“Do we have the same angry, demanding gods and goddesses, who are never satisfied? Do we just call them by different names?” – Rob Bell, The gods Aren’t Angry

Like all the best religions, fear of climate change satisfies our need for guilt, and self-disgust, and that eternal human sense that technological progress must be punished by the gods.  And the fear of climate change is like a religion in this vital sense, that it is veiled in mystery, and you can never tell whether your acts of propitiation or atonement have been in any way successful.” – Boris Johnson

And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” – I Kings 18:27

It's not easy being greenHow should Christians react when the gods of the world receive mortal wounds? This is a question I’ve discussed recently with my wife and a number of friends – with a gamut of responses. In particular, I’m interested in the ‘god’ of warmism (part of the pantheon of secular environmentalism). Having sifted through many of the 4000 documents (emails, computer code, raw data) released in the ‘ClimateGate’ scandal, I think it is safe to say that “warmism” – as a religion – has been dealt a serious, if not fatal, blow.

I’m not going to regurgitate everything that has been written about this enlightening scandal in great detail, since many others (from across the political spectrum) have done a bang-up job. Rather, I’m first going to go far enough into it to highlight “warmism” and its key levers, briefly explore the religious angle of warmism, then move into the historical spectrum of responses we might view in Judaism and Christianity toward false religions, and finally, calculate what might be an appropriate response.

ClimateGate and the Fall of Warmism

Steven D. Levitt, in Superfreakonomics, makes a fairly convincing case that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is more of a faith than a science:

It is understandable, therefore, that the movement to stop global warming has taken on the feel of a religion. The core belief is that man inherited a pristine Eden, has sinned greatly by polluting it, and must now suffer lest we all perish in a fiery apocalypse. James Lovelock, who might be considered a high priest of this religion, writes in a confessional language that would feel at home in any liturgy: “[W]e misused energy and overpopulated the Earth . . . [I]t is much too late for sustainable development; what we need is a sustainable retreat”.

It is this same mentality among the “true believers” that fueled the Population Bomb scaremongering of the 60’s and the Global Cooling panic of the 70’s. Which touches upon the key ‘need’ of this – and other – religions:

Fear.

Levitt, in Freakonomics, and Douglas Rushkoff in his best-seller Coercion, both note that the most dominantly exploitable human emotion is that of fear. And, as such, it is the key emotion (as Rob Bell noted in The gods Aren’t Angry) that has driven religion since the dawn of man.

It is no different with the pagan religion of warmism.  Warmist theology requires the following to be true:

  1. The world must be warming in a way that has a high probability of altering the current geographic climate (because man innately fears change/disruption) if it continues on, indefinitely.
  2. The change must, uniquely, be caused by man (which requires it to be a recent, rather than an ancient/natual phenomenon) – specifically man’s industrialization technology.
  3. Man’s only hope of averting the disaster caused by the “sin” of industrialization must require a price of equal and opposite value to man’s sin.

As for #1, what ClimateGate does not reveal is that Global Warming is non-existent. Most scientists – both AGW skeptics and alarmists – agree that the world has undergone a warming trend from the mid-1800’s to now.  So, #1 holds true.

Where ClimateGate figures in, is with #2.  While the emails released by the hackers/whistle-blowers/Russians (the identity of the culprits/heroes of the scandal are still evolving) do reveal a pattern of anti-science behavior (previously observed by Levitt, Greg Boyd and numerous other apolitical figures), the raw data and the computer code are damning.

In order to meet requirement #2, above, past warming/cooling cycles cannot dwarf the current one.  The Medieval Warming Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA), which both fell within the past 1000-1300 years or so,  demonstrate that the current warming trend is part of a naturally-occurring climate pattern experienced by the earth.  Both the MPW and the LIA are inconvenient truths that warmists need to eliminate, in order to prove #2, above.  The data files and computer code from ClimateGate prove that the scientists who are the high priests of warming climate “science” have been suffering from confirmation bias (as best) or fraud (at worst) in trying to make the MPW and the LIA disappear, and to accentuate temperature readings from the past 50 years to give an appearance of unprecedented global warming.

To get very specific for a moment – the tree ring data (which is used to approximate temperatures hundreds and thousands of years ago, prior to human measurement of temperature) is unreliable.  If tree ring data were a reliable measure of global temperatures, then the data from the past 50 years should almost exactly match/mirror the recorded global temperature.  It does not, though, and in fact, the tree ring computer models “predict” a period of rapid cooling over the past 50 years that did not, in reality, occur.  This means that either a) tree ring data is unreliable, or b) the computer models are utter rubbish.  Either way, it means that the primary method of “hiding the decline” is false.

As for #3, warmists need a culprit emission from human activity that can be leveraged to curtail and regulate human activity.   Because combustion (which provides most non-nuclear energy) has only two primary gaseous products (CO2 and H2O), the choices are pretty limited.  And, because water vapor (which is magnitudes more effective than CO2 as a greenhouse gas) is far more prevalent in nature than CO2, the only choice of emission with which to assert control over human activity is CO2.

Sadly (for warmists – not the rest of us),  human activity can only account for about 2% of CO2 creation.  So the importance of the “settledness” of requirement #2 is paramount for #3 to work.  And that is why ClimateGate has begun the destruction of AGW as a religion.  Science may still confirm AGW as fact – but the available evidence seems to indicate otherwise.  Even so, with sunlight as a disinfectant (since, to this point, all major climate scientists have been able to get away with refusals to publish their raw data, computer code and climate models – an anti-science luxury that is likely to be the first major casualty of this scandal), it is unlikely that warmism can regain the public backing it once enjoyed.

The True Believers

Within the realm of warmism, there are a good number of “true believers”, for whom no amount of science would dissuade them from their thesis that the earth must be protected from man, and returned to its pre-human, ‘pristine’ condition, rather than to be subdued and stewarded by man (Gen 1:28). Like some Young Earth Creationists, they are willing to weigh science vs. their religious beliefs and declare that, somehow, the scientific method must be wrong. Man must find a way to atone for his sin.

The Catholic church of the middle ages had its indulgences – a system by which individuals could pay the church a fee in exchange for the forgiveness of his or her sins. Warmism has its indulgences, as well, in the form of “cap and trade”, by which individuals can pay for their “carbon footprint” sins, and thus be relieved of the burden of guilt.

Both the historic church and warmism have their priesthood, who determine what rites are acceptable to their respective gods, and to serve as a conduit between mankind and their deity. In the case of warmism, only solutions which require enough economic pain (particularly in regard to production/consumption) and social control are deemed acceptable by the priesthood.  (Example:  See the current call for a global “one child policy” like that of China.  Instead of regulatory control, though, if these folks wanted the global birth rate to decline to below 2/family they would support the only proven, humane method of population control – an increased standard of living.)

The historic church has had its liturgy.  The green church has the poetry of Al Gore.  (OK – just kidding…)

Seriously, though, the difference between the Christian church and other religions is that for Christians, our sins have already been atoned for, and there is no need for continuous flagellation to appease our God.  We have no need of continued sacrifice, hoping that what we give will be enough to cover our sins.  We have no need of fear.

Power

Like many SIVVs (Single-Issue Values Voters) have become to the political right, those who have succumb to the religion of “green” have become the useful idiots of the left.

For politicians, the religious fervor is to their advantage – particularly if they can pay a bare minimum of lip-service without upsetting other constituencies.   Very few of the political class are true believers.  Otherwise, the first and only issue they would speak about and push – until it was finally “fixed” – is their narrow ‘religious’ interest.   In the case of US politics, we wouldn’t have even touched health care until the AGW “problem” was addressed – no matter the cost.  Fortunately, in the case of “green” legislation, there are enough hypocrites in US politics who value their political futures over the religious convictions of a small, but vocal, minority of their constituents.

It is in this circle that we can expect ClimateGate to reverberate the most.  Politically we’ve already been witnessing the stage of denial and the next stage, of anger.   Once we’ve made it through the throes of the grief cycle, we can expect that calls for scientific transparency and unfettered peer review will pick up, and the “settledness” of the science will dissipate enough that the political fig leaves of “saving the planet” (at some in the near, but uncalculated future) may no longer be enough to cover a politician’s back-side.

Additionally, in the US at least, politicians need both the industrial output and the birth-rate to increase, lest their Ponzi-scheme of New Deal goodies fall apart once the working class can no longer support it.  Don’t expect them to commit mass suicide in the name of “green” any time in the future.  Especially now that the climate alarmists have had to circle the wagons and cry “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

Responding to False Gods

So, how should we respond to such religious fervor in the face of false gods?

We could follow Elijah’s example in I Kings 18, and mock these gods.  Or, we could follow the example of Paul in Athens, on Mars Hill, by using such gods as foils for introducing the One True God.  Or, we could follow Paul’s example in Ephesus, by simply declaring the truth of God and allowing His truth to bring to question the lies perpetrated by their false gods.  Or, we could approach this as Paul did with gnosticism – by speaking forcefully and logically against it, rooting it out of the church, so as to not poison it.

Each method has its plusses and minuses:

  • Elijah’s mockery fit in an Eastern culture – where (very much like our postmodernist society) derision impacts the narrative in a much more impactful way than abstract deconstruction.  After all, Jon Stewart and Glenn Beck are far more influential with their mockery than George Will or E. J. Dionne are with their political analyses.   Mild but steady derision of false gods robs them of their power, and makes them far less attractive – but also risks alienating those who leave them.  For best results, mocking (which is a branch of comedy – motivation by engaging the intellect) works in situations where prevailing emotions are not running high.
  • Using those gods as foils for speaking of the True God also has merit, but care must be taken to avoid syncretism, which has become all too common a modus operandi for parts of the Christian church.  In a modernist setting, this may be effective, but – like street corner preaching – it is a method which is highly limited in its uses and usefulness.
  • Speaking the truth of God, and allowing the lies of the false gods to become naturally exposed is a valid approach, as well.  It allows natural friendships to pick up the pieces of the dead gods and point to the True One, while holding the individual’s needs in consideration.  At the same time, it lacks the agility of more opportunistic techniques to either a) kill the false god when it is struck down; or b) to influence large audiences.
  • Attacking a false god/teaching head-on with tightly-reasoned logic can also be effective, particularly when the false gods are most vulnerable to public/personal opinion.  However, such an abstract approach relies on the audience being persuadable by modernist/systematic logic.  It also requires a direct and opposite attack against Christians or Christianity, since the aggressors often look worse in a postmodern view.

Keeping all of these in mind, it seems to me that each can be used in its own way, in concert and to effect. Even so, because a piece of truth is contained in the overall lie, we must be careful.  We are both to subdue the earth – use it for mankind’s benefit – and to steward it for future generations.   This requires a mind for conservation, but a rejection of “good-hearted” but awful-headed policies (like the outlawing of DDT, which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands in the third world).

Mocking the false gods is probably the best mass approach, and in the current environment requires very little set-up or dot-connecting.  For example, the video below requires no comment to mock the gods of “green”.  Like Gore’s poetry, it is stand-alone comedy gold:

YouTube Preview Image

Mockery, in today’s culture, is probably the most effective way to slam the door on a movement’s ability to gather up new adherents.  Thus, it acts as a prophylactic in preventing more folks from wandering into the fold of a false god.

One-to-one, though, the third approach – like Paul with the Ephesians – is probably the best when dealing with ‘true believers’.  While syncretism is a valid concern, in the case of warmism, just recognizing it as a religion (ADD Moment: Hmmm… state sponsored religion in the schools?)  may be enough.

Public policy-wise, though, the fourth way is probably best – forceful reason (with a dependence on science, with open data sets, computers and climate models) combined with solutions not based in fear or guilt.  In this particular case, geoengineered solutions make the most sense, with arguments about moral hazard (allowing the “sins” of material production and emitting CO2 to continue) as the quasi-religious arguments to be squashed.

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206 Comments(+Add)

1   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 14th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Levitt, in Freakonomics, and Douglas Rushkoff in his best-seller Coercion, both note that the most dominantly exploitable human emotion is that of fear. And, as such, it is the key emotion (as Rob Bell noted in The gods Aren’t Angry) that has driven religion since the dawn of man.

The irony is that “fear” seems to be the only thing you have been pushing lately.

2   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 14th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

The irony is that “fear” seems to be the only thing you have been pushing lately.

I’m not seeing any “fear” being pushed.

Making a realistic assessment of Zero’s healthcare plans (heck, even his own actuaries say that his plan will increase deficits, increase insurance costs and degrade health care) is not fear. It’s just plain old truth.

There are lots of good solutions to problems we’re facing, it’s just that none of them are currently on the docket.

3   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 14th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

As much as I love a good old-fashioned mocking, I’m not sure that mocking is the best approach. These people are lost and in desperate need of a cause that makes them feel good about leaving a legacy and being responsible.

To mock them, especially while claiming to represent Christ, is a very poor example.

4   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 14th, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Paul – the point of mocking is to focus on the idol/god in question and/or the movement, rather than specific individuals within the movement. Going back to Elijah, his mocking was primarily aimed at Baal, with a secondary focus on the priests/priestesses of Baal.

