The First-Ever Joint Christian Statement on Climate Change

In a world stricken with disaster— a world in mid-crisis, a world so undeniably in need—three supreme Christian leaders claim they have the solution.

On September 1, 2021, for the first time ever, Pope Francis, Bartholomew I, and Justin Welby released what they titled “A Joint Message for the Protection of Creation,” an official appeal “to stem the effects of climate change,” as Reuters put it.

You are most likely aware that Pope Francis is the head of the Roman Catholic Church, which boasts 1.3 billion of the world’s Christian population.

Bartholomew I holds the position of ecumenical patriarch, the archbishop of the Eastern Orthodox Church, what Catholicism became after the Ancient Roman Empire split into its eastern and western divisions. It currently has 220 million on the books.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, presides over the Anglican Communion, “the third largest Christian communion after the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches” at 85 million.


Another Gospel

Their six-page statement is an impassioned plea timed as a preamble to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, more popularly known as COP26, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 12 of this year.

According to these three leaders, the list of increasing disasters—“widespread floods, fires and droughts”; the rising “sea levels”; the “cyclones”; the water and food shortages—all are the results of the “selfish gain” of the human race.

Climate change is described as “an immediate and urgent matter of survival.” Tomorrow’s generations are made out to be sacrificial offerings to the god of capitalism. “We frequently hear from young people who understand that their futures are under threat,” the statement reads. “Today’s children and teenagers will face catastrophic consequences unless we take responsibility now.” We must “seize this as an opportunity; “we must choose life.” And Deuteronomy 30:19 is quoted as a choice that “God mandates.”

That’s a fascinating contradiction. If we “must” choose something, then doesn’t it cease to be a choice? If we read Deuteronomy 30:19 in context, we see that God is actually laying before us two choices: “I have set before you today life and good, death and evil” (v. 15). Yes, God wants most fervently for us to “choose life,” but He leaves the choice freely and wholly to us (Joshua 24:15; 2 Peter 3:9).

Then there’s this definition: “Choosing life means making sacrifices and exercising self-restraint.” Is that what “choosing life” means? According to the Bible, “he who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life” (John 3:36). That’s what choosing life means. The Bible also declares, “This is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).


Another God

The unfortunate consequence of making climate change your raison d’être is that Mother Nature becomes your god.

The earth becomes your judge: “We stand before a harsh justice: biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and climate change are the inevitable consequences of our actions, since we have greedily consumed more of the earth’s resources than the planet can endure.”

Global warming becomes your greatest crime: “We repent of our generation’s sins.”

Environmentalism becomes your gospel: “Caring for God’s creation is a spiritual commission requiring a response of commitment.” Whatever happened to the great commission (Matthew 28:19, 20)? As Pastor Doug Batchelor said, “I’m in favor of people caring for the environment, but [it] strikes me as odd when ‘saving the earth’ seems to be a higher priority for Christian leaders than seeking and saving the lost.”

And just like that: Creation has become the Creator at the behest of a godless statement from God’s supposed representatives on earth, as we the people are called upon to be the messiahs for a better tomorrow. These men, greats in the eyes of the world, say that you are the world’s savior. What will you do when the Savior of the world comes?

“Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads,” says Revelation 7:3. “Both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up,” says 2 Peter 3:10. “Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17), God promised.

 While it may be easy for this pastoral vision of a heaven on earth to waft through our field of dreams, it would do us well to remember that the earth is going to be destroyed and then recreated perfect by God—not us.

For a complete biblical picture of earth’s final events, we’d like to offer you our free, online book Rendezvous in Space.

The joint statement concludes with another striking call for religious unification in what has become this pope’s virulent mission: “This path requires an ever-closer collaboration among all churches in their commitment to care for creation.”

There is indeed a choice given here, the choice to follow this church’s plans for the future or to believe in the Word of God. There will be “catastrophic consequences”; “futures are under threat.” This much is true. But what is at risk is not a desolate earth but something of infinitely more worth—your salvation.

For help in making this most important decision, watch Pastor Doug’s study through Bible prophecy “Even at the Door—the USA and Rome in Prophecy.”

The future of the earth has already been decided; “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). Have you determined what your own future will be?

Kris W. Sky
Kris W. Sky is a writer and editor for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.
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