Evangelical Christianity taught me that humans are fallen, broken people, the world is sinful and wicked, and there’s no hope for a better tomorrow. Salvation through the merit and work of Jesus was personal, a promise of a better life after death. Until then, endure. Eschatologically, things are going to get worse and worse until Jesus comes again. Some day soon, God will unleash terror upon the earth, slaughtering billions of people. Blood will flow three feet deep in the streets as God violently kills virtually every living thing on earth.
Such beliefs lead to cynicism and fatalism. Why bother to do anything meaningful to change and transform our world . . . Jesus is coming soon! And after God is done burning the earth to the ground, he will make a new heaven and a new earth for Christians, a place void of sin, non-Christians, atheists, Democrats, and Bernie Sanders.
In recent years, Evangelicals have left their eschatology behind, seeking a theocracy on earth. Using raw political power, they hope to first make America Christian, and then the world. How will they accomplish this goal? Violence. The January 6, 2021 insurrection was just the first, not the last, attempt by right-wing extremists (who are largely Evangelical) to assert their theocratic will. What I find ironic is that Evangelicals have abandoned the hope and promise of a future heavenly kingdom for a bloody, ruthless, violent kingdom on earth. Instead of waiting for a divine payoff in the afterlife, Evangelicals want to cash in their life insurance policies now.
Evangelicals have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of following in the steps of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, Evangelicals follow after political leaders, generals, and preachers — men who, themselves, crave power and authoritarian control. None of this is surprising. One need only read American history to see that this has always been our path, one paved with the blood of innocents, one where “might makes right.”
I have long advocated for a better way. Long before I became an atheist, I embraced pacifism and socialism (properly defined and understood, not as the words are ignorantly used today). I began pondering if there was any hope for a better tomorrow. Were Evangelicals right? Was the human race headed for destruction, doomed because of original sin? Should I bother trying to make the world a better place? As a cynic and a pessimist, it is easy for me to think, “fuck it, why bother?” Solomon was right when he said, “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” Reading the news only makes matters worse as the worst behaviors of humans (mainly men) are on display. From endless wars to stubborn inaction on global climate change, it seems the human race is determined to obliterate itself. Come, Lord Jesus, Come, right?
But then I think of my six children, their spouses, and my thirteen grandchildren. I will be dead in a few years, but they could live on another forty to eighty years. What kind of world do I want for them? It is for this reason I hope and work for what might be, not what is. If nothing is done about America’s war machine and its imperial ambitions, decimation and decline are sure to follow. If nothing real is done about global warming, my progeny will be left to live on a planet that is increasingly inhospitable and lifeless. If we don’t lay down our weapons of violence and turn them into plowshares, world war is inevitable. Donald Trump famously asked what good are nuclear weapons if you can’t use them. Imagine having such a megalomaniac so close to the switch that could destroy the world (see the recent season of Fear the Walking Dead to understand what such a world would be like or read Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road). The next time, we might not be so lucky. Just last week, several Republicans were clamoring for war with China. I can imagine no scenario where that ends well for the United States. Arrogance and pride lead to destruction.
I don’t have all the answers for what a better world might look like. All I know is that hard decisions must be made if we want a safe, prosperous future for our children and grandchildren. How about we start by banning the use of coal and halving the indefensible, immoral defense budget? How about a living wage and health insurance for all? How about finally coming to terms with the systemic racism that plagues our nation? And finally, how about free and fair elections, term limits, and breaking the stranglehold right-wing extremists have on our political system? These would be a good start . . .
Or maybe Evangelicals are right. Jesus is coming soon. The world is fucked. Grab what power you can, kill those who stand in your way, and ride out the apocalypse until Jesus shows up on a white horse.
Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
“Consensus science is the first refuge of scoundrels … invoked only in situations where there is a political, social, financial agenda but no scientific support.”
