing to do with the sun causing global warming on Earth either - the astronomers believe it is a phenomenon similar to Earth's seasons.

I would like to suggest that you read a report commissioned by the Pentagon about the risks posed by sudden climate change. It is a worst case scenario, but it is a possible scenario - and there are many climate change scenarios that are less serious but still horrific.

Click here for that report.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks for your response. You've got a lot on your plate, and so don't do a series on the age of the earth and related matters just for me. I'll try to check out Hovind's seminar on the age of the earth. I don't question his sincerity. I looked at three articles from the drdino website, one of which, it said, was by him, and there were serious problems with at least two of them. I can't imagine them convincing anyone who didn't desperately want to be convinced. Perhaps the seminars are more serious.

Back to global warming -- It seems possible that some of the terrible things that the Bible says are going to happen will be the result of bad choices by humans.

Didaskalos said...

Spirttibee, please do not do a series on the length of days on my account either. I am very familiar with Hovind's writings and his position. I have also followed the ongoing debate between Ross and Hovind. Both are very convincing as both seem to have a better grasp on Science than I will ever have.

As I don't intend to spend the amount of time either have on the topic, I can only follow the debate and determine, based on what I know, what seems plausible.

Dr. Ross' position might very well be incorrect. I will give him credit for setting up a scientifically testable model rather than just throwing his opinion out there with no basis for validation.

As I stated previously, I don't believe that the age of the earth is quite as central of a point as many Christians would like to inflate it into. As such, I do not intend to spend vast amounts of time researching the issue as there are other areas I would prefer to spend my time.

I will say however, that the reason I like Hugh Ross and others of the like is that they offer something for the scientifically minded to wrap their arms around rather than simply dismissing the bible or my faith based on the creation account. I have had dozens upon dozens of conversations about Christ which could not get past their "science concerns". If I can get past that one point with a statement like "you should consider reading someone like Hugh Ross as he beleives the science points to a creator" it helps move the conversation along to what I believe to be significantly more important areas of Jesus' life and his Good News message.

In the end, I don't think most in the scientific community or in the Chrisitian community are going to be very moved by arguements made by people such as Hovind unless they are determined to see that creation must be literal 24 hour days. Without that determination as a necessity, the opposing viewpoint seems entirely more supportable.

In the end, Christians that want to see literal 24 hour days will prefer to read someone like Hovind. Christians who give credit to science measurements of the age of the universe are going to prefer someone like Ross.

I have read and considered both and I am not sure who is right or wrong but I, for one, have been more compelled by Ross' arguments than Hovind's.

Sprittibee said...

Future Geek: Without God, there is no future or purpose. I mean, really... if we all just live and die, who cares? I won't be punished any worse than death, right? If there's no God, why have kids anyway? All there is in life has no meaning - only pain and death for a future.

Martin and Didaskalos: I'm not just doing the series for you two. I think this issue is very misunderstood and most people don't want to spend the time researching this issue. Some don't feel that it is important, however, for the reasons I stated in my post, I don't agree. I wanted to take notes and put the evidence out in an easy format for those who don't have two or three hours to spare watching the Hovind Videos. Contrary to what has been said about him, I find his research entirely plausible and he documents all of his sources.

Many of the scientists that he quotes are not in any way related to his seminars. There are a great many scientists that believe in Young Earth. Hovind's theory about how the Ice Age happened is really fabulous. I also applaud him for his work in showing all the lies in our text-books which have been re-printed even up to this very day knowingly leading kids astray.

Thanks for all your comments.

Future Geek said...

S,

My question is not, how would you feel if there was no God. My question was, What is the good thing to do in the case of global warming if there is no god. What is ethical, assuming that god is not going to come back and rescue us all?

You say that life would have no meaning without your god. If somehow, miraculously, it was proven to you that there was no god, would you just kill yourself and your children because there is no purpose? Or would you still try to give them the best life possible?

Sprittibee said...

Future Geek - I have a question for YOU. What is life's purpose if there is not a higher calling? What can be the purpose of life if we evolved from pond slime? How can you come to any sort of ethical standard when life is based on natural selection? Where do values come from?

Of course I would not commit suicide or kill my children. I can tell you this, though... I have absolutely NO doubt that I am right and there IS a God. What happens if YOU are not right in your own assumptions? Death is one thing, but eternal punishment is a total other issue.