5   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 14th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

And the purpose of mocking (particularly the disparaging of the idol/god/movement, itself) is to discourage any from joining it. I agree with you that other techniques are more apt when working to get individuals out of such movements, and that mocking the individual you are trying to influence is a poor example…

6   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 14th, 2009 at 6:07 pm

I usually employ the Frueh method.

Who cares. Then preach and live the gospel.

7   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 14th, 2009 at 6:15 pm

Here are some other gods that need to die:

Republicans, Democrats, conservative, liberal, and the mega-god of them all – America.

8   corey    
December 14th, 2009 at 6:25 pm

Chris,
Isn’t ‘mocking the false gods’ what the odm crowd thinks they’re doing? In other words, aren’t you advocating for the same methodology with the only difference being the choice of false gods to mock?

corey

9   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 14th, 2009 at 6:34 pm

And Neil says I write long posts….

…but I digress.

And, besides, Paul, it is funny watching folks continually dig themselves out of these self-created holes. Colbert and Stewart make a living at doing this.

Laughing helps prevent us from taking ourselves too seriously…and those gods we have created in our image are, even as we are, laughable. Except that God takes us seriously.

Chad, I understand what you are saying, but I don’t think Chris is pushing fear (and I’m not towing the blog line here because Chris and I do not necessarily see eye to eye on creation issues.)

What surprises me is that, and I say this questioningly and not condescendingly so that we carry on as adults instead of digressing into childish arguments, is that you do not see this as an issue of fear–you, one who understands all too well the power false gods have when pushed through by the powers, one who understands all too well the machinations of the devils and demons of this present darkness, one who knows Christ in his victory.

Fear is about power. When the powers who have been defeated by Christ control the promulgation of fear they wield power over those who are afraid. This is the only reason governments continue to exist instead of being overthrown. I cannot see any reason to continue giving this sort of power to people are inherently corrupt. And the people who control our government are corrupt from first to last. They have in their minds and hearts and hands the seizing and maintaining of power. In think Orwell had something to say about that.

You don’t think that those who are pushing the global warming agenda have our best interests in mind do you? They don’t. Those in power, those who control fear machines, never have anyone’s interests in mind but their own–that they might maintain their power.

As I heard in a song recently, “When the rich wage war it’s the poor who die.”

I see the same thing here in this debate.

10   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 14th, 2009 at 6:40 pm

And we do, seriously, have a problem trying to placate gods. And those in power are wonderful at continually creating new gods for us to placate and do penance to.

And with each new god created true repentance is vacated of any meaning at all and God is marginalized a little more. What is amazing is that God continues to triumph and stand apart even as humans continue their efforts to subject him to a small corner called sunday mornings from 10-11.

11   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 14th, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Corey,

I would also note that Jesus treated ‘in-house’ debates a number of different ways – pretty furious with Pharisees (with whom he was most closely aligned, theologically) and the Sadducees (with whom he was most diametrically opposed, theologically), more restrained with the Essenes (who were ultra-cons) and the Herodians (who were in the employ of Rome), and somewhat all over the map with the Zealots (condemning their violence and desire for political domination, but not their theology). Both Jesus and Paul do exhibit a nice little bit of mockery, though, it cannot be denied.

Jesus’ treatment of other religions, though, is pretty sparse. You might count the Samaritans as “another religion”, but the difference between Samaritans and Jews is similar to that between Protestants and Catholics, and Jesus seems to treat them in a way that doesn’t call them out from serving YHWH via Samaritan practice. That leaves the Decapolis and Caesarea Philippi – where he doesn’t make any claim against the gods of those regions.

So, if we try to draw conclusions from the Scriptural and cultural contexts – in order to justify ‘mockery’ as a viable option, you’ve either got to either (a) consider the followers of the mocked practices to be within the bounds of your religious orthodoxy (Jesus & the Pharisees), or (b) a separate religion that is actively opposed to YHWH (see Paul & Elijah).

ODM’s, though, consider most of their opponents to fall into a camp similar to that of the Samaritans or Herodians, which leaves them in a cultural no-man’s land for aggressive approaches.

12   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 14th, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Besides that, I just can’t get that woman’s cry of “Oh treeeeeeeeeeeeeees! Old growth treeeeeeeeees! We want to tell them that we love them and that we don’t want them to die” or the line “bring me to this rock, which has the most incredible life” (if you don’t catch the humor in that statement, you need to retake 2nd grade biology) out of my mind, and I keep laughing every time I hear it…

I need to cry. AAAAAAAAuuuuuuuugggggggeeeeeeeeeeaaaahhhhhhhh!

13   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 14th, 2009 at 7:00 pm

#12 – I found that video to be pitiful and disturbing on many levels. To me, with a knowledge of the unregenerate Rick of years past, I found no humor in it at all.

14   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 14th, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Is that video for real?

If it is comedy, I am disturbed.

If it is for real, I am even more disturbed. Was that Chad banging the drum? Worshipping at the feet of trees and rocks. Sickening.

And to think there are those who are Christian who worship at the foot of mother nature and eco-justice. Shows that Ken Silva is right again.

15   Joe    
December 14th, 2009 at 7:40 pm

This does bring up an interesting dilemma. How do we as Christians deal with political issues that we believe are wrong? I do not believe in man made global warming as it has been postulated currently. Am I automatically going to be mocked if I say that outloud?

16   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 14th, 2009 at 8:10 pm

The New Testament believer should not mock anyone.

17   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 14th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

How do we as Christians deal with political issues that we believe are wrong?

We preach the gospel, plain and simple. Those in leadership have the task of educating their flock on the biblical stance toward the issue so that the people can walk wisely in a perverse world.

But the moment we take up any other banner than that of Christ, or we join hand in hand with apostate movements (ie: The Manhattan Dec), we are moving off the foundation.

All we do should be through the lens and prism of Jesus and for the glory of God.

I can see how mockery can be effective, Chris L, when used by the ungodly to attack the ungodly, but it is not Christ-like.

I agree with PB, that video is disturbing if it is a real account. Demonic is a better word.

18   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 14th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Ingrid said Santa is going to leave me coal this year!

I objected to her moaning about persecution that may come – get this – in the form of “you’re not allowed to preach against homosexuality/homosexuals”. BTW – I do not celebrate “Christmas”. Soup kitchens? Does the Ronald McDonald House count? :cool:

19   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 14th, 2009 at 9:46 pm

I will give her credit, though. I never thought my comment would make it through. PB, do ya think she’s softening? :lol:

20   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 14th, 2009 at 10:15 pm

The New Testament believer should not mock anyone.

You might want to let Jesus and Paul know that, since both utilized this particular technique of “speaking truth to power”…

21   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 14th, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Is that video for real?

This is VERY Real – it is from a 1997 series of documentaries commissioned by PBS called “American Visions” – researched and narrated by Robert Hughes:

He switches into a dead-on impression of one of the members of Earth First appearing in “The Wilderness and the West,” the third part of the series dealing with how America’s landscape shaped her art. The environmental group is shown in a North Carolina North Carolina forest, wailing over the old-growth trees cut down by loggers.

The camera lingers on one woman sobbing to the lost trees, and sitting in his hotel room, Hughes mimics her wickedly, then cackles with delight. He’s aware that the segment makes the group look pretty wacky, but he doesn’t care.

“What a bunch of freaks,” Hughes said. “Am I supposed to be some sort of conservative because these people are self-satirists?”

He said his friend, Peter Matthiessen, author of “At Play in the Fields of the Lord” and several nature books, begged him to remove the piece, saying its presence in “American Visions” would be detrimental to the environmental movement.

It’s in this episode, beginning at the 7:30 mark.

22   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 14th, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Rick,

I disagree. There is plenty of evidence in the NT to suggest that Jesus and his followers mocked the rulers and powers of the day. Even the cross is, in Paul’s, words, an exposing of the powers.

John’s cool and calculated use of the phrase ‘the great whore’ to describe Rome is not without the sting of irony and sarcasm. Jesus also used phrases like ‘white-washed tombs’ and John called them ‘broods of vipers.’ The prophets were adept at the use of wit and sarcasm–especially Isaiah.

And even Paul’s famous line ‘I wish they would emasculate themselves’ is biting for its mockery and wit couched in hyperbole.

I have always thought that even the phrase ’son of man’ is not without a little humor and irony. But you are entitled to your opinion–even if it is clearly the exception.

jerry

23   M.G.    
December 14th, 2009 at 11:58 pm

I have to say I’m with Rick on this one. Until I actually see the same levels of character and integrity as Jesus and Paul (myself included), then I say we should refrain from jumping on the whole “mocking” bandwagon.

Until then, I think I’ll always choose kindness, compassion, and patience. Life is too short to short to go around calling people stupid, limp-wristed or milquetoast.

That’s not what Christ wants from those who profess His name.

24   Ian    http://www.everythingchristian.co.uk/
December 15th, 2009 at 2:31 am

The science is not final either way on this (and I wouldn’t be using a bunch of maverick economists as my guide to be honest). However – those 90% of published scientists who do think that CO2 increases are man made point out that a small percentage increase changes the impact due to absorption rates. For example, the each can aborb about 784,000 metric tonnes of CO2 a year. Natural sources (i.e. not human) of emmission account for about 770,000 metric tonnes. Human output has increased to around 24,000 metric tonnes (of which 5,500 or 20% comes from the US) from a quarter of that 200 years ago.

There is no scientific doubt that CO2 increase is anthro-centric, or that CO2 in the atmosphere has increaseds. The debate, I assume then, is what model is a valid one to analyse the effects of the CO2.

Theologically, the problem I have is that as good stewards of the earth, which will give an account to God for how we have treated His creation is it right that we should consume the earth’s resources as we do? It would take the equivalent of 2 1/2 earths to provide the resources for the whole population to live as we do in the west. With that in mind, is it right that the church should be defending or supporting it?

25   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 6:39 am

Joe asked whether he should be mocked for having an opinion. So is mocking is acceptable as a Christ reflection than go ahead and mock him. And let’s teach our children to mock others as well.

That will, I’m sure, create a wonderful brand of Christianity that will bring unity between the Odms and the emergents based upon their agreement than mocking people is a fair representation of New Testament Christianity.

And mocking unbelievers is an especially nice touch. The cross was love, not mocking, and in fact they mocked Him. And the Son of Man was revelatory not an attempt to mock.

For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn/mock the world…

* As far as global warming is concerned, no one actually knows. The conservatives give it no weight and the liberals go overboard. Somewhere in between must be the redemptive patience of Christ followers.

26   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 7:41 am

Thank God for Jon Stewart.

He nails it in this video – especially the last line

ClimateGate

27   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 7:53 am

The link does not work.

28   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 8:00 am

I think you used a poor choice of words, Chris L.

There is a place for the use of humor in unmasking the powers, however, it is not “mocking.” Mocking is defined as: “tease or laugh at in a scornful or contemptuous manner.” Thus the reason for much of the push back by Rick and others, rightfully so.

The word you are looking for I think is “lampooning,” which is to “publicly criticize someone or something by using ridicule, irony or sarcasm.” It is a practice not necessarily tied to a self-righteous posture like mocking.

An good example of lampooning is the actions took by people when the KKK came to march in Knoxville as described in the true poem, White Flour I’ve shared that before. Jerry, you will no doubt remember thinking that was a waste of time and pointless. Yet, you seem to think it is a good idea to lampoon “warmists.”

I think we need to be careful with regard to this particular issue because there is nothing definitive to say which side of the science is correct (unlike racism which we all agree is a sinful power and worthy of lampooning). Secondly, all the people I know who you might call “warmists” are not bowing to the god of nature or involved in something ridiculous like the video you show on this OP. They simply believe that the science is pretty conclusive that our actions impact the environment and are not afraid to make the necessary adjustments to balance that out, EVEN if it means restricting some of our so-called “rights.” (the last bit of the Jon Stewart clip nails this brilliantly).

29   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 8:03 am

Hmm. not sure why the link is not working right now. You can go to http://www.thedailyshow.com and its on the home page. Video is called The World of WarmCraft. it’s about 7 min long.

30   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 8:13 am

My doubts:

* Cars became prevelant in 1940
* There are 600 million cars world wide
* That many cars can be parked in Rhode Island
* I cannot believe a major shift can happen in that short of a time
* With that minisclue number I still contend the trends are either cyclicle or exagerated

I believe many people who believe in it are sincere.

31   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 8:23 am

The reason “mocking” or even lampooning does not work well in this situation is because it is is really a battle between two false gods to begin with.

Everyone here agrees that the Christian posture towards the earth is one of stewardship. We all agree we need to be responsible with the gifts we have been given. So this is not the issue.

The battle is how to best do this in a secular context (i.e. it is discourse outside of the Church and irrespective of her). People within the Church, however, have opinions on these matters (i.e. whether cap and trade is a good idea or a bad one).

So the mockery that is in play here is not something that comes from a righteous position (the earth is God’s and we should be good stewards) directed towards an unrighteous position (the world is ours and can be used however we want) but rather it is mockery aimed at one political opinion from an another political opinion.

Both are false gods. And neither has the moral high ground to lampoon. Certainly not from a Christian standpoint, that is.

32   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 8:30 am

#31 – A lucid and very spiritual perspective. And without the race card to boot!

