You no doubt heard tell of radical chic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s prediction that the world will end in 12 years because of man-made catastrophic climate change.
It was on Martin Luther King Day that AOC said this: “Millennials and people, you know, Gen Z and all these folks that will come after us are looking up and we’re like: ‘The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change, and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?'”
What you probably haven’t heard is that AOC has been quoting the Bible to make her case for the impending doomsday scenario.
Is she right? Does the Bible suggest the planet is in imminent danger of being destroyed by mankind?
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders scoffed at the comment, saying, “I don’t think that we are going to listen to her on much of anything, particularly anything that we will leave into the hands of a much, much higher authority and certainly not listen to the freshman congresswoman on when the world may end.”
But AOC was not about to drop the matter. Instead, she put out a series of tweets to make her theological point.
“You shouldn’t need a Bible to tell you to protect our planet, but it does anyway,” she tweeted, tipping her hat to Relevant Magazine for “Stopping Climate Change is a Part of Following Jesus,” an article by Evangelicals for Climate Action spokesman Kyle Meyaard-Schaap.
Meyaard-Schaap’s bottom line: “But evangelical Christians have every reason to take steps to defend God’s creation and ensure that all people have access to clean air, pure water and a stable climate.”
Of course, who could disagree with such a sweeping statement of goodwill? Everyone does his part for clean air and pure water, and no one has a better track record than the U.S. in improving its environmental picture. But a “stable climate” is a much taller order. The earth’s climate has never been entirely stable. In fact, it’s always changing, though only catastrophically once in history – in a worldwide flood that destroyed all mankind save one family.
AOC’s next tweet was presumably inspired directly by her Bible studies.
“Genesis 1: God looked on the world & called it good not once, not twice, but seven times,” she wrote. “Genesis 2: God commands all people to ‘serve and protect’ creation. Leviticus: God mandates that not only the people, but the land that sustains them, shall be respected.”
Hmm. It is true that God called His creation good – though He did it six times, not seven, in Genesis 1. I wonder if it would be inappropriate to ask AOC if she believes that account, puts her faith in it, accepts as true that God actually did that work? That would be my question. Is she a believer? It’s the most important question anyone can be asked. The answer should affect most everything you believe.
But her second biblical citation – Genesis 2 – is more than a little “off.” Nowhere does God command “all people” to “serve and protect creation” – certainly not in Genesis 2. Firstly, there were only two people on earth in Genesis 2 – Adam and Eve. Mankind was to serve God, not His creation. Serving His creation would be considered a grave sin – idolatry. Neither did God ever use the word “protect” in His commandments to Adam and Eve relative to His creation. Rather, they were told to “subdue,” to take “dominion,” to “be fruitful and multiply.” These instructions are anathema to the zealous environmental movement and those sowing irrational fears about imminent catastrophic man-made climate change.
Now, AOC’s third biblical citation is the strangest of all by far. Citing only Leviticus, the message seems a tad vague: “God mandates that not only the people, but the land that sustains them, shall be respected.”
There are indeed strong references in Leviticus regarding the relationship between mankind’s behavior and the impact it has on the land. But it’s not the kind of relationship one would expect AOC or an environmentalist activist to cite. In Leviticus 18, God instructs Moses with a series of warnings about avoiding sexual sin – from incest to adultery to child sacrifice to homosexuality to bestiality. The consequences for committing these sins are grave – including death.
God also warns that these sins will cause people to be cast out of the land, which is defiled by such behavior – more than littering, even more than having a large carbon footprint.
Leviticus 18:25 says the land will “vomit out her inhabitants” who participate in these sins.
“Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you,” God tells Moses in Leviticus 18:26-28. “(For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.”
One wonders, does AOC believe that? It seems incongruous with her stated positions on marriage and gender identity.
But there’s one big Scripture she has ignored with regard to her preaching about the imminent peril of man-made catastrophic climate change.
That would be the covenant God made with Noah never to destroy the world again with a flood in Genesis 9:11: “And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.”
Those warning us about the imminent threat of climate change frequently point to the rise of the seas and disastrous flooding scenarios, and we know God’s not going to allow that – even if it were in man’s capacity to make it happen, which seems unlikely.
Can man make the world more unpleasant through his activity? About that, God and the Bible are crystal clear. The answer is an emphatic “yes.” Man did just that in the Garden of Eden by disobeying God’s instructions and committing sin. The perfect nature God had created for the world was broken – and it remains that way today.
Will things get worse on earth because of man’s sin? Yes, the Bible tells us. But God does not concern Himself with the production of so-called “greenhouse gases.” Rather, He has identified the sinful acts mankind should avoid for the sake of their own souls as well as the sake of the planet and our neighbors. God warns us throughout Scripture not to add to His law or take away from it. Do we not do just that when we prohibit behavior God does not? Do we not do that when we condone behavior He abhors?
AOC started this by saying: “You shouldn’t need a Bible to tell you to protect our planet, but it does anyway.” It’s an awkward sentence to be sure. But the truth is this: The Bible is exactly the resource we should consult to determine the right way and wrong way of protecting our planet or anything else. It should be our first stop to learn what’s right and what’s wrong, to live life – and to live it abundantly – and to truly become one of God’s children.
Like what you read here? Get Joseph Farah’s hot new book, “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament,” endorsed by Franklin Graham, Mike Huckabee, Eric Metaxas, Jack Van Impe and dozens of other Christian scholars and luminaries – including Chuck Norris and Pat Boone. Would you like to better understand the integrity and consistency of the Bible from cover to cover? This book provides 39 terrific Bible studies that will make the Hebrew Scriptures come alive, revealing the same familiar message of repentance, grace, mercy and restoration we find in the New Testament. Don’t “unhitch” from the Old Testament like some mega-pastors are foolishly proclaiming. Instead, rediscover the only Scriptures Jesus and the apostles taught from – those which Jesus used on the road to Emmaus to expound upon concerning Himself. Farah’s book has been called “the next best thing to hearing Jesus give that Bible study to Cleopas and his friend.”