Here’s the key, friends, this is the real deal. Legitimate science recognizes a close correlation between sunspots and climate change … The sun is the source of temperature changes because of its infrared variations. … There is absolutely no evidence that CO₂ contributes to warming. On the contrary the opposite is true. Warming produces CO₂ … It’s the other way round.
By the way, plants produce CO₂. What man produces is marginal … Industry doesn’t affect CO₂ in the environment or atmosphere.
This is all political [and] financial agendas, class warfare, class envy … By the way, US$100 billion has been spent to make a case for global warming … driven by the socialist mentality … even some of the feminist mentality that resents male success.
God intended us to use this planet, to fill this planet for the benefit of man. Never was it intended to be a permanent planet. It is a disposable planet. Christians ought to know that.
What follows is a Grade-A pile of bullshit written by Fundamentalist Christian and conspiracy theorist Geri Ungurean. Readers may ask why I give people such as Ungurean notoriety through this blog, but I am of the opinion that it is vitally important to remind thinking Americans that millions of their fellow citizens are, to put it bluntly, nut jobs. We also need to be reminded of the fact that the Ungureans of our country VOTE. Ponder the damage Donald Trump has already done to the United States. Do we want another four years of fascist, authoritarian Trump? If not, we need to VOTE in record numbers.
From the beginning of the “Pandemic” which was orchestrated by Globalists; first in an Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, where the the virus was Bioengineered; then by the Leftwing media taking every opportunity to disparage President Trump’s every move and decision during this horrific crisis.
Our President’s decision to stop any flights to and from China early on was attacked as ‘xenophobic’ by the Leftist press. Later, it was seen as a move which saved possibly over a million lives in the U.S.
This was a setup from the start.
This was a Global Tantrum by the U.N., The Gates Foundation, WHO, Johns Hopkins, the World Economic Forum, Climate Change fanatics and a host of other Leftist, Globalist bad actors on the world stage.
How dare you?!
And yes, that was in response to the Climate Change poster girl, Greta Thunberg.
How DARE the Globalists orchestrate such a despicable plan that would kill thousands upon thousands of people – and why? It’s not hard to understand this.
For years, the U.N. has used “Global Warming” (now called Climate Change) as a ruse to attempt to control the world’s economies.
Bill Gates and his Globalist friends around the world will stop at nothing to bring America and our President crashing down. Why? To insure that President Trump has no chance to win in November. I have quoted globalists in many of my articles saying this: “The only thing standing in the way of Global Governance is a Strong America.”
President Trump’s win in 2016 was the “Shock” heard round the Globalist world, and they have not gotten over that shock.
The failure of Global Warming to regulate the world’s economies, coupled with the election of Donald Trump sent Globalists worldwide into a tailspin. You may ask this: “So their anger would prompt them to cause a global pandemic?”
The answer to that is quite simply YES! Bill Gates and his globalist friends do NOT care about human life. I’ll take that a step further: Gates and his ilk are chomping at the bit to reduce the world’s population by over 90%!
Yes, you read that right.
The first commandment is this: “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.”
If you do the math, and since our current population is approximately 7.8 billion; that leaves over 90% of the population which must be eradicated. Bill Gates is a eugenicist. His father was a eugenicist and at one time was the head of Planned Parenthood [no he wasn’t].
Did you know that the word Eugenicist comes from the Greek word Eugenes? And did you know that Eugenes means “Of Noble Birth?
Brethren, that says it all, does it not? These mad scientists will not kill over 90% of random people. They have most likely figured out a way to rid the planet of people who:
Do not believe the Global Warming mantra
Are not Leftwing Are against abortion
Are not in favor of gay marriage
Are not Globalists
I think that you can understand their rationale about who should live and who should not. This is so horrifying. But so is Satan.
I would encourage pastors to start preaching on this issue of climate change and God’s view of climate change. The very covenant was established by God and Noah. And that covenant was that sin was so gross in the world that God had to bring about judgment, and then he had to bring about salvation, and from there came Abraham. God put a rainbow in the sky as a sign of his covenant and he said very clearly to the entire world, ‘Never again will there be judgment, never again will the world be flooded.
