ADVERTISING
 
Wednesday, December 19   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Media
Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Jonathan Tame
 

The heat is on

Our generation must speak out for the poor and vulnerable, and the generations to come, and not act as if history ends with us.

JUBILEE CENTRE AUTHOR Jonathan Tame 27 SEPTEMBER 2018 15:25 h GMT+1
Photo: Marcus Kauffman (Unsplash, CC0)

This year has been remarkable for the range and intensity of extreme weather patterns.



A heatwave in July affected much of the Northern hemisphere: fires killed 92 people in Greece; Japan suffered severe flooding then a deadly heatwave, with a total of 350 fatalities; wildfires in California have caused billions of dollars of damage; and nuclear power stations had to be switched off where river water became too warm to be used for cooling reactors. Dust storms in Northern India killed 125 people in May, while 450 died in monsoon flooding in Kerala in recent weeks. For once, high income countries seem to have suffered as many fatalities as poorer nations.



Meteorologists and climate scientists are still investigating the extent to which these events are caused by man-made climate change, but it’s clear that extreme weather patterns are becoming more common. 16 out of the 17 hottest years on record have been in this century, and multiple different studies show overall temperature trends rising on both land and sea.



Sir John Houghton, the Christian who first chaired the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), argued that responses to climate change should be two-fold: mitigation and adaptation. The Paris Climate Accord is an international framework for mitigating the effects of man-made climate change, by seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such that global temperatures do not rise by more than 2oC above pre-industrial levels. However, this is a very long term project as reduced emissions will take decades to work through to changed temperatures. Adaptation, on the other hand, is about helping people respond practically to changes in climate already, so as to minimise the adverse effects of heatwaves, floods and drought. Together, the goal is living sustainability over multiple generations, on a planet with finite physical resources.



As I have reflected on this I have been reading Matthew 24-25, which is one long discourse about the end of the age and the signs of Jesus’ return. Many Christians try to analyse the timing and circumstances around the second coming, but the overall thrust of the passage is being watchful and prepared for the Master’s return – as ‘faithful and wise servants’ (24:45) who do what pleases God.



The book-ends of this discourse are pertinent. Jesus begins by warning that there will be wars and disasters – great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven (24:6-8). Yet the end will not come before the gospel of the kingdom is preached as a testimony to every nation (24:14). The discourse closes with Jesus explaining that when he does return, he will gather the nations and separate people like a shepherd divides the sheep and goats (25:31-46). The righteous are those who care for the hungry, the stranger, the sick and imprisoned.  If we connect these book-ends, then the way we respond to those who are caught up in disasters can witness to God’s kingdom and will also be evidence of our own discipleship.



So what are the opportunities for faithful and wise discipleship in the context of climate change?  Much has been written about personal responses – the many ways we can reduce the amount of energy we use directly and indirectly, by living more simply. At the church level, we can make contingency plans for responding with practical love and care to people who get caught up in extreme weather events, both locally and globally – for example by forging partnerships with churches in lower income countries. More ideas, both to mitigate and adapt, can be found at Operation Noah, Climate Stewards, the John Ray Initiative and A Rocha.



At the public policy level, governments must be persuaded to stick to the accountability set out in the Paris accord. Both USA and Australia have pulled back this year because of pressure from groups that bear the short term cost of reducing emissions. Our generation must speak out for the poor and vulnerable, and the generations to come, and not act as if history ends with us.



Jesus said we should learn to interpret the signs of the times. Could climate change be a sign that challenges the quality of our discipleship in a globalised world?



Jonathan Tame, Director of the Jubilee Centre (Cambridge, UK).



This article first appeared on the Jubilee Centre website and was republished with permission.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - The heat is on
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

 
VIDEO Video
 
Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms” Bulgarian evangelicals ask politicians to defend “basic freedoms”

Protests and prayers continue in Bulgaria for the sixth week.

 
What are the benefits of the whole family being on mission? What are the benefits of the whole family being on mission?

“We’re not taking energy from my ministry when we care for our family in missional kind of ways”, says President of Josiah Venture Dave Patty.

 
“We need prayers for Bulgaria” “We need prayers for Bulgaria”

An interview with Pastor Vlady Raichinov, Vice President of the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.