The Letter: A Message for Our Earth

The agencies which will unite against truth and righteousness in this contest are now actively at work. God’s holy word, which has been handed down to us at such a cost of suffering and blood, is but little valued. GC 582.3

The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan by Ellen G White

By Jennifer Robinson / Web Producer

Published December 14, 2022 at 12:37 PM PST

Activists featured in “The Letter: A Message for Our Earth” at Terza Loggia inside the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City

Courtesy of Lorenzo Magistrato

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PBSActivists featured in “The Letter: A Message for Our Earth” at Terza Loggia inside the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City

Pope Francis wrote a pastoral letter called Laudato Si’ (“Praise Be”),a reflection on the state of the planet that confronted the looming calamity of human impact on the Earth and all life on it. One of the most ambitious and revolutionary papal statements in history, it was directed not just to Catholics, but to every single person in the world.

The letter sparked both controversy and praise as the Pope took a passionate stance on the issue of climate change, stressing how those whose voices are not heard — the poor and the disenfranchised — are suffering the most devastating effects of the crisis.

From the very beginning of the great controversy in heaven it has been Satan’s purpose to overthrow the law of God. It was to accomplish this that he entered upon his rebellion against the Creator, and though he was cast out of heaven he has continued the same warfare upon the earth. To deceive men, and thus lead them to transgress God’s law, is the object which he has steadfastly pursued. Whether this be accomplished by casting aside the law altogether, or by rejecting one of its precepts, the result will be ultimately the same. He that offends “in one point,” manifests contempt for the whole law; his influence and example are on the side of transgression; he becomes “guilty of all.” James 2:10. GC 582.1

“The Letter: A Message for Our Earth” follows the ramifications of the Pope’s groundbreaking letter and takes viewers around the world to see firsthand how climate change is affecting the daily lives of people.

The Roman Catholic Church, with all its ramifications throughout the world, forms one vast organization under the control, and designed to serve the interests, of the papal see. Its millions of communicants, in every country on the globe, are instructed to hold themselves as bound in allegiance to the pope. Whatever their nationality or their government, they are to regard the authority of the church as above all other. Though they may take the oath pledging their loyalty to the state, yet back of this lies the vow of obedience to Rome, absolving them from every pledge inimical to her interests.
History testifies of her artful and persistent efforts to insinuate herself into the affairs of nations; and having gained a foothold, to further her own aims, even at the ruin of princes and people. In the year 1204, Pope Innocent III extracted from Peter II, king of Arragon, the following extraordinary oath: “I, Peter, king of Arragonians, profess and promise to be ever faithful and obedient to my lord, Pope Innocent, to his Catholic successors, and the Roman Church, and faithfully to preserve my kingdom in his obedience, defending the Catholic faith, and persecuting heretical pravity.”—John Dowling, The History of Romanism, b. 5, ch. 6, sec. 55. This is in harmony with the claims regarding the power of the Roman pontiff “that it is lawful for him to depose emperors” and “that he can absolve subjects from their allegiance to unrighteous rulers.”—Mosheim, b. 3, cent. 11, pt. 2, ch. 2, sec. 9, note 17. (See also Appendix note for page 447.)
And let it be remembered, it is the boast of Rome that she never changes. The principles of Gregory VII and Innocent III are still the principles of the Roman Catholic Church. And had she but the power, she would put them in practice with as much vigor now as in past centuries. Protestants little know what they are doing when they propose to accept the aid of Rome in the work of Sunday exaltation. While they are bent upon the accomplishment of their purpose, Rome is aiming to re-establish her power, to recover her lost supremacy. Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured.
God’s word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution. GC 580.2 – GC 581.2

With extraordinary access to Pope Francis — credited with doing more to fight the climate emergency than any other leader on the planet — “The Letter” tells the stories of people from around the globe whose everyday lives have been profoundly impacted by global warming. As part of his effort to show the world the calamitous effects of climate change, the Pope invited individuals to the Vatican to speak on behalf of four groups — the poor, the Indigenous, youth and nature.

The stories of these activists are featured in the film: Arouna Kandé, a climate change refugee from Senegal; Chief Dadá Borarí from the Maró Indigenous Lands of the Brazilian Amazon, under attack from uncontrolled deforestation; teenaged climate activist Ridhima Pandey of India; and scientists Greg Asner and Robin Martin from Hawaii, who are raising awareness of the devastating coral loss that threatens more than 25 percent of marine life.

With many, a philosophical idol is enthroned in the place of Jehovah; while the living God, as He is revealed in His word, in Christ, and in the works of creation, is worshiped by but few. Thousands deify nature while they deny the God of nature. Though in a different form, idolatry exists in the Christian world today as verily as it existed among ancient Israel in the days of Elijah. The God of many professedly wise men, of philosophers, poets, politicians, journalists—the God of polished fashionable circles, of many colleges and universities, even of some theological institutions—is little better than Baal, the sun-god of Phoenicia. GC 583.1

Inspired by the writings of his namesake, St. Francis, Pope Francis chose the saint’s words, “Laudato Si,’” as the title of his letter. In the film, he speaks with the scientists and activists about his hopes for the future.

Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. Daniel:2:2

See“The cry of freedom has to come from a new generation,” he says. “You’re the ones inheriting the Earth.” He emphasizes that the leaders of popular movements and scientists have to work together. “It’s like a choir,” he says. “We have to sing together. And right now unity means saving Mother Earth, saving biodiversity, saving ourselves and our children.”

Author: Adventist Angels Watchman Radio

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