NEW BOOKLET: A Christian Perspective on the Environment: How the Catholic Pope and Other Leaders Are Uniting the World’s Religions Through Environmentalism by Roger Oakland is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract. The Booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is part of the content of the booklet. To order copies of A Christian Perspective on the Environment, click here.
By Roger Oakland
(Below is an extract from the booklet.)
In July of 2016, I was invited to present a paper on the environment from a Christian perspective to the International Symposium on Energy and Environmental Management and Technology held in Rome, Italy. The following information you are about to read is that paper and relates to the issue of the environment, from a biblical and Christian viewpoint.
Although I do not consider myself to be an authority on the subject of the environment, and certainly others are more qualified to speak on this issue than I, there are a few areas where I feel I am able to contribute.
First, I have been a Christian for nearly four decades—my conversion to Christianity coming at the age of thirty. Second, because I have a background in biology and agriculture, I have always had a keen interest in environmental issues. And third, as a Christian, I believe it is the responsibility of every human being to be concerned about our planet and the ecological relationship we have with all living creatures that God has created.
Throughout my life, I have made a number of observations about the past, the present, and where society seems to be headed in the future. I grew up in western Canada on a wheat farm and hold an active interest in this farm to this day. I was educated during the ’50s and ’60s through the Canadian public-school system, then later at the University of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan. During these years, like my colleagues, I was brought up in the educational mindset that taught that our world could be understood from a purely natural and mechanistic worldview. The concept that “God is dead” and that “science and technology” will bring utopia to the earth, were two foundational ideas in my belief system during that period of time.
By the’70s and ’80s, it became obvious to many, including me, that a paradigm shift in thinking was underway. It was apparent that many of the byproducts of our technology had the potential for destroying us—the pollution in the atmosphere, our lakes, rivers, oceans, and the soil. Not only was our planet being threatened, our bodies were being pumped full of molecular time bombs that silently tick away. Even more significant was the fact that humans had developed the potential to completely annihilate the entire planet through weapons of mass destruction.
By the early ‘80s, it became apparent to many that there needed to be a solution to the overwhelming problems we were facing as a global community. Scientists described global crisis situations such as global warming and the ozone depletion that would have an effect on the entire planet. It was determined by experts in the field that these global problems, if they were going to be resolved, needed global solutions that could be implemented internationally.
Today, most people recognize we are at a major crossroad in earth’s history. Few would argue that environmental problems need to be discussed and management solutions proposed; otherwise the future of life on our planet as we know it could be in jeopardy.
Over the past 35 years, some have been suggesting that we should look to spiritual solutions for motivation and a method to resolve the problems that the naturalistic worldview has created. For example, Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual leader who has held weekly meditation meetings at the United Nations headquarters in New York since 1970 has stated:
Science and spirituality must be united. They need each other. Without the one, the other is incomplete, almost meaningless. Together they are not only supremely complete but also divinely meaningful.1
Former Vice President Al Gore has been one voice outspoken about his desire to have people see the connection between spirituality and the environment. In his widely distributed book Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, Gore presented the point that “only a radical rethinking of our relationship with nature can save the earth’s ecology for future generations.”2
In a chapter of his book titled “Environmentalism of the Spirit,” Gore called for a “new ecological awareness”3 and the consideration of a “new faith in the future.”4 He suggested it was imperative to call for a “spiritual response”5 to the global environmental problems we are facing. He challenged readers to consider “evolution” as the basis of an ecumenical faith that he suggested could unite science and religion as a means of saving our planet from ecological disaster. He stated:
And if we could find a way to understand our own connection to the earth—all the earth—we might recognize the danger of destroying so many living species and disrupting the climate balance.6
Then developing this idea further Gore suggested:
The long and intricate process by which evolution helped shape the complex relationship of all living and nonliving things may be explicable in purely scientific terms, but the simple fact of the living world and our place on it evokes awe, wonder, a sense of mystery—a spiritual response—when one reflects on its deeper meaning.7
The Parliament of the World Religion’s and “Mother Earth”
Now, fast forwarding, I would like to quote from a report written by author Carl Teichrib regarding his personal experience at the Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Salt Lake City October of 2015. In the introduction of his article, he wrote about his observations at the opening session:
“What if the world were a place where it was effortless to recognize our common humanity, our shared virtues and concerns, and our collective devotion to the Earth?” asked Rabbi Amy Eilberg. “What if the whole world, all seven billion of us, were like this?”