It seems wierd that you (being the one who does not believe in God) used the words ethical and miraculously in your question. I have heard it said that "God doesn't believe in athiests", but I beg to differ... He loves each of us - even if we don't love Him back. Maybe He will miraculously prove to you that He does exist. I'll pray that for you and yours.

Peace,
Heather

Future Geek said...

Let me say first that this is all kind of academic. Your opinion is your opinion, and in the grand scheme it's not much. It is the weight of popular opinion that will determine if something is done about global warming, and the opinions of individuals are just drops in the bucket here.

However, popular opinion is made up of individual opinions, so please humor me in this intellectual exercise. If you are just getting annoyed with me, just let me know and I will leave you alone.

Now, you still haven't really answered my question.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is how I understand your position:

1. there is doubt about global warming

2. If global warming is caused by humans it would be smaller than god, therefore god could deal with it, or else it's his plan.

3. Therefore, global warming is not a big deal.

So, my question is, is it moral to take a position based on this sort of faith, when if you are wrong the consequences could be quite dire?

For example: your child has to get to the other side of a river. The easiest way to do it is to cross a certain bridge. An engineer has told you that the bridge is not safe. Your religious authority tells you that you have to cross that bridge, it is a religious duty.

What is the morally right choice in this situation?

I am fully prepared to burn in hell for eternity if I'm wrong.

On the other hand, what if you are wrong about global warming? What if millions of people die from catastrophic climate change? Will your inaction or denial have been a good thing or a bad thing?

On the one hand, there is the possibility that I burn in hell. On the other, there is a possibility that millions die.

Didaskalos said...

Future Geek, I know I am not directly involved in your interchange with Sprittibee but I think there is one part in your question that you might consider revising.

I am a person of faith so would easily answer your question with "yes, I would absolutely cross the bridge at the bequest of my religious authority (assuming the true authority was God) as I would absolutely trust God over the engineer."

The difference in my humble opinion is that I don't see God making the claim that Global Warming in a non-issue because he is powerful enough to overcome it.

If we accept the proposition for a moment that there is an all powerful God, one might conclude that he is powerful enough to handle everything - therefore any action by His creation is pointless to discuss. For instance, God is big enough to handle poverty so why do some Christians get so worked up about poverty? The obvious answer is that God more often works through his people than a true "miracle" if his people are willing to be his hands and feet on this planet.

The more accurate question (in my mind) for the average Christian is... 'since you believe God's goal is to keep his people from harm, would you ignore the warnings of the engineer based on the assumption that God will work the miraculous to keep you safe in a situation where you were already warned it was not safe'

I would contend God did not promise that he would keep us from any possibility of physical harm (particularly in situations were natural law will dictate harm is likely) so it is wise to listen to the warnings of the engineer.

In the same context, I do not see where God promised to erase our irresponsiblity as stewards of the planet. Rather than making the leap to assuming God will miraculously fix our irresponsiblity, I will err on the side of caution and responsible stewardship - particularly since my decision affects more than just myself.

Martin LaBar said...

Future Geek, you have come pretty close to stating an example of
Pascal's wager in your
latest comment. You may be interested in reading about it.

Future Geek said...

Martin,

Thanks, I'm aware of Pascal's wager but it's worth doing some more reading about it.

I am particularly fascinated by this question of faith and global warming because it seems to me to be a unique ethical dilemma, at least in magnitude. If you choose the sort of faith that Sprittibee seems to have chosen (Sprittibee, correct me if I'm wrong about your beliefs) then you had better be right, or else your choice has an impact on the lives of millions (theoretically, as I said. This is all academic. It only moves outside of the realm of theory if the vast majority of Americans share Sprittibee's view, and public policy is affected accordingly).


My question to Sprittibee seems to be almost the opposite of Pascal's wager, in a way.

Didaskalos, thanks for your input. I think the majority of Christians see it the way you do. My question was ill formed, even after the third (or is it the fourth?) try. It's a hard concept for me to communicate properly - but the fault is my own if I haven't said what I mean to say.

Sprittibee said...