“You can take it to the bank, that’s God’s word. And what is it these frauds tells us with climate change? That the world’s going to be flooded. Isn’t it interesting they’re saying it’s going to be another catastrophe, it’s flooding, we’re going to be flooded? God says we will never be flooded.
I want to challenge every pastor listening, would you please give a sermon on climate change and God’s view of climate change?This isn’t being political, this is being biblical, and I am begging the pastors who are listening, be biblical on issue after issue after issue. Be biblical because God’s people are perishing because of lack of knowledge, and the greatest antidote to deception is knowledge. And that’s why we need the pulpits to prepare people with what the Bible says about truth.
My partner, Amy Gustin, had a great idea the other day. This is not at all unusual for her. A lot of my columns begin with one of her great ideas, and this is one of them. The other day, Amy was perusing some books about the cave paintings at Lascaux and Chauvet while contemplating the flora and fauna of Ice Age Europe, and speculating about the Paleolithic origins of certain pagan European Christmas symbols, when she said this: “Environmentalists should take over Christmas.”
“What?” I replied. She explained that a lot of European pagan Christmas symbols celebrate the Boreal Forest and an arctic climate. We have Christmas trees. Christmas is the only time of year when snow is popular, and Santa lives at the North Pole and gets around on a sled pulled by caribou. All of these things remind us of the arctic, and they should remind us that the arctic is undergoing dramatic changes due to global climate change.
Can you think of a better symbol for global climate change than Santa Claus? First, he drives a zero-emission, carbon-neutral vehicle, and he’s been doing it for centuries. Second, everything Santa owns faces imminent destruction, unless we can stop the sea ice from shrinking. Santa, Mrs. Claus, all of the elves and the whole toy factory are headed straight for a watery grave at the bottom of the ocean unless we stop global warming now.
Coca-Cola has done a great job of making the polar bear into a symbol of Christmas, and we should adopt that symbol wholeheartedly. Instead of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, put a mother polar bear and her two cubs in your nativity scene. I’m all for wise men, if you can find any, but how wise can your men be if they’re standing next to a hungry polar bear?
The global climate crisis effects everyone, and it’s time to make Christmas into a holiday for everyone. From now on, Christmas is about the North Pole and the gift of a stable climate. Being born doesn’t get you a holiday, in my book. Jesus has a holiday — it’s the one he lived and died for, and Christians should go ahead and do Easter big. But Christmas is too important to let Christians hog it to themselves. Besides, Christmas is better without Jesus.
We’ve still got Santa Claus, but now Christmas is about saving Santa. We’ve got reindeer and sleigh bells, snow and Christmas trees and we’ve got all of the animals coming together to help their friend the polar bear. We’ve got the Nutcracker to help us crack the nut of global climate change, and we can re-edit the Charlie Brown Christmas Special so that Linus’ big speech reflects the holiday’s bold new direction. Everything you love about Christmas will still be there for you, but now Christmas has a mission.
Barry Stechschulte, pastor of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in St. Marys, Ohio, let congregants know that combating global climate change is an attempt by communists to overthrow capitalism and evolution is all about sex, sex, sex without God getting in the way.
A Message from the Pastor
Another quote from the little booklet I have called “The Wonders of the Universe,” is from Galileo, the famed scientist who theorized about a sun-centered solar system. It reads, “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”
Science is not popular opinion. Just because a lot of people believe something to be true in any scientific field, even if it’s a majority of scientists themselves, does not make something true. In Galileo’s time, he was about the only man to think that the earth revolved around the Sun, and yet he was correct. Today, a seeming majority of scientists and the media believe in man-made climate change – that human beings are responsible for global warming. But that doesn’t make it true.