Ojibwe “Grandmother” Mary Lyons told the multitude, “When you breathe in, you breathe in a breath of Mother Earth. And when you exhale, those are your ancestors.”
New York Times best-selling author on spirituality, Marianne Williamson, wowed the crowd with her charisma: “Every woman here who is a healer is a priestess. Every woman here who is a teacher or an educator is a priestess.” Her call to sacred femininity energized the great crowd, bringing them to their feet again and again during Williamson’s eight-minute speech.
“A Divine Goddess is not just beautiful,” Marianne exhorted, “she’s fierce. And when you mess with her babies . . . and you mess with her earth, she’s had enough of that [expletive word]. And we’re here on her behalf . . . you know what to do, go do it.”
The response to Marianne wasn’t a standing ovation. It was more. Women wept, danced, raised their hands, shouted and whistled and clapped. Someone yelled out, “Marianne for President!” Drums pounded in affirmation. I have no doubt that some of the attending men poured out their adoration too, as the Plenary was open to all, but where I was sitting, the male gender was largely absent.8
The observations made by Teichrib at the plenary session of the Salt Lake City Conference is very revealing. It seems a paradigm shift is underway. This “collective shift” towards a one-world religion designed to save the planet has reached the point of no return. The avalanche has already been unleashed towards a global government forcing a global religion. Saving the planet from ourselves is the impetus. For those who want to remain on the sidelines, the environment police have sounded the alarm—either get with the program and jump on board the environmental bus to save the planet, or you will be thrown under the bus without any warning.
Climatic change was a major topic of discussion according to the first-hand testimony of Carl Teichrib at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City regarding the relationship of the environment to the coming one-world religion based on the common belief of evolution. One thing that was evident throughout the conference is the belief that evolution is the uniting factor and the only hope for mankind. In other words, it is an evolutionary imperative for man to recognize the dangers facing the planet and take the next step towards godhood or suffer the consequences. Teichrib reported:
Climate change was another major theme, and the Climate Plenary started with a multi-faith children’s choir followed by opening words from Marc Barasch, founder of the Green World Campaign: “We’re here today to explore the connection between the life of the spirit and the fate of the Earth… We stand as one people under the same Tree of Life… and we are seeking, each in our own way, to harmonize a profound sense of oneness and wonder with the urgency of our times, so that Tree will continue to flourish.”
Karenna Gore, the Director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and daughter to Al Gore, was the Climate Plenary moderator. Her father . . . sent a special video message to those in attendance, reminding us that Pope Francis had earlier called on global action to “solve the climate crisis.”
Archbishop Bernardito Auza, holding the office of Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, represented the Catholic Church to the Parliament’s plenary on climate change. To this end, Auza noted Pope Francis’ connection between the “true right of the environment” and “social justice,” and that the Pope views this within the context of “integral ecology.” Auza then read a selection from the Pope’s encyclical On the Care of Our Common Home. “When we speak of the ‘environment,’ what we really mean is a relationship existing between nature and the society which lives in it. Nature cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves or as a mere setting in which we live. We are part of nature, included in it and thus in constant interaction with it.”
As the Archbishop explained, “the Earth, our Sister, mistreated and abused, is lamenting.” What we need, he said in reference to the Pope’s green vision, is an “ecological conversion.”