I agree.

33   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 9:53 am

* That many cars can be parked in Rhode Island

Sounds like a good state motto. “Rhode Island – The Parking Lot State”.

34   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 10:09 am

A few thoughts to consider:

- Elijah: if we are going to use him as an example of how mockery can be useful, then why not go the full-9 and round up these transgressors and mow them down with M-16s?

- Dead Men Mocking: I see really no clear mocking in the NT. There are direct confrontations, but I wouldn’t say they quite match the tone of good Late Nite TV mocking. To add to that, even if there is a case where mockery did occur, look at who was doing the mocking.

Whereas we might be quick to Hi-5 one another after embarassing someone, these men were dead. In that I mean they would not have derived any personal pleasure.

We need to consider ourselves. The moment we mock and derive some sort of pleasure, justification or fleshly praise, we are perhaps winning arguments but not growing in the knowledge of Christ.

- The Ungodly: these people are lost and are looking for “religion” and an “idol” that can give them a sense of purpose. Mocking was never used as a witnessing tool, as far as I know, in the NT.

Humor can communicate well, but mockery is insulting and degrading.

- The Unraveling World: While everyone is pointing to our “Carbon footprint” as a cause for all that is happening in the world, I honestly believe that as we draw closer to the end of this age we will only see an increase in natural disasters, plagues and the like. Call me foolish. But this is the result of sin, causing the world to basically unravel before the coming of the Lord.

Neither the “Warmists” or many Christians feel comfortable considering this point of course.

35   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 10:11 am

Thank you, Rick. I resisted the temptation :)

To say the above in another way:

The OP is really nothing more than an attempt to use Scripture to justify one political/economic ideology mocking another.

But when your god is capitalism or the “free” market – or when you assume that is a God-ordained philosophy – this can have the feel of being righteous.

36   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 10:15 am

Paul C – well said (I don’t get to say that often to you so I wanted to jump on the opportunity!) :D

37   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 10:33 am

Chad,

With all due respect, I didn’t say the poem was a waste of time. I said going to a protest was a waste of time. I like poetry. Protests are something else entirely. :-) And I don’t want to revisit our previous discussion.

Rick,

I’m done now with this conversation because Rick cannot keep it at an adult level. The very mocking he says we shouldn’t use against the gods of this world (not the people; I thought that was clear enough in the OP) is the same mocking he uses to challenge people who disagree with him. You have a stunning ability, Rick, to dismiss anything that doesn’t measure up to the christianity you have created in your own image.

So as you have done with me in the past, I now do do you and exit this conversation with you. I will never understand why every time someone tries to think through faith you automatically assume they are out to create a new brand of Christian faith. And why every time some one says something that doesn’t comport with your experience it is automatically rejected and subjected to your scorn.

I don’t know how old you are Rick, but that behavior really is childish. You do it with Chad when you disagree with him (and it is not without irony that here you are siding together). You do it with me when you disagree with me. You do it with everyone with whom you disagree (John, Ingrid, Chris L, Joe, etc.). Why can’t you just offer a substantive, valid argument; Instead of making judgments, ask questions and learn?

Why can’t you deal with the Scriptures I talked about and mentioned? Did you even bother to ask why I might think ’son of man’ is a ‘joke’? Or did you just assume I am trying to reinvent Scripture and the faith once delivered? Why are you so convinced that God has no sense of humor and that he never uses it to undo us and all our holier than thou-ness?

At some point, brother Rick, (I am saying this publicly so that you know I’m not hiding anything), you need to learn that disagreement is not equivalent to heresy and that interpretive variation does not mean rank mockery of THE HOLY WORD OF GOD.

Learn something about grace Rick.

jerry

38   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 10:37 am

Jerry,
I wasn’t talking about the poem being a waste of time but about the lampooning the protesters were doing. You called that a waste of time. Yet now you seem to be on board with this form of “mockery” (I am not calling in lampooning for a reason). Why?

I’m not sure I understand your indignation towards Rick. Where was this indignation towards your friend Chris L on the last discussion when he called me a “limp-wristed moron” who is full of “idiotic BS” and is “morally bankrupt”? (to name just a few)

39   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 10:40 am

To which comments are you referring where I was childish, or accused someone of heresy, or accused someone of mocking the HOLY WORD OF GOD? I really don’t see what caused such irritation.

I have a position – you have a position. I gave mine – you gave yours.

Other threads have been much more cpnfrontational than this one.

40   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 10:45 am

And with all due respect, I don’t think this OP is an attempt to “think through faith” It is clearly a reasoned way to think politically about a situation and disguise it in language of faith.

Chris L (and others here) simply think that their solutions (i.e. geoengineering/less legislation) to the perceived problem are the best route to take and are now using Scripture to justify mocking anyone who has a different idea.

41   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 10:47 am

They simply believe that the science is pretty conclusive that our actions impact the environment and are not afraid to make the necessary adjustments to balance that out, EVEN if it means restricting some of our so-called “rights.”

Yes, they’re not afraid to restrict other people’s rights while they’re gallivanting all over creation in private jets and armored SUVs. Perhaps if they led by example in the changes they want us to make, they’d actually have some moral authority. Nancy Pelosi probably uses more fuel to make one trip from DC to California in her jet than most families use in several years. But she’s one of the elites, so she’s exempt.

But when your god is capitalism or the “free” market – or when you assume that is a God-ordained philosophy – this can have the feel of being righteous.

I believe that the free market is God-ordained to a big extent. I would suspect that anyone who thinks they should get paid for the work they do does.

The problem people confuse the free market with the abuses and oppression that happen. It’s like saying you’re against the game of football simply because players that get hurt. People getting hurt is simply a risk in any human system. It is not necessarily a condemnation of the underlying principles involved. The underlying principle of the market is that there are people who need things and there are people who have those things to sell. The market is simply the place where these transactions can take place.

42   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 10:50 am

“Yes, they’re not afraid to restrict other people’s rights while they’re gallivanting all over creation in private jets and armored SUVs. Perhaps if they led by example in the changes they want us to make, they’d actually have some moral authority.”

Yes, Phil, these global warmists are no Ghandis!

43   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 10:50 am

I could do the same thing…

I believe universal health care is a good idea.

Obviously, those who disagree all bow to the false god of insurance companies.

Elijah “mocked” those who worshipped false gods.

Therefore, I will mock those who are against universal health care.

44   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 10:52 am

Chris L (and others here) simply think that their solutions (i.e. geoengineering/less legislation) to the perceived problem are the best route to take and are now using Scripture to justify mocking anyone who has a different idea.

While I do think Chris crossed the line in name-calling on that other thread (which, I believe he apologized for, btw), I do think this is at the heart of the issue.

Being an engineer by trade, I think I can empathize with where Chris is coming from. It’s very frustrating to see people accepting solutions when there really is very little or flimsy data to back it up. So far, the “solutions” being put forth for the alleged global warming really don’t do anything to address to substance of the issue. All that has been set are ambiguous CO2 reduction goals. A goal without a plan to reach that goal is simply a pipe dream. Really, all the political talk surrounding global warming is is an exercise in global wealth redistribution.

45   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 10:54 am

Yes, they’re not afraid to restrict other people’s rights while they’re gallivanting all over creation in private jets and armored SUVs.

So that’s your beef? You’d be fine with a reduction in your “rights” if the politicians drove a Prius rather than an SUV?

Who cares what they do?

The problem people confuse the free market with the abuses and oppression that happen.

That is not the problem I have with the “free” market. The problem I have is that it is a farce that is held up as some “God ordained” ideal.

You should read Cavanaugh’s book, “Being Consumed.”

46   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 10:58 am

Being an engineer by trade, I think I can empathize with where Chris is coming from. It’s very frustrating to see people accepting solutions when there really is very little or flimsy data to back it up. So far, the “solutions” being put forth for the alleged global warming really don’t do anything to address to substance of the issue. All that has been set are ambiguous CO2 reduction goals. A goal without a plan to reach that goal is simply a pipe dream. Really, all the political talk surrounding global warming is is an exercise in global wealth redistribution.

Phil, all of this may very well be true. But that is not justification for one side to mock another – ESPECIALLY to do so under the veil of scriptural authority or some moral highground.

As I said earlier, this is nothing more than trying to say MY ideas are better than YOUR ideas and I’ll use the Bible to justify my mocking of you.

We could all be wrong.

47   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 11:01 am

“We could all be wrong.”

I consider that to be the deepest and most absolute truth of all. :cool:

48   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 11:02 am

That is not the problem I have with the “free” market. The problem I have is that it is a farce that is held up as some “God ordained” ideal.

You should read Cavanaugh’s book, “Being Consumed.”

I assume by the title that book is about materialism and over-consumption. But again, those are abuses of the ordained system itself, not the system itself. It’s akin to the digestive system. Humans have to eat. However, we are not to be gluttons. We don’t condemn the fact that people need food because there are obese people in the world.

Until all the condemning the free market start to work for free, they’re just blowing hot air. Receiving payment for a product produced or a service provided isn’t wrong. In fact I’d say it’s the system God provided for us. Adam and Eve were told to work the garden in order to partake in its harvest.

49   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 11:05 am

Phil – the book has nothing to do with over-consumption (it mentions it, but only tangentially).

It is a theological perspective of the so-called “free” market. IOW, it’s not “free.”

The title is actually about being consumed by God (via Eucharist).

50   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 11:06 am

How difficult is it for fallen men to operate in a fallen system and search for secular truth when the fallen men divide and use incomplete, short term, and subjective facts to prove their own perspective?

In the end, there is no absolute to which we can reference.

51   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 11:09 am

It is a theological perspective of the so-called “free” market. IOW, it’s not “free.”

I don’t think anyone who says they support the free market would actually say that the market as it exists today is free. I believe most would say that it needs to become more free in order to work the way it should.

There are still free market forces at work, but what exists in most places in the world is a market that is controlled by relatively few powerful people pulling the strings either through the force of law or violence in their favor.

In other words, your arguing against a straw man.

52   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 11:11 am

Phil,
Does everyone selling their goods and sharing all they have, having “all things in common” fit into your idea of what a “free market” looks like?

53   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 11:13 am

Phil, all of this may very well be true. But that is not justification for one side to mock another – ESPECIALLY to do so under the veil of scriptural authority or some moral highground.
As I said earlier, this is nothing more than trying to say MY ideas are better than YOUR ideas and I’ll use the Bible to justify my mocking of you.

Chad,
But the way you’re putting it. It all comes down to relativism. If the debate is truly about scientific claims, than the rhetoric should be backed up by scientific methods.

I’m not saying that every idea or point of argument is worth drawing a line in the sand over, but if we’re going to be say “people should do B based on A”, then it makes sense to me for people to ask “what are the facts and assumptions behind A”.

54   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 11:13 am

I believe most would say that it needs to become more free in order to work the way it should.

Just the opposite, actually.

The whole problem is the notion of “freedom.” I won’t get into it all here. Suffice it to say, you are assuming an argument that book (nor I) make.

To add to my #52: Is God operating in a “free market” when he pays the same wage to the worker regardless of whether they worked a whole day or for one hour?

55   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 11:17 am

Does everyone selling their goods and sharing all they have, having “all things in common” fit into your idea of what a “free market” looks like?

Yes, actually it does, as long as the people entered into arrangement freely (as the Church in Jerusalem). It cannot be forced on people.

To me that is the underlying paradox of the Kindgom. The principles of the Kingdom produce the best of all possible worlds for people, but these ideals can’t be forced onto people. People enter the Kingdom freely. It’s about serving others, not yourself. So whereas the market today is dominated by a spirit of greed and is fallen, the free market of the kingdom is led by spirit of generosity and self-giving.

56   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 11:18 am

If the debate is truly about scientific claims, than the rhetoric should be backed up by scientific methods.

And there is a place and good reason to have reasoned discussions over the best path to take given the problems.

But none of that necessitates mockery or using Scripture to justify one’s ideas over another’s.

As I said before: This is the dueling of TWO false gods. Chris L is just assuming that God is on his side and ordains HIS solutions to the problem. Besides delusion, it smacks of self-righteousness.

In the end, we could all be wrong. I suggest humility rather than mockery. Surely you are not opposed to such a posture?

57   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 11:19 am

Chad – I agree that “Lampooning” is a better choice of words than “Mocking”. Good catch.

Ian – During the Medieval Warming Period (MWP), CO2 levels were nearly three times higher than they are today, and during prior warming periods these levels were even higher. As for “published” “science” – CG has definitively dismissed “published” vs. “non-published” climate ’science’ as a red herring. As ‘greenhouse’ gasses go, CO2 is one of the least efficient, and only accounts for about 0.3% of all GHG’s – with water vapor and methane blowing all others away. And – even if CO2 is significant in adding to warming, 1) there are easy and inexpensive ways to counteract its effects; and 2) in the grand scheme of things, maybe a little bit of warming is not all bad (I kid, I kid…)

I agree that the ’science’ isn’t settled on the topic of AGW, but I would also note that the burden of proof, contrary to any assertions by the UNSG, is on the part of the warmists, not the skeptics. The overwhelming evidence of history is that the earth has been much warmer (and CO2 levels much higher) than it is now – long before man walked the earth and long before the discovery of petroleum or the internal combustion engine. In the light of history, particularly when the historical record isn’t fudged to “hide the decline”, the warmists have a pretty high hill to climb, and it is coated with Crisco.

