I Ruined My Teen Nephew (And I’m Proud Of It)

“You ruined me. I don’t even want to go to school tomorrow.” I leaned forward, alarmed my words to my thirteen-year-old nephew might have been too frightening.

“You just told me the world is going to end. We’re screwed!” I glanced at my sister-in-law, whose wide eyes, tight lips, and tilted head told me I needed to fix this quickly. A quarter way through my chicken sandwich, I paused for a moment. Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe we need to scare our kids.

We’d gathered at Chick-fil-A after an evening of bowling, and the conversation about the Corona virus arose. Paul, quiet inquisitive for his age, immediately impressed us with an interesting conspiracy theory. Amused by his thought process, I smiled as I recalled other conspiracy theories told by my college students.

Then I dropped the bomb which ruined his night. I told him I’d been teaching something similar all week. Whereas his conspiracy theory involved a questionable covert operation by Chinese operatives to reduce our population, I told him about a real plan to reduce world population.

I elbowed my fourteen-year-old. “Tell Paul about the Georgia Guidestones.”

“Yeah, that was crazy!” my son exclaimed while I quickly scrolled through my phone to find pictures we took last fall.

“Read this.” I handed my phone to my nephew. “Read the top one.”

Georgia Guidestones, Elbert County, Georgia, USA

“Maintain humanity under 500 million in perpetual balance with nature.” He pushed half his meal aside as his appetite vanished.

“Did you know the current world population is over 7 and a half billion?” “What do you think that means?”

Before he could answer, I quickly gave another example. “My classes have to write a paper based on an interview Jacques Cousteau gave to the UNESCO Courier in November, 1991.” The underwater pioneer Jacques Cousteau hosted the popular television series, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, which entertained awe-struck audiences of all ages from 1968-1975. “Do you remember him?” I asked his startled mother. She did.

“Cousteau traveled all over the world,” I explained to the teens, “and in this interview he said the biggest problem facing the world is overpopulation. He said that in 1991, while the population was much smaller than it is today.”

I continued. “Cousteau went on to say he believed the world’s population should be capped at 700 million.” My family stared at me, their expressions a mixture of horror and disbelief.

“What’s that got to do with the Corona virus?”

“I’ll tell you what Jacques Cousteau might think. He would say eliminating suffering and disease might actually jeopardize our species. In the interview with UNESCO he said, ‘It’s terrible to have to say this. World population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day.'”

Seizing the moment, I peered into my nephew’s wide-open eyes, almost staring into his soul. “You know what’s even scarier? The Bible talks about a drastic reduction in world population during the last days.”

“Ever heard of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?” My terrified nephew’s long face reminded me of the pale horse.

“Those represent God’s judgments upon Earth in the last days. One of those judgments is the pale horse, who has power to kill a quarter of the earth’s population.”

I rolled through my speech like I’d done so many times before with my classes. “What were those ‘ideal’ population numbers again? 500-700 million? And we’re at 7.5 billion? Somebody wants to kill off a bunch of people, and the Bible says a bunch of people will be killed off.” What do you think will happen?

Walking to our cars, my nephew was visibly upset. “You’ve ruined me,” he repeated. “I need a Bible. I need to sleep on a stack of Bibles!”

“No,” I smiled. His comments warmed my heart. “I didn’t ruin you. I set you free from the fear and gave you hope. Go seek God, who tells you the rest of the story and offers hope. That’s the Gospel story- the hope for humanity: ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.'”

Doug Carter teaches college Ethics, Old Testament and New Testament courses. Follow his blog https://dougcarterwriter.com/ and connect with him on Twitter @DougCarterWrite or Instagram @DougCarterWriter.

Join me live at 9:00 pm EST on pjnet.tv the first Monday of every month.

Knowing God is Key to Solving Climate Crisis

Knowing God is key to solving the climate crisis. If we want to know what God is like, we need to go the primary source.

Knowing God: A Lesson from Job

The book of Job is counted among the books of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon as wisdom literature. But why? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and Job’s story is an epic poem that revolves around the knowledge of God.

As Christians, we’re attuned to the covenant idea of blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. Ironically, this was where Job’s friends spoke wrongly about God. And that angered God. Whereas Job’s friends understood the concept of cause and effect, blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience, God is not confined to such a manipulative mechanical construct. They knew some things about Him, but they did not know Him.

The modern church has the same problem. Too many Christians know about God, but don’t know God.

Job lived far beyond what most people could count as a righteous life. Yet God allowed him to be cursed. Was this fair? Should he have just cursed God and died as his wife suggested?

