• David Schrader, PhD., National Pastor

An Inconvenient Truth



As we enter 2022, it's important to see where the past has been leading us. We may have some inconvenient truths to consider.


When Bari Weis resigned from The New York Times, in July 2020 she published her resignation letter online. In one part of her letter she stated, “[A] new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”


And now it seems another journalist has resigned for similar reasons as Weis. Tara Henley, a producer at CBC for 8 years, recently wrote in her resignation, “In a short period of time, the CBC went from being a trusted source of news to churning out clickbait that reads like a parody of the student press.”[1] Henley also said that to work at the CBC “in the current climate is to embrace cognitive dissonance and to abandon journalistic integrity.”[2]


Sadly, cognitive dissonance happens when people are confronted with an inconvenient truth – something that challenges their assumptions about what they believe to be true. Instead of accepting the new information that counters their assumptions, they entrench themselves even further into their distorted reality, concluding that the original information must be true, and so therefore, they will try even harder to prove it so.


Several years ago, former United States. Vice-President, Al Gore, after leaving politics got involved in the climate change initiative. A documentary soon emerged in 2006 called An Inconvenient Truth, which featured the former Vice President's campaign to educate people about global warming. That was 2006.


Recently, The New York Post featured an article titled, "The comic cries of climate apocalypse — 50 years of spurious scaremongering"[3] The Post article pointed out that most recently, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, speakers said the world has reached its “last chance” to “save humanity” from the impending doom of the “climate catastrophe” barreling down the highway of life. At that meeting, US climate envoy, John Kerry, proclaimed that we only have nine years left to curtail the worst of global warming.


Sound familiar? That's because it is. Former Vice President Al Gore said in his 2007 Nobel prize acceptance speech[4] and, in 2008, a video of the opening of a German museum captured Gore saying that "the entire North polar ice cap may well be completely gone in five years." [5]


In 2019, Britain’s Prince Charles also weighed in, announcing that we had only 18 months to put an end to climate change. Or what? We are not told.


The fearmongering goes back to 1972, 50 years ago this year, at the very first UN environment summit in Stockholm, Sweden. At that time, the world was going to end in 1982. The “Limits to Growth” report issued from that summit said that natural resources would run out in a few decades and that humanity would be overwhelmed by pollution.[6]


No wonder these frightening prognostications led to Hollywood’s apocalyptic genre of movies, including "The Day After Tomorrow," a 2004 movie about disruption to the North Atlantic Ocean and resulting climate change.


The New York Post article pointed out that "it is shameful for leaders of our society to paint — time and time again across decades — such an abysmal view of the world’s end. These predictions have been failing for decades the article noted. For example, "in 1989, the head of the UN’s Environment Program declared we had just three years to ‘win — or lose — the climate struggle." And, in 1982, the UN was predicting planetary ‘devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust’ by the year 2000.”[7]


The Post further reflected that just as mankind devised a way to fight fires, mankind will continue to find ways to lessen pollution’s harm to the environment. After all, pollution has been decreasing in developed nations in the past few decades, the article notes.


And now, to make matters worse, people are opting out of having children because of climate change, prompting Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to issue a warning against the low birth rate, describing it as “one of the biggest risks to civilization.” He said, “So many people, including smart people, think that there are too many people in the world and think that the population is growing out of control,” the tech billionaire continued.[8]


Morgan Stanley analysts also told investors this summer the “movement to not have children owing to fears over climate change is growing and impacting fertility rates quicker than any preceding trend in the field of fertility decline.”[9]


Inconvenient "truths" or failed doomsday predictions can be found everywhere. And they can have devastating consequences. Do we have a pollution problem? Yes. Should we all be good caretakers of our world and environment? Yes. But the world will not end because of climate change, no matter how much fear mongering you hear.


So, what are we to make of all these failed doomsday predictions?


The end of the world is often a frequent topic for discussion amongst those who see no other hope than the preservation of this planet or an escape to a nearby one.