It would take the equivalent of 2 1/2 earths to provide the resources for the whole population to live as we do in the west.

In 1850, it required 80% of the populace to farm the available land in America to feed the nation. Today, it requires 4% of the US populace to farm the land to supply food for both America and much of the world. The “two and a half earths” assumes that a) farming technology does not expand to the third world, and b) that all technology (energy, farming, etc.) remains at 1990 levels. Additionally, the third world birth-rates are (depending on who you believe) between 6 and 9 children per woman. As has been demonstrated by the Demographic Transition Model in numerous countries (including the US) – as the standard of living improves, the birth rate drops to below basic replenishment levels (2.1 children per woman). So – by increasing the standard of living for the world, you actually end up creating a negative population-rate trend, and (eventually) a negative overall population trend.

Good stewardship requires looking at both sides of the equation, rather than assuming a zero-sum game.

the people I know who you might call “warmists” are not bowing to the god of nature or involved in something ridiculous like the video you show on this OP.

Actually, the majority of folks have not been sucked into ‘warmism’ – but are simply believers in its propaganda (and false-basis fear). For these folks, the best antidote to the propaganda is to have open scientific research and debate – which is exactly what the true-believer ‘warmists’ (who are fairly small in number) have sought to avoid.

Paul – “The Unraveling World” – I’ll take to the climate of today over that of the first century, which experienced a much larger number of global disasters and plagues than we’ve dealt with in the modern world.

58   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 11:19 am

I need to run and help get ready for our Christmas party tonight. I may pop in now and then…

59   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 11:20 am

Is it ever God’s will for a believer to have two meals while someone dies without any?

60   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 11:22 am

#58 – Christmas party?? While people starve and the world melts??

Is Al Gore flying in for a cup of punch?

61   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 11:25 am

To add to my #52: Is God operating in a “free market” when he pays the same wage to the worker regardless of whether they worked a whole day or for one hour?

Yes, he does. Because He’s freely giving to workers who have agreed to work in His vineyard.

The main problem is that the metaphor of that parable only goes so far. Of course, our entrance into the Kingdom is not a wage – it’s a gift. That’s not to say that there isn’t such a thing as a wage, or that they don’t play any role in the Kingdom. All a wage is something someone gives someone for a service performed. If both parties agree to the wage, than it’s fair. This would make more sense in a Middle Eastern culture where negotiating about prices for goods and services is commonplace. As American were simply used to paying the price on the tag, so we feel that we have less say in what we pay. I think that’s why some people talk of the market as some external thing which they have no control over.

62   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 11:31 am

Here you go Rick:

“Joe asked whether he should be mocked for having an opinion. So is mocking is acceptable as a Christ reflection than go ahead and mock him. And let’s teach our children to mock others as well.

That will, I’m sure, create a wonderful brand of Christianity that will bring unity between the Odms and the emergents based upon their agreement than mocking people is a fair representation of New Testament Christianity.

And mocking unbelievers is an especially nice touch. The cross was love, not mocking, and in fact they mocked Him. And the Son of Man was revelatory not an attempt to mock.

For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn/mock the world…”

Does this ring a bell?

63   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 11:31 am

Chad -

Perhaps I was not very clear, but there are two issues here:

1) There is a group of (currently) highly influential individuals who follow a false religion (sometimes called ‘Gaia worship‘ – though I do not think this description is accurate in that it assumes a level of organization that is not inherent in its philosophy). Much of their posturing is simply proselytization. It is this very narrow group that I believe ‘lampooning’ is an appropriate, Christian response – particularly as it relates to de-deifying their agenda.

2) There are a much larger group of folks who pay heed to the warmist agenda without understanding/accepting the underlying philosophy. I do not think that “lampooning” this much larger group is the appropriate response, in the same way that I do not see lampooning the Hare Krishnas I run into at the airport as an appropriate response.

There are certainly a good number of ideas on how to tackle “climate” issues – but if you remove the ‘moral’ high ground of a false religion, that solution base becomes something that can be much more simply and rationally dealt with.

64   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 11:32 am

Fact is, Rick, when you disagree you resort to sarcasm and mockery. Every time; without fail. I’ll stand by this.

65   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 11:34 am

“Every time; without fail. I’ll stand by this.”

You are correct; you probably need a break from me. :)

66   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 11:47 am

No, not at all. But I would seriously like you to interact with the content every now and again and teach me why you believe what you believe instead of just saying what you believe and expecting that I can divine all the answers on my own.

I’m asking in good faith, Rick, because I am here as a learner and not a teacher. I have more to learn from you and Chris and Chad and John et al than any of you will ever learn from me. I’ll stand by that too.

67   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 11:53 am

Jerry I haven’t engaged the issue of pacifism without mocking? I do not mock people, which is what I took the mocking issue to be about. I have engaged eschatology, global warming, the various atonement theories, evangelism, etc., etc., etc. without mocking anyone personally. We all make position points by using comparisons or implications that may be considered mocking in a way.

But I have not mocked anyone personally. (except in humor – i.e. Chris L.)

BTW – I am 57 years old. In reality I know less today than I knew when I was 30.

68   Joe    
December 15th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Hey Guys, if anyone would like to help some of the under-resourced people here in GR and support Urban Transformation Ministries, which is one of the ministries I work for we’d love to have your help.
You can read about Davien, a young man who has given his life to Jesus and left gang life through our ministry. You can donate on the webpage as well, if you would like.

http://www.utmgr.org/2009/12/will-you-help-young-men-and-women-like-davien.html

69   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Chad,

Re #45: “Who cares what they do?”

It stands to reason that one would care what they do, because their actions belie their true belief. For example, if your wife came into the room that you were in and declared that your house was on fire and then proceeded to sit down and read a magazine, I expect that you would see her declaration as somewhat suspect.

If warmism can be seen as tantamount to a religious belief, it is certainly a “works” religion (as with every religion on the face of earth except Christianity). It is reasonable, then to expect the prophets of the religion to carry out the works that they proclaim are necessary for “salvation”. Similarly, if a minister of Christianity proclaims that salvation is through faith in Christ, yet himself will not profess faith in Christ, a hearer of the proclamation is reasonably skeptical of the claim.

70   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Chris L re: 63-

I agree and thanks for making the distinction. That was my intent.

The priests whom Elijah mocked were under no delusion that they were worshipping a god other than Yahweh. Elijah was mocking people who were knowingly and willfully bowing before a false god (though they did not know it…yet).

As you point out, most of the “warmists” are not so deliberate as the priests of Baal. Many of them (self included), simply believe one side of the facts given and wish for the gov’t to respond appropriately.

I think there is plenty of room for healthy debate about how to best go about this. We can all agree that responsible stewardship is important and something we should do as Christians regardless of whether global warming is true.

Let’s not, however, be boxed in by a political ideology that dictates how those solutions must be.

71   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

if your wife came into the room that you were in and declared that your house was on fire and then proceeded to sit down and read a magazine, I expect that you would see her declaration as somewhat suspect.

OR, if the house really was on fire I would consider her actions foolish.

I don’t care what politicians do because I assume they will act as fools.

It may very well be the case that global warming is true and our actions contribute to it. If that is a fact, than the way the politicians act (or what they drive) is only an indictment on their own foolishness. It does nothing to disprove the fact that global warming is true.

72   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Phil – thanks for your thoughts on free market. We are closer than we are far apart on that.

When I get more time I’ll post some salient points from Cavanaugh’s book that I think you will find interesting.

73   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Chad,

Certainly you could simply view her actions as foolish, but most everyone would rightly consider her actions to be very telling.

As well, it is not just politicians that act in hypocritical ways in relation to global warming. Al Gore and a host of other celebrity prophets are just as guilty.

The point being, it is reasonable and in fact prudent to consider if the actions of a person match with their message.

74   Ian    http://www.everythingchristian.co.uk/
December 15th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Phil

You are confusing freedom to trade with global capitalism. They are not teh same thing. I do agree that scripture appears to ordain personal freedom to control your personal means of production and wealth creation. However, global capitalism is not the only solution to this. I recommend reading The Servile State by Hillaire Belloc – a foundation text for Distributism and one of the inspirations for Philip Blond’s new think-tank ResPublica here in the UK.

It is a falso dichotomy to think of things as a Socialism/Capitalism split – there are ways of thinking that fall entirely outside of this Matrix that are directly derived from biblical thought.

75   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Eric,
I would find her actions very telling if the house were truly on fire. I’d think she was a fool.

Let’s allow for us to be human, Eric. Perhaps your actions always line up perfectly with your beliefs but I confess mine do not. I confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and yet my life in many areas does not reflect that in the best ways at all times.

I believe we are to be good stewards of the earth but personally, I suck at recycling. I forget most of the time. Does this mean I don’t believe in good stewardship or that I don’t believe recycling is a good idea?

Thankfully I can look back on my journey of faith and see some growth. Isn’t that enough for us to expect or hope of any of us?

76   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Chad,

To further flesh that out a bit, I do agree with you that the observation of hypocritical behavior does not act as a trump card to known truth.

However, skeptics rightly argue that if we are to believe the message of a “prophet”, the prophet must be reasonably consistent in order to be reasonably believable. The spokespeople are trying to shape opinion and policy based on their beliefs.

I guess the difference in the way you look at it in disregarding the actions of politicians, etc. (which you have every right to do), is that you are already convinced that anthropogenic global warming is settled fact. Many people are not so convinced, and see that actions of proponents of AGW as somewhat telling.

77   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Chad,

My point with the house fire analogy is not to make a moral judgment of your wife, it is is a judgment of the message. In your spin of the scenario, you are assuming that you know the house to be on fire, in which I do not disagree with your conclusion. My point, however, was that if you had no proof or knowledge that the house was on fire, you would likely have a natural tendency to consider her message to be suspect since her actions did not line up with one who believed that the house was truly on fire.

Again, the difference, then, is whether or not one considers the science of AGW to be settled fact.

78   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Well, Eric, I can agree with that but you are assuming more than I think we can assume and assigning motive.

What actions specifically are you talking about? If you are referring to the limos shipped in and used in Copenhagen how do you know this wasn’t just some dumb-brained decision made by some mid-level bureaucrat thinking it more wise to treat their guests lavishly than to think about the impact that decision would have on skeptics? How do you know that those attending the conference didn’t get in the limo and say, “WTF? This is the dumbest thing ever! Who ordered a limo and where did it come from?”

Granted, I have no idea how they responded. I have no more idea of that than I do of their personal lives. Maybe they are better recyclers than I am? Maybe they drive hybrids at home? Maybe they try to conserve as much as they can?

Do you know the answers to those questions?

79   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Forgive the “WTF” acronym. I am just assuming that warmists probably cuss.

80   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Chad,

I don’t know that I am assigning any motive to anything, but rather questioning sincerity and true belief. And, for every doubtful action that can be possibly assigned to someone else’s indiscretion, there are a host of everyday examples of how some of these spokespeople live and consume. Now, I don’t desire to make moral judgments about how some of them chose to live, but do think that it is reasonable to look at consistency when considering the overall picture of believability.

To backtrack, my original reaction was to your question to Phil: “who cares what they do?”. I guess my answer is still that Phil seems to care along with a good number of other reasonable minded people, and that it is reasonable for people to consider consistency when giving something the “sniff” test.

81   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Phil

You are confusing freedom to trade with global capitalism. They are not teh same thing. I do agree that scripture appears to ordain personal freedom to control your personal means of production and wealth creation. However, global capitalism is not the only solution to this. I recommend reading The Servile State by Hillaire Belloc – a foundation text for Distributism and one of the inspirations for Philip Blond’s new think-tank ResPublica here in the UK.

It is a falso dichotomy to think of things as a Socialism/Capitalism split – there are ways of thinking that fall entirely outside of this Matrix that are directly derived from biblical thought.

Ian,
Actually that’s my point to some extent. I was responding to Chad’s use of the term “free market”. I thought I understood where he was coming from, but I just wanted to clarify. I think that’s what leads to confusion when we talk about these things. If we’re using the same words, but one of us takes the definition to mean something else than the other one, than it seems we’ll forever talk past one another.

For example, I’ve said that I think there are free market solutions to certain problems. I think, though, when some people read that they think I’m referring to global capitalism or saying let’s just trust big business or Wall Street bankers to fix things. I’m meaning something more along the lines of entrusting individuals who are passionate about what they’re doing to come up with solutions that work. I’m envisioning a bottom-up approach more than a top-down.

82   chris    
December 15th, 2009 at 1:59 pm

As well, it is not just politicians that act in hypocritical ways in relation to global warming. Al Gore and a host of other celebrity prophets are just as guilty.

As well, it is not just me that acts in hypocritical ways in relation to my faith. Pastors and a whole slew of Christians are just as guilty.

Where did I put my rock…?

83   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Eric,
The point remains that hypocrisy is not sufficient reason to dismiss a claim, which was all I meant by telling Phil, “Who cares what they do?”

