God’s Wrath and ID Rejecters

Robertson warns Pennsylvania voters of God’s wrath

Robertson is just too easy a target, but I do want to take this opportunity to point out that the situation in Dover is a bit more complicated than acceptance or rejection of God.

For example, I’m a Christian who believes that the entire universe and everything in it was designed by God. Nonetheless I don’t think anyone has established a scientific basis for detecting more and less design in specific pieces of the universe. My theology, in fact, suggests that one should not find that God is less present in one part of the universe than in another. But that isn’t my reason for opposing the teaching of ID in the high school science classroom. Rather, my concern is that consensus science, the stuff that’s accepted broadly in the scientific community should be taught. Further, I think that theology should not be taught in public school, and indeed shouldn’t be taught by the biology teachers. So I certainly accept God, I believe God is the designer, but I don’t believe it should be the task of public schools to teach this.

There are, however, a number of other positions that would also reject the position of the Dover school board, and still not reject God. Some believe that ID might well be science, it might well be developed into a valid scientific theory and be accepted by scientists, and thus become a valid topic for the high school science curriculum. If so, great. I don’t think that’s going to happen, but then I’m not a scientist, and I’m also not a prophet. Others might believe that ID is a fine theory, but that due to a strong commitment to separation of church and state might still object to it becoming a topic in science classes. I know quite a number of people who believe in young earth creation and would nonetheless reject its inclusion in public school curricula. Why? They believe that freedom of religion depends on keeping government out of it, and so they would reject including something religious in the public school curriculum.

But there is a further problem here. Robertson seems to feel that God’s wrath will fall on the people who disagree with him. There is no reason to believe that he is right. In fact, there is no evidence that various places he has condemned have been any more subject to God’s wrath than other places he hasn’t noticed. That’s not a big surprise.

I suspect, however, that some Christians will try to excuse what Robertson said as excessive rhetoric. I don’t think it is excessive rhetoric; it’s a dangerous belief, and it’s coming to be the belief of many conservative Christians. Again, I don’t want to attack conservative Christians in general. There are plenty of conservative Christians who take the love of Jesus seriously. I don’t think they’re better or worse than other people as a group. But they are being fed a line about creation, evolution, and intelligent design that tends to make all those who reject ID into some kind of nasty, dangerous people.

At a minimum, Christians who talk about this issue need to make it clear that folks can disagree without bringing down the wrath of God.

Don’t worry Dover. God can still hear your prayers. Keep right on voting your consciences and your good sense, which was given to you also as part of God’s design.

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  1. Yes, the debate over what to teach public school children continues to rage abroad. Intelligent Design, Evolution…. so many competing theories to be the theory that claims to be “fact” while they are all really theories. It is impossible to go back before the existence of time itself, or at least our theory on what that time would be, and to see what happened, how it happened and what hypothesis supports it best.

    I, personally, am faced with a few issues. I don’t want an unqualified individual or public school teacher teaching about Christ (in an official capacity that is)… but I also don’t like schools to teach theories that specifically could be viewed as in denial of God. Nothing is perfect I guess…

  2. I understand your concern, but at the same time as someone who accepts both God and evolution, I don’t see the scientific theory itself as denying God. Certainly someone can deny God and believe evolution. Someone can assert that evolution denies God, but that doesn’t make them right.

    I see God as involved in every movement of everything down to the subatomic particles. Evolution wouldn’t take place without God. There are many Christians who see it this way.

    Would it not be best for the public schools not to be part of our religious differences? We can add what we want to our children’s education at home and in our churches. That way parents get to decide specifically what type of religious education their children will receive.

  3. “Someone can assert that evolution denies God, but that doesn’t make them right.”

    Yes, that is one of the main issues in my opinion. The problem is, we just can’t know what truly is right about how everything started. There are many theories, some better than others; there are many personal convictions, beliefs, etc.

    I agree that it is best for public schools to not be involved in religion. Unfortunately, the teachers are not robots that can be programmed to say and believe only a specific syntax… their personal bais will, and indeed must, express itself, even if it does so sub-consciously.

    My only problem with evolution is the perception of thievery it induces. I agree that evolution certainly has and does operate, but only in a limited sphere of authority. My main problem is the bibles explicit use of the “image” of God terminology. If humans are a naturally evolved species that resulted from millions of years of mutation, divergence, selection (and whatever else the broad spectrum of evolutionary processes can encompass) it seems to me that all of those creatures must have also been the image of God as well if we are to believe that evolution is what brought about the by-product called man. Or is it that evolution shows the long amounts of time it took God to create a form such as man? Or perhaps that time was really nothing, since a human life is but a wisp of smoke to the almighty? The swarm of questions that develop in relation to creation can become mind boggling to the logical thinker. Evolution makes the result of man anything but a divine creation in the image of one God. It makes him more a highly developed soup. But… perhaps that is the way God creates things. Who knows? 😀

  4. Concactenation to my last post…

    The wonder of creation is just that… a wonder. It is both awe inspiring and troubling, and that alone makes it, in my mind, the realm of a creator, regardless of what medium this creator may have used or what design methodologies.

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