Tuesday, April 10, 2012

An attempt to begin at what I had hoped not to become embroiled in...

I am going to begin to respond to the comment the anonymous astrophysicist left on What I believe: God is the Creator of all things, part 2.

First off, I want to clarify something: I do not consider myself a scientist. I am related to a number of scientists, even hard-core scientists. But I am not a scientist myself. And the purpose of this blog has never had anything to do with science or any desire to be scientific.

I have a BA in English.

After that, I stayed home to raise my children.

I have earned less than $20,000, total, in my entire life. No lie. I know this because I get letters from Social Security telling me how much I do not have in their accounts.

I tell you this to demonstrate that I am not here to try to impress, or to prove something, or even to convince. I am just laying out my own theology, what I believe. You can take it or leave it, like it or hate it. There are Christians whose hearts bleed for the lost. I am not really quite one of them. My heart bleeds for those who are searching, but not for those who are happily determined to reject the Lord. I will feel blessed and thankful if anyone is ever touched by the Lord through this blog, but if people read it and reject it, that is their problem and not mine. There are too many people following the way to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14), too many for me to lie awake at night stressing over them all.

I have spent too much time around people who are dead set against loving Jesus, atheist types. I've been around enough of them that I don't have much hope for their souls. Of course, I believe that all things are possible with God, and that He and only He (not I) knows who is destined for salvation and who is destined for damnation.

In obedience to my Lord, I am writing about what I believe, and my hope is that somehow this might benefit someone who may be searching for answers. If God can use my simple words to bless and save anyone, then that is His miracle and no testimony to my background, education or writing skills (or bleeding heart).

If you ask me honest questions that you are really wrestling with, I will do my best to answer them thoughtfully. But if you heckle me and put me down, I will remove your comment. The world has pretty much heckled me and put me down my whole adult life because of the counter-cultural choices I've made, and I have taken it. However, on this blog, which I manage myself, I will remove the unpleasantness. Because I can.

In the Bible, Jesus says, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will." (Luke 10:21, ESV)

Later, Luke records this story about Jesus: "Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, 'Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.' " (Luke 18:15-16, ESV)

God wants us to come to Him with childlike faith. He did not set up His witness to His existence to be a difficult puzzle. God's presence in the world is simple enough for a child to discern. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God has set eternity in men's hearts, to make us wonder, even though we cannot fathom all that God has done.

Now, some Christians (too many, in my opinion), decide that science leads us away from God, science is evil, therefore we should eschew science. This is what they understand to be "childlike faith."

I think that is foolishness, utter rubbish. Childlike faith is about how we approach God, not how we handle our science classes. However, there is a kernel of truth hidden in the folly. We do need to be careful of how we accept the teaching of "scientists" who begin their scientific exploration from a fundamental premise that there must be no God. If they are stubbornly operating from the premise that there is not, never has been, never will be, never could be a God, then they are as foolish as the Christians who are afraid of science. They are afraid of God. (And not in a "fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" way; rather, in a "if I can't see you, you can't do anything to me," way.)

Since nobody was there when it all began, and nobody will ever be able to travel back in time to see what happened, we must recognize that the origins of life are not something we can scientifically study. Science requires observation, hypothesis and testing of the hypothesis. We can't do that with the theory of evolution. We can only observe what is before us now and try to piece together an explanation. Have you ever read an Agatha Christie novel? There are myriad ways to piece together evidence, but only one right answer.

The only way we'll ever figure out who was right about the origins of life is after we die. If, when you die, you simply cease to exist and your cells just decompose down into dirt, then you were right (not much glory in it at that point, though). On the other hand, if you find your eternal soul in the courtroom of God, judged by His perfect knowledge and justice on the basis of whether you accepted His Son and His forgiveness, and you didn't... then you will be cast into outer darkness and lament for all eternity that you were wrong.

An acquaintance of ours, one of the many scientific types with whom we regularly rub shoulders, one of the ones who actively opposes God for no good reason, said to me once, "Science and religion just need to stay in their own spheres. Science is over here," and he gestured with his hands to signify an area, "And religion is over here," he gestured to signify a different area.

"You can study and prove science," he told me. "You can't study and prove religion. So they should just stay in their separate areas." That would be fine, maybe, if science would stay away from trying to explain the origins of life, which it cannot by virtue of what it is... the systematic study of the physical, material world through observation and experimentation.

Do you know what I wish? I wish scientists would just be fair. I wish they would study the origins of life with an open mind. I wish they would begin their theorizing with the question, "Supposing that there might be a God at the source of life, what would it mean? How would that affect our interpretation of this evidence?" Notice I am not even asking them to suppose that there is a God, only that there might be. And I would like very much to see where that supposition would lead them.

Too long. Sorry. I certainly did not accomplish what I had hoped to cover today. More tomorrow.

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