But Jesus, "The Truth, The Way, and The Life" (Jn.14:7) has an inconvenient truth about our physical world – it can't be preserved or saved. The world is going to disappear someday, not because of climate change, but because of a divine edict. Listen to what Jesus says:


Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. . . . You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. [10]

So, what are the inconvenient truths that Jesus shares with us here?


First, heaven and earth will pass away. The temporal will disappear. There is nothing anyone can do to reverse this outcome. Why? Because it is tied to the final judgement of all humankind.

Second, only one thing is eternal – God's Word – it will never pass away. And we would do well to heed that Word, or we will be judged like the people in Noah's day who turned a deaf ear to Noah's message. In 2 Peter 2:5 we read, "And God did not spare the ancient world—except for Noah and the seven others in his family. Noah warned the world of God’s righteous judgment. So, God protected Noah when he destroyed the world of ungodly people with a vast flood."


Listen further to what Peter says about the Word of God and the destruction of the world:


They [the scoffers and ungodly] deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment when ungodly people will be destroyed.[11] (Italicized emphasis added)

So, the world and its ungodly people will be destroyed, not by climate change, but by fire and by God's command. But thankfully for the moment, the Lord is being patient for the world's sake – not wanting anyone to be destroyed but for all to come to repentance (See: 2 Pet. 5:9-10).


Third, Jesus says in Matthew's gospel that when the world comes to an end it will be just like it was in Noah's day.


Now, the days of Noah were characterized by gross immorality—every thought and imagination of man’s heart was only evil continually (see Gen. 6:5). Our Lord mentions that they were eating and drinking and marrying and having banquets. So, was there anything wrong with eating and drinking or marrying or banquets? No, but the people were living with evil hearts and wicked imaginations as though God did not exist, nor care about their ungodliness. They did not believe that He would judge them, so they scorned Noah's warning that a flood was imminent.


Now, Jesus points out in Matthew 24:39 that the same conditions will be evident as in Noah's time when he returns, "People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes." In other words, people will go about their daily lives completely disregarding God their Creator until it's too late.


We need to hear the truth about our world and about everyone who lives in it, even if that truth happens to be inconvenient. As you set about to live your lives in 2022, keep the Apostle Peter's words close to your heart:


But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be burned up. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.
And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.[12]

Does the loss of this world sound gloomy? Yes, for the ungodly it certainly does. For the moment this world is all the hope they have. But that does not need to be the case. People can turn to God while there is time and find his grace and forgiveness.


But for Christians everywhere this is not an inconvenient truth. It is a truth we are looking forward to – to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness where will live forever.


And let's not forget dear Christians, this world is not our home. "We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control."[13]


Have a Happy and Hopeful New Year in Christ.




 


[1] Tara Henley, "Speaking Freely, Why I resigned from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation" https://tarahenley.substack.com/p/speaking-freely?r=9dpfg&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web, Substack, Jan 3, 2022. [2] Ibid. [3] Bjorn Lomborg, "The comic cries of climate apocalypse — 50 years of spurious scaremongering", The New York Post, November 30, 2021, file:///Users/david/Desktop/Blogs%20/Blog%20Material/The%20comic%20cries%20of%20climate%20apocalypse%20—%C2%A050%20years%20of%20spurious%20scaremongering.html. [4] Al Gore – Nobel Lecture, Oslo, 10 December 2007, https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2007/gore/26118-al-gore-nobel-lecture-2007/ [5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFmqtkeQy9c [6] Lee Barney, "The End of the World' Keeps Happening", https://www.newsmax.com/streettalk/climate-change-hysteria-environmental-social-and-governance-investing-esg/2021/12/14/id/1048648/, December 14, 2021. [7] Ibid. [8] Sam Shead, Elon Musk says ‘Civilization is going to crumble’ if people don’t have more children", December 7, 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/07/elon-musk-civilization-will-crumble-if-we-dont-have-more-children.html [9] Sam Shead, "Climate change is making people think twice about having children", https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/12/climate-change-is-making-people-think-twice-about-having-children.html, August 13, 2021. [10] Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2015), Mt 24:35–40. [11] Ibid., 2 Pet 3:5–10. [12] Ibid., 2 Pe 3:10–17. [13] Ibid., 2 Peter 3:20-21.

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