Chief Arvol Lookinghorse, another plenary speaker, told the crowd that we are at a crossroad—face the consequences of environment destruction, or “unite spiritually in this global community.” Lookinghorse challenged the audience: “Mother Earth is sick and has a fever, so . . . stop the fracking, stop that KXL, stop abusing Mother Earth.”9
This idea that “Mother Earth” is sick is strangely familiar in light of the Bible and also history. Throughout biblical history, mankind has always leaned toward this direction of worshipping the creation and not the Creator. For example, Paul warns about this in the letter he wrote to the Romans as recorded in the first chapter. He stated quite clearly:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (vs. 16-17)
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (vs. 18-19)
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (vs. 20-21)
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen (vs. 22-25)
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (vs. 26-32)
The Christian View (And Responsibility) of the Environment
First, it is important to clear up a misnomer regarding what some people think Christians believe about the environment. Based upon Genesis 1:26 and 27 (two verses where God instructed mankind to have dominion over the creation), some say the Bible gives man the mandate to do whatever he wants, in whatever way he wants, thus having no respect for the planet and the ecosystem.
Often this argument has been used to blame the “Christian worldview” as the reason for our ecological problems. In response to this, let me say that I have had the opportunity to travel to several of the countries that have enforced atheism and have outlawed Christianity for several decades. The disregard for the environment in these areas has been deplorable. Christianity should not be blamed for environmental genocide; the problem has been created by mankind’s selfish lust for power and greed.
The biblical Christian view on the environment is very simple: God, the Creator of all things, did indeed create all things. Although there are some who would try to say that God used evolution as a process to create, such a view is a contradiction of terms. Evolution, by definition, is a natural process that does not require supernatural intervention. Naturalistic evolution is based upon time and chance—natural selection by natural direction rather than supernatural intervention that requires an intelligent Creator Designer God. I am convinced that the complexity I see within nature cannot be explained by fortuitous events that accumulate over vast periods of time driven by random chance.
The Christian view is that creation is the handiwork of the Creator. Although the original creation was perfect, we now live in an imperfect world. When man allows his greed to supersede environmental need, this degeneration and contamination accelerates further.
As well, the Christian view is that the Creator is sovereign and eternal while man is not. God is the Creator of all things, and He is separate from His creation. What’s more, creation is not to be worshipped but respected while God is to be worshipped and adored. In other words, God created everything, but everything is not God.
The Psalmist in the Bible wrote, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalms 139:14). A Christian believer who truly believes that God is the Creator of all things has a reverence and awe for God and His creation. Because of this reverence and accountability, there comes a responsibility. This responsibility should reflect on the way we treat other people, the environment, and all things that exist because there is a God.
Pope Francis’ Interspiritual “Global Common Good”
While I am not a Roman Catholic, I do respect and care for Roman Catholics. As fellow members of the human race, we should all love and respect others and treat one another the way we would want to be treated. Likewise, everyone should also have the moral right to examine the beliefs of others just as we should examine our own beliefs. Otherwise, like the blind leading the blind, we will all end up falling into the pit. Unfortunately, the one-world religion will be close-minded to a pursuit of truth.
For example, in order to be scientific and reasonable, we need to examine the claims of others and test the beliefs carefully. If we do not do that, blind faith can lead to a blind faith that can actually lead towards a cultish mentality. Every reasonable person knows that cults are often very dangerous as people can be blindly driven towards false conclusions that often end in disaster. Those who refuse to follow some of the cultish teachings are often told to leave the cult or are excommunicated by the cult leaders, and even their families do not accept them any longer. This, of course, is very devastating for those who have left the cult for another point of view.
Because I study the news from a biblical perspective, it has come to my attention that some very strange teachings have been presented recently in the name of Christianity with regards to saving the planet. For example, it would be important to read the following statement taken from an article titled “Vatican Official Calls for Greater International Effort to Combat Climate Change”:
Addressing the World Health Organization’s annual World Health Assembly, a Vatican official welcomed the call for universal health coverage in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Msgr. Jean-Marie Mupendawatu, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, also called for a greater international effort to combat climate change for the sake of global health.