So called global warming (more correctly called ‘climate change’) is a natural phenomenon. The Earth warms and cools over long periods of time. Scientists who say the Earth is warming and that sea-levels are rising and that our lives are in danger, were saying in the 1970’s that it was cooling and that an ice age was coming. Today, they say it is the change in Earth’s climate that is the problem, causing anything from increased storm activity to terrorism, and that man, through carbon emissions (driving a pickup truck, for example), is the cause.
First of all, not all the scientists believe this is the case. Probably only those who have grant money on the line are publishing papers which prop up this phony scenario for climate change. Buoyed by money from activists who want to take down capitalism in the West, modern science and the media are claiming some outrageous things about what the Earth will suffer if we continue on this path of fossil fuel use. Of course, nothing has happened and global temperatures have flat-lined in recent years.
This is agenda-driven science, much like the intolerant belief in evolution. In the case of evolution, it’s all about sex, free from any constraint of divine authority. For climate change, it’s redistribution of wealth on a global scale, with communist undertones. Hopefully, those few individuals, based on humble reasoning, will help authentic science to shine above the insanity that is climate change.
— Barry Stechschulte, Newsletter for Holy Rosary Catholic Church, St. Marys, Ohio, July 2,2017
This is the one hundred and fifty-third installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a video clip of Michigan congressman Tim Walberg telling a group of people that there is no need for us to be concerned about climate change. Walberg ignorantly stated:
I believe there’s climate change. I believe there’s been climate change since the beginning of time. I think there are cycles. Do I think that man has some impact? Yeah, of course. Can man change the entire universe? No. Why do I believe that? As a Christian, I believe that there is a creator, God, who’s much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.
I previously wrote about that fact that Ken Ham, the CEO of Answers in Genesis, doesn’t really believe that the Bible is all-sufficient. (Please see Ken Ham’s Ark Project Shows He Doesn’t Believe in the Sufficiency of Scripture.) Evangelicals like Ham supposedly believe the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God. I say supposedly, because upon closer examination of their orthopraxy (correct practice), Evangelicals are quite willing to ignore the Bible when it suits them.
Take Ham’s latest monument to Fundamentalist ignorance, the Ark Encounter: a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark. The Bible records in Genesis 6-9 the mythical story of Noah and the flood. According to the Bible, God, sickened and angered by the sin of human race, decided to use a global flood to kill everyone, save Noah and his family. Out of the millions of people on the face of the earth, only Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives, were deemed worthy of God’s grace (evidently Noah’s grandchildren didn’t make the cut).
God told Noah to prepare a big boat, by which he, Jehovah, would save Noah and his family. In Genesis 6:13-16, God gave Noah strict engineering plans to follow when building the ark:
And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.
God told Noah to use gopher wood for the Ark’s construction. The word gopher is used only once in the Bible. Some English translations leave the word untranslated, while others, especially modern Bible versions, translate the Hebrew word as cypress or cedar. Knowing these things, imagine my surprise when I read that Ken Ham is using spruce trees (Englemann spruce) to build his replica of Noah’s Ark. Ham writes:
When you visit the Ark Encounter next year, one of the things that will just blow you away is the massive scope of the Ark and the colossal size of the trees that were used to construct it. We’ve heard people ask what type of trees they are and where they came from. The trees were standing dead Englemann spruce that were over 200 years old.
They were responsibly harvested from a forest in Utah. There are select forests managed by the forestry service where dead trees, before they begin to rot, are harvested and repurposed; then the forest is replanted for future harvests. What’s really nice about these gigantic 66 foot tall logs that are 50 inches in diameter is the fact that they are already dry, so they won’t move or twist once in place.
Why isn’t Ham using gopher wood? Surely, God meant what he said when he told Noah exactly what wood and dimensions to use in constructing the Ark. Evidently, Ham doesn’t really believe that the Bible is all-sufficient. If he did, he would either scour the earth looking for gopher wood or he would use cyprus/cedar to build the Ark. Instead, Ham chose a wood that met project engineering and cost requirements. In other words, he allowed modern science and mathematics to dictate the construction of his modern-day Ark. It is too bad that Ham can’t do the same when it comes to the creationist story of Genesis 1-3. Why does Ham demand a literalistic interpretation of Genesis 1-3, yet ignore this hermeneutic when choosing which wood to use for building the Ark? Ham demands that modern scientists bow to the authority of the Bible, yet he is quite willing to ignore it when it suits him.