God help us if the reality that God exists and saved us in Jesus Christ is true only if his Church accurately reflects that reality. It may be sufficient reason to raise suspicion, but not to disqualify the claim outright (which again, was my only point).

84   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

I actually agree with both the points Chad and Eric are making. Certainly, hypocrisy on a certain does not negate the validity of the point. But when I see people who are supposedly experts or in the know in a certain field acting in a way that goes directly against what they are proposing as a solution, I have to wonder how serious the issue is. If I genuinely thought that CO2 levels were at crisis levels like some are claiming, and my continuance of a certain behavior could directly impact this crisis, I would have to believe that I would go out of my way to change my behavior.

Eric used the example his wife telling him of a fire. I would take that example a little further. I would say it would be akin to the local fire chief coming into my building and telling me there’s a fire on the upper floors and the occupants need evacuate. I would expect a fire chief in this instance to do everything within his power to notify other occupants and then run out of the building himself. I would not expect him to sit down, light up a cigarette, and read the newspaper.

85   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Chad,

I already recognized that point. I didn’t see Phil or myself simply dismissing anything based on hypocrisy. Your question did seem to insinuate, however, that it was unreasonable or unfitting to consider the hypocrisy of others when framing their claims. I think I have show that not to be the case. It seems to me that the words “who cares” carry with them an air of dismissal.

Chris,

Would that be the rock that you just tried (unsuccessfully) to lob at me?

86   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

If I genuinely thought that CO2 levels were at crisis levels like some are claiming, and my continuance of a certain behavior could directly impact this crisis, I would have to believe that I would go out of my way to change my behavior.

Ok. Can you move out of the abstract here and talk about concrete realities? I asked Eric this but perhaps he missed it: What specific actions are you talking about?

Do any of you know how the “warmists” live their daily lives? Do you know how seriously or how not-so-seriously they live by what they believe?

87   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

As an aside…

If some claim that freezing temps in the fall and winter are evidence that global warming is a fraud than is it fair to make the case it must be real since I am working outside in a t-shirt and shorts in mid-December as I prepare for a Christmas party?

88   Break the Terror (Evan)    http://breaktheterror.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I love that people don’t “believe” in global warming, based on the uneducated poo-flinging of deniers. It’s such a mangling of the English language. It exists. Simply. I can say I don’t “believe” in your toenails, but you still have to clip them.

The science didn’t change, and the two e-mails constantly cited didn’t change anything. The one about “hiding the decline” was about tree rings, fergodssake.

89   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

I would not expect him to sit down, light up a cigarette, and read the newspaper.

Nor would I, Phil. But if he did, and the building was indeed on fire, I would not conclude based on his actions that the building was not on fire but rather he was a fool and in this instance, at this moment, his actions were not in line with his beliefs.

Again, unless any of you can claim some omniscient insight into the personal lives of everyone who thinks global warming is a reality than my question to Phil about how some politicians behave in Copenhagen (which I agree is stupid) is pointless

90   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

Do any of you know how the “warmists” live their daily lives? Do you know how seriously or how not-so-seriously they live by what they believe?

Well Al Gore’s carbon footprint is something like 20X bigger than the average household’s, for starters.

91   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Chad,

Google “environmental hypocrisy” and you will get about 1.3 million hits. Start there. Of course, not every hit is an example of hypocrisy, I realize that.

Al Gore’s hypocrisy is well documented and very important to notice as he is a globe-trotting self-made expert who won a Nobel “Peace” prize for his work and inconvenient truths (which have been shown to have some serious untruths that were pretty inconvenient for Mr. Gore).

In the age of internet information, one need not claim “omniscient” insight to know some pertinent facts about the habits of certain high profile individuals. Also, no one here claimed that “everyone who thinks global warming is a reality” is a hypocrite.

92   Chris    
December 15th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Would that be the rock that you just tried (unsuccessfully) to lob at me?

It wasn’t intended that way. My point was/is that it’s very easy for ALL of us to point out the hypocrisy of THEM over there and miss it in ourselves. Truth is we are all hypocritical. Christians, Liberals, Neo Cons, etc…

Many of us have beliefs that we don’t live out or have actions that are incongruous with our belief system.

93   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

As long as it won’t affect the rest of my life I do not care. :cool:

94   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Phil, your fire marshall analagy works the other direction…

Suppose the marshall is convinced the building is on fire and is doing all he can to carry people out to safety. However, there are many who resist. They argue…

Hey, who are you to tell me what to do? I have “rights,” you know, and you are overstepping your authority. I think you just want me out of my apartment so you can grab it for yourself. You are just a bleeding heart moron and I don’t believe the building is on fire, so leave me alone.

95   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

I love that people don’t “believe” in global warming, based on the uneducated poo-flinging of deniers. It’s such a mangling of the English language. It exists. Simply. I can say I don’t “believe” in your toenails, but you still have to clip them.

Actually, I don’t know that anyone here has denied that global warming is happening or has happened (although I have seen data that shows that when look at larger trends, a cooling cycle may be coming), but rather the issue is whether or not it is from man-made causes. Showing a correlation through a study is much easier than showing an actual cause/effect relationship.

96   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 3:26 pm

I am not determing whether or not global warming is true based on Al Gore’s carbon footprint.

That would be ridiculous. You guys are taking this a bit further than it can reasonably go.

97   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Btw, Hi, Evan! It’s been a while. Hope you’re doing well.

98   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Chris,

Duly noted, and I agree. However, that does not make it inappropriate to make note of the hypocrisy of one preaching doom and gloom but not living accordingly.

Chad,

Of course, the people in the building could also ask that marshall how he knew the building was on fire and would hope to hear that the marshall has more evidence than a flawed computer model with suspect and manipulated inputs that shows that the building might be on fire.

99   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Chad,

Re #96: Neither are we. You asked for examples of hypocrisy, and Al Gore is one.

100   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

“Many of us have beliefs that we don’t live out or have actions that are incongruous with our belief system.”

The understatement of the year. You will have a difficult time exceeding it in 2010. :)

101   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

I am not determing whether or not global warming is true based on Al Gore’s carbon footprint.

That would be ridiculous. You guys are taking this a bit further than it can reasonably go.

If I read the argument correctly, though, Chad, Phil/Eric/Paul is not “determining whether or not global warming is true” – but rather “observing how serious of an issue anthropogenic global warming might be – and whether carbon cuts would actually do anything to reverse it” based on how seriously the individuals who are the most passionate on the subject have altered their own lifestyles.

If these folks were truly serious about cutting carbon emissions, they would be using widely-available webinar/collaboration technology from home, rather than 30K of them flying to Copenhagen, 15K of them renting vehicles or limousines, and all of them (minus the Danes) consuming all sorts of resources on a two-week boondoggle.

It is called “leading by example”. No it does not disprove “global warming” (which most people agree has occurred over the past 160 years), but rather calls into question how much the ‘true believers’ truly believe in the anthropogenic part of the religion they’re pushing.

102   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

#101 – To sum it up, if global warming is being caused by affluent humans who can reasonably expect us to sacrifice to the extent it would reverse? If it came upon us so quickly, what would it take to stop and reverse it?

Much, I suspect. I have every confidence fallen humans will at least “table the issue” until there is no answer. In short, I will sleep tonight just like I did last night, and just like all of you did and will.

103   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

based on how seriously the individuals who are the most passionate on the subject have altered their own lifestyles.

To help Chad understand, perhaps the best way to grasp what is being argued is to consider the precious metal GOLD.

Gold is constantly being plugged as the best investment and the dollar will tank terribly. People who claim this are called “Gold Bugs”. Every chance they get – Kitco, radio, TV interviews, blogs – they plug gold and condemn the dollar.

BUT, in order to get a true assessment on what it really believed, pragmatic investors get a reading from what these gold bugs actually do with their money.

It turns out, most of the rampant gold bugs who are plugging gold ad nauseum actually recommend – when the rubber meets the road – to only hold between 10-20% of your portfolio there.

Likewise these corporate warmists.

104   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 4:13 pm

…two-week boondoggle.

I could go for a good two-week boondoggle about now. I work too hard…

105   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Chris L,

Well stated. Thanks for a different and summing perspective on that particular point.

106   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

It is called “leading by example”.

I agree. And it would have been nice if they had convened their meeting in some if not all the ways you proposed.

But they didn’t. And as I said before, I am not surprised when humans, especially politicians, act foolishly or hypocritically.

If I may borrow from some of the skepticism around here, I highly doubt that had the Copenhagen group acted more responsibly and followed all of the good suggestions you made, Chris L, or if Al Gore’s carbon footprint was the cutest and most dainty thing any of us had ever seen, that it would alter your belief one iota. I still think you would be arguing the same issue and for the same reasons.

Which brings me back to my question to Phil: Who cares what they do?

In the end, none of us really do.

107   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 4:28 pm

The “you” in comment 106 is a collective “you,” meaning Eric/Phil/Chris L or whomever else wishes to be incorporated.

108   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 4:30 pm

Chad,

Some of us have told you we do care when it comes to analyzing their message. You can choose to believe us or choose not to. Just as you are not surprised at their hypocrisy, neither are we, but that does not make their hypocrisy a moot point.

109   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Eric,
So you are saying that if Al Gore walked to all his meetings rather than flew you wouldn’t be so skeptical about anthropogenic global warming?

110   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Chad,

What I am saying was summed nicely by Chris L in #101. I find it imminently understandable. Yes, in general, if the behavior of Al Gore and many others who actually scream (no exaggeration in the case of Gore) from the mountain tops that the earth is absolutely in the balance and will soon be irreversibly damaged was more in line with what they proclaimed, their argument would be more believable.

You may or may not find that strange, but it is a sentiment shared by many people.

111   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Eric,
What I find strange is anyone sitting in judgment of the actions of one person in particular as well as a group of strangers of whom you know nothing of their personal lives and how they conduct their daily affairs and using that judgment as a litmus test for something that is determined irrespective of their actions, good or bad.

Humans are either a cause of global warming or they are not. Period. Al Gore’s lifestyle is only a salacious point at best, moot at worst.

Could they do a better job of leading by example? Of course!! But we all could. As Chris already mentioned, who wants to throw the first stone?

112   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 15th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Chad,
I’m not sitting in judgment of anyone. Al Gore can eat spotted owl roasted over burning styrofoam plates for all I care (OK, that’s a bit of an overstatement). But the point is that if you’re going to to put out a movie condemning a large portion of the population for making lifestyle choices that you believe lead to global warming, it certainly on seems like common sense that you’d make those changes yourself.

I mean it’s like being lectured by a 500-lb man about the importance of diet and exercise. It’s not a complicated point. It seems to me that one’s “throwing stones” are the ones making movies and such.

Granted the actions of a person doesn’t change the underlying veracity or falseness of a scientific claim, but the credibility of the messenger can impact how people see the credibility of the claim. It’s the same reason why it is important for Christians to live lives that actually live up to what they claim to believe. Or actions can impact the way people view and hear the message.

113   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 5:26 pm

“Al Gore can eat spotted owl roasted over burning styrofoam plates”

while riding in a ten wheeled camping cruiser headed for a meeting of Exxon board members.

Note: Spotted owl is served best with fried oinions. :lol:

114   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Phil –
I agree. But I still don’t care how they live. That’s the bottom line.

Let me put it in a different way:

The actions or inactions of politicians do not in any way shape or form dictate how I see the world. I suspect this is true of you as well.

Thus, my question: Who cares what they do?

I think enough has been said on that one question by now, don’t you?

115   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 5:32 pm

There is only one person I know who believed in global warming and lived his convictions.

Ted Kaczynski

116   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Phil,

The following comment is actually of rather vital importance to this conversation and one that has been argued often and well by others at this blog:

Granted the actions of a person doesn’t change the underlying veracity or falseness of a scientific claim, but the credibility of the messenger can impact how people see the credibility of the claim. It’s the same reason why it is important for Christians to live lives that actually live up to what they claim to believe.

If this is true, and I’m assuming it is, I don’t find any of the current mouthpieces for warming credible. No Gore. Not Dave Matthews. Not any of them. I’m sorry, but they have too much to gain and nothing to lose in this. Therefore, they have no credibility.

I don’t suppose it would do any good to argue that there is a whole lot of money involved in the warming industry so I won’t bring it up.

What continually amazes me is that ‘we’ think the government is capable at any level of solving these problems.

Then again, I am not living under the illusion that God is, in any way, in control of what does on on this planet…you know, in the sense that he doesn’t have to come in an clean up the messes we make because we are incapable of cleaning them up ourselves. (sarcasm off)

jerry

PS, forgive me for the use of sarcasm, mockery, or lampooning…whatever the popular term is at this point in the post thread.

117   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Chad,

Nice of you to totally misrepresent what I said and then say that enough has been said.

As to “sitting in judgment”, I already stated that I am not making moral judgments about their choices, rather judging their choices by the standards their have set for others to help gauge their sincerity.

As to knowing “nothing of their personal lives and how they conduct their daily affairs”, as I have also explained, there is plenty of information publicly available to make reasonable conclusions about the choices and consumptions of certain public figures. You may choose to challenge the veracity of those facts, if you like, but they are out there.

