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The Scientist God

May 2, 2018 - Stacey Sacco
As people of 2018, we have figured out life. We can detail exactly what happens, step by step, when sperm meets egg. We have a list of criteria that must be met to no longer have “life.” We have seen inside atoms and past the reaches of our universe. We predict the weather accurately. We build one thousand foot tall buildings that do not fall. For any quandary of modern life, there is a scientific theory or mathematical equation to explain away the mystery.

As a result of being able to explain every detail of our lives from how monarch butterflies know how to get to Mexico to why our refrigerators keep our food at the perfect forty degrees, we have little room for mystery in our lives. My six year old can explain things that people of three hundred years ago could only wonder at.

This scientific method mentality has seeped into our relationship to God as well. We want to be able to explain how God works and why and when. We have reduced Him to a series of numbers on a budget or test results in a report.

As a young evangelically-churched child, I enthusiastically went to summer camp each year. An annual activity was making “salvation bracelets” for ourselves and, of course, to share with everyone we met. It was a simple leather cord with colored beads. Each color told part of the salvation process, starting with black for the dark condition of our soul and ending with the gold streets of heaven we are promised after death.

These seven beads reduced relationships with God to a mathematical equation. Do these things, and the end result will be correct. I filed this information away in the same way I did the Pythagorean Theorem.

This rational method of faith has left out all of the variations of life. After all, if you use 3.2 instead of 3.3 in a calculus problem, the answer will be incorrect. Variations are not allowed in math and science. There is only right and wrong. Different answers aren’t interesting or beautiful. They are simply mistakes.

While we have electricity and running water (things I’m not willing to give up), the first century church had something we do not. Wonder. Awe. Amazement. They knew that they didn’t know everything.

What if we felt this way now- that there is diversity in life and that diversity makes life better instead of just failing to solve the problem the way think it should be solved. The part of God that touches my heart and moves my soul is not the same thing someone else will respond to. “My way or the highway” isn’t acceptable in any other relationship, so why is acceptable when we talk about God?

Some of us are creative while others are highly logical. Some are art-focused or literature-focused or mechanically inclined. But we fail to accept any deviation from “normal” so often in the Christian tradition. If we don’t follow the strait line through those colored beads, we are taking our chances of being condemned for eternity.

But despite what other may think about my sinner status, I have to believe God is bigger than one small path. I must have faith in the idea that God can’t be confined to one building, one denomination, one country or one bracelet. History is deep, the future has not been written. Societies have values, traditions, family structures and stories that don’t align with 21st century America,

And maybe that’s OK. Because diversity can be embraced and celebrated. There are over 7,000 languages in the world. That’s 7,000 different ways to express the love of God.

 
 

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