COP26: Climate Change Zealots Doubling As Christians in Name Only, Cancel The Gospel…editor
A few days ago, I received the above image of a banner outside a Protestant church in Kelvingrove, Glasgow from Dr William J U Philip, the Senior Minister of the Tron church, as part of an email exchange about Pope Francis and COP26. Dr Philip serves three locations in Glasgow: Bath Street, Kelvingrove and Queen’s Park. Then this morning, he writes:
“Apparently many have attacked our banner on Twitter – not non-Christians (those I sent it to simply said they would of course expect, and want, a church to talk about Christianity if they went to it, not climate change – why go to a church for lectures on that when it’s all over the media?) – but by Christians embarrassed to be associated with such a clear statement which is contrary to the apparent cry of the whole world just now.
In fact the banner had been stolen and taken down by Sunday morning, so only lasted a day. Cancel culture! But, the real Christian gospel will not be chained.” Ends.
In response, Dr Philip issued the following statement, published here with permission, for which much gratitude:
The fact that a Christian Church placards publicly that the mission of the Church is to preach Christ crucified and not something else should hardly be controversial. But it seems that saying, when the COP is happening right on our doorstep, that there is something more important (far more important) the church must speak about is embarrassing for some Christians.
I think that betrays a dangerous misunderstanding of the real urgency of the message we have been charged with taking to the world: an eternal, supernatural gospel.
The challenging word in our banner (which lasted less than 48 hours before being vandalised and torn down) was the ‘not’. No-one would bat an eyelid if we said the church should preach Christ crucified AND climate change. But the Christian gospel contains many necessary negatives, and it only these make the true gospel true–but offensive.
No-one is offended by Jesus when he says ‘whoever believes in the Son has eternal life…’ But Jesus continues with the necessary negative: ‘…whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.’ (John 3:36). There is the offence, for which our Lord was crucified, and all his true apostles martyred because they witnessed publicly to the truth of that offensive gospel. It is no accident that our word ‘witness’ is the word ‘martyreo’: a good witness to Christ will provoke the hatred of the world, according to Jesus (John 15:19) not its adulation (Luke 6:26).
We must not shy away from necessary negatives if the challenge of the true Christian gospel is to be heard – especially when virtually every public Christian voice being heard in the media simply chimes with the united voice of the world: that climate change is the issue above all others. Not so. That is a lie of Satan. The bible tells us that this whole world lies in the power of the evil one and we are not to be conformed to this world in our thinking. The message of hope we proclaim is not a hope in human endeavour, not a hope in this world, but the hope of the world to come, and there is salvation ‘in no one else’, ‘no other name under heaven’ which will save from the wrath to come, and what Jesus calls the ‘unquenchable fire’ of hell.
We are not denying that Christians should care for creation – in the way God commands, of course, and for his purposes (which may be very different from what some climate activists want). But we are saying that if the world stands at ‘one minute to midnight’ (to use the Prime Minister’s phrase) the real urgency is for people to know what that means. And the unique charge of the Christian church is to herald that truth, and the consequent essential warning to mankind.
According to Jesus, you can know everything about the weather and the climate, but nothing at all about the real and pressing need of the day. Our Lord’s own banner for COP26 might well have been his words in Luke 12:56, which begins very offensively
“You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?…”
And his answer? The most urgent need is for the world to realize its priorities are all wrong. The time, he says, is time to repent: “…unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3)
Offensive then, and offensive today. But this was the priority message of our Lord Jesus Christ, and it must be the absolute priority of his Church’s message today. Ends.
Er… is this not precisely what the Pope should be saying? Of course it is, but he fits into this righteous condemnation in the above excellent statement: “…every public Christian voice being heard in the media simply chimes with the united voice of the world…” Precisely. And this terrible pontiff, Francis, is among those worldly – anti-Christian – voices. He, like all of the Climate Crazies needs urgent prayers… like now!