As to using lifestyle as a “litmus test”, for the one millionth time, that has not been done or even bordered on here, so you are certainly in error with this assertion.

Judging consistency and hypocrisy as it relates to this conversation has never been about throwing rocks.

Now enough has been said.

118   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 5:44 pm

“I don’t suppose it would do any good to argue that there is a whole lot of money involved in the warming industry so I won’t bring it up.”

Yes, the root of everything.

“What continually amazes me is that ‘we’ think the government is capable at any level of solving these problems.”

Start a church; I’ll be your assisstant.

“Therefore, they have no credibility.”

I agree. Kind of like George Bush going to war after receiving a comfy National Guard job when it was his turn.

The major difference in Christians is the ministry of the Holy Spirit who overcomes the inconsistencies of Christ followers.

119   Eric    
December 15th, 2009 at 5:48 pm

“Now enough has been said.”

Unless, of course, Rick has something to say! :-)

120   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 6:11 pm

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Amen.

121   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 6:14 pm

If some claim that freezing temps in the fall and winter are evidence that global warming is a fraud than is it fair to make the case it must be real since I am working outside in a t-shirt and shorts in mid-December as I prepare for a Christmas party?

All it tells me is that you live in a place where it takes longer to get cooler or that you have a higher rate of metabolism that keeps you hotter than most of us. Furthermore, it doesn’t even tell us the temp outside. I know a guy who would work outside here in Ohio, in the middle of winter, wearing nothing but a shirt.

So to the point you are making, it doesn’t tell us anything about whether or not the earth is warming or has warmed which is, to be sure, not the point since no one here has argued otherwise.

122   chris    
December 15th, 2009 at 8:24 pm

“Many of us have beliefs that we don’t live out or have actions that are incongruous with our belief system.”

The understatement of the year. You will have a difficult time exceeding it in 2010. :)

edited before 2010:

ALL of us have beliefs that we don’t live out or have actions that are incongruous with our belief system.

123   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 15th, 2009 at 10:24 pm

At -10 today, I would love to witness some global warming right about now.

124   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 15th, 2009 at 10:28 pm

125   Ian    http://www.everythingchristian.co.uk/
December 16th, 2009 at 3:01 am

Yes – that is a problem in the US. Massaged effects at the UEA notwithstanding, in Europe there are people such as Jonathan Porritt who have been consistent in both lifestyle and philosophy over this for over two decades.

This whole discussion focuses too much on envoronmental impact, and although that is an issue, it is not the only one. Theologically, there are good arguments for Christians to live lightly on the earth, to not consume and live like our culture lives, and to not assume that we have a right to this lifestyle. I have been pondering on a passage from 1 Timothy 6:

<blockquote cite="But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.>

126   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 7:15 am

#125 – Good verse, Ian. I once had my entire SS class read the New Testament from Matthew to Jude in one week with the express purposes of seeing how maoney, greed, and our lifestyles are dealt with. Everyone was surprised at how anti-western the New Testament are.

But I suggest that the verse you quoted and others are not so much to save the earth but are much more focused on disciplining ourselves spiritually, living a remarkable life in front of others, and honoring the Lord with an overt display of setting our affections on things above.

As chris has duly noted, living an indistinguishable lifestyle in a western, hedonistic culture is completely at odds with the teachings we defend with frothing mouths and argue over incessantly with the purpose of being right rather than seeking to significantly alter our lives into dramatic compliance with those same “Scriptures”.

In the end, when it comes to this issue and by implication all issues, I believe the Bible is God’s direct Word in theory much more than I do in practice.

127   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 7:51 am

Ian, thanks for that.

I have been thinking about the mandate placed on us by God to be good stewards and comparing our God-given vocation with the insistence by some that humans have no negligible impact on the environment.

This is curious to me because most of the people here believe that our theology impacts our living (rightly so). For instance, I believe Phil and Chris L and Jerry would agree with N.T. Wright and other theologians who have said that if we have a theology about the eschaton that assumes God will wipe out the earth and/or that our bodies matter little and we will all be “raptured” away, than we will be tempted to treat the earth and our bodies (and others) accordingly.

The first and primary vocation God gave to humanity was to care for the earth. God did not give us a reason for this vocation. However, we know from Scripture as a whole that our actions have consequences and so we should not assume that our call to care for the earth is not without cause.

With this in mind I am curious why Christians would argue so passionately that humans have little to no effect on the environment – good or bad. I don’t get the need to disprove human culpability in climate change. Can someone explain that to me?

128   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 8:08 am

“Can someone explain that to me?”

Politics. For example, if the discussion was between two segments of conservatives, both of whom had respect for each other, the tone would be much different, and in fact, there would probably be much more consideration for both postulates.

So views on other issues affect how we process issues put forward by people with whom we disagree on other issues. To whit – human nature.

129   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 8:16 am

Phil,

I promised to share some “free market ” thoughts from Cavanaugh in his book “Being Consumed. Here are a few snippets that I think best capture his theological perspective of freedom and the market…

When is the market free? According to Milton Friedman, the central problematic of economics is how to ensure the cooperation of free individuals without coercion. The answer, says Friedman, was provided by Adam Smith, who saw that, in the absence of external coercion, two parties enter into exchanges because it will be mutually beneficial for them to do so, “provided the transaction is bi-laterally voluntary and informed.”….According to Friedman, if individuals are voluntarily entering into exchanges from which both parties expect to benefit, then the market is free.

Freedom itself is pursuing whatever you want without interference from others.

Two corollaries follow from this concept of voluntary exchange. The first is that freedom is defined negatively, that is, as freedom from the interference of others, especially from the state….the second corollary is that a free market has no telos, that is, no common end to which desire is directed.

Augustine’s view of freedom is more complex: freedom is not simply a negative freedom from, but a freedom for, a capacity to achieve certain worthwhile goals. All of those goals are taken up into the one overriding telos of human life, the return to God….Freedom is being wrapped up in the will of God, who is the condition of human freedom. Being is not autonomous; all being participates in God, the source of being.

The alcoholic with plenty of money and access to an open liquor store may, in a purely negative sense, be free from anything interfering with getting what he wants; but in reality he is profoundly unfree and cannot free himself. In order for him to regain freedom of choice, he cannot be left alone. He can only be free by being liberated from his false desires and being moved to desire rightly. Augustine says “freedom of choice is not made void but established by grace, since grace heals the will whereby righteousness may freely be loved.”

In Augustine’s view, others are in fact crucial to one’s freedom.

Humans need a community of virtue in which to learn to desire rightly.

For Augustine, the most important question is not whether the will has been moved externally or internally; rather, the most important question is to what end the will has been moved…The key to true freedom is not just following whatever desires we happen to have, but cultivating the right desires.

The point is this: the absence of external force is not sufficient to determine the freedom of any particular exchange. In order to judge whether or not an exchange is free, one must know whether or not the will is moved toward a good end. This requires some kind of substantive – not merely formal – account of the true end, or telos, of the human person. Where there are no objectively desirable ends, and the individual is told to choose his or her own ends, then choice itself becomes the only thing that is inherently good. When there is a recession, we are told to buy things to get the economy moving; what we buy makes no difference. All desires, good or bad, melt into the one overriding imperative to consume, and we all stand under the one sacred canopy of consumption for its own sake….This is not just a matter of wanting too much; it is a matter of wanting without any idea why we want what we want.

130   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 9:57 am

The first and primary vocation God gave to humanity was to care for the earth. God did not give us a reason for this vocation.

The actual command is: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

The environmental movement, as a whole, teaches that this is a lie – that we should not be procreating, that we should not be subduing the earth (which implies use, not disuse), and that we are to be ruled over by the earth, not vice-versa.

I don’t get the need to disprove human culpability in climate change. Can someone explain that to me?

I have no need to disprove human culpability in climate change, because the burden of proof is not on me. In the scientific method, the burden of proof is not on proving the negative, but on the individual trying to affirm a positive hypothesis.

Yes, we need to be good stewards, but that requires that we actually have good data about what is “good”. Thus, we need to actually know what things we do actually have an impact on the earth, and which are just pure speculation. Warmists propose that (a) CO2 is the/a primary driving factor in climate change, and (b) that man’s input of CO2 (of which, our second-by-second respiration is our primary input of CO2 into the environment) is the driving factor.

These have not been proven.

It is like me telling you that (a) you have the responsibility to protect human life, and (b) this requires that you stand on your head and recite Elizabethan poetry four hours per day. While it might make me feel morally superior if enough folks are standing on their heads quoting Shakespeare and I’m joining them, it has not an iota of real impact upon fulfilling my responsibility to protect human life.

To this point, the burden of proof (which is not on me) that CO2 is causing harm to the earth, and the human component of CO2 (2% of the total) is the causal factor in that harm – has not been met. Thus, requiring me to do a darn thing about it has nothing to do with “good stewardship”, but is little more than asking me to stand on my head and woo Juliet. Sure I might feel morally superior for “reducing my carbon footprint”, but in reality it is nothing.

So, go ahead, feel morally superior for supporting indulgences (cap-and-trade) and draconian reductions in the use of fossil fuels, but don’t expect other Christians to give it any more weight than pissing into the wind until there is definitive proof that it is any different.

131   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 10:04 am

So, go ahead, feel morally superior for supporting indulgences (cap-and-trade) and draconian reductions in the use of fossil fuels, but don’t expect other Christians to give it any more weight than pissing into the wind until there is definitive proof that it is any different.

Chris L, I was asking an honest question and the thought of moral superiority never entered my mind.

Kudos to you for ramping it up to that, though.

132   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 10:09 am

“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

New Testament command update:

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Summation: Those that support the human global warming theory, and those that oppose the human global warming theory, feel better about themselves because of their views. It’s pretty much mumbo jumbo to the rest of us. :cool:

133   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 10:17 am

Yes, we need to be good stewards, but that requires that we actually have good data about what is “good”. Thus, we need to actually know what things we do actually have an impact on the earth, and which are just pure speculation

So you agree that we actually DO have an impact on the earth but just disagree that it has to do with CO2 levels?

134   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 10:27 am

The first and primary vocation God gave to humanity was to care for the earth. God did not give us a reason for this vocation. However, we know from Scripture as a whole that our actions have consequences and so we should not assume that our call to care for the earth is not without cause.

With this in mind I am curious why Christians would argue so passionately that humans have little to no effect on the environment – good or bad. I don’t get the need to disprove human culpability in climate change. Can someone explain that to me?

I would pretty much agree with Chris’ reasoning. It’s one thing to say we need to care for the earth, but it’s another to define what that actually means.

It’s sort of like defining what good parenting is. Certainly there are good number of things that we universally say good parent don’t do, but there are also a good number of things that individual parents need to decide for themselves in how they will raise their children. For example, I know parents who think that keeping a strict bedtime is a key thing in raising children, but I also parents who are much more lenient. However, both of them have children who seem to be socially well-adjusted.

So I think the same type of thing could apply to caring for the earth. There are a good number of things which pretty much everyone can agree to, but then there are things that are still a lack of consensus on.

135   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 10:29 am

I just got a tweet from Jesus

You have as little to do with the kingdom of God being set up as you do global warming- I am going to do both!

136   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 10:37 am

Phil,

I see an inconsistency, however, in you and Chris L’s argument. It seems you want to say out of one side of your mouths that humans have no effect on the environment and then out of the other side you want to say there are better ways than others to lessen our negative impact on the environment.

So which is it?

I don’t think cap and trade laws are a bad idea. Reducing emissions and abuse of resources is a good idea. From the EPA:

Cap and trade is an environmental policy tool that delivers results with a mandatory cap on emissions while providing sources flexibility in how they comply. Successful cap and trade programs reward innovation, efficiency, and early action and provide strict environmental accountability without inhibiting economic growth.

I don’t see why Chris L would label that as “indulgences.”

But he is the king of overstatement. Calling laws that call for the reduction of fossil fuels “draconian,” which means “excessively harsh and severe” is unnecessary and, IMO, just silly.

That sort of rhetoric is usually deployed by people who are fearful of losing something they feel they are entitled to or is rightfully theirs. Which is why I find the whole OP ironic when it talks about “fear” being sold by liberals. Ha!

137   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 10:38 am

For Augustine, the most important question is not whether the will has been moved externally or internally; rather, the most important question is to what end the will has been moved…The key to true freedom is not just following whatever desires we happen to have, but cultivating the right desires.

Well, Augustine basically said there was no such thing as truly free will, either. He said that every desire that springs from man has root cause. Which basically says that given a number of choices, a person is always predestined to choose one.

Given the example of the alcoholic with a large amount of money, I would say that the probability is greatest that his next purchase will be alcohol, but is not inevitable that it will be. His choice can and will be undoubtedly influence by an almost infinite amount of things, but ultimately, he is a morally free agent who making the decision. His decision may be impaired by a number decisions prior to his becoming an alcoholic, but ultimately his decisions are result of his actions as morally free agent.

In other words, I reject the notion of compatibilist free will that Cavanaugh (and Augustine, really, I suppose) puts forth.

