Playing Catchup

I had an interesting on line conversation with an atheist recently. He was spouting all the typical “scientific” answers to the miracles and creation and how through history science has been steadily disproving the Bible.

Utter nonsense, of course.

Much of what science is “discovering” today can actually be seen in scripture. Take the Ark of the Covenant. A large box, covered in gold – a highly effective conductor and storer of static electricity – which had to be carried on two long wooden poles and not touched. When it began to fall, one of the Israelites reached out to steady it and was struck down and died. Science can say it was a static discharge. Either way, the man died because the instruction to carry the ark on wooden poles was not used, and it was transported on an ox cart (1 Chronicles 9)

But the best thing I’ve found is this:

I’ve looked up all the scriptures quoted in this image. If you consider the “scientific” terms of the day they were written, every one is accurate according to “modern” and “scientific” proof. The same proof that also gave us the centre column until science caught up with scripture.

As Christians we tend towards turning the other cheek because Jesus said it. We lean towards meekness because Jesus said it. But our understanding has changed, and we also need to catch up.

The same One who said “Turn the other cheek” sat down, braided a whip and started a stampede in the Temple when the money-changers were defiling the house of God. Being meek and humble has nothing to do with being pathetic and submissive.

Meekness and Humility are God’s way of saying “Be who I made you to be – nothing more and nothing less” The phrase isn’t explicitly in scripture that way, but in the Pentateuch Moses is described as the most humble man in the world. FYI, Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Humility is accepting who God says you are. It’s demonstrated in the lives of Joseph, David, Josiah, all the prophets. In modern times you see it in men of God like Billy Graham who seek to only point to God, not to gather glory to themselves. The evidence is what is seen in their lives. The more men give Glory to God, the more God tends to Bless them. And many who are raised to high positions by God and receive material possessions are criticised by men who don’t know the full story. I met a man some years ago who ran a ministry to help the underprivileged in his city. He was personally a multi-millionaire, but his income was only 10% of what he received. He put the other 90% into the work God called him to.

How different would our lives look if we did the same? I was touched and honoured by talking to this man as his humility was truly awe-inspiring. He worked tirelessly and personally giving out the food and arranging shelter for the homeless. He preferred to be on the front-line of the battle and employed managers to oversee the financial affairs of the work to enable him to do what God called him to.

His reasoning was simple: David sinned with Bathsheba because he became so successful he employed other men to do what he was called to – lead in battle. David was at home in his palace when it was the season for kings to go out to war. The story is in 2 Samuel 11. He stayed home, saw Bathsheba bathing, got her pregnant, recalled her husband from the battle then sent him back and had him killed so he could marry Bathsheba and cover his adultery. This minister didn’t want to be tempted to destroywhat God called him to by sitting home counting the books.

I’ve seen promising ministries fall and men of God walk away not just from their Ordained Vision, but from God as well because they got so focussed on the job they lost sight of the reason. They stopped having Fellowship with believers because they didn’t have time: they had to finish the project they were doing. Magazines, recording studios, writers (including myself for many years) who quit their Love for the work, and as a result the work and the Love went sour. Mercifully, God seems to love to give us another chance, and I’ve seen nearly as many ministries restored as fail, and I hope I can keep going this time myself.

I’m a man who is easily distracted. The “experts” label it ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder – and recommend therapy for me to “overcome” the “disability”.

I prefer to think of myself not as disabled (I’m not), but as susceptible to temptation. If a doctor wants to call it ADD, let him. Man’s labels rarely affect how I see myself. What I do recognise is when I’m not around my Fellowship – and there’s a BIG difference between a true Fellowship and a local church (not that they can’t be the same – don’t misunderstand this) – I am more easily distracted than when I am accountable and encouraged by God’s people round me.

We all have Spiritual ADD to some extent. Satan attacks us. We get distracted and go off on a tangent. I imagine some readers think I’m off on one now!

But this Spiritual ADD has been around since before King David. What do you think was the spirit behind David staying in Jerusalem? Just because science has given it a 21st century label doesn’t make it a “new” problem.

Moses saw it with the former slaves. He climbs a mountain for a few days to talk to God and when he comes down the people have started worshipping a cow made of gold! Spiritual ADD! We need to keep our eyes on Jesus as the author and perfecter of our faith. Or we end up like Peter – sinking fast.

So let the world do it’s thing. They’ll catch up eventually with where God is. Remind ourselves that the Renaissance “scientists” who discovered what much of today’s theories are based on were doing it to find out more about God and how His creation worked. Remember they were concerned (mostly) that they may be being misled by Satan and so they balanced their science with intense study of the scripture as well as the sculpture. Had he not known and understood the Bible, could Michelangelo have painted the Sistine Chapel or carved the stature of David? Could Da Vinci have depicted the subtleties of the Last Supper? It’s doubtful that a work simply “commissioned” would have captured such details. Michelangelo’s fresco of the day of judgement even includes an image of the artist himself being tested.

So science, and atheists will catch up eventually.

Until they do, we just need to remind ourselves that we were given the answers millenia ago.

And let them play catchup at their own pace.

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