Sunday, March 2, 2014

According to the Bible, I Am...

I saw a photo on Pinterest that I really have not been able to get out of my mind.  It is a picture of a little girl with a hand written poster with two columns.  One column states, "According to religion I am: -broken -flawed -sinful -dumb -weak -nothing" (sic.).  The other column states, "According to science I am: -full of wonder -smart -a great learner -beautiful -potential for greatness" (sic.).

First off, the claim that "religion" asserts anything is extremely ambiguous.  Which religion is she referring to?  Now, the ambiguous claim is not the only problem here.  Not only does this argument use a major straw man fallacy and present a false dichotomy, but the "scientific" claims are not only unsubstantiated but dishonest.  Does science really prove that people are beautiful?

According to the University of Rochester,

I. The scientific method has four steps

1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.
4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.
If the experiments bear out the hypothesis it may come to be regarded as a theory or law of nature (more on the concepts of hypothesis, model, theory and law below). If the experiments do not bear out the hypothesis, it must be rejected or modified. What is key in the description of the scientific method just given is the predictive power (the ability to get more out of the theory than you put in; see Barrow, 1991) of the hypothesis or theory, as tested by experiment. It is often said in science that theories can never be proved, only disproved. There is always the possibility that a new observation or a new experiment will conflict with a long-standing theory.
The person who made this silly poster cannot scientifically back up the claims made.  So then why does this picture strike a nerve with me?  How do I know if she is talking about my religion?  Why should I care?  Why even waste my time of such absurdities?  Because these claims are attacks on the faithful and our children.

While some of the claims may seem true to a person who has had negative religious experiences in the past, these claims are half-truths at best, these things--minus dumb--are descriptions of our condition apart from Christ.  If I could respond to the little girl in the photo, I would tell her that to Jesus she is:

"Smart" and a "great learner"
"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6).

A blessing
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward" (Ps. 127:3).

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven" (Mt 18:10).
"But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, 'Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God'" (Mk 10:14).

Specially created by God, in His likeness; "full of wonder...beautiful"
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb" (Ps. 139:13).
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Gen 1:27).

And a crown to her grandparents
"Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their father" (Prov. 17:6).

Let us train up our children to know their value; their value in Christ.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Php. 4:8).
Here are some other posts you may like:
Dealing With Overwhelming Feelings
Love Never Fails
Is Your Home Address on Facebook?

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