Monday, December 31, 2012

God and Science

Recently one of my atheist friends posted this picture on Facebook:

If you can’t read it, it says: God left him to die, but then, Science and medicine! The caption goes on to explain that nurses, not God or miracles, are what led this child from starvation to nutrition.

To me, this is like the classic story of the man in the flood. The whole town is told to evacuate because a major flood is coming, but one stubborn man refuses to leave because God would take care of him. After the flood began, rescue workers came by in a boat and offered him a ride. The man refused, saying God would take care of him. Eventually the man was sitting on his roof as the flood waters rose, and the National Guard flew over in a helicopter. Once again, the man refused help, saying God would save him. The waters continued to rise, and the man drowned.

When he got to heaven the stubborn man asked God why he didn’t save him. God replied, “I gave meteorologists the ability to foresee the storm and warn you. I led your mayor to evacuate the city. I sent rescue workers on a boat, and I sent the Guard in a chopper. What else did you want?”

While that is a silly story, the truth of it applies here. As a person with common sense I know that we are not the result of random chance, but Intelligent Design. And I also believe that the God who made us equips us, and in this case, He equipped the nurses.  

But here are some tangible facts about the role that God and Christians play in science:

·    *  Until the 20th Century, all hospital development was the result of private donations motivated by Judeo-Christian ideals of charity.
·     * In a 2002 article in the NonProfit Times, the seven financially largest publicly supported philanthropies in the United States were: The National Council of YMCAs ($4.2 billion), American Red Cross ($4.1 billion), Catholic Charities USA ($2.6 billion), Salvation Army ($2.2 billion), Goodwill Industries International ($2.1 billion), United Jewish Communities ($2 billion), and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America ($1.1 billion).
·     * Excluding the contributions of literally thousands of smaller faith-based initiatives and groups, the larger Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) alone provide more than $20 billion of privately contributed funds.[1]

These facts do not include the canned goods, clothes and blankets, food, blood, and other items that are donated, along with the hundreds of thousands of volunteer man-hours. Millions of dollars worth of diapers, formula, and childcare needs are given to crisis pregnancy centers to assist mothers in need.
And that is just in America; the overseas efforts are also staggering. Missionaries go across the world with life giving medicine, all of which is paid for by churches in the States. In fact, the very picture that inspired this blog is a reflection of what Christians are doing all over the world through orphanages, soup kitchens, and medical clinics. I know this because I run an FBO. My book sales go directly to these causes, and our church is on the front lines here at home and internationally.

So please don’t tell me that God has been bailed out by science. God commands His followers to be agents of love, serving as His figurative “hands and feet” all over the world. Instead of looking at nurses and wondering where God is, we should look at nurses and see proof of God at work.   

Christians, keep up the good. While we might be mocked by the occasional atheist, we are saving lives all over the world.

[1] Guillen, Michael Can a Smart Person Believe in God? Thomas Nelson Publishers, p.86-89

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