“And Elijah came to all the people, and said, ‘How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.’ But the people answered him not a word.” 1 Kings 18:21 (NKJV UK)
There are times when I find myself in two minds.
Take as an example, global warming. I’ve read many articles from learnéd scientists on both sides of the argument. And I end up agreeing somewhat with both perspectives. That means that for the present I have concluded that it seems pretty well established that the world is heating up. But is it a natural phenomenon, the result of sun cycle activity or solely because of Man? But then again, has Man had a hand in modifying what might be natural events, with our emissions making things worse? Again, probably.
I appreciate that there are many out there who believe that global warming is the result of our sins and that God is punishing us for them. Here again, I’m in two minds. In the Old Testament, where God had made an agreement with Israel, he promised to punish them when they broke the agreement. History records exactly that. But in our nations, this world of today, we have never made any such agreement. Still, there are many examples of God intervening and protecting, including preserving the world against the Kaiser’s tyranny in World War I and Nazi despotism in World War II. You see, at best (or should that be, at worst), I see God taking off his protective hand from us, rather than actively setting out to punish us.
There was a local counsellor who opined that those floods we experienced in spring 2014 were directly the result of our Government legalising same-sex partnerships. Really? What’s the connection, I wonder, with flooding and sexual mores? When we as a species decided in the Garden of Eden to go it alone from God, he largely left us to it—just now and again intervening to keep our collective heads above water, as it were, and his plan on track. But really, apart from the isolated case of Sodom and Gomorrah (and they have never been alone in their particular excesses down the centuries), he’s largely left us to write the lesson of our history in the tears and anguish we bring on ourselves.
And that surely is the point? We really don’t need God specifically to curse us. We’re not doing too bad a job all by ourselves. The whole world is groaning from the way we have been treating it (Romans 8), and the unremitting record we have written so far is one of unrelieved sorrow and pain. And I’m not in two minds about that.
Holy Father, help us to realise that science doesn’t always have the answers to our problems. As Christians, we must always be sure that it is you, the one to whom we pray, who does. In Jesus’ name.
Study by John Stettaford
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6th Form Common Room
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READING RG30 4EL
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