Future Geek:

Again, when you say "determine if something is done about global warming" you assume that there 1. Is a problem, and that 2. We can fix it. If the problem is the sun, we can't fix it. And if the problem is man (which I still highly doubt), I am not sure YOUR suggestions at trying to fix the problem would be much different than mine. I am NOT against good stewardship (wise use of resources, cars that burn biofuels, restrictions on waste, etc.). Just what is it that you are proposing that we humans use to fix the problem that you think I won't agree with? My problem is "billions of dollars of research" given to people who might possibly use it to line their pockets while coming up with nothing more than we already know... while the money could have been used for ACTUAL improvements on vehicles, ACTUAL improvements on sewage or water plants, ACTUAL improvements on toxic waste or oil spill clean-up, etc. My problem is with those who would turn this into a media frenzy and make us all freak out and start pouring money (or having it sucked via lawmakers) into a shaky "science" that may or may not be able to do ANYTHING at all to correct the "problem" (if it exists). I am not sure that you and I disagree entirely... just on origins and faith, maybe... but not on stewardship.

As for the bridge, I would take God's advice, but I'd certainly be praying the whole way across it. I think the Christian faith is much like the scenerio you gave. Christians face much persecution (most other countries more than here!) and mockery. To be a Christian is to swim upstream against a raging current. It is not easy, and it is not always the most pleasant course. Most people do not understand it if they don't have faith of their own. It stands to reason why you wouldn't understand mine. I appreciate your tactfulness and courtesy, however. I sincerely hope you, nor millions of others, do NOT rot in hell. I also hope that the global warming thing is NOT what it seems and that God is merciful (as He has been in the past) with us about our poor use of his resources. ;)

Didaskalos: Glad to see that you would also walk across the bridge. Like you, I agree with trying to prevent the need for punishment in the resource arena. I just don't believe that God would punish the entire planet for something that 1. only 2% of the population was accused of causing, 2. was something most people had no idea they were doing wrong, and 3. was something that humans may or may not be able to do anything about other than recycling/rethinking our fuel sources. It just doesn't make sense to me biblically.

Didaskalos said...

I don't understand the sentiment that God would be "punishing" the entire planet. Irregardless of the number of people involved or the fact that ignorace does not preclude harm to others, the few can significantly impact the many. If this is not true, why are we so concerned about North Korea?

I understand that you do not see a clear correlation between man's actions and global warming. However, this is what many in the scientific community have raised as a serious concern. Future Geek does raise a very interesting ethical challenge. You are taking it on faith that mankind's actions are not impacting the environment. However, if your position of faith is not correct, many many others might be impacted.

Is God "punishing" many in the world with coronary disease because mankind has been able to make "tastier" and more convienient but considerably less healthy food? I would contend that he designed a wonderfully balanced system and mankind and technology often harm that wonderfully designed system. Case in point, although New Testament Christians have the "freedom" to eat what they choose, I beleive all would be much healthier by following the dietary guidelines God outlined in Levitical Law. Our divergence from God's design might very well be having an impact on our health. I don't see this as God's punishment any more than I would see my son burning his hand on the stove for ignoring my warnings about its dangers as my punishment of his action.

I agree with you to a point about the money spent. Every issue raised has to be weighed against what else we could be doing with those resources. I also agree that I would rather spend my money on practical measures to address responsible stewardship of the planet.

The problem is, without the research being done, science does not have the opportunity to validate your belief that it is unrelated to human irresponsiblity. The opposing viewpoint seems to be to avoid the issue taking it on faith that it is a non-issue. That seems a awfully big risk to take.

Considering the current "fiscially responsible" US budget, what would you feel is a reasonable amount of money to fund research to determine the causes of Global Warming?

Future Geek said...

Again, when you say "determine if something is done about global warming" you assume that there 1. Is a problem, and that 2. We can fix it. If the problem is the sun, we can't fix it. And if the problem is man (which I still highly doubt), I am not sure YOUR suggestions at trying to fix the problem would be much different than mine.

As far as I can tell, there are two different things going on in this conversation. One is a debate about whether global warming is happening. The second is a debate about whether belief should play a role in your decision about global warming.

There is plenty of evidence that global warming is happening and that it is cause by greenhouse gases. Most of the climate change deniers are paid by ExxonMobil through thinktanks - see sourcewatch.org for information about that, or exxonsecrets.org, or Deltoid. For evidence that it is happening, check out illconsidered.blogspot.com and realclimate.org. I don't see any point in arguing with you that it is happening and that it is caused by humans. If you look around enough, you'll figure that out.

