Thursday, June 17, 2010

Boobies, Earthquakes, and Divine Intervention

Many a Christian child has grown up confronting an unbelieving world and just wished that God would make Himself clearly seen in a miraculous way. The problem is that (a) He does all the time and people choose not to see it, and (B) people see the divine in other things that are simply not real.

For instance, a few weeks ago some Muslim teacher declared that earthquakes were God’s way of punishing women for showing too much skin, specifically cleavage. Several women thought that was a bunch of religious poppycock (which it was) and decided to stage a day where they would get as many women to show as much cleavage as possible all at once. They wanted to prove the guy was wrong by showing that it would not cause an earthquake. The result? A 6.9 scale earthquake in Taiwan. Thanks, girls.

Of course the boobies did not cause the earth to shake. The earth experiences over 200 6+ magnitude earthquakes every year. However, it is a perfect illustration of how divine manifestation is not the best way to cause people to believe in God.

On the one hand, it is too easy for any charlatan to get lucky coincidentally. (Just the other day in our local visa office, my wife and I were waiting for our turn in one of those systems where you draw a number and wait for yours to show up on a display telling you which office to go to. After a long wait I declared that our turn would come in ten seconds and proceeded to count down the seconds. Exactly when I got to zero, our number came up. It was pure luck, but so precise that my wife was convinced I had some secret way of knowing it would work.)

More irritating is the fact that even when God really does intervene miraculously in a situation, people who are not inclined to believe will find a way to explain Him away. People like Richard Dawkins and others have made hyper-skepticism an art.

Just stick to sharing the truth that you know to be true through your experience with God and the faith that you have and don’t despair when people are slow to see reality. Even if it seems like a slow and unconvincing way to get the word out at times, it really is best the way it is.

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