138   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 10:45 am

I see an inconsistency, however, in you and Chris L’s argument. It seems you want to say out of one side of your mouths that humans have no effect on the environment and then out of the other side you want to say there are better ways than others to lessen our negative impact on the environment.

I never said humans have no effect on the environment. Drive through any industrial city, and it’s obvious they do. I’m simply saying I have doubts as to the degree which they can affect the global climate as it relates to warming/cooling. I would say it’s indisputable that we can affect the climate in a local area. For example, cities are always a few degrees warmer than the surrounding rural area, and it’s undeniable that emissions from factories can cause things like acid rain.

So obviously there are some things we can and should do.

139   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 10:46 am

Certainly there are good number of things that we universally say good parent don’t do

Ok, agreed. So why can’t you allow for governing bodies to determine which number of things are universally damaging for corporations to do?

Why do you allow for some universality in good vs. bad parenting that should be enforced and not allow this in national politics?

It’s odd to me that Chris L has no problem with a person having to abide by laws when driving because they have to get a license. Therefore, their driving under the influence is not allowed because it endangers a public who has every bit a right to those roads as anyone else.

Corporations often emit inordinate amounts of waste into the air effect me and my family and many others who have every right to live where they live, yes? It seems to me that cap and trade regs are akin to a driver’s license. If you want to operate a business than you can operate within these prescribed boundaries, just like if you want to drive in this country you will do so within these prescribed boundaries.

I see nothing “draconian” about that.

140   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 10:50 am

Well, Augustine basically said there was no such thing as truly free will, either.

Which is thoroughly Scriptural, orthodox and…true.

Before one comes to Christ they are free to sin. That is not “freedom.” As Paul said, we are hostile to God. You may think you have free choices and are acting independently but in reality you are curved in on yourself, bound by sin.

As noted, true freedom is not freedom from coercion but freedom for God. We do not have that in and of ourselves.

141   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 10:53 am

Corporations often emit inordinate amounts of waste into the air effect me and my family and many others who have every right to live where they live, yes? It seems to me that cap and trade regs are akin to a driver’s license. If you want to operate a business than you can operate within these prescribed boundaries, just like if you want to drive in this country you will do so within these prescribed boundaries.

Cap and trade would do very little to actually cut emission from the biggest offenders. It would simply allow them to pay a fine (i.e., “trade”) for their pollution. It would simply be new source of revenue for the federal government. It gets back to my example of the building codes exempting casinos from energy codes, or allowing big offenders to get around by paying fines every year. Paying a fine doesn’t solve the supposed problem. It simply lines the coffers of the treasury.

There are already plenty of laws on the books dealing with pollutants that can actually be shown to be harmful to human health. There are probably many areas of the country where these laws need to be enforced more stringently. Passing a new law doesn’t mean anything if the old ones aren’t be enforced fairly.

I don’t deny that there are rules and laws that are needed for human society to exist. I just don’t think this current round of legislation regarding CO2 emissions is based on very convincing scientific reasoning.

142   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 10:56 am

It is unsettling to someone like me that this issue generates so much passion and conflict. I place this issue way, way down the list of kingdom importance.

143   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 10:58 am

Which is thoroughly Scriptural, orthodox and…true.

Before one comes to Christ they are free to sin. That is not “freedom.” As Paul said, we are hostile to God. You may think you have free choices and are acting independently but in reality you are curved in on yourself, bound by sin.

As noted, true freedom is not freedom from coercion but freedom for God. We do not have that in and of ourselves.

Even though Paul said he is a slave to Christ, he certainly makes it clear that we have the capability to choose to do either the right or the wrong thing. His letters are filled with exhortations to people urging them to make the right choice. It would seem to be a futile thing to do, if in reality they were never free to choose.

Even people bound to sin can choose to do right in certain instances. Salvation is ultimately not about getting us to make the correct moral choices. It is about God giving us His heart. Yes, this will undoubtedly cause us to choose thing that line up with His will, but it does not take away our capability to choose otherwise.

144   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:02 am

Cap and trade would do very little to actually cut emission from the biggest offenders. It would simply allow them to pay a fine (i.e., “trade”) for their pollution

Ok, so cutting emissions is a good thing and cap and trade works for some but not for some of the “biggest offenders.”

So your logic is that since some big bullies don’t abide by the laws we should throw them out?

I know people who speed because they can afford the tickets and really don’t care. But I don’t think because of that that we should do away with speeding laws.

145   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:05 am

#143: Paul is writing about a post-Christian state. That is the difference.

146   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:09 am

Ok, so cutting emissions is a good thing and cap and trade works for some but not for some of the “biggest offenders.”

So your logic is that since some big bullies don’t abide by the laws we should throw them out?

I know people who speed because they can afford the tickets and really don’t care. But I don’t think because of that that we should do away with speeding laws.

I would say that the people who totally ignore speeding laws to the point of genuinely not caring about a ticket represent a small minority of the population. However, in the field of manufacturing and production, the big guys produce the majority of the emissions. It seems odd to me to pass a law with the stated goal of reducing emissions when you give the biggest offenders an automatic loophole to get around it. The reason is because it’s more about money than anything else.

It’s the same as the government’s incestuous relationship with tobacco companies. If tobacco is so bad (which I don’t see how anyone can deny its harmful health effects) than ban it outright. But politicians would never dream of doing that because of the huge revenues cigarette taxes bring in.

In other words, virtually every decision the government makes is tainted by the economic impact it will have on the treasury.

147   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 11:15 am

I do love the hypocrisy when warmists are violent in Denmark. So are they blind to the destruction that violence has made upon the earth?

148   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:20 am

Chad,

I’d like to ask you in good faith a question about the following statement you made above:

So why can’t you allow for governing bodies to determine which number of things are universally damaging for corporations to do?

Are freaking seriously asking this question?

So you, my good friend Chad, who would challenge any government body who determines it is universally damaging for terrorists to blow up buildings will now say, with a straight face, that we should give those same governing bodies the authority to decide what is universally damaging for corporations to do?

You, my good friend Chad, who would likely agree that Shane Claiborne’s ideas of challenging the powers and authorities and rulers is a good idea, will submit yourself to their subjective, power-invoke, and totally arbitrary ideas of what is right and wrong for a corporation?

Do you not see that it only matters which party is in power and which corporation has more money to spend on lobbyists?

So you are not asking that question with a straight face are you?

And remember I am asking in good faith.

jerry

149   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:25 am

Jerry,

I’m asking with a straight face.

My position has been consistent throughout. I care about issues, not parties or political ideologies. I could care less if the gov’t tells corporations that they can only emit so much pollution or use only so much fossil fuels. Why? Because I see that as a desired good.

That is not to say I would agree with the gov’ts attempts to legislate ALL things.

This isn’t a cookie-cutter philosophy, Jerry.

150   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:27 am

Jerry, I could ask you the same:

Are you freaking serious that you would allow corporations to have carte blanche freedom to do anything and act in any way they please???

Are you saying that with a straight face?

151   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:32 am

My position has been consistent throughout. I care about issues, not parties or political ideologies. I could care less if the gov’t tells corporations that they can only emit so much pollution or use only so much fossil fuels. Why? Because I see that as a desired good.

No offense, but this just seems very simplistic to me. It sounds as if you are saying that as long as the government says it has the goal of doing something, we should simply trust that it will make it happen. I simply don’t have that sort of faith in elected officials.

If someone tells me they plan on doing something, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking them questions like “how”, “why”, and “how much will it cost” – especially when it’s someone who’s overseen plenty of failed projects in the past.

If you brought in a contractor to come fix your house, I hope you wouldn’t simply say, “well your ad said you’d do a good job, and you like like a good guy, so I believe you. Here’s my wallet, just take what you need.” That’s the opposite of being a good steward.

152   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:36 am

I simply don’t have that sort of faith in elected officials.

Excuse me if I find Chad’s position entirely comical. I am sitting here wondering if some Americans know anything about how their own country operates.

If the politicians are literally in bed with the corporations, how can you hold out any hope that anything will be done with pure intention? It’s very, very naive – dangerously so.

153   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:37 am

150, no that’s exactly my point. i don’t trust the government to do anything right: wage war, collect taxes, dictate policy to privately or publicly own corporations. I believe I have been consistent on this too.

The government has only one ambition and that is to empower themselves and control and dictate what my freedom looks like and is lived. No one is good, not even one.

154   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:38 am

It is unsettling to someone like me that this issue generates so much passion and conflict.

Amen, and amen.

155   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:38 am

Are you freaking serious that you would allow corporations to have carte blanche freedom to do anything and act in any way they please???

If the choice is between big companies and big government, I’ll go with big companies. They will go out of business if enough of their customers get fed up with them or they have incompetent leaders at the top (unless of course, they’re deemed “too big to fail”). There have been some mighty big companies that have gone down the tubes over the years that at one time people thought could never fail.

156   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:43 am

but, the corporation also has the same ambition–to make money, control monopoly, and exert power.

the corporation has only one goal: money. it’s the same for the government.

And while the two wage war against each other, i’m not sure it is your job or my job to stand in the way and point to one or the other and say, “Sinner!”

But the problem is that you are partisan and you do care about policy, just as I am and do. I prefer a conservative agenda in most areas, you prefer a liberal one. I think mine will accomplish certain goals, you think yours will.

Will you say, with an equally straight face, that if this sort of agenda were being pushed by conservative republicans that you would feel and act the same way?

157   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:44 am

Phil,

They will go out of business if enough of their customers get fed up with them or they have incompetent leaders at the top (unless of course, they’re deemed “too big to fail”). There have been some mighty big companies that have gone down the tubes over the years that at one time people thought could never fail.

Or the government will come in a buy them up and ….

158   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 11:44 am

“I am sitting here wondering if some Americans know anything about how their own pretty much every country operates.”

:)

159   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:46 am

the corporation has only one goal: money. it’s the same for the government.

And while the two wage war against each other, i’m not sure it is your job or my job to stand in the way and point to one or the other and say, “Sinner!”

Guys, the gov’t and corporations are not at war. They are in bed. They have a symbiotic relationship.

160   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:48 am

Paul,

That may well be true…too…I stand corrected. (Or sit, since I’m in a chair.)

jerry

161   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 11:49 am

“Will you say, with an equally straight face, that if this sort of agenda were being pushed by conservative republicans that you would feel and act the same way?”

Bingo!! And that works both ways, as you have honsetly admitted, Jerry. When we discuss spiritual issues with others we believe are Christians we assume we all have the same general agenda. When we discuss secular issues that include unsaved men dn women, the die has been cast and the agendas are legion.

162   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:50 am

Guys, the gov’t and corporations are not at war. They are in bed. They have a symbiotic relationship.

Well, it depends. They have a love/hate relationship. There are some big corporations that seem to be on the government’s “good” list such as Citibank, Bank of America, etc., but others such as Wal-Mart and Microsoft that seem to be on its “naughty” list. It’s all very arbitrary.

163   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:58 am

Aside from the intelligent and well-researched nature of the OP, this comment thread has to be the most worthless and idiotic waste of time since the building of the tower of Babel.

Seriously. There are people dying and going to Hell. Shouldn’t the subglobal warming of wicked transgressors of God’s law be our main concern?

164   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 11:59 am

It’s all very arbitrary.

Hardly. I am not saying there will the anomaly here and there, but the evidence is extremely clear. Sometimes the gov’t throws us a bone, but only when it suits them (not us).

When you have companies with revenues larger than the GDP of countries (for the first time in history), it’s not hard to see why.

When it comes to issues that actually matter, it’s very clear. And it’s global.

165   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 12:04 pm

So you agree that we actually DO have an impact on the earth but just disagree that it has to do with CO2 levels?

Yes – I’ve never said otherwise. The problem, Chad, is that you fail to recognize the scale of impact.

1) I do not believe that human activity has any significant impact on global climate. “Global” – worldwide. “Climate” – weather patterns, annual temperature, etc.

2) I do believe that human activity can have a negative impact on localized ecosystems. I also believe that, where detrimental, we should avoid such impacts. Not all impacts are detrimental (we “pollute” the drinking water supply by adding chlorine (to kill bacteria) and fluoride (to improve societal dental health). Some, though (ex: pouring raw sewage into rivers & streams) are definitely detrimental and should be prevented.

I’m not opposed to environmental regulations – I’m just opposed to the 90-95% of environmental regs that really do nothing to improve the environment.

As it stands, most of the environmental movement, as it impacts politics, is a sham if classified as “stewardship”. Hands down, the cleanest, safest and most carbon-neutral form of energy capable of meeting our society’s needs is nuclear power. Modern reactor design allows for magnitudes more reuse than 1960’s designs, and is incredibly safe (no possibility of melt-down, etc.). You won’t find many political environmentalists supporting it, though. Why? Because it doesn’t punish man enough by making industry unaffordable.

It seems you want to say out of one side of your mouths that humans have no effect on the environment and then out of the other side you want to say there are better ways than others to lessen our negative impact on the environment.

Please read above – there is no inconsistency in believing that man has no impact on global climate while believing that man can have a significant impact on local environmental ecosystems.

Ex: Every time there is a major volcano eruption, the earth “pollutes” the atmosphere more than mankind has since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Even so, the largest modern eruptions (like Pinatubo) had global impacts of 1-2 years.