Now, I am interested in the second part of the debate: whether your faith should play a part in the debate. I am very interested in this quote of yours:

I just don't believe that God would punish the entire planet for something that 1. only 2% of the population was accused of causing, 2. was something most people had no idea they were doing wrong, and 3. was something that humans may or may not be able to do anything about other than recycling/rethinking our fuel sources. It just doesn't make sense to me biblically.

That's why I ask, what if you are wrong? In some sense you are making this decision based on the evidence you have. In another sense, you are allowing your belief to influence your decision. I still think you haven't answered that question the way I expected you to. I think we are talking past each other here though.



I am NOT against good stewardship (wise use of resources, cars that burn biofuels, restrictions on waste, etc.).

I'm glad to hear it, and I read that in your post. I'm more interested in the ethical question of making a decision based on belief, and less interested in persuading you that you are wrong about the environment. I think you're on the right track.

Just what is it that you are proposing that we humans use to fix the problem that you think I won't agree with?

Look into Stabilization wedges, by R. Socolow of Princeton. A little bit of this, a little bit of that will go a long way.

My problem is "billions of dollars of research" given to people who might possibly use it to line their pockets while coming up with nothing more than we already know... while the money could have been used for ACTUAL improvements on vehicles, ACTUAL improvements on sewage or water plants, ACTUAL improvements on toxic waste or oil spill clean-up, etc. My problem is with those who would turn this into a media frenzy and make us all freak out and start pouring money (or having it sucked via lawmakers) into a shaky "science" that may or may not be able to do ANYTHING at all to correct the "problem" (if it exists).

Where are you getting your information about scientists and environmentalists? Nuclear energy has received 28 times more tax dollars than solar has since 1940 - and no new nuke plants have been built since the 70's, because it's too big of a risk and too big of an investment. I'm with you a hundred percent - and I'd say most environmental organizations are with you too - on your emphasis on actual solutions.

As for the science, as I've said, it's not shaky at all.

As for the bridge, I would take God's advice, but I'd certainly be praying the whole way across it. I think the Christian faith is much like the scenerio you gave. Christians face much persecution (most other countries more than here!) and mockery. To be a Christian is to swim upstream against a raging current. It is not easy, and it is not always the most pleasant course. Most people do not understand it if they don't have faith of their own. It stands to reason why you wouldn't understand mine.

Eh, try not standing up at a public meeting when there is a prayer. How many openly atheist elected officials can you name? Christians are not as persecuted as some people would like you to think. Read this, by a friend of mine who is a Quaker.

I am not sure that you and I disagree entirely... just on origins and faith, maybe... but not on stewardship.

I think you might be right.

Scribe said...

It's apparent to me from some of the remarks in this post and subsequent comments made by this blog's author that I have offended her. For that, I sincerely apologize and ask forgiveness.

It was never my intent to "drag" someone unwillingly into a "debate". I mistakenly assumed that by the author voluntarily leaving a comment and asking a direct question of me that an answer and responses was not only welcome, but actually requested. I did that and used the name of the person making the comment (the author of this blog) for clarity so that other readers could read the comment in full and also utilize the voluntarily provided link to this blog to see what else she had to say.

That is where my "dragging" anyone into a debate ended. Didaskalos, a fellow contributor, after reading the exchange and seeing that the author of this blog voluntarily continued and expanded the debate, decided to post his own answers to some of the issues raised. I hope that I didn't unfairly question the faith or Christianity of author of this blog, or inaccurately and foolishly ascribe beliefs to that author without any foundation. That was not my intent.

I can assure you that there was no official meeting of the contributors to Independent Christian Voice with an agenda to compel and/or "drag" certain readers into a debate they did not wish to engage in.

I sincerely regret having caused such distress for the author of this blog and for other readers of this blog who may have been similarly offended. I promise to never mention, publish or broadcast the name of the author of this blog at any point in the future. Again, I truly and humbly apologize.

Sprittibee said...

Didaskalos:

"I don't understand the sentiment that God would be "punishing" the entire planet. Irregardless of the number of people involved"

I don't understand it either. I think that when the flood happened, Noah was the ONLY one who found favor in God's eyes. I would say the odds are that there are more than JUST ONE here today that are somewhat pleasing Him. I can hope and pray that I'm doing a good enough job to at least warrant a ticket out when the fire comes. But there's always room for improvement.

