The recent Papal encyclical on global warming is more alarming than most people realize. Not because of any- alleged- warming of the Earth, but because of what it exhibits about the rapidly changing religious climate. Most forms of Christianity are rapidly becoming more secular and liberal, in many cases dramatically so. This is occurring for several reasons. The church wants to appear “modern” and “reasonable”, tolerant and “relevant” to young people. They need to keep their current congregations and attract new attendees to build their flocks, if possible. And fill their coffers.
The prevailing belief today seems to be that younger folks in specific and the modern, educated society in general, simply aren’t going to comply with any outmoded, more strident church doctrine if it in any way limits their behavior or makes any person or act seem less worthy than any other. Fewer and fewer people are attending church in recent years, and polls strongly indicate that, overall, people in Western societies are becoming less and less religious and are especially skeptical of big, organized religion.
In a nutshell, in an attempt to stop people from losing their religion, the Christian church itself is becoming less and less religious. There may be a link here somewhere. The chicken or the egg?
I do believe that people have become less attuned to religion over the years, as the culture has changed and 60’s radicals have taken over nearly all major societal institutions. But, the church may be hastening the exodus of its congregants by not standing up for its own beliefs. After all, either there are some absolute truths or there aren’t. If there aren’t, we are screwed anyway, but if there are…and the church itself refuses to stand up for them, then it loses any moral high ground it had with its erstwhile followers, rendering itself moot.
Back to the Papal encyclical. It turns out that the Pope’s primary science advisor, Hans Schellnhuber, is a self-professed atheist and believes in the Gaia Principle and a “geophysiological” approach to “Earth-system analysis.”
Schellnhuber co-authored a paper published in the Journal Nature in 2004, “Climbing the co-evolution ladder,” essentially suggesting that mankind is an infection and stating that mankind, “perturbs…the global ‘metabolism’” of the planet. How was this infection imposed upon our innocent planet (Gaia, our Mother Earth)? Evolution or divine will, Hans?
In one noted interview, Schellnhuber is quoted as saying, “If you want to reduce human population, there are wonderful means: improve the education of girls and young women.” Not exactly “go forth and multiply.”
In a paper he co-authored (with Maria Martin) for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2014, Schellnhuber utilizes a “scientific” graph that shows Michelangelo’s (Sistine Chapel) Adam “flicking” planet Earth over a “methane tipping point,” into a fiery pit labeled the “Warming Abyss.” Hell on Earth.
So, to Schellnhuber, Adam, representing all humans by extension, and put here by God, is condemning the Earth to Hell. Wow. So either God erred, or the liberal’s beloved evolution/Mother Earth did, in creating mankind?
It is not a good sign when we, who were created in the image of God, decide we are not worthy of our existence.
It is an even worse one when those who claim to be God’s messengers decide the same thing.