Pastor’s viewpoint: June 8, 2019

Published 1:32 pm Saturday, June 8, 2019

The history of science is filled with stories of “fake science.” Everyone thought the sun revolved around the earth, until crazy Copernicus dared suggest the sun revolves around the earth. Why, we’d no longer be the center of the universe; how dare Copernicus even think about such an idea? But it was too little too late; we’d discovered that not only is our earth not the center of the universe; it’s not even the center of the solar system!
Everyone, including doctors, thought diseases were caused by “bad spirits” until Louis Pasteur discovered germs in 1860, but the fake science held its ground until 1967, when the New York State Public Health Service ruled that medical personnel should wash their hands before and after touching patients. In fact, Ignaz Semmelweis was fired and later confined to a mental institution for suggesting that doctors should wash their hands before and after touching patients … in 1846!
I love old cowboy movies and when someone is shot, the power of the bullet pushes them off their feet and propels them halfway across the saloon floor … fake science. The bullet is so small and going so fast, it simply puts a tiny hole in his body … but most people continue to believe a person who is shot is pushed back by the force of the bullet.
Every day we see and hear things that make no scientific sense, but if we see them and hear them often enough … they take on an aura of truth. In fact, the second you quit asking questions, you’re no longer a scientist. The moment you hear someone say, “The science is settled!”, that’s the moment science has left the room. Remember when “global warming” was disproven and rather than ask any “real science” questions, the name was simply changed to “climate change?” And now “the science is settled,” but it’s not!
Real science never tires of asking, “Hmmm, I wonder if that’s true?” And real science begins to test it until it’s proven or disproven … and even then keeps asking the questions. Likewise, “real religion” asks questions and the first question “real religion” asks; “Is it true?”
“[12-14] So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!” (Romans 8:14-17) And there are questions to ask …
The most dangerous idea in the religious world is, “If you question your faith, you’ve rejected your faith.” So, I question my faith on a daily basis and for 46 years, the answers to my questions have deepened and strengthened my faith. Every time I open my Bible, I have questions. Every time I pray, I have questions. Every time I listen to a sermon, I have questions. Every time I preach a sermon, I have questions. So, what’s your question?

Charles “Buddy” Whatley is a retired United Methodist pastor serving Woodland & Bold Springs UMC and, with Mary Ella, a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.