"I believe all would be much healthier by following the dietary guidelines God outlined in Levitical Law"

I agree with you on this to some extent. I rarely eat Pork, and we avoid fats and are not big meat eaters (although we do enjoy a burger like the next guy now and then). We even eat turkey bacon. I'm not against eating healthy (we try and avoid refined sugars, flours, and artificial sweeteners and colors/flavors)... but I don't feel that eating meat is against God's law, either. God gave Peter a vision of the unclean animals that were open to eat when the gentiles were open to the gospel through the Spirit. I don't think we can point fingers at anyone if we are taking in our meals giving thanks to the Lord for them. To his own master each man stands or falls - Romans 14. I do know that when I pray over my hamburger at McDonalds, though, that I am making a choice to eat something that isn't good for me. ;) I never said I was perfect.

"I agree with you to a point about the money spent. Every issue raised has to be weighed against what else we could be doing with those resources."

Great. I really don't think we disagree here about much other than Jesus... but I certainly don't mind talking with you - and maybe He'll grow on you. :)

"Considering the current "fiscally responsible" US budget, what would you feel is a reasonable amount of money to fund research to determine the causes of Global Warming?"

I have no idea... like I said, I'm no Scientist... and although this issue interests me and I may have my opinion, I certainly wouldn't want to be the guy on the Hill. What a sucky time to be president, don't you agree? With wars and rumors of wars all around - I'm really glad it isn't me in the Whitehouse. Of course, I'm not against ANY RESEARCH being done. I certainly think it's worthy of looking into. I just don't think we should panic and start jumping off cliffs or ignoring other responsibilities.

Future Geek:

"a debate about whether global warming is happening."

I don't deny that some scientists have noted a slight change in the temperature, some glacial melting, and some lake increases on the poles. I'm not saying there's absolutely NO reason for ANY concern. I'm just trying not to join in with some kind of mass panic that might influence me to throw my brain and wallet out the window. I am not sure that freakish discovery channel shows and constant media frenzy is a great idea on this one. People are sheep. They are likely to stampede. There is still a jury out and AIG calls the science "fuzzy". An article from their site ("Global Warming - Is it Happening?") says "some researchers point out that analysis of actual measurements of surface temperatures have shown no warming trend at all"... and after admitting that NASA photos of over 2,000 glaciers indicate that most are shrinking, it states... "Some think this may be part of a natural cycle (Greenland was much greener c. 1000 AD)." So, while I agree there should be some research, I would certainly not close down other much needed research to fund only this.

"a debate about whether belief should play a role in your decision about global warming."

I'm not sure I understand what you mean here? My faith plays an active role in everything I do and say. It is the window I see my world through. I think being a Christian actually increases my desire to be more aware of how I manage my resources and makes me more loving and kind to others. I certainly would not want an extremist environmentalist in charge of the research, though. I think it goes to far to say that we are lower than the animals and "‘defective’ humans" should be used "in scientific tests as opposed to testing things on healthy animals" (Frey, R. & G., Journal of Medical Ethics 9:94—97, 1983.).

What do you make of this blog post and the article it links?

"what if you are wrong?"

What if I'm wrong about the climate or about Jesus? I've already told ya that I have no doubts about Jesus. As for the climate, I'm not sure I've made my mind up one way or the other, so I am quite sure I COULD be wrong once I do. It won't be the first time I've been wrong in my life. I certainly hope that doing all I can to be a good steward is enough to help if there really is a problem. According to some doomsdayists, some believe we are already "too late" and the "end is near!"

"I'm more interested in the ethical question of making a decision based on belief, and less interested in persuading you that you are wrong about the environment. I think you're on the right track."

Huh? I'm right on track? Then what exactly are you asking me to clarify? :) Are you really just wanting to see if there are any cracks in my faith in God?

"Where are you getting your information about scientists and environmentalists?"

I am sorry to say, I don't follow the news as well as I should. With educating a third and second grader and keeping a household running, I do the work of many. I research things in spurts (as time permits and usually it doesn't), and should certainly NOT be relied upon at THE source of breaking scientific news. However, I don't feel that I'm unable to make a intelligent decision based on information I have gathered. Like I said in my post, even though we don't believe in evolution, we still teach it to our kids because they need to know what is being taught. I'm not a 'head-in-the-hole' type homeschooler. I just try and make use of my time as wisely as I can.

"I'm with you a hundred percent - and I'd say most environmental organizations are with you too - on your emphasis on actual solutions."

Great. Then we can agree to agree.

