Al Gore has a long, inglorious history of making absurd pronouncements about both himself and climate change. When not tied up with things like “inventing” the Internet, Gore is busy jet-setting around the world, stomping his sizeable carbon footprint anywhere that he can find a platform. Among other predictions that have failed to come true, Gore falsely claimed in 2006 that Mount Kilimanjaro would be snow-free by 2016 and that rising temperatures would create deadly heatwaves.
Mount Kilimanjaro still has snow, and the temperature rising to deadly levels, well, has yet to happen. Now, thanks to President Trump kicking the Paris climate accord to the curb, Al Gore is at it again with a new head of “green” steam.
You would think that after decades worth of silly and flat-out wrong declarations and predictions, Gore would’ve learned to be a little more circumspect. Instead, dusting off some old talking points, Al Gore is now trumpeting that our current weather is a harbinger the apocalypse from the Book of Revelation.
Now, two things before I say what I want to say. One, this is the Faith section of the website; I’m not going to be interacting with the back-and-forth over whether climate change is an actual thing or not, nor the debate about what’s causing climate change if climate change is indeed a thing. Two, eschatology (end times) is often a contentious topic among Christians. I’m not going to present an argument for an eschatological position.
What I am going to do is argue that Al Gore’s statements reveal an almost complete lack of knowledge of the basic eschatological position held to by the vast majority of professing Christians and taught by the Bible. That position is that Jesus Christ is going to return one day, and God will judge the wicked and reward the righteous on the final day. Furthermore, the apocalyptic visions found in the Book of Revelation are directly connected to God’s judgment of the wicked.
Whether or not a Christian believes that the catastrophes described in Revelation are future events or are past and continuing events, that Christian understands that the events are divinely initiated by a holy and just God who is putting an end to sin.
Sin, in case you were curious, is anything that violates God’s holy law. A short sampling of things that violate God’s holy law are rebelling against your parents, engaging in sexual activities that fall outside of God’s ordained parameters for sex, and, of course, gluttony. The bad news is that violating God’s law brings with it the curse of death and separation from God. The worse news is that all of us violate God’s law, probably on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Because of our sin, we are damned to an eternity in hell under God’s wrath.
But God is gracious, and not only did He provide a solution to the problem of our sin (repentance of sins and faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ), He also waits. The final day has not yet arrived. Using wonderfully graphic imagery, the Book of Revelation is a visceral unveiling of that final day, God’s wrath, and the coming culmination of the salvation of God’s people.
The Book of Revelation is not a politically charged parable that can be co-opted in order to promote specific, modern-day ideologies. The floods, famines, and overall catastrophic destruction woven throughout the apocalyptic book reference God’s judgment on sin, including the sin promoted by leftist ideology (abortion, gay marriage, etc.). The plagues are evidence of God’s wrath. Al Gore’s comparison of God’s wrath to bad weather is quite the understatement.
The overall point of the Book of Revelation is that the wicked, those who refused to repent of their sins and place their faith in Jesus, will be utterly undone, destroyed by a righteous, just God who cannot abide sin. The righteous, on the other hand, those who have humbled themselves before God, will be ushered into the full and final completion of their new life in Christ. Those who have repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus will spend all eternity in full fellowship with their Creator.
None of that has anything to do with climate change and/or the Paris agreement. Al Gore’s hijacking of God’s Holy Word is blasphemous. In fact, Revelation 22:18-19 has something to say about playing around with God’s Word: “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this Book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of the prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”