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God is in Control

September 7, 2023

Leadership Notes


There was an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies where someone had a plan for getting rid of southern California smog. I remember, as a kid growing up in Orange County, California, how bad the smog could be. We had smog alerts where children were advised to play indoors. In high school, we had cross country practices, and even a meet or two, canceled because of bad air. So the threat was real. There were days when it burned your lungs to take a deep breath.


The plan on the show was to put gigantic fans all along the ridges of the foothills, blowing smog out to the sea. Even as a dumb kid, I knew how nonsensical that plan was. But hey, The Beverly Hillbillies, it was solid 60s sitcom entertainment.


Funny how much control we think we can have or should have over nature and the processes God put in place at creation. Such hubris, it seems to me, has been magnified within the Baby Boom generation. Ooo, weather is unpredictable; doesn’t always abide by our calendar dates; is at times catastrophic; so because we started it, we have to stop it. Whatever, Boomer. Did you know there is a developing segment within the therapeutic community treating people with “climate anxiety?” The decoupling from faith in the One True God grinds on.


Here’s what I find interesting. There’s a website about “Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism.” They claim, “We've reached a clear scientific consensus: 97% of working climate scientists agree with the view that human beings are causing global warming.” What if the 3% outliers are right?


Here’s how far down the rabbit hole I went in considering that question. According to an abstract from the NIH National Library of Medicine:


“Scientists are human. As such, they are prone to bias based on

political and economic interests. While conflicts of interest are

usually associated with private funding, research funded by public

sources is also subject to special interests and therefore prone to

bias. Such bias may lead to consensus not based on evidence.

While appealing to scientific consensus is a legitimate tool in

public debate and regulatory decisions, such an appeal is

illegitimate in scientific discussion itself. We provide examples of

decades-long scientific consensus on erroneous hypotheses. For

policy advice purposes, a scientific statement or model should be

considered as the subject of proper scientific consensus only if

shared by those who would directly benefit from proving it wrong.

Otherwise, specialists from adjacent fields of science and

technology should be consulted.”


It’s been an interesting year, weather-wise. Here in God’s country, aside form this current stretch of blistering heat, summer has been pretty, pretty, pretty decent. Globally, you take the last 200 years, slice them up, and compare them to billions of years of climate history, and what do you have? The cynic in me thinks the reason some people propose that humans are so powerful is it helps in a global redistribution of wealth. “Follow the money,” as is sometimes said. As for me and my house, we’ll simply enjoy the beautiful place God has created, and not get overwrought by speculated doom-and-gloom. I know others believe otherwise, and that’s what makes life so fascinating. Whatever we believe, are we ever going to wrest control of the way life unfolds from God’s sovereign hand?


I love how Psalm 8 {one of my favorites} puts it:


O Lord, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!


How are we to responsibly shepherd the beauty and majesty of God’s

creation? Love of God, not fear of whatever we think may or may not

happen, motivates our thoughts and words on such things. Amen?


And now, your Indirect Moment of Spurgeon:


When asked, “The characters you most dislike?” Friedrich Engels, collaborator with Karl Marx of the Communist Manifesto, answered with one word:

“Spurgeon.”


Marx’s ideal was salvation through bloody revolution. Spurgeon, on the other side of the city, was preaching salvation through the blood and grace of Jesus Christ. As Paul writes in Romans 10:8-9:


But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your

heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess

with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God

raised him from the dead, you will be saved.


With Much Love, Affection, and Fearlessness,


Richard

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