As the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to make worldwide headlines, the Christian Church has taken the same careful steps that all organizations have implemented to ensure the safety of its congregations. In addition to the usual precautions about avoiding close contact, hand washing, and remaining home if sick, there are always added encouragements about prayer and having faith in God. A frequent comment in these missives is, “God is in control.” Predictably, this has led to cynical comments from the general non-Church attending public. Here are some of the insightful comments posted on one social media site.
“Faith does not equal science.”
“One group can wash their hands and take proven, science-based, sensible precautions. The other group can pray. We’ll see who ‘God’ picks.”
“It’s as if we didn’t have thousands of years of evidence that prayer has done nothing in the face of widespread disease.”
“Coronavirus fears mount, but remember faith’s role in the face of uncertainty. Yes. This worked well during the plague.”
And these are some of the tamer comments. Are these claims justified? Is Christianity anti-science?
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 1:16-17 (ESV)
The Bible is not a textbook of science. However, it emphatically states that God created the Heavens and the earth. This remarkable statement means that God created the visible mountains and oceans and the invisible forces of gravity and the mathematical systems that describe and explain it. God desired for mankind to share in His creation and endowed all of us with intelligence in the image of Himself. God welcomes and encourages us to discover and describe the world He created for us. Nowhere is this more evident than in this passage from Genesis, the first book of the Bible, when God asked Adam to name all of the other animals.
Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. God gave Adam, the first man, the task of naming all the animals…
Genesis 2:19-20 (ESV)
The complexity of the Creation, whether it is the Big Bang theory or the intricacy of gene expression, always points us to be more in awe of the infinitely greater complexity of the Creator. Yet as mankind has advanced in knowledge, some have elevated this knowledge of science and assert that man does not need God to explain and understand the world he lives in.
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Hebrews 11:3 (ESV)
All science is based upon faith in the living God because He created all things, both visible and invisible. As the world confronts the pandemic of COVID-19, Christian physicians and scientists pray that God will guide us to use our God-given knowledge of medicine and science to assist those who are suffering and to find a vaccine and effective treatment.
Christianity is not anti-science. Christians embrace science through faith in God. This is why Christians pray during this and all crises that confront us.
We know that God is in control.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.