“With regard to action to combat climate change and its impact on health, my delegation wishes to underscore the need for more political will and strong commitment from civil society in order to reach truly meaningful and effective global agreements on the environment,” he said. “Often international negotiations cannot make significant progress due to positions taken by countries which place their national interests above the global common good.”10
Where will this “greater international effort” for the “global common good” lead? How far will we go? There is one direction it is going that is most evident. At one time, Christian history reveals that Roman Catholicism and Islam were two different religions. Allah was the “God” of Islam, and Roman Catholicism recognized Jehovah as the true God. Now that we have reached the new millennium and there is a desperate need for peace in the world, Islam and Roman Catholicism are joining forces. While this may seem to be unrelated to the environment, there is actually a connection. A one-world government requires a one-world religion. They go hand-in-hand. What’s more, I am convinced this binary partnership can only be forced on society by an electronic system of surveillance that requires global communications.
The environment is also a necessary factor in resolving global warming or global cooling depending on how data is interpreted. One thing for sure is that the climate is changing as we witness more storms, droughts, famines, and floods than ever before while the population increases.
With all this in mind, the head of the world’s largest congregation is taking action. In September of 2015, during Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, he spoke at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, New York. His remarks did not seem to stir much of mainstream media or even leaders in the Christian church, but what he said was significant in understanding the direction that things are going right now. The pope stated:
I would like to express two sentiments for my Muslim brothers and sisters: Firstly, my greetings as they celebrate the feast of sacrifice. I would have wished my greeting to be warmer. My sentiments of closeness in the face of tragedy. The tragedy that they suffered in Mecca.
In this moment, I give assurances of my prayers. I unite myself with you all. A prayer to almighty god, all merciful.11
In an article titled “In New York, Pope Francis Embraced Chrislam and Laid a Foundation for a One World Religion,” one commentator writing about the pope’s speech states:
[Pope Francis] did not choose those words by accident. In Islam, Allah is known as “the all-merciful one.” If you doubt this, just do a Google search. And this is not the first time Pope Francis has used such language. For instance, the following comes from remarks that he made during his very first ecumenical meeting as Pope…
“I then greet and cordially thank you all, dear friends belonging to other religious traditions; first of all, the Muslims, who worship the one God, living and merciful, and call upon Him in prayer, and all of you. I really appreciate your presence: in it I see a tangible sign of the will to grow in mutual esteem and cooperation for the common good of humanity.
“The Catholic Church is aware of the importance of promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions—I wish to repeat this: promoting friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions—it also attests the valuable work that the Pontifical Council for interreligious dialogue performs.”12
While it may seem odd to some that Islam and Roman Catholicism are joining hands, it is becoming more and more acceptable to the millennial generation who have been taught that texting is better than talking and reading. They have also been taught that there is no right or wrong and that Christianity and Islam or any other religion belong in the same camp. Even the gods of the pagans qualify for the new spirituality within the boundary of what is called modern-day Christianity.
The above is part of the content of this booklet. To order this booklet, click here.
1. Sri Chinmoy, Inner and Outer Peace (Montreal, QB: Peace Publishing), p. 32.
2. Al Gore, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company), cover flap.
3. Ibid., p. 262.
4. Ibid., p. 263.
5. Ibid., p. 264.
6. Ibid., p. 264.
7. Ibid., p. 264
8. Carl Teichrib, “Things Change. Fast: A Report on the Parliament of the World’s Religions” (Forcing Change Newsletter, Vol. 9, Issue 10, October 2015), used with permission.
10. “Vatican Official Calls for Greater International Effort to Combat Climate Change” (Catholic World News, May 26, 2016, http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=28408).
11. To read full transcript: http://faith.nd.edu/s/1210/faith/interior.aspx?sid=1210&gid=609&pgid=27546&cid=53261&ecid=53261&crid=0&calpgid=10746&calcid=25903.
12. Michael Snyder, “In New York, Pope Francis Embraced Chrislam and Laid a Foundation for a One World Religion” (http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/in-new-york-pope-francis-embraced-chrislam-and-laid-a-foundation-for-a-one-world-religion, September 27th, 2015), used with permission.
The above is part of the content of this booklet. To order this booklet, click here.