We arrived in Oxford yesterday, and appear to have brought some Idaho winter with us. It was snowing again here this morning, which is apparently somewhat remarkable here. And of course, whenever it snows in some remarkable fashion, in any kind of proximity to me, I rise to say a few words on the important subject of global warming.
I had a friend recently ask me whether I thought it wise for folks in our circles to make a joke out of this kind of thing — “shoveled a foot of global warming off the driveway this morning, har har.” Many non-Christians believe earnestly in what they are pleased to call climate change, and won’t this resistance on our part to the most recent Dictates of Science just close off opportunities to present the gospel?
No, because you cannot present the gospel in a biblical fashion without confronting idolatry, and the whipped up concerns over global warming reveal the idolatries of modern man in quite a striking fashion. A galloping stampede is no time for one cow to mention casually to another cow that Jesus can provide a deep and lasting rationale for our continued panic. “Doesn’t this all seem aimless? Kind of pointless? Allow me to share some literature with you that will help put all this in some perspective, and enable you to gallop more industriously than you used to do.” Christian worldview thinking is not that which urges Christians to be leaders in the stampede.
The State is not our Savior, and the fact that western man is now en masse demanding that the State step in to save us is not an argument for Christians to go along with it in the vain hope of being given an opportunity to say a few words about Jesus later. Look. This is manufactured peril, and it has been ginned up so that our Savior the State can manufacture a deliverance. This means that good Christians everywhere, when they hear the sounds of the “cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick,” should refuse to bow down. We should not seek our opportunities to be gratuitously offensive (Acts 19:37), and when you see your neighbor pointlessly separating his garbage into different colored bins, I am not suggesting that you go over to taunt him. But when they are demanding that we join them in getting whipped up into an idolatrous froth, we should be as deliberately and cheerfully offensive as we can be. No.
The State, the false god of our times, and a preeminent and notable liar, tells me that the ice caps are melting, and that the globe is slowly and inexorably warming, and that the only solution is for us to turn over vast discretionary and regulatory powers to the (suprise!) State. They tell me this when all the evidence that is available to my senses directly goes clean contrary to what they are saying, and what I know from around the world by reading both sides (Prov. 18:17) also leaves their case in shambles. The world may not be cooked, but their arguments certainly are. We have gotten to the sorry pass of the State demanding that I walk by faith, and not by sight.
Meantime, while there is no credible reason to believe that global temperatures are inexorably on the rise, there is every reason to believe that statist interference is on the rise. This is something I can see in palpable ways on a daily basis. And Christians are so compromised with these idols that they apply pressure to those Christians who are not going along. And the Christians who are not bowing down are being told that this is not “a good witness.” Huh.
Christians have bought into the myth of neutrality, and this means that they think that non-believers do not really have a public and idolatrous system of worship and culture. We think, when we present the gospel to non-believers, that we are only showing them the way out of their private sins. That is part of the whole picture, certainly, but it reverses the order that we find in the Bible. In Scripture, we are to challenge the center of their worship first, and after individuals have been baptized and have submitted to Christ, who has replaced the idol — then we teach them how to walk with Him in a manner that subdues their private lusts. But modern evangelism wants new Christians to conquer their private lusts while considering it their continued duty to visit the temples of Aphrodite. And Christians who won’t pay homage there anymore are clearly trouble-makers and a bad witness.