Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Big Fight... Or Is It?

    Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to tonight's epic showdown! In this corner, we have the heavyweight champion of the last few centuries, Science! And competing, in the other corner, we have tonight, another great of society, or at least it once was, Christianity!

    Wait, what?
    Let's rewind for a second. Science and Christianity duking it out for the place of reverence in society?

    That's what many people think. That Christianity is a religion of fuddy-duddies and the mentally impaired, and that Science is its polar opposite. Or within the Christian community, that science is the weapon they use to tear us apart, against which we have little defense.  They cannot coexist and never will. But why? Is it really true?

    Shoot me if you will, but I say that we've got it wrong.

    Look. Here's the thing. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And in the next few days, He also created a heck of a lot of other stuff. He created us and all the other critters. And that's usually where we stop thinking about it. But His creation of the heavens and the earth must, inevitably include EVERYTHING. So, He created us and the critters, yeah, but He also created all the bacteria, all the plants, all the in-between stuff, He created magnetism, gravity, and all the rest of physics that are required for us and all us critters to be around, and this is stuff that we don't understand completely today using our precious science (oh yeah, and I mentioned He did it in, like, less than a week, right?). He orchestrated finely-tuned ecosystems and the microscopic mechanisms behind the bacterial flagella. He made chemicals which exist in base units called atoms, which make up everything to the double helix of DNA which is you to the carbon in diamonds and the mix we breathe with every breath.

    So, if He created it all, how could it possibly oppose Him? Science is by very nature a pursuit of understanding the natural world, so again, how could the creation possibly "disprove" the Creator? Especially when it doesn't even fully understand the world around us?

    I think what has happened is that we have forgotten the true nature of science, and who is REALLY opposing God here. You see, to "oppose" something, it would seem to me as though something would have to have a will, a desire to oppose. And science has no feelings. People do.

    Science is, at the end of the day, a tool. A tool to be used by humans, and humans have a certain nature to them. They are stubborn, willful, and disobedient. And they like to think that if they can explain away God, pretend like He doesn't exist, then they aren't beholden to Him. That, if they weren't created, they are beholden to no Creator. And some people have gotten it into their head that the tool of science can be used to accomplish this goal. But as I said before, how in the world does that work? God made the world, so how are you going to disprove His existence by studying it?

    But for so long, Christianity has let itself slip. We have been called to be ready to defend and provide answer to our faith. Heck, we have been called to do a lot of things, and the church is more and more lacking. Some groups have realized this deviance, this gaping hole in our education, but not enough. And because of the prevalence of the world's use of science as a weapon against us, we have collectively hidden from it.

    We have forgotten that science is a tool exclusive to none. Any can use it, not just the world. The same goes for words and ideas: tools, to be used by any and all who want to.

    We have not been given a spirit of fear. We have no need to hide, and we never did. All it does is doom our own chances, and the chances of our children.

     And I love my school. Really I do. And I really do understand that the mission is to create the up- and-coming generation of Church leaders. Great goal. Don't want to knock it. But I, for one, don't see much of a career in being a pastor (I think the Bible has some pretty clear words on that, since I'm female). And, sure I could be a missionary, teacher, secretary, or some Church leader's wife. But I have legit physical issues which will, realistically, hinder me from doing on-your-feet-all-day work. I physically just can't. Furthermore, I hate office work, I hate feeling useless for extended periods of time, and really suck at talking with people, especially strangers. And while I am not opposed to possibly marrying a pastor someday, I'd prefer not to have that as my defining characteristic.

     Basically, long story short, I don't have much potential working for a Church full-time, much as I'd love to know I'm full-time devoting my life to helping Jesus' sheep. Instead, I have other gifts, like a gifted brain, and a fairly decent ability for slapping words together (though I can ramble some, as you know... working on it....). I love to learn, and I have a strong work ethic. I also have some limited skills as an artist, but most especially, I have a passion for helping people and taking care of the world God's given to us.

    And I want to become a scientist. Which is slightly frustrating at a school whose main goal is to create Church leadership. I mean, individually, there are lots of teachers who are super supportive, but when I tell people what I want to do, the first reaction I get is usually surprise. They are used to hearing that people either don't know what to do with their life, or the want to be pastors, therapists, doctors, nurses, engineers, business owners, missionaries, soldiers, lawyers, and the list goes on. Science is radical for Christians. It's dangerous ground, either hostile or uncharted territory.

    To me, though, it's one of the most important. Science really is one of those fields that Christians are usually on the defense from, not trying to enter. And that makes it in desperate need of "missionaries," kind of like how some of these communist and Islamic states are hostile to missionaries, and yet we keep on trying, except there's no customs agents or other government officers trying to kick Christians out, and no borders proclaiming us "safe" or "unsafe". Because the truth is that Christianity is already under attack, so what exactly does our hiding solve?

    Also, science needs more people on the inside saying, "look, it's possible for Christianity and science to coexist, and in fact, they work really well together. It's not a cop-out or an excuse to do lousy science, it just a different perspective, and the drive to understand what exist is by no means diminished by the fact that we (Christians) know how it came to be." It needs more people on the inside saying to the Christian community, "look, we can use science too! And it's okay to be a Christian whose career is in science." Because from the perspective of a teenage girl whose trying to find her way into the world, there isn't much of that. And it's not just my school, really it's not. And yes, I know I can't walk into the field of science unprepared. Got it. But I would really love for people to stop looking at me with the, "are you sure?" look or the, "oh you poor thing. don't know what you're getting into" look when I say I want to be a scientist. Because I'm sure, this is what I want to do, what God wants me to do. And, yes, I know I will be opposed. But from what I understand in the Bible, that means I'm probably doing something right. And I want to make a difference for God in the world, too, but just because I'm not devoting my life to supporting orphans in some third-world country, or helping people through divorce, or saving people by becoming a heart surgeon doesn't mean I'm doing it wrong. I'm just going to do it differently.

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