“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord , “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18 NASB )
Many people cannot “get their heads round” me being a scientist and a born again Christian. They assume that any religious person must be irrational and foolish. My background includes biochemistry, and cell & developmental biology although I have been teaching in an F.E. college for over 16 years. I have always been particularly interested in the organisation and functioning of cells. During my pregnancy (before I was reborn myself) I remember being in constant state of wonder at the new life that was growing in me. Each day I would look up the stages to see what the baby would look like ( yes, she was a baby to me right from the start). I did not have amniocentesis, as advised due to my age, we both knew that this child was a gift and we loved her ….. Before I had read the Psalms, I knew that she was “fearfully and wonderfully made”.
As I learn more about life and the universe and how all things are intricately woven together, it is more than enough to convince me that there is a Creator. However, I know that for many of my family, friends, colleagues, students etc. believing God is simply not something that they can even start to comprehend. Just this week I had an incredulous student ask if I believed in God. We were talking about DNA and proteins, they are truly mutually dependent molecules giving the classic “chicken and egg ” scenario. I carefully explained that there are no mechanisms known that can explain how these complex molecules arose, and invited him to have coffee with me sometime to talk in more depth….something I always when challenged on my faith….
Because I have often felt inadequate to answer some of these questions the last year or so I have started a journey to educate myself in apologetics. To help me to be “prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks [me] for a reason for the hope that is in [me]; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when [I am] slandered, those who revile [my] good behaviour in Christ may be put to shame“. (1 Peter 3:14-16)
I have read many commentaries and blogs. Some are well thought out and obviously written by a person who is deeply steeped in the Word. Others are less so. And then there are the rants – it’s like being yelled at from the page. The worst offenders, of course, are the trolls ranting in the comments box. The “new atheists” are often particularly vitriolic in their mission to convert all of us foolish believers. However, the “Christians” are often no better. Look at any article that is even a tiny bit atheistic and there are always hell fire and brimstone rants amongst the comments.
It is too tempting to have a rant at some of the verbiage that people spew out. But it has never seemed right to right to me to “yell” back:
“Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either”. (Luke 6:29)
As mature Christians it is essential that we engage our brains before opening our mouths or tapping onto our keyboards. As James tells us:
“So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. “(James 3:5-10)
There are so many scripture passages that I could quote but here are another couple which I think are particularly relevant:
“See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone”. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. (Proverbs 9:7-9)
Whilst we should always be ready to answer questions about our faith, we don’t need to defend God.