A Biblical Approach to Climate Change (part 2 of 3) Blaspheming the Holy Spirit?

Last week we looked at the concept for Stewardship in regards to religious/faithful responses to climate change. I raised the question: Are we stewards of the earth or parasites of the planet? And if parasites, could we act as beneficial ones? What do you think?


Windmill in Illinois from Amtak. Photo by Peterson Toscano

Carrying on with this Bible theme, I sat down with Rev Dr Leah Schade, a Lutheran pastor and the author of the new book: Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit. I asked her for any Bible stories that we can look at through a climate lens. She SHOCKED me with an interpretation of a passage that has scared the snot out of me for decades.

Over at the Climate Stew blog I wrote:

When I was a tender young Christian in a Pentecostal Church in New York City, the absolute most terrifying passage in the Bible was one that warned us we could commit a sin that was so bad, it was unforgivable. As a Christian struggling with homosexuality at the time, I assumed the worst iniquity of them all had to do with gay stuff. And while my pastors insisted that my gayness was a major problem for them, they pointed to another more deadly sin: Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

After hearing repeated sermons about this spiritual threat, my fellow believers and I got it into our heads that we had somehow committed this sin. After frightening the snot out of us, Pastor Willy (that was his name) had to talk us down and assure us that there was no way we could have committed this sin. Confusing. He told us it was a really dangerous sin. It was hard to explain, and hard to commit, but once you did, you could not be forgiven.

Fortunately Leah calmed me down and provided a beautiful and moving reading of this text. The segment is about 12 minutes long and includes some lovely music by Chenard Walcker. Settle back and have a listen to a weird but wonderful climate change Bible lesson.

Rev. Dr Leah Schade speaks about blaspheming the Holy Sprit


Rev Dr Leah Schade and her new book!

Peterson sits down with Climate Stew crew member, Leah Schade and asks, “What does the Bible say about Climate Change?” They have a lively conversation where the pastor unpacks a controversial passage in the Gospels, a line by Jesus about an unforgivable sin.

Leah has published a new book: Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit

You can read her sermon here: I am Ruah: a sermon on climate disruption preached from the perspective of the Holy Spirit

Video of Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade “I am Ruah”

Coming up next: Part 3 Joseph and the Amazing Climate Adaptation Plan!


Featured image: Angels (Dust) by Greg Parma Smith taken by Peterson Toscano at MOMA PS1

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