I don’t see why Chris L would label [cap and trade] as “indulgences.”

Ironically, categorizing cap-and-trade as “indulgences” did not come from me, or the right, but from the left. See here for why the comparison is apt. Cap-and-trade is just a way of redistributing wealth via a back-door tax on some industries/countries to make a pay-off to other industries/countries.

Europe has had a form of cap-and-trade for years, and it has had little impact on emissions.

Like Al Gore, the 30,000 travelers in Copenhagen and their jets/limos/etc. show a level of ‘unseriousness’ toward their avowed belief systems, Cap-and-Trade is simply a political hypocrisy that may make some folks “feel good” about themselves while having no benefit to the environment they claim to want to protect.

166   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Guys, the gov’t and corporations are Aside from the intelligent and well-researched nature of the OP, this comment thread has to be the most worthless and idiotic waste of time since the building of the tower of Babel.

Seriously. There are people dying and going to Hell. Shouldn’t the subglobal warming of wicked transgressors of God’s law be our main concern?

If this what you truly think, then why are you wasting your time even posting this comment even? Just leave. No one’s making you stay here.

167   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

If someone tells me they plan on doing something, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking them questions like “how”, “why”, and “how much will it cost” – especially when it’s someone who’s overseen plenty of failed projects in the past.

You guys are overstating what I am saying.

I never said we shouldn’t ask “why” or “how” or “how much will it cost?” Where did I say that?

I only said, and said no more than: Reducing emissions and reducing abuse of the earth’s resources is a desired good. I don’t mind the gov’t sticking their nose in the businesses of others if they are seeking to do that.

Of course we can debate how to best do it. But I am not obsessed about so-called “rights” that you think everyone ought to have, as if that trumps anything else.

IOW, I could care less what sort of nation-state we live in. If we end up a socialist nation, so be it. If we are capitalist, so be it. If we are run by reps or dems, so be it. I really don’t care. What I care about is how the Church responds to the actions of a created power (gov’t) that is created for and through Christ. WHERE the gov’t is striving to do a good that I will commend it. Where it deviates from that good (of which it was created) I will speak out. I have said that before – - that has not changed.

Will you say, with an equally straight face, that if this sort of agenda were being pushed by conservative republicans that you would feel and act the same way?

Yes, I would, Jerry. I really don’t care about parties. I care about issues. Devising ways to be better stewards of our resources is a good idea no matter what political party you are affiliated with. I really don’t care who comes up with it.

168   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Reducing emissions and reducing abuse of the earth’s resources is a desired good. I don’t mind the gov’t sticking their nose in the businesses of others if they are seeking to do that.

I don’t think a single person here would disagree with your first sentence. However, your first sentence is over-ridden by your second sentence.

Why not get the fox to guard the hen-house?

Any man who puts his faith in the powers that be to do things in the interest of anything but money and power has his head is in the sand.

169   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

I am running my air conditioner today. Does that mean anything?

170   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Corporations often emit inordinate amounts of waste into the air effect me and my family and many others who have every right to live where they live, yes?

I thought you lived in the United States? What you see coming out of “smokestacks” in the US must, by law, be 99.9999% water vapor and CO2. Industries pay huge amounts of money incinerating and scrubbing fumes to be able to meet the “six-nines” standard. I’ve worked in chemical plants where we were always trying to get magnitudes better than that, if possible, since we live in the community, as well.

(I would note that there is still a significant odor in some places, because the human nose is able to pick out a number of compounds below parts-per-trillion levels, so you can’t always use your nose as a guide to how “clean” an emission is.)

If you want to operate a business than you can operate within these prescribed boundaries, just like if you want to drive in this country you will do so within these prescribed boundaries.

I see nothing “draconian” about that.

Imagine I told you that you could have a driver’s license – only if you could drive your car without it touching the pavement, or – if you paid me $150/mile, $100 of which would go to my pals and $50 of which I would go blow on dope and hookers.

I imagine you might find that, well … draconian.

Ok, so cutting emissions is a good thing and cap and trade works for some but not for some of the “biggest offenders.”

Cutting CO2 emissions is pointless. Cutting emissions of some chemicals makes sense. Phil’s point, though, is that (again, like Al Gore’s jet) if politicians say something is a problem, but they exempt themselves and the biggest “criminals” from fixing that “problem”, then maybe the “problem” isn’t a problem at all…

Rick: I do love the hypocrisy when warmists are violent in Denmark.

Rick – they’re just speaking truth to power. They’re not dangerous and violent, like those Tea Party folks…

Paul: Excuse me if I find Chad’s position entirely comical. I am sitting here wondering if some Americans know anything about how their own country operates.

Yes, the whole “the government’s intentions are as pure as the wind-driven snow, yet corporations would prefer to kill off everyone…” view as naive, at best…

171   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

WHERE the gov’t is striving to do a good that I will commend it. Where it deviates from that good (of which it was created) I will speak out. I have said that before – – that has not changed.

I would say your use of the word “striving” is the thing that I get hung up on. Do you honestly think that any American politician would claim that they aren’t ever “striving” to do good? Even those who supported the Iraq war would claim they are striving to do good. But in that case, you don’t judge them on their intentions, you judged them on the execution and the results. That’s all I’m saying we need to do here. Just because someone claims something will work, I don’t necessarily believe them.

Yes, I would, Jerry. I really don’t care about parties. I care about issues. Devising ways to be better stewards of our resources is a good idea no matter what political party you are affiliated with. I really don’t care who comes up with it.

Again, I’d say they are more devising ways to redistribute wealth than anything else.

172   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

BTW – Jesus may be coming back before all this so called warming stuff means anything. And I acknowledge my cro-magnum eschatological credtials. :cool:

173   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Paul C,

You have a knack for jumping to conclusions.

Any man who puts his faith in the powers that be to do things in the interest of anything but money and power has his head is in the sand.

I have no doubt that money and power drives much if not all the decisions made by the gov’t. When it comes to being concerned about motives I care about the ethics of the Church.

I know the “powers” usually have ulterior, even bad, motives. But this does not mean they cannot be used to do some good.

Do you believe government was created by God, through and for Jesus Christ?

Do you believe that government is a “power”?

Do you believe the powers are fallen?

Do you believe humans are fallen?

Do you believe humans are redeemable?

174   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

cro magnon

175   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 12:28 pm

“Do you believe humans are redeemable?”

Yes, but it has nothing to do with the temperature.

“Do you believe government was created by God, through and for Jesus Christ?”

Not in the way you do. I believe elephants were created by God and are a “power”. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world!!

176   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Not in the way you do.

How do you think I do?

177   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I believe governments are usually antichrist and fallen. I do not believe God desires his bride to date them in any cause. I am evangelically Amish.

178   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I know the “powers” usually have ulterior, even bad, motives. But this does not mean they cannot be used to do some good.

Do you believe government was created by God, through and for Jesus Christ?

Do you believe that government is a “power”?

Do you believe the powers are fallen?

Do you believe humans are fallen?

Do you believe humans are redeemable?

Ahh, this is really getting at the heart of the matter. I know Walter Wink states in his “Powers” trilogy that the Powers will one day be redeemed, but I don’t think that seems to be the case in Scripture. I think there are many powers that have made their choice to rebel against Christ and will continue in that rebellion until their destruction. All earthly Kingdoms will fall away at the consummation of Christ’s Kingdom.

The argument that Greg Boyd makes in Satan and the Problem of Evil or N.T Wright makes several places is a lot more coherent to me than Wink’s argument. I do like Wink’s work, and I think there’s a lot of value in it, but I disagree with him on this point.

179   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Rick,

It is true that governments often act antichrist. But that is not to say they are ontologically so.

Humans often act antichrist. Yet you are not advocating self-induced cloister from all human contact, right?

If you believe God created all things, and that powers are a created entity (which Paul claims to be the case in Eph 6 and Col 1), than how can you say they are beyond hope?

180   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

“Yet you are not advocating self-induced cloister from all human contact, right?”

I advocate redemptive human contact. Governments are only an organization of human beings. All power is Christ’s, all the earthly ones will one day die and make room for the King of Kings.

181   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

All earthly Kingdoms will fall away at the consummation of Christ’s Kingdom.

Agreed. But that “Kingdom” is still a type of “government.” It is a redeemed humanity/creation.

Governments as they exist today are fallen, just like humans. You do not find evangelism to humans a wasted effort so why should you find evangelism to the powers a wasted one?

182   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

“You do not find evangelism to humans a wasted effort so why should you find evangelism to the powers a wasted one?”

Absurd alert.

183   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

If you believe God created all things, and that powers are a created entity (which Paul claims to be the case in Eph 6 and Col 1), than how can you say they are beyond hope?

I would answer that question this way.

I’d start with a few a assumptions. Created beings are given true moral freedom, meaning they can choose to worship God or they can choose idolatry (worshiping that which is not God). Inherent with this freedom is a “probationary period” – meaning they are given a certain time in which to choose, and then after that, they are all they ever will become. That’s why we don’t have worry that will be another “Fall” after the Eschaton. The characters of all those alive will be permanently set – the probation periods of all beings will be over.

From Scripture, I’d say that there are some created Powers whose probation periods are over, and they will persist in their rebellion until their ultimate destruction.

184   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Absurd alert.

This must be the new code for I can’t get my head around that or that sounds like far more work than I signed on for when I said my sinner’s prayer.

185   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 12:47 pm

#184 – That was funny and creative, Chad! I love it even at my expense. :lol:

186   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:47 pm

I’d start with a few a assumptions.

At least you recognize those as assumptions.

I have my own, which are a bit different from yours.

187   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

185: Thank you, Rick. I learned from the best :)

188   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

At least you recognize those as assumptions.

I have my own, which are a bit different from yours.

Well, every philosophical system is based on givens, which is probably a better word. I can back up my starting point, but I really don’t feel like getting into now.

I’d say read the Boyd books I mentioned, and that’s a good starting point.

I think it be hard to have a consistent theodicy apart from acknowledging free will, and indeed historically it has been.

By the way, I do try to come off as not so much of a Boyd groupie, but he just makes more sense on philosophical level than so many more theologians I’ve read. I read Wink’s books a while ago, and I was almost all on board. But then I read Boyd, and I just found his responses to Wink’s assertions very convincing. So I’m definitely not closed to being convinced otherwise from current positions on some things.

189   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Rick: I am running my air conditioner today. Does that mean anything?

Yes, it means you live in Florida like I do!!

190   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

#189 – Halleluiah!! Hey, next year we need to get together at Daytona with PB!

191   Joe    
December 16th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

2 years I’ll be at the 500 on the infield. :)

192   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Go Jeff Gordon!!

193   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Joe – I assume those cars are “cap and trade” approved? :lol:

194   Joe    
December 16th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

#191.
Well, they did limit practice this year. :)

195   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Rick

Please don’t tell me I have to share Jeff Gordon with you? ;-)

yrreJ

196   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Brother!!

197   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

#189 – Halleluiah!! Hey, next year we need to get together at Daytona with PB!

I went to one race, at Atlanta, I’m done. I can’t handle the throngs of people at those events. Plus, NOBODY ever sits down to watch the race!! Ya spend the whole time standing! Makes me wonder why that bother having bleachers. :)

Besides there’s something to be said as one is prone on the couch and cat napping between the dull times….

198   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Joe – I assume those cars are “cap and trade” approved?

My hot rod could pass emissions, but, the gas milage is pretty dismal. I never really checked it but I would guess 5 to 7 mpg.

It wouldn’t meet the cap and trade standards but, I only built it to do one thing….put a smile on MY face….even thought it’s in pieces again in the garage. It’s going through another change….

199   Joe    
December 16th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Besides there’s something to be said as one is prone on the couch and cat napping between the dull times….

That’s why you sit in a box or in the infield in a big ole camper. :)

200   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

cat napping between the dull times….

Which is to say, from start to finish.

:)

201   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
December 16th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Which is to say, from start to finish.

My thoughts exactly…

202   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 4:17 pm

This just in:

Prince Charles – one of the undisputed scholars on climate change – has gone on record stating that we have “Seven years left to save the planet”.

No joke.

And unlike the other hypocrites (ie: Al Gore) who owns cars aplenty, he only has 6 (though he also has the royal jet). Additionally, with this news, who can deny he’s doing his part: “Prince Charles has converted his 38-year-old Aston Martin to run on biofuel made from surplus wine, his office revealed Tuesday.”

Obviously a very practical man.

203   Joe    
December 16th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

200 and 201…where’s the redactor police?

204   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

7 years? I don’t have that long, and in addition the rapture will be happening on either September 17 or 18 in 2012.

Anyone want to take over my blog?

JUST KIDDING!!!!!!!!

205   Paul C    http://thepathtolife.wordpress.com
December 16th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I don’t have that long

Did you see his picture? By the looks of Prince Charles, he doesn’t have that long either. :)

the rapture will be happening on either September 17 or 18 in 2012

I’m still waiting for the final word as there was a little confusion by the sounds of it. The email from Gabriel said the 17th but Michael the Archangel said the 18th. It might be a timezone issue.

206   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 16th, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Paul – The e-mail from Gabriel is a spam. :cool: