My fear of science began when I was first introduced to the word evolution during elementary school. I was trained to believe that to be a Christian was to believe in Creation; and that there is no room for evolution in creation. To accept evolution was the same as turning your back on God. I learned a big lesson that year. When it comes to questioning or even testing faith, it’s better to just- not.
However, the lesson I took to heart ended up becoming an excuse to dismiss education in general- and in the process, a delay in finding that God has nothing to fear from science.
It would be years before I would begin to dare to ask why one belief could not work alongside the other. But before I could even allow myself to “go there” I had to challenge the boundaries of my faith. It was one single question that would trigger a path that would free me from the fear that barred me from the complete freedom to explore a complete education.
If everything I have come to believe about God turns out to be false, could I still trust in God? No matter the angle I approached this malady, the answer always came down to the same impassable verity; If I truly believe God is bigger than anything, do I believe He is bigger than the fundamentals I have come to believe and trust? When I finally allowed myself to raise my faith in God to a level of blind confidence, I not only become free to hold the worries of this life loosely- the voice of God became no longer obstructed by unwarranted distractions.
NOW when I consider creation, evolution, pre/post/mid or amillennialism, whether the Sabbath falls on Saturday or Sunday, the role of women in the church, what denomination offers the best worship, communion, hospitality, community, prayer… the facts that science has debunked such as a flat earth at the center of the universe (and other much more current events)- I don’t have to be scared or ashamed because my God is not tied to the judgments and implications of this world. My faith that was once tied to such matters is now free to belong to God.
All truth IS God’s truth
The best part of giving up faith in matters of societal concern is that I no longer feel as if I need to control the outcome of those concerns- because my faith is not hinged on the conclusion of what science can or can’t reveal. I don’t flinch when science, also searching for truth, uncovers previously undiscovered or ill-assumed components of God’s creation. I don’t become agitated if a population of humans are identified by science as the “missing link” between apes and humans. I do not cringe when science estimates that the world is much older than scripture (also written by humans) alludes to. I certainly don’t give a damn how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. (Yes, that was an actual argument linked to the fall of Constantinople). When a heavenly being appeared to John in Revelation, they did not find it worth revealing that the earth isn’t flat when constructing a vision of “four angles standing at the four corners of the earth” Rev. 7:1 (even though exploration and science would later prove otherwise).
God speaks to each of us from our level of understanding.
God doesn’t get upset when we don’t have our ducks in a row before granting us grace and mercy. It’s probably a large part of why God is so full of grace and mercy. If full comprehension was a prerequisite, we would likely never be able to access the presence of God.
When we are too proud to let go of a belief that can be disproved, we have made that belief an idol. The refusal to accept the fate of a false belief produces shame. Humans are adept to linking their faith to our basic need to survive. However, pride has no place here- and by granting pride dominion at such a vital level- our survival instinct becomes septic. It’s as if our cognitive immune system becomes inundated with picking the battles we need to survive. Anxiety, rage, resentment, and distrust become the mechanisms from which we respond to our world. By doing so, we place a series of filters between not only ourselves and societal reality, but also ourselves and the voice of God.
God has nothing to fear from knowledge and the certainty it unveils.
As a child of God, we are free to live in this same freedom. However, freedom does not forgive intentional ignorance. As pursuers of truth, we should be actively promoting all truth. We should never be complicit to stand on the sidelines waiting for the first hints of of rapture. Engagement in productivity regarding our time and effort is supported in the parable of the talents. Genesis shares God’s original intent for mankind when introducing Adam; “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work and keep it” (Gen 2:15). This command is not limited to agriculture. We are to work and keep the ongoing advancements of society.
When we make our enemy the outcome of research regarding vaccination’s role in autism, the evidence of global warming, the conservative’s success of an election, or any number of ongoing battles- we have chosen to mute ourselves to the real enemy of our faith. We cannot successfully battle the enemy of God when the truth we fight for is no longer God- but what we have chosen as a symptom of the proof of God. It is these sort of distractions that a world seeking truth finds laughable. It is the distractions we place our assumptions of survival in that have made the church lose precious credibility.
We should not be surprised we are acting this way. We are subjected to a curse.
It’s time for the church as the bride of Christ to stop whoring our faith to matters outside of our control, which are already and perfectly within God’s control. God does not need for his church to prove his existence in the outcome of matters we predetermine as justification of God’s actuality. After the fall of man in Genesis, Eve was challenged with the following; “Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you” (Gen. 3:16b). It is not at all surprising to see the same fight for control as the church (Christ’s bride), presents contrary to the one who has authority and therefore should also be granted the responsibility we so desperately fight to maintain.
It is within our conscious ability to loosen the grip of control in our lack of complete understanding so that God can use us to effectively navigate timely outcomes- rather than be on the front line of refuting evident truth.
If we truly believe in a God who can accept and forgive all of our flaws, we should be willing to do the same for our contradicted preconceptions.
We are free to celebrate God in any channel his perfect creation is revealed. We are free to reflect God’s love in who we nominate in the next election. We are free from fear of misrepresenting God after debunked assumptions. We are free to accept truth as truth is revealed because;
We are free.