"Eh, try not standing up at a public meeting when there is a prayer. How many openly atheist elected officials can you name? Christians are not as persecuted as some people would like you to think."

My husband experienced a similar "persecution" in his last college class. He was the only Christian in the room brave enough to raise a hand when asked a question about 6-Day Creation in the class. Even among Christians, there are many differences... which is sad. When I made the comment about persecution, I was not thinking only of here, but of around the world. I can't name an elected official that is atheist, but I can certainly name many who are not in line with my belief system (and to me there are only two kinds of people in the world - believers and non-believers). There are plenty of non-believers in positions of power. Even a few of those websites you linked to were pretty openly hostile to evangelical Christians. I also think that anyone who truly believes in 6-Day Creation has absolutely NO option other than homeschooling and maybe a select few Christian Schools to offer their children. To me, paying 10K a year for a kid to get a private education or having to homeschool them without any sort of government money (while I have to pay 4700$ in property taxes that goes to the school district anyway) is a form of persecution. I don't begrudge homeschooling, I actually LOVE it. But there again, it has a high cost on our finances and although I am willing to pay it... I would be much happier if my tax dollars were either 1. partially refunded because we don't send our kids to public schools, and/or 2. put to better use and certainly not linked in any way with any association that further promotes evolution. I think that is only fair since non-believing libs don't want to fund or pay for religious training in prisons or the boy-scouts, right?

Scribe:

"I hope that I didn't unfairly question the faith or Christianity of author of this blog, or inaccurately and foolishly ascribe beliefs to that author without any foundation. That was not my intent."

Your initial post was certainly not what got under my skin. I made the comment to you "Do you believe in evolution?" because I wanted to know where you were coming from after reading your post (I had just come from reading the article "Christian reluctance to jump on global warming bandwagon attributed to skepticism of evolution"). The comment that bothered me was the one that Didaskalos made:

"It takes quite a bit to get under my skin but I have to admit that this interchange bothered me. It bothered me as I see one person set up another by asking an “off topic” question for the purpose of dismissing the central issue addressed in the post."

...but as you can plainly see by our lengthy conversations here, there were no hard feelings or grudges that weren't easily brushed off and forgiven.

I certainly wasn't trying to set anyone up with my initial comment as Didaskalos assumed previously. I also initially thought that your blog was by one author (as I had never been there before and had only stopped in because your post caught my eye - probably from Technorati?), so any comments you might have gotten the impression I was miffed about could have been directed rather at Didaskalos (because he had just posted the "lengthy response to my lengthy response") when I made mention of being "dragged" into a "debate". Either way, I had no idea there were more than one of you contributing until this comments section discussion began... and upon meeting and talking with both Martin and Didaskalos herein, even though we have not always seen eye to eye - I don't hold a grudge about anything at all. So, please... don't feel that I'm upset at anyone and all is forgiven on my end, and hopefully you will forgive me if I have insulted or otherwise hurt your feelings as well.

Christians who don't agree on the age of the earth can all still love each other, regardless. Can't we?

...
whew!!! *wiping brow*
...

Holy cow, you guys are really making me work here. I actually typed this in another program so I could spell check it. You should feel so honored. ;)

Sprittibee said...

I re-read what I wrote and found a very unfortunant error.

" I really don't think we disagree here about much other than Jesus... but I certainly don't mind talking with you - and maybe He'll grow on you. :)"

This comment was made to Didaskalos, who most certainly is a Christian because he posts at The Independent Christian Voice. My bad. I was thinking I was responding to Future Geek who has told me he was an athiest. Sorry! I'll try and keep my commenters seperate better next time. Maybe I should get in bed now? It is 11:22, after all.

Martin LaBar said...

I haven't been able to download the Hovind video, either, and it's a browser problem (unless it's a problem with the Hovind website, which is possible) not a problem with Media Player, or some such. It never starts downloading. I use Firefox, and don't want to go back to Explorer, which might work.

Didaskalos said...

"I don't understand the sentiment that God would be "punishing" the entire planet. Irregardless of the number of people involved"

I don't understand it either. I think that when the flood happened, Noah was the ONLY one who found favor in God's eyes. I would say the odds are that there are more than JUST ONE here today that are somewhat pleasing Him. I can hope and pray that I'm doing a good enough job to at least warrant a ticket out when the fire comes. But there's always room for improvement.