Ham presents the Ark project as one that is environmentally responsible. Ham says the project’s spruce trees were “responsibly harvested from a forest in Utah.” What he fails to tell readers is why these trees were available for what Ham calls the “largest timber-frame structure in the world.” According to the The Salt Lake Tribune, spruce beetles have destroyed the state’s once burgeoning Englemann spruce population. In 2011, Brandon Loomis, a writer for The Tribune, wrote:
Some three-toed woodpecker in these woods is pleasantly plump on beetles, but the buffet can’t go on forever. It lasts only as long as the trees.
The gluttony is written on and around a stocky spruce that looks green and mostly healthy to the untrained eye, except for the fact that it’s pecked nude from the waist down.
No bird harmed the tree, though. The damage was already done.
“These trees are loaded with bugs,” said Liz Hebertson, a U.S. Forest Service entomologist, down from Ogden to survey this year’s spruce-beetle infestation in south-central Utah. Peeling back a neighboring spruce’s bark confirms that larvae are maturing, readying for the short flight of their lives in search of new pine prey.
It’s nothing new to her. Mountains of Utah’s verdant spruce slopes are gone. If climate scientists are right, they might never be back.
After a rain, Utah’s high spruce forests evoke the misty Pacific Northwest — unlikely lush islands rising from redrock desert and olive chaparral. Now a complex set of threats conspires to take them down.
One is natural — the beetle with a taste for older trees, aided by a decade of tree-stressing drought. Another is a century of fire suppression that built up fuels to the bursting point. Aiding both those killers is a rising thermometer.
Even if a warmer climate can again support Engelmann spruce — the state’s dominant commercial-grade tree — it will be 200 years or more until they grow back to the towering sentinels that 20th-century Utahns knew. In the meantime, subalpine firs may spring up in their place, replacing green for green but not with dollars. Subalpine firs are more brittle — not lumber material.
It’s been a losing battle so far, and science suggests it’s a long-run lost cause.
First, there’s the insect’s physiology and its response to increasing warmth. The cold-blooded spruce beetles in these hills once took two years to mature from the egg and fly on to breed in new trees. In the early 2000s, Hebertson said, forest scientists documented a switch to one-year cycles here, which boosted the population and primed a disaster.
Beetles have taken 2 million acres of Utah forest in roughly that time, the largest share of it spruce. The outbreak started in the 1990s around Cedar Breaks National Monument in southwestern Utah, where Hebertson has seen no evidence of spruce regeneration since.
The Forest Service has found that higher temperatures aid and speed beetle production. The Utah Climate Center at Utah State University finds that since 1970 the mercury has risen swiftly when it counts most — more than 3 degrees on average during bug-killing winter lows at a monitoring station at Capitol Reef National Park in southern-central Utah.
A decade of beetles-gone-wild might not spell doom in normal conditions. Big outbreaks have shown up before, and the spruce have rebounded. This time, though, computer models based on society’s carbon emissions aren’t looking good. They show Engelmann spruce practically blinking out in Utah by 2090, limited to a strand in the High Uintas.
