Just suppose God is real. Suppose he's not just an object of worship, a theological concept or a figment in the mind. Suppose he's involved in the affairs of the world because he loves it and is concerned at the mess we are making. If God is like this, then is it not reasonable to think he might be speaking to us?
Foot and Mouth Disease has shut off the U.K. countryside. Last Autumn floods caused havoc in the U.K. and worse happened in Mozambique. Before that we had BSE and Swine Fever. That was written in 2001, and from a largely U.K. perspective. In 2010 we can add:
and in 2014 we can add:
Maybe these are not just unfortunate happenings, but God's warnings to us about the way we live and about our dependence? Throughout history God has given warnings when people have gone wrong. His first warnings are visible and sometimes dramatic but do not harm many people. If we take no notice God has to shout louder, with worse warnings that maybe do harm people. If we continue to ignore his warnings, the third stage is disaster.
Let us place the UK floods in 2001 in a wider context. They are consistent with predictions about climate change caused by increase in greenhouse gases generated by (in approximately equal measures) road transport, power production and other means. Road use must be reduced, and to this end the UK government imposed a fuel duty escalator so that the price of fuel would increase year on year to discourage road use. Until 2000. In September 2000 road fuel protestors made a fuss. The government worried, because of the strength of the road lobby. October 2000 there were massive storms, which showed the people knew that climate change was real, so that ... In November 2000 when the road protestors tried again, they had lost all their support (e.g. at Ellesmere Port, only two turned up!). The people knew that climate change was real, and that it is good to reduce road use. But the UK government, scared of the road lobby, did not see this, and removed the fuel duty escalator - and in fact redcuded the cost of motoring. Since then, the cost of motoring has continually reduced in real terms, not increased.
Did God send (or allow) a warning in October linked with climate change, which the UK government ignored? Did he then send a more severe warning in 2001, again linked with climate change? If we refuse to curb our unnecessary road use or our unnecessary consumption of energy, will there be worse repercussions in 20 years time?
In 2001, the UK government also had another warning, Foot and Mouth Disease - an epidemic made worse than 1967, and spreading to Europe, simply by virtue of road transport. Was God allowing yet another problem, to warn us?
Will we heed God's warnings about how we are living our lives? To do so will mean a change in our habits and expectations. To refuse means the next warnings might be worse, increasing to disaster.
The Western world assumes that God is irrelevant to things like farming, transport and energy use. By these events, is God saying "I am real, I am relevant and take me seriously? Is he reminding us that we are interconnected with and dependent on the rest of creation?
If we ignore these warnings, will judgement begin in earnest one day?
Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 2009. But you may use this material subject to certain conditions.
Part of his www.abxn.org pages, that open up discussion and exploration from a Christian ('xn') perspective. Written on the Amiga with Protext. Number of visitors to these pages: .
Created: 25 March 2001. Last updated: 3 May 2010 corrected link; new .end, .nav; added 2010 warnings; rewrote how God speaks. 22 January 2014 added 2014 warnings.