The Church of Climate Change

New congregations pop up all the time. Well, maybe not ALL the time, but often enough. Some of the new churches are Christian while others are of quite a different variety altogether. 

Yesterday, I began hearing all over the radio and TV about a brand-new religion of sorts. Apparently, NBC has prompted its audience to come to their newfangled confessional. The confessional is posted on their website for all to participate. The lead-in to the would-be confessions is not, “Father, forgive me for I have sinned.”

Cleanse Your Soul

The exact wording is, “Climate Confessions: Even those who care deeply about the planet’s future can slip up now and then. Tell us: Where do you fall short in preventing climate change? Do you blast the A/C? Throw out half your lunch? Grill a steak every week? Share your anonymous confession with NBC News.”

So now, we have the Church of Climate Change. If you choose, you can not only join this august body of believers, you can anonymously cleanse your conscience by confessing your climate sins. If you press the “Write Your Confession” button, it will take you to a screen that offers you various categories of offenses. These categories include such evils as plastics, meat, and paper. If you click on a category, you can type in your transgression in the available text box.

As I said, it’s all anonymous. However, there’s another button labeled, “View Confessions.” This is much better than the Roman Catholic Church. The best you can do there is to attempt to stand outside the confessional hoping to get a whisper of scandal. At the Church of Climate Change, you can read the full-on revelations of these evildoers. There are no names, of course, but if you think long and hard, you might recognize the admission of one of your neighbors (or you can simply imagine who it might be).

I Hate to Walk

The individual confessions are rather startling. On person admitted, “I need to be better about using all the food I buy. Try my best but something always spoils before I get to it.” Judging by that one, my lovely Bride and I are chronic offenders. Another sinner confessed, “I commute 30 miles to work every day in a car by myself.” Horror of horrors! I hate to admit it, but I used to commute an hour each way. But I only did it because I hate to walk.

I mentioned earlier that this was a brand-new religion, but that’s not exactly true. People have been worshipping the earth, Mother Nature, the planets, and various other parts of God’s handiwork for centuries. This is merely another extension of an old theme. Worship the creation instead of the Creator.

While I don’t have a problem with taking care of the environment, bowing down to it as if it was some form of deity is a tad over the top. I seem to remember a command that states, “Thou shalt have no gods before me.” Maybe we should adhere to it.

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]

Next Door Rainbow

I went to breakfast with my family this morning. The place was hopping, the food was good, and our three-year-old granddaughter kept us entertained. There’s just something about heading into public when everyone is easing into their day.

As I watched the people teeming about, it occurred to me how much I love the place where I live. We’ve got people of all sorts, colors, and understandings. There’s so much diversity, it causes me to pause and ponder the wonderment of the human race. The Lord has blessed us with such a wealth of multiplicity; it puts me in awe of the vastness of his majesty and creativity. 

The only drawback is the language barrier. On one hand, it’s pretty cool to hear the array of tongues spoken around me. On the other hand, however, it can be rather annoying to realize I can’t converse with some of my neighbors. Either they speak no English, or they can’t speak it well enough (or their accent is too heavy) to make me understand what they’re saying. To be fair, I can’t speak their language either. Would that I could.

Not a Lot Rubbed Off

Over the years, I’ve had some formal introductions to a few languages. I had 3½ years of Spanish in High School (see No Niños en la Canasta). In seminary, I received a basic introduction to Greek. In addition, my Grandparents spoke Italian around me when I was growing up. Unfortunately, not a lot of it rubbed off. What I’ve discovered in my lifetime is that I have very little acumen in the area of language (I even had to brush up on my English grammar in order to understand what little Greek I learned). 

Everything would have been a lot easier if we’d all learned the same language. That idea got messed up rather early in human history. If you read the beginning of Genesis 11, you get a quick overview of why there are so many languages in the world. Regardless of how you interpret this passage, you get the definite impression that human beings were really into themselves.

The Pinnacle of Creation

Call it pride, ego, overt ambition, or an overblown sense of self-worth; it’s quite easy to see that God wasn’t overly pleased with the pinnacle of his creation (humanity). They may have been the first survivalists of sorts. They wanted to be together in one place—probably for their own protection and advancement. The Lord nixed that in a hurry.

Scripture puts it this way; “The Lord confused their language and scattered them all over the earth.” God gave us a prismatic rainbow in the sky to remind us that he would not destroy the earth again by water. He gave us another kind of rainbow—languages spoken by red, brown, yellow, black, and white—to remind us of his power, wisdom, and sovereignty. 

When I see the rainbow next door, I’m reminded of these things. God is all knowing. If only he would let me in on the language thing.

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]