Global warming is the reason Ham found reasonably priced spruce trees for the Ark project, the very climate change Ham denies is materially affecting the earth. Rod J. Martin, a self-described independent researcher with no stated scientific credentials, explains Answers in Genesis’ official global warming position this way: (link no longer active)
The Bible does not speak directly about what we call global warming. It does, however, provide a framework for evaluating the merits of global warming claims. To reiterate, the global warming discussion centers on CO2 (the atmosphere) and trees (plants). The Bible, of course, addresses the atmosphere and plants. The biblical framework for evaluating global warming is primarily found in Genesis. The RATE study mentioned above established that Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 (the Creation account) was narrative. The study also determined that the Flood account (Genesis chapters 7 to 9) is also narrative (Vardiman et al. 2005, pp. 661 and 667). This paper will also briefly reference the dispersion of the nations at the tower of Babel in the summary. Although the RATE study did not evaluate the Tower of Babel, I believe that if the creation and the Flood passages are narrative then the tower of Babel passage is narrative also. These passages describe real events and real people. The following sections briefly discuss passages related to the atmosphere and plants.
The biblical history of the earth, contained in the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis, provides a useful and sufficient framework for evaluating the current global warming issue. As we have seen, CO2 is a natural atmospheric gas that is essential for man’s existence. It is not a pollutant. The atmosphere is likely deficient in CO2 compared with the original created atmosphere. Reducing CO2 would definitely create problems, but increasing it will not. Burning fossil fuels merely returns CO2 to its place of origin. Forests are to be used for man’s benefit. They are not needed to produce O2 and they have no intrinsic rights, but should be managed responsibly and effectively.
Basic science is consistent with the biblical history and argues strongly against the global warming hypothesis. Melting glaciers and changing climates are not an indication of man-made global warming. These natural phenomena have been operating for thousands of years. Temperature histories are imprecise and unreliable. Global warming is built on an evolutionary earth history and an evolutionary time scale. Anything built on a faulty foundation cannot stand. Global warming is an offshoot of evolutionary thinking and is needlessly creating mass hysteria. God is in control of the earth, not man.
It can be expected that several trends evident since the Flood, however, will continue: sea level will rise as polar glaciers continue to melt, and deserts will expand. These trends, as we have shown, have little to do with CO2, they are a consequence of a God ordained event, the Flood. Governments with either ocean boundaries or deserts should consider how to efficiently and economically address these trends. There is no viable justification either biblically or scientifically for limiting the generation of CO2 or restricting logging of forests.
When it comes to the type of wood to use for his colossal tinker toy project, Ham ignores the Bible and, instead, buys a wood that is affordable thanks to global warming. Yet, when it comes to the warming of the planet and what problems rising global temperatures will cause, Ham, Martin, and the “astute” scientists at Answers in Genesis, demand a return to a strict, literalistic reading of Genesis 1-3. Simply put, global warming is much ado about nothing, because…drum roll please, the BIBLE says. While Ham uses modern engineering practices and cost studies for building the Ark, he reverts to knuckle-dragging, young-earth-creationist talking points when it comes to global warming.
I wish Ken Ham would make up his mind about the sufficiency of the Bible. Either it’s God’ divine science textbook or it’s not. Either God did or he didn’t tell Noah everything he needed to know about building a large boat in the desert. Which is it? Or perhaps Ham, like all Evangelicals, gives lip service to the sufficiency of the Bible. When it suits him he demands literalism, but when necessary Ham is quite willing to abandon the all-sufficient Bible in favor of modern science and technology.
Jack Chick is a fundamentalist Christian cartoonist. If you spent any significant time in the Evangelical church, you’ve heard about “Chick tracts”. In the 1980s, the Baptist church I pastored in Somerset Ohio handed out thousands of This Was Your Life tracts, Chick’s most famous tract. If you want a cartoon representation of the crazy thinking of many Evangelicals, just read a Chick tract.
Using 5 cents as the cost of one tract, Chick has made $37,500,000 from the sale of his tracts. Tracts currently sell for 16 cents each. Bulk orders of 1,000 or more tracts receive a 15-25% discount. Orders of 10,000 or more of a single tract receive a 50% discount. Chick also sells books, tee shirts, DVDS, and comics. While little is known about the 91-year-old reclusive Jack Chick, it’s clear that he has made a nice living preying on the fears and ignorance of Christian fundamentalists.
Complete list of merchandise available from Jack Chick.