As Job’s story unfolds, we discover the main idea of the epic isn’t about who God chooses to bless or curse, but is about knowing who God is. We also discover God is angry with Job’s friends because they said things about God that were not true. That should make every well-meaning Christian pause for reflection.

Mankind’s original sin involved believing things about God that were not true. Notice how Satan manipulated the knowledge of God. First, he caused doubt about God’s logic: “Did God really say . . . ?” Then Satan contradicted God’s words: “Surely you will not die.” Finally, Satan convinced Adam and Eve they could determine for themselves what is Good or Evil: “You can be godlike, knowing Good and Evil.” They were deceitful words; they misrepresented God, and they had unimaginable consequences.

Job’s story warns us against saying anything that is not true about God. Mankind is not like God; our ways are not God’s ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts. What seems logical to man may be contrary to God.

Knowing God is particularly relevant for what may be the biggest global issue the world has ever faced: man-caused climate change.

Population Control

In 1991, the French underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau was interviewed by the UNESCO Courier for an issue themed mankind’s impact on the environment. Cousteau believed Earth’s biggest problem was human overpopulation. The human population, he thought, was like cancer to the world’s resources. “Our society is geared to increasingly useless consumption. It’s a vicious circle which I compare to a cancer.”

Cousteau calculated the world’s population should be maintained at a maximum of 700 million. That 700 million cap, he believed, would ensure everyone could enjoy the lifestyle of the typical American living in the mid-1980s. At the time, Earth’s population was 4 billion.

“It’s terrible to say this,” Cousteau said. “World population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. This is so horrible to contemplate that we shouldn’t even say it. But the general situation in which we are involved is lamentable.”

Cousteau discussed his findings with an acquaintance at the University of Southern California. His acquaintance had done a similar study and concluded Cousteau’s numbers were generous, considering his sustainable population estimate was much lower.

Cousteau didn’t reveal his acquaintance’s estimate, but the Georgia Guidestones, anonymously erected on a rural farm in Georgia in 1980, calls for a world population limit of 500 million. Like Cousteau, the Georgia Guidestones also likens humanity to cancer on the Earth: “Be not a cancer on the Earth- leave room for nature- leave room for nature.” 

Georgia Guidestones

If you aren’t alarmed yet, consider many of our younger generations are convinced human interaction on the environment could result in an apocalyptic demise for humanity.

More plainly, many of our young people believe obedience to God’s command to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and use it is unsustainable- the cause of our own demise. Worse, they believe population control is vital to averting a global disaster. Among Christians, population control tactics such as abortion are being normalized. The church must take a decisive stand now. Too many young Christians believe the lie Earth is already overpopulated.

What Seems Logical to Man May Be Contrary to God

Did God really say in Genesis 1:26, “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and use it”? Yes, He did.

Therefore, it’s a dangerous thing for Christians to promote population control. As the climate debate intensifies and the world grows more contentious against God, let’s step back and heed the lesson of Job: Speak only what is right about God.

The Truth About Climate Change

How should Christians approach climate change and population control issues?

The Bible has a lot to say about these issues. We know the earth was cursed as part of the Fall. We also know enmity was established between the seed of the woman and Satan. From this curse, Satan has attacked children ever since. Cain killed Abel, Pharaoh killed the Hebrew children when Moses was a child, Herod killed all the male children two years and younger, pagan deities required child sacrifice, Hitler exterminated millions of Jews, and today Planned Parenthood is a globalized baby-killing network funded greatly by American taxpayers. The enmity between Satan and the seed of the woman has only intensified through time.

It’s time for the church to acknowledge humanity’s actions are leading to an apocalyptic climate and population disaster. Isaiah 24 is a sharp warning from God about a dreadful coming judgment upon the world. A careful reading of the chapter reveals the earth mourns and fades away; it languishes; it is defiled because of its inhabitants. As a result, the earth “shall be like the shaking of an olive tree,” and “the earth is violently broken, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; its transgression shall be heavy upon it, and it will fall, and not rise again.”

What have we done? Did our carbon emissions cause this? Will a Green New Deal or a globalized government save us? No! God says, “The earth is defiled under its inhabitants because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and broken the everlasting covenant. We’ve abandoned God’s natural order and created a new one- one that replaces God and redefines Good and Evil.

Humanity’s True Hope is Knowing God

Humanity’s hope won’t be found in reduced resource production and consumption or population reduction. Our hope lies where it always has been: in knowing God.