In a new book, Pope Francis warns that a “great flood” could result if civilization fails to stop global warming, and he draws an analogy between future sea level rise and Noah’s Flood. He writes, “The Bible says that the flood is the result of God’s wrath....It is a figure of God’s wrath, who according to the Bible has seen too many bad things and decides to obliterate humanity.”1 His statement that the Flood is a figure of God’s wrath—rather than a demonstration of God’s wrath that took place in real history—suggests that he thinks the Genesis Flood is a myth. In this vein, he goes on to say, “The biblical flood, according to experts, is a mythical tale....But myth is a form of knowledge....The flood is a historical tale, archaeologists say, because they found traces of a flood in their excavations.”1
The pope seems to be trying to have it both ways, deferring to secular experts who deny the historicity of Genesis while taking care not to explicitly deny the biblical account himself. However, such a delicate balancing act isn’t really possible, so it is no surprise that, when push comes to shove, the pope gives more weight to so-called experts than to the Bible.
Conservative Catholics have long been exasperated with Pope Francis for statements and actions contrary to Scripture regarding issues like abortion and homosexuality, and some have charged him with heresy.2-4 These latest comments will no doubt continue to raise concerns about his orthodoxy. Even so, the statements are an excellent opportunity to inform people (including the pope!) that the Genesis Flood was a real, historical event.
The Earth’s surface is covered by thousands of feet of water-deposited rock layers, within which are the fossilized remains of billions of plants and animals. Had these organic remains not been rapidly buried in mud, they would have decayed or been eaten by scavengers.5 Moreover, marine fossils are often found on land, and fossils of land creatures are often found in deep ocean sediments.6 Indeed, marine and land fossils are often mixed together.7 This would be difficult to explain if the sediments were deposited slowly and gradually over millions of years, but given the catastrophic, chaotic nature of the Flood, this mix of marine and land fossils makes perfect sense. And despite claims of evolutionary geologists to the contrary, there are strong geological clues that these water-deposited sediments were deposited very rapidly, consistent with a Flood scenario.8-10
Moreover, the world’s people groups have hundreds of narratives and recollections that God used a great Flood to destroy the world for its sin, except for one man’s family, who, along with representatives of the world’s land animals, survived the cataclysm in a large wooden vessel.11,12 These recollections are exactly what one would expect if the Flood really happened.
But if evidence for the Flood is so strong, why do so many deny it? The Apostle Peter gives us a clue in 2 Peter 3:3-9: in the last days, scoffers will come, walking after their own lusts (v. 3). These scoffers will deny that God created the world (v. 5), that God destroyed the world in the days of Noah (v. 6), and that the Lord Jesus Christ is one day coming back to set up His Kingdom (v. 4). Acknowledging creation and the reality of the Genesis Flood is a tacit acknowledgement that God’s future judgment is coming, so it is hardly surprising that those wishing to avoid accountability would use the pseudo-intellectual rationale that the rocks and fossils represent millions of years of evolution, rather than God’s judgment in the days of Noah.
Many today, including the pope, are worried about sea-level rise due to global warming. But the rainbow is a reminder that God has promised never again to destroy the world with a Flood.13 Most—if not all—global warming alarmism is tied to a denial of Genesis.14 There is indeed an emergency facing the world, but it isn’t climate change. It is the coming wrath of God’s judgment, which can only be avoided by repenting (turning) from one’s sins and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.15
1. Williams, T. D. Pope Francis Warns of Second ‘Great Flood’ From Global Warming. Breitbart. Posted on breitbart.com March 1, 2021, accessed March 2, 2021.
2. Slisco, A. Pope Francis Holds Meeting with Pro-LGBT Priest Who Angered Conservative Catholics. Newsweek. Posted September 30, 2019 on newsweek.com, accessed March 2, 2021.
3. Every conservative Catholic should be furious at what Pope Francis just did. CultureWatch. Posted February 26, 2021 at culturewatchnews.com, accessed March 2, 2021.
4. Budryk, Z. Conservative Catholics accuse Pope Francis of heresy. The Hill. Posted on thehill.com May 1, 2019, accessed March 2, 2021.
5. Thomas, B. Flood Explains ‘Worldwide Pattern’ in Ancient Rock. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org April 11, 2012, accessed March 2, 2021.
6. Clarey, T. and J. J. S. Johnson. 2019. Deep-Sea Dinosaur Fossil Buries Evolution. Acts & Facts. 48 (8).
7. Clarey, T. 2015. Dinosaurs in Marine Sediments: A Worldwide Phenomenon. Acts & Facts. 44 (6).
8. Morris, J. D. 1991. Is There Geological Evidence for the Young Earth? Acts & Facts. 20 (11).
9. Morris, J. D. 2008. Surface Features Require Rapid Deposition. Acts & Facts. 37 (12): 13.
10. Morris, J. D. 2009. Sedimentary Structure Shows a Young Earth. Acts & Facts. 38 (7): 15.
11. Morris, J. D. 2014. Traditions of a Global Flood. Acts & Facts. 43 (11).
12. For a lengthy description of these Flood accounts, see Cooper, B. 2012. The Authenticity of the Book of Genesis. Portsmouth, UK: Creation Science Movement.
13. Genesis 9:11-16.
14. Hebert, J. 2021. The Ice Age and Climate Change: A Creation Perspective. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research.
15. Romans 10:9-13; Acts 4:12.
*Dr. Jake Hebert is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.
The Pope, the Flood, and Global Warming
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