Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Assurance or Anxiety?

Do the events of weather inspire assurance and reverence for the Creator who designed Earth’s climate system for human thriving? Or contrarily, do weather and climate events conjure up feelings of anxiety and unease? Humanity is gifted with the ability to appropriate either positive or negative emotions. A search of numerous stories on your favorite internet home page will affirm human desire to consume diverse types of journalistic accounts, from triumph to tragedy and every location between. In our modern information-saturated society journalists have considerable power. Our ability to be selective in the choice of subject matter viewpoints is severely tested in our modern society.

In the sphere of weather and climate, consider who controls the journalistic microphone. Passive consumers should be aware of the power of the press. In college I recall the warnings of several instructors cautioning students to avoid perceiving all information in printed media as truth. Obvious as this warning seems, we note the dangers of biased, agenda-driven political journalism. The freedom of journalists to express editorial opinions extends increasingly to ordinary reporting.

A tragedy of our time is the fear engendered by the climate change lobby. For many, public attitudes have shifted since 1988 when global warming became an important topic du jour. Sadly, a significant body of our populace now perceives weather and climate as a disaster “poised to strike.” Some politicians hyperbolically proclaim climate change “the worst problem facing the world today.” We do not decry ordinary journalistic reporting. For example, when occasional natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, blizzards, or droughts occur, media reporting is wholly appropriate. 

Viewers of The Weather Channel may be fascinated by the weather network’s “Storm Story” features. Weather Channel is free to offer the programming of their choice. Likewise, viewers are free to select programming of their choice for personal viewing. In our country freedom of the press is a cherished value but discerning viewers must exercise freedom to accept or reject media bias. This applies not only to those who relentlessly promote anthropogenic climate change (formerly called anthropogenic global warming), but also to those who deny any human induced influence on global temperature no matter how insignificant.

In our previous blog post entitled Weather Wonders, we highlighted several scripture passages describing startling weather events. We list the scriptures below. In each of these passages, mighty weather events were described. Should these scriptures produce assurance or anxiety? From a study of each chapter, we hope readers identify the voice of a benevolent God. Anxiety and fear are not mentioned as an outcome of these mighty weather phenomena. Quite the opposite, these events highlight God’s glory and wisdom.

Job 37: This chapter describes frigid cold conditions, perhaps rivaling the harsh US winter of 2013-2014. Consider these descriptive terms to describe the frozen wonder and various other mighty weather scenarios described in Job 37: marvelous, majestic, wonder, splendor, justice, and righteousness. Here is the link to our March 7, 2014 post:

Psalm 29: The Psalm provides an almost certain description of a tornado which breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon, shakes the Desert of Kadesh, twists the oaks, and strips the forests bare. The two most destructive fatal tornadoes in the United States occurred in 1925 and on April 28, 2011 in America’s deep south. Nevertheless, Psalm 29 uses strength, splendor, and power to describe the tragic events. Our April 30, 2011 post put several natural events in sobering perspective, including tornadoes:

Jeremiah 10: In our interpretive freedom, we may imagine a mighty flooding event   described by thunder, roaring of the waters in the heavens, lightning with the rain, and wind from His storehouses. Wisdom and understanding characterizes the reaction of Almighty God as he observes his creation. The July 2, 2008 post highlights a modern flood which engulfed the church attended by our son in Iowa:

Acts 27: Did hurricanes or storms of similar intensity occur in Bible times? This chapter contains a description of a Mediterranean storm called Euroclydon. The Apostle Paul was aboard a ship headed to Rome. Detailed narrative of the long-lasting storm consumes most of the lengthy Acts 27 passage. An angel of God instructed, “Do not be afraid.” The Father has a higher purpose in occasionally allowing human tragedy associated with weather events:   

The Creator’s higher purpose is evident in Genesis 1:31: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” We extend the meaning of this verse to Earth’s weather and climate system. Man’s desire for perfect, anxiety-free weather and climate would not be in man’s best interest. But we may rest securely in assurance that God’s higher purpose is superior to human purpose.