The Pope’s Solution to Climate Change: Is It God’s Solution?
The cries for urgency to address climate change are increasing. Even Pope Francis has proposed solutions. Will his solutions work? What is God’s solution?
Can you hear the hoofbeats of the black horse, the third of four horses and their riders described in the Apocalypse?
The Bible warns that famines are coming, the likes of which the world has never seen. Could we be approaching that time?
The situation is so dire that UN experts have called it a potential “disaster upon a catastrophe.” They are warning of a food crisis that could affect the entire world.
Weather disruptions are having a serious impact on the global food supply. The world is seeing an outbreak of extreme weather conditions that are hard to ignore.
Extreme weather around the world
India, the world’s second largest exporter of wheat, tried to commit to boosting its wheat exports from 2 million tons to 10 million tons. But that was before an extreme heat wave hit, destroying up to 15 percent of its wheat. The government had to make a dramatic policy reversal and ban exports altogether to protect domestic supply.
Europe is also experiencing extreme weather conditions.
This year Italy experienced its worst drought in 70 years, causing waterways to run dry. Italy’s Po River has significantly dried up, putting around 30 percent of the nation’s agriculture and half of its livestock at risk.
Both the U.S. and Canada have recently experienced weather disturbances, making it too wet to plant and too dry to get output. At the end of June, 96 percent of Portugal was classified as being in either “extreme” or “severe” drought. Spain saw its hottest May temperatures in 100 years and a winter rainfall drop to one-third of what it normally receives. France sweltered under heat waves, seeing temperatures soar to a record high of 45.9 Celsius (114.6 Fahrenheit). France has declared drought conditions and issued water restrictions.
The United States, the fourth largest wheat exporter, is also facing a dire situation due to drought. The western part of the U.S. is undergoing a megadrought (a severe dry period lasting over 20 years). Both the U.S. and Canada have recently experienced weather disturbances, making it too wet to plant and too dry to get output.
China is seeing both extreme flooding and extreme heat waves. The heat wave and accompanying drought have been so intense they’re causing its “rivers and reservoirs to dry up.”
As these dire situations continue to worsen, many voices are crying out for mankind to take action and address climate change. One such voice is Pope Francis, whom many see as the great moral voice of our time.
The pope’s solution to climate change
Pope Francis has taken it upon himself to address the climate change issue, calling it a moral imperative, and he has incorporated it into the Roman Catholic Church’s social teachings.
Pope Francis has taken it upon himself to address the climate change issue, calling it a moral imperative.At last year’s COP26, the pope called care for God’s creation one of “the great moral issues of our time.” He continued, “Time is running out; this occasion must not be wasted, lest we have to face God’s judgment for our failure to be faithful stewards of the world he has entrusted to our care.”
He has gone even further to attribute the COVID-19 pandemic to nature’s response to our sins. He has quoted a Spanish proverb: “God always forgives, we men forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives.”
In 2015, he released an encyclical letter addressed to every person on the planet. The letter is called “Laudato Si” meaning “Praise Be.” The full title is “Praise Be to You, My Lord” with the subtitle “on care for our common home.” Pope Francis calls for all people of the world to take swift and unified global action.
In May of 2020, he declared it the year of Laudato Si and kicked off his seven-year action plan containing seven goals covering seven sectors of life.
In October of 2020, he gathered religious leaders to sign his climate change action plan, calling on all nations to adopt net-zero carbon emissions as soon as possible. Not only were leaders from Christian denominations present, but also representatives of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and Jainism.
His letter blames climate change on our consumer-driven world and says that if we don’t take urgent action now, we will be looking at the extinction of the human race. Significant parts of his letter include:
- Paragraph 13: He calls on the “whole human family together” to hear the call of young people, and he stresses the need to “protect our common home.”
- Paragraph 38: He praises agencies and organizations for “employing legitimate means of pressure, to ensure that each government carries out its proper and inalienable responsibility to preserve its country’s environment and natural resources.”
- Paragraph 71: He draws on biblical Sabbath laws, such as the weekly Sabbath (Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 16:23; 20:10), the sabbatical year of rest for the land (Leviticus 25:1-4) and the jubilee year of release for all those who had been enslaved (Leviticus 25:10).
- Paragraph 92: He says we are all “united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage” with our “brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth.”
Toward the end of his letter, he incorporates the Catholic worship system into his environmental message:
- Paragraph 236: The Eucharist represents God’s “cosmic love,” and “creation is projected towards divinization, towards the holy wedding feast, towards unification with the Creator himself.”