So, can I assume you do feel that if greenhouse gases are a part of a global climate change and that if that global climate change brings about an increase in destructive storms (such as hurricanes), the destruction and loss of life from that storm could be correctly attributed to punishment from God?

Out of curiosity, do you believe the destruction found in New Orleans was a punishment from God?

Thank you for the clarification regarding the "only difference being Jesus" comment. My faith in Jesus is the #1 thing in my life and even when it is a case of mistaken identity, no one likes to have their faith questioned.

By the by, that was the basis for my irritation in my previous response on ICV. Whether I read too much into it or not, I read your "being Christian, as ICV proclaims to be" statement as setting up a dichotomy and an indirect challege to that proclamation. Furthermore, I believed you made this assumption (based on your post) because you ascribed a belief in the theories of macro-evolution (particularly Darwinian evolution) to Scribe (and ICV) that were simply untrue.

What I see as an unfortunate truth today is that Christians like to ask a couple of wedge oriented questions to determine "where a person lines up" as a person with "values". Among the short list of catalyst questions include: gay marriage, abortion and public funding of faith based positions (including how science taught in schools does not match up with the bible).

My experience over the past few years has been that I have to offer a very narrow answer to these questions to be considered a "true Christian" by my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

I will not offer my views in this post on these topics but I will say that I think most Christians have a very narrowly expressed viewpoint which has the very real negative impact of God's people being effective at spreading the Good News message. Rather than engaging in a dialogue, many Christians would rather separate the chafe from the wheat as it were and dismiss who they determine is chafe.

We might not agree in the end on the length of days addressed in the creation account (although, as I have stated previously, I have not taken a strong position either way), but I think it is unfortunate that some Christians (like Kent Hovind) make this out to be a central issue. It is only key if it means one must discount the authority of scripture (which I do not). Kent Hovind would assume that I do because I do not see the same clarity in interpretation to the passage that he does and since I don’t come to the same clear conclusion, I do not accept the bible as authoritative. Kent Hovind is not the standard so I am not concerned with whether my beliefs line up with his. I will seek out the teachings of the Holy Spirit and formulate my beliefs based in his leanings on my heart and my mind. Simply because my conviction might end in a different place from Kent’s should not make my, or any other Christian’s faith suspect.

Romans 14 - Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters…Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand…Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way…Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification…So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.

Sprittibee said...

Didaskalos: You are welcome for the clarification. Sorry for the mistake.

You wrote: "So, can I assume you do feel that if greenhouse gases are a part of a global climate change and that if that global climate change brings about an increase in destructive storms (such as hurricanes), the destruction and loss of life from that storm could be correctly attributed to punishment from God?"

Honestly, this is speculation. I believe that God loves us equally, punishes us equally, and is in control. I believe that all natural events are either 1. caused by him or 2. allowed by him. (Book of Job and Luke where it talks about the birds not falling without providence) So, while I would not get on a pulpit and say that someone else's sins caused their demise, I would also not conclude that every natural event had "nothing to do with God" or that it "was because of an entire group of people". I am sure Christians and Non-Christians alike suffered in the New Orleans floods. I myself was the recipient to THREE such disasterous floods while living in Houston. I have had 2 feet of water in my house before, so I can completely relate.

I think your quote of Romans 14 is a nice way to end this discussion. I have said before that while I feel that 6-Day Creation is my stance, I do not feel that it is a salvation issue. I have also said that I subscribe to the biblical belief that we should all be good stewards of the resources of this planet. Scientific research and real solutions to dealing with toxic waste and ozone depletion are good ways to start, but should not be made into Gods of themselves. After all, it is not Science that will save us.

Thanks for your comments, everyone!

Anonymous said...

If you are not willing to entertain the ideas of both sides and present them without obvious bias, you should not be a home schooler, you deprive your children of the ability to choose for themselves and produce another narrow minded north american christian

remember that God speaks from all books, not just the few you wish to subscribe to

Sprittibee said...

First of all, anonymous... this debate was over two months ago. Secondly, I have not even covered global warming with my children in "school". Thirdly, they have seen all the same media that I have about the matter (slanted media news), so they are quite capable of forming their own opinions. Fourthly, I do NOT subscribe to the belief that God speaks through all books. This is your opinion.

Seems to me by your comment that you have a pretty narrow view of North Americans and Christians. Sounds like your comment is more out of hate than concern for my children. You can spew that kind of stuff on your own blog (if you have one).

 

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