As society becomes more secular, there is naturally less awareness of what Christians believe. Unfortunately, many still feel quite free to criticise or dismiss what they don’t understand.
One misunderstanding has to do with the causes of events like sickness and drought: what is the relationship between “God’s will” and the scientific explanation? According to the secularist narrative, humans used to think that these misfortunes were caused by the gods (hence superstitious efforts to propitiate the gods, often making matters worse), but now that we can explain things scientifically, we see that those superstitions were false.
That secularist narrative is true as far as tribal gods and witch doctors are concerned. But the one true God and Father of Jesus Christ operates on a different level. He made the world by speaking. The world he made is orderly and predictable, which is why science is possible. God is effortlessly in charge of history; not even the smallest event escapes his notice (Eph. 1:11, Matt. 10:29).
As a result, we do not have to choose between scientific explanations and “the will of God”. Both types of explanation can be true at the same time. This is why when we are sick, we should both pray and see the doctor. Recent rainfall is a gracious gift of God in answer to our prayers, and there is also a meteorological explanation!
Praise God that he has made a beautiful, orderly world which is under his sovereign control. If these reflections raise questions (and they should!), perhaps I can tackle them in a future column.
Don’t forget Veralene’s farewell morning tea next Sunday at 11.00 am. Please bring a plate if you can.