- Paragraph 237: Sunday, like the “Jewish Sabbath,” points us to rest and “motivates us to greater concern for nature and the poor.”
- Paragraph 238: As we contemplate the universe, we “must praise the whole Trinity.”
- Paragraph 239: “Christians” believe in “one God who is trinitarian,” and the “Trinity has left its mark on all creation.”
- Paragraph 241: Mary has a “maternal affection and pain for this wounded world” and is the “Mother and Queen of all creation.”
His letter merges Catholic worship and climate change together. The pope’s climate change agenda incorporates the adoration for the Trinity, Mary as the mother and queen of all creation, the sun as our brother and earth as our mother, participation in the Eucharist and Sunday rest as a means to save the environment.
Seeing the pope getting involved in global politics should cause students of prophecy to sit up and take notice. The only repentance and conversion the letter calls for is “of the ways we have harmed the planet” and for mankind to undergo an “ecological conversion.”
As a result of the pope’s efforts, we can expect even greater cries for a weekly day of rest to heal our planet. And not just from mainline Christian denominations, but from those who profess other non-Christian religions.
The idea is that a global Sunday rest would lower emissions and help heal the planet. Could this proposed solution be a way that Sunday observance will be enforced on people in the future?
The Bible tells us that the end-time “beast” power will enforce a “mark” that will be tied to economic activity (Revelation 13:17). There are reasons to believe this “mark” could be an effort to force people to rest on Sunday. (For more insight on this topic, read our article “Mark of the Beast.”)
This is not the only global political issue that the current pope has tried to solve. He has also proposed solutions for the global economy, tried to bring more unity to a divided Christendom and called for more European unity. Seeing the pope getting involved in global politics should cause students of prophecy to sit up and take notice.
For more insight on this prophetic trend, read “The Increasing Influence of the Papacy” and “A Pope of Surprises.”
Is God’s Sabbath really a strategy for climate change?
The pope’s agenda is actually an inversion of the intent of the true Sabbath God created in Genesis 2.
First, God ordained a Sabbath rest from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset—not on Sunday, the first day of the week.
To learn how the Catholic Church was involved with changing the biblical Sabbath to Sunday, read “Who Changed the Day of Worship From Saturday to Sunday? Why?”
The Bible warns of a false religious system that will gain popularity and power in the last days through a deceptive false leader who will teach false doctrine and perform misleading miracles.
This type of deception will occur because of another famine, a famine of learning and understanding God’s Word (Hosea 5:6; Amos 8:11). Though we shouldn’t downplay the famines impacting our world today, this spiritual famine should be even more concerning to us.
For more insight on our need for God’s Word today, read “Why We Need the Bible (Now More Than Ever).”
What is God’s solution to this crisis?
God warns of a famine of “hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11). Though the Holy Bible is readily available, people refuse to invest time in studying and heeding its words.
The Bible shows that God does send famines and other weather disturbances as punishment for sin. Though we can’t say that every famine is a direct curse from God, we must consider that God is trying to get our attention.
The climate disturbances should motivate our world to look not only at ways to clean the planet—but ways to clean up our lives.There are blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience—cause and effect. There are specific blessings for obedience related to food production, abundance and rain in due season (Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 11-12). However, disobedience leads to curses in food production, scarcity and weather disturbances (Deuteronomy 28:18, 23-24).
The prophet Amos warned of famines because of too much rain in one area and not enough rain in another area (Amos 4:6-7). These conditions have been recently seen in Britain and the United States.
Our world tends to think weather disturbances are solely the result of mankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases. God does say He will “destroy those who destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18). But polluting the planet is not the only or worst sin. Focusing solely on carbon emissions ignores the fact that God often works through the weather to punish sin and achieve His purposes (Genesis 6:5-7; 41:29-30; Exodus 7-10; Jonah 1:4).
It is important to understand that God has power over the weather. Weather conditions and plagues have a profound effect on people’s lives—causing everything from a lack of drinking water to decreased food production. God sometimes expresses His anger through the weather (Nahum 1:3-4).
The climate disturbances should motivate our world to look not only at ways to clean the planet—but ways to clean up our lives. The No. 1 response needs to be genuine repentance and turning to God. We should obey God’s law, while not neglecting to care for the planet He entrusted to us (Genesis 2:15).
But these weather disturbances shouldn’t terrify true Christians. God promises He can deliver us from famine if we obey His Word and seek His righteousness (Isaiah 33:15-16; Psalm 37:25).
Keep praying that day comes soon!
Topics Covered: Prophecy, News and Trends