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WEEKLY REFLECTIONS

~ Thank the Scriptures for Science ~


Christian literature does not proffer the miracles of Christ or supernatural events as evidence of God’s existence.  Miracles of healing, feeding thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish and raising the dead were acts of Christ’s compassion, not His offering of signs of His divinity.

This contrasts with bogus preachers who run from city to city doing healing services (for pay) to “prove” the Holy Spirit exists and is active among us.

When the Pharisees asked Christ for “a sign” He was the Messiah, He replied He would “destroy this temple and rebuild it in three days.” Christ meant the temple of His body and a week later He did just that, giving us the greatest sign of His resurrection.

During His trial, Herod repeatedly asked Christ for a miraculous demonstration and Christ remained silent and unmoving. While on the cross, Christ’s executioners teased Him, “Prove you are the Christ, and come down from that cross!” In the solitude of His forty-day fast in the desert prior to selecting His apostles, Christ was challenged to perform miracles and resisted. The first miracle Jesus did, producing wine from water for an embarrassed wedding party host, was done at the request of His mother, and probably would not have been done otherwise.

The psalms, wisdom books, epistles and writings of the early church fathers praised both the creation and the Creator. “How wondrous are your works, O Lord!” Biblical literature is resplendent of descriptions of creation. At the end of each creation “day”, God announced, “It is good.” The sun, moon, and stars were created as lights and the vegetation and animals given to the care of humankind.

How clear it is that creation was not to be worshipped, but to reflect the wondrous face and presence of the Creator. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20, NIV). Miraculous overriding of natural design and processes are not presented as signs that God exists. Natural design and processes are the evidence of a loving, masterful Creator.

Yet people will flock to see a bleeding painting or visit a person who was instantaneously cured of congenital blindness, while rushing past a beautiful array of wildflowers that forced their way between cracks in a sidewalk or rock crevices. “Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these [the lilies of the field]” (Matthew 6:29).

Atheistic governments such as the former Soviet Union and the present communist nations make fun of religion, “the opiate of the people.” Yes, pagan cultures worshipped the sun, moon, animals and herbs. Their worlds are governed by superstitions that are easily debunked by science. And atheistic governments and individuals capitalize on that.

We, however, don’t espouse or practice these superstitions and idolatries. Science in opposition to religion is a relatively new dynamic. The early scientists were religious and faith filled people. One example of so many is the monk, Gregor Mendel, who is the “father” of the science of genetics.

At this point some will remind me of Galileo, persecuted by the church for suggesting the earth was not the center of the universe. In the context of history, the worldview of the scholars included the centrality of the earth. Introducing evidence at any time in history, including today (as with the theory of evolution) that threatens the prevailing worldview invites immediate persecution. Our perspectives are sacred cows and die hard in the face of truth.

All people are religious, especially staunch evolutionists. The religious sailors who followed Columbus across the Atlantic (whose flagship was named “St. Mary”) believed the earth was flat. Biblical literature never taught a flat-earth perspective nor that the earth was the center of the universe.

The church produced the greatest scientists and learned to gradually dissociate itself from the politics of the world that tainted it. Kings no longer appointed popes and archbishops or declared the official state religion all citizens were to adopt. The superstitions that infected medieval Christianity waned.

Curiously, that blurring of politics and religion is occurring again the U.S. Many Northern Americans still believe God chooses sides in football games and political contentions. Jesus was constantly pressed to choose political sides by both His disciples and enemies. He never got caught up in that, announcing to the man who would decree His execution, “My kingdom is not of this world.”

The Bible laid the groundwork for the birth of science, an idea that may surprise many readers. The Scriptures invite us to explore and mandates us to care for creation with scientific and loving zeal. They have not done the same for human politics. Many will try to convince us it has, just as many still try to convince us the creation days were literal twenty-four hour days although the sun, moon and stars were not created until the fourth day “to mark seasons and days and years” (Genesis 1:14) and that the earth is only six thousand years old.

Following the tradition of being a “fool for Christ” is a holy calling and difficult road. It is far from the way of being “stupid in Christ” and setting oneself up to be discredited by the world as a superstitious non-thinker. The church produced the first scientists who pursued their exploration of the infinitely complex creation with the awe and respect of God’s children, curiously examining every corner of the Father’s visible mansion. We can also enter the invisible realm through the vehicle of faith. “I do not understand so I can believe; I believe so I can understand.”
 

John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
Spiritual Resource Services
~ Education, Research and Advocacy
   in the Christian Faith ~
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