In the headlines today, Pope Francis warns the world leaders that we need to stop exploiting the earth’s resources for greedy gain. He called these leaders “cowards” for not taking leadership to stop this misuse of finite resources. He is the first major religious leader to embrace our responsibility for “caring for God’s garden.”
So far, Climate Change, or whatever you want to call it, has been a political “hot potato,” with so many view points and divisive stands on what is happening to our climate that it’s a wonder any one can make sense of it. It’s the effect of information overload in an age of confusion.
Even Governor Jeb Bush of Florida seems to think this issue is a political one, and disagreed with the Pope’s comments on the ground that he sees matters of faith to be separate from involvement along lines of social issues: “I think religion is all about making us better people.” Really? Is that what Jesus said?
“The greatest among you must be a servant,” Jesus said in Matthew 23:11. So, if religion is ‘all about us’, as Mr. Bush inferred, how does this fit into the commandment to serve? It doesn’t. We are not to be self-focused but outwardly focused. The more important aspects of our religion are justice, mercy and faith. But the greatest is love. We are to love God and in that love, love others. It is an outward focused religion on serving people with things that they need, which includes practical things like food, clean water, and a decent place to live on this planet.
What is happening globally is that resources are being exploited and depleted on a scale never before experienced since the dawn of mankind. Some estimates claim that in 25 years from now, we will be out of silver; in 40 years, no more copper; and in 118 years, coal will be depleted from the earth.¹
What is the solution then? We have got to stop thinking linearly and begin to think circularly. What? This means instead of looking at the economy and resources in a straight line going into an infinite future, we need to begin to think of how we can change economies and the use of resources to somehow form a circular cycle, where we turn things back on themselves and reuse, reduce and recycle.
This is wise use of the resources our Creator has given to use; resources that are finite. This is being good stewards of this amazing place we call Earth, that God specifically fine-tuned for humans to live on and flourish.
If we continue to feed the greed, the poorest of the world will suffer the most. Don’t they suffer enough already? This is a sin problem, and we need to see it as such. To take an attitude that “climate change is just a political problem that we don’t have to be involved in” is a cheap way out of the responsibility that God entrusted to us.
No matter where you stand politically, caring for God’s creation is not an option. Pope Francis is right to take a stand on this issue, bringing awareness to a global problem that will eventually affect us all. “Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labor is not mere philanthropy. It is a moral obligation. For Christians, the responsibility is even greater: it is a commandment.” ~ Pope Francis.
Now I am not Catholic, and don’t embrace everything this Pope says about all issues, but I do think he is right when it comes to Christians uniting together to work towards caring for this beautiful planet that God has placed under our dominion. Please pray about this issue, and support measures to change from linear thinking to circular planning.