When all else fails, look to the Word of God.
News of another airport massacre today, possibly inspired by ISIS or aggravated by mental illness (TruthRevolt), leaves citizens worried with despair. What can be done to stop the tide of senseless violence? Imagine if the gunman had learned, “Love your neighbor as yourself” or “Do good to those who hate you” or “My peace I give unto you.” Those are values and principles taught in the Word of God, the Bible. Let’s look at three instances where the Bible intersects with science news for some lessons.
Poaching. Scientists, desperate to stop the crime of wildlife poaching that is threatening the world’s most magnificent animals with extinction, are at their wit’s end. Some are turning to “the faithful” for help. “With no end in sight to the illegal wildlife trade, secular organizations are working with religious leaders to help combat poaching and sales of wild creatures,” National Geographic reports. Politically correct as NG is, its article tries to treat Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism and Evangelicalism as moral equals. But is a religion that values withdrawal from the world likely to provide much help? Is a religion that blows up historic treasures and bombs children and treats women like second-class citizens likely to respond with real action for saving animals? Is a religion that values ritual the best choice? Only those who really dig into the Bible with all their heart and mind can dwell on the nature of God as a personal, holy, Creator who cares for all his creatures. (Regrettably, the article fails to mention Judaism—a hint of antisemitism?) It would seem that Bible believers such as evangelicals could have the best-informed consciences and moral worldviews to justify stopping atrocities. The Bible decries dishonest gain and exalts righteousness. Maybe Baptist or Lutheran churches in the West can’t do much to stop poachers in Indonesia. But spreading the gospel spreads the gospel’s values. Like leaven, as Jesus said, it can transform a culture of evil into the kingdom of God.
Slavery. Archaeologists in Africa have investigated symbols that seem to show how native tribes with their animistic traditions were converted to Christianity. According to Phys.org, symbols that look like a chariot wheel might reflect Ezekiel’s vision of “wheels within wheels.” That particular symbol came to represent God’s presence to early African converts who were tortured and sold as slaves. Carlene Phoenix, descended from slaves, explains:
“For me the wheel is all about the presence of God. He is omnipotent and is anywhere and everywhere at all times,” Phoenix says. “No matter what our ancestors endured during their captivity, God was there. For me the wheel was a reminder to them about the presence of God and the reassurance that no matter what we endure that He will never leave us nor forsake us.”
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