A group of humans experience natural disasters. They conclude that “the gods must be angry.” They also conclude that regaining the favor of the gods requires a sacrifice.
This logic is as old as recorded human history. It is a recurring and defining pattern of human behavior. It does not offer any conclusive proof about the existence of the gods, but there seems to be overwhelming proof of man’s need for the explanatory story of the gods behavior.
To put it another way, man (on overwhelming evidence across many places and many times) appears to be wired for a belief in the gods. I’m at a bit of a loss to conceive of an evolutionary advantage for this belief, but then, since I’m not a “believer” in the gods of evolution, this is not personally troubling.
But most moderns are quite proud of their “sophisticated” accomplishments and view with some disdain the “primitive” ideas of ancient (and not so ancient) cultures. Especially their quick resort to supernatural explanations for natural disasters and their rush to propitiate the gods.
I would submit to you, however, that most moderns are wired the same way as all other humans, and though they may dress up their underlying fear that, “the gods must be angry” with moden vocabularly and sophistication, they are living the functional equivalent of the egyptians babylonians canaanites, mayas, aztecs, and others.
For moderns, the “angry god” is gaia, mother earth. Our sins are as black as carbon and must be paid for. Mother Earth demands a sacrifice or she will destroy us all.
Torrential rains in NYC? Humans are at fault.
Earthquake in Utah? again, its us evil humans (of course those in the SUV’s are the most guilty)
Bridge collapse in Minneapolis? Again, forgive us gaia, we have sinned.
C.S.Lewis once observed that, “every age gets the science that it wants.”
The 20th century wants to believe that the evils that befall us are the fault of the capitalist sinners of advanced western economies.
The truth is, we really DO feel guilty. Because we really ARE guilty. But its not our carbon footprint that is the problem. It is our rebellion against the one true GOD. Our selfish hearts have chosen rebellion and disobedience. And we know we have sinned. We feel guilty because we ARE guilty. But buying carbon credits will not fix the problem.
God does not want a mechanical transaction to clear up the ledger books. God wants us to lay down our arms, turn around, and enter into a relationship with him. He does not call us to keep a set of rules. He wants a relationship with us.
And that relationship begins with an acknowledgement of the man, Christ Jesus. Fully God and fully man. The incarnation of God, who makes it possible to have that restored relationship with God.
Don’t trade your birthright for a mess of carbon credits. It is not gaia who needs to be propitiated. It is not gaia who will save us.
It is God himself, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who calls us to come to Him.
– Rob Shearer
Director, Schaeffer Study Center