Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ezekiel Part 2: Does Science Prevent Us From Following God?

Ezekiel is sent by God to scare the Israelites into faith.  But is this even effective today? Sometimes I feel that it must have been easier for the ancient Israelites to fear God than it is for us today because while we think we can explain away everything by science, the Israelites were not able to do that. Although God was very much present in the joys of the Israelites’ lives, He was more noticeably present in the midst of their sorrows because suffering was seen as punishment from God. But today, even though science and religion do not in fact contradict each other, many in our society have decided that science has won – that science has found the answer to everything and that God must not exist. When God condemns the city of Nineveh through the prophet Jonah, a whole city stops, repents, and begs for forgiveness. When Ezekiel prophesies disaster and when disaster comes, the Jews see this as God fulfilling his promise, not merely as an unfortunate event. Unlike some, I do not believe that the United States in 2010 A.D. is any worse off than Judea in 550 B.C. but is it any better? We have our own idols and many seem to have forgotten God altogether. Is it our trust in science that has prevented us from trusting and worshipping God? Has science become our God? If this is the case, it should not be so. I feel that the greatest challenge for Christians in the 21st century will be to convince the so-called intellectuals of our society (doctors, professors, scientists, businessmen, etc.) that it is not necessary to empty their brains to follow Christ. While an extreme fear of God like that experienced by Medieval Christians is unhealthy and comes from a grave misunderstanding of the nature of God, a healthy fear prevents one from ignoring Him altogether.  Of course, we must recognize God’s presence at all times. After all, we should not wait for disaster to strike before we decide to honor and respect Him.  
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, "We must recognize God not only where we reach the limits of our possibilities. God wants to be recognized in the midst of our lives, in life and not only in dying, in health and strength and not only in suffering, in action and not only in sin. The ground for this lies in the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. God is the center of life and doesn’t just “turn up” when we have unsolved problems to be solved."

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