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11 November 2022

Religion and science: World in fear, turmoil, confusion and uncertainty

Friday 10 March 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk, Features, Opinion


Religion and science:  World in fear, turmoil, confusion and uncertainty
Science should commend and complement the Bible, says Bishop Tutai Pere. DIGITALOTTER/ISTOCK/23030907

We can only save our world full of fear, turmoil, confusion and uncertainty when the union between the Bible and Science is strongly intact, integral and intimate, writes Apostolic Church head Bishop Tutai Pere, BA, LTh, M.B.E.

“God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all … E marama te Atua, e kare rava e poiri I roto Iaia” – 1 John 1: 5. Some years past, a teacher ran a children’s club in which he called all 100 kids to line up for some candy. There was an immediate rush, and the line sorted itself into what he saw as being a line of greed. The bigger, bullish and selfish kids were at the front, and the small and timid ones were at the back. Then he did something – like Jesus taught in one of his parables of a householder who rose up in the early morning to hire labourers to work in his vineyard in Mathew 20: 1ff – for the same reward, he also asked the kids to turn about face. With great satisfaction, he took great delight in going to the other end of the line and giving the candy to the smaller, timid kids first.

In a world where the rich get richer, and the poor get stomped on, we are informed that God has gone to the other end of the line with the message of light and salvation in Jesus Christ (I know that many do not believe in the existence of God and the Bible, but please just bear with me a little while). Here’s what we are told: “For the preaching of the Cross to them that perish foolishness…For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent…but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence.” (1 Corinthians 1: 18,19 27-29). How has God gone to the other end of the line? Simply by choosing that which is foolish, weak, base and despised.

Let us see how the following Biblical accounts challenge our own individual and personal opinions to wonder if they actually happened: the Creation of the world, Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood, Jonah and the whale, Joshua and the Falls of the Walls of Jericho, Samson and his long hair, David defeating a giant of a man Goliath with sling and pebble only, Daniel in the lion’s den, Moses parting the Red Sea and Joshua the Jordan River. If you are an atheist, an agnostic, a cynic, sceptic or simply a smart Alec, of course, you will blatantly deny all.

To those of us, believing such fantastic stories would mean that we would have to surrender our intellectual dignity. Who in their right mind would ever do that? The answer is simply those who understand that God has chosen foolish, weak, base, and despised things of the world to confound those who think they are wise. A letter was received and read at one of the Orlando debate on the subject ‘Does God Exist?’, look at the intellectual offense in its tone: “How sad for you to have so completely surrendered your intellect to an ignorant, pre-scientific, archaic book. I know about your upcoming debate…I won’t be there, but I’m sure that the audience will get some good belly laughs from your presentation. Biblical literalists may not be very bright, but they are extremely funny.” There’s always been sad claims made over human intellectual inventions and constructions which seemed indestructible, unsinkable, invincible which eventually ended up a tragedy of being over-confident, over-sure and over-self-indulgence.  

Science should commend and complement the Bible than contradicts:

  1. At a time when it was believed that the earth was flat (1500 B.C.), the Bible spoke of the earth floating in outer space: “He (God)…hangs the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7). Science didn’t discover that the earth was suspended, hanging in outer space and sitting on nothing until 1650.
  2. In Hebrews 11:3, scripture records some 2000 years ago that “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear”. Only in recent years has science discovered that everything we see is composed of things that we cannot see – invisible atoms.
  3. The Book of Isaiah (written between 740 or 680 B.C., reveals that the earth is round: “It is He (God) that sits upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). The word translated ‘circle’ which in Hebrew is also translated ‘circuit’ or ‘compass’, something round not flat or square.  Greek Philosopher Aristotle in his book ‘On the heavens’, suggested that the earth might be a sphere. It was 2000 years later that the scriptures inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world to discover it as ‘round’.
  4. Three different places in the Bible (Isaiah 51:6; Psalm 102:25, 26; and Hebrews 1:11) indicate that the earth is wearing out. This is what science points out in what the Second Law of Thermodynamics (the Law of Increasing Entropy) states: that in all physical processes, every ordered system over time tends to become more disordered. Everything depreciates, run down and wear out as energy becomes less and less available for use. That means the universe will eventually ‘wear or burn out’ to the extent that (theoretically speaking) there will be a ‘heat death, heat wave, climate change, environmental impacts’. This wasn’t discovered by science until recently, but the Bible states it in specific and concise terms, as in 2 Peter 3:10 – 16 – “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13, Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness”.

Not knowing of our beginning and ending, and who controls all that is therein loses hold of reality. Darkness is simply the absence of light, cold the absence of heat, war the absence of peace and security, suffering the absence of love and integrity, life the absence of a creator and all- sustaining God without whom – all is but chaos and death.

In conclusion, we can only save our world full of fear, turmoil, confusion and uncertainty when the union between the Bible and Science is strongly intact, integral and intimate. In antiquity and in what is called the Dark Ages, knowledge about humanity in relationship to cosmos was very vague and minimal. And thanks to both complementing one another – each enriched, enhanced and fulfilled each other with much potential and prosperity to as far as we have come. As much as God has called chaos = darkness and disorderliness into cosmos = light and orderliness at the very beginning of time, as Genesis 1:1 records: “In the beginning God…” With chaotic life of fear, turmoil, confusion and uncertainty bearing upon us so much more than ever before, evidential and consequential of humanity’s departure from God, we know what our recall and recourse is, as it was in the beginning and now is, “Let go and let God…”. A writer writes, I quote, “They of old did not know the lock but they certainly possessed the key, which is God. Now many have excellent descriptions of the lock, but they have lost or thrown away the key. The proper answer and solution is union between religion and science, none cannot part from the other. The fact is that as science advance, it discovers what was said thousands of years ago in the Bible”, Richard Wurmbrand, Proofs of God’s Existence. Finally, God’s word in Proverbs 28: 13 teaches, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy”.

Have a loving, caring, peaceful and lifesaving weekend – Kia Orana e Kia Manuia rava!