Tuesday, May 17, 2016

All truth is God's truth

Flowers in the desert. View of Espiritu Santo Island, opposite Playa El Tecolote, La Paz, Mexico
Have you ever read the book titled "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist", by Norm Geisler? A few weeks ago I was painting for some friends of ours (he hates painting, and I don't mind it--I use it as time for me to think). During this time I've been listening to the audiobook version of the above mentioned book. One of the things that repeatedly strikes me is that biblical faith is based upon truth and reason, just as Paul clearly states in Acts 26:25. On the other hand, atheists demonstrate a failure to assess the evidence correctly and come to the proper conclusions. This got me thinking how so often we Christians fall into this trap and do not assess information logically, with reason, as we are called to do in Scripture (see Isaiah 1:18), but instead fall back on traditions or false assumptions.

However, our faith in our Creator is based upon infallible truths that are only proven stronger each passing day by all fields of study such as archaeology, science, history! We know that all truth is God's truth because He created this universe and holds it together in his hand (Isaiah 40:12, Hebrews 1:10, Job 38:5, and especially Colossians 1:17). As a result, we need not fear the truth as it is revealed.

So, as a biologist, pastor, and missionary, when I read the scientific data, or experience something that tells me the natural order of things isn't what it used to be, I have to start asking questions--questions that help me find out the facts that will help my reasoning. Things I have seen, experienced, or read about from first-hand accounts are: the rains aren't as consistent as they used to be in Brazil (something I've seen myself having grown up there and lost crops while serving there), when they do come, they are very powerful and they are torrential downpours. The poorest of the poor cannot grow crops on their land anymore (this is commonplace around the world) because it has been overused without a period of rest (fallow). In many places erosion has washed away the rich topsoil in the powerful rainstorms that drench the land in three days versus the ordinary three months. The water table has dropped in Mozambique due to the rampant deforestation going on there (which I also have seen and experienced) causing water shortages and widespread famine.

The results of these questions I'm asking tell me something is wrong! Call it what you want, but as a Christian, I know that we have not been given a spirit of fear! Paul says that we have been given a spirit of power, of love, and self-discipline or sound mind/sound judgment (2 Timothy 1:7). So I know that when I see the environmental realities around me, I'm called to be LOVE, to remember that I have a voice as a Christ follower, and it is a "sound", or disciplined approach I am to take with ANY challenge I face. I don't need to fear what the world says, because I am a STEWARD of creation, or the environment, and I take my responsibility and privilege to steward the environment seriously. Why? Because God created it and told it to flourish, and then He told me, and YOU, to help it flourish (remember that in Genesis?). So, I challenge you to interpret what you read and hear through the lens that all truth is God's truth. Whether it is scientific data about the environment, or different conversations you have at work or school, our faith is based upon the TRUTH that God created this world, holds it in His hands, and we are His stewards responsible for caring for this world He's put us in. Let's start to live like this in the public sphere and take back our voice--the world needs to hear it!

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