With the advent of COVID-19 the intersection of faith and science have again come into specific relief. Believers are enjoined in Scripture to gather for worship, “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day [of Christ’ return] drawing near,” Hebrews 10:25.
The current science suggests the spread of the coronavirus is facilitated in social settings where people gather, especially indoors as a congregation worshiping in a church building. Congregations across America are thinking about ways they can continue to worship together apart from the traditional gatherings that occur in many church houses each Sunday.
Online services are one answer, but not all churches have that technological capability. So the brainstorming about what to do amid the current crisis continues because the well-being of the body of Christ is inseparably linked to the church meeting in community for worship and service. We need one another and as many have said, “We are better together!”
I am sure there are some Christian sects that are conflicted about what they believe and the practices suggested by medical science to impede the spread of this pandemic, but that is not representative of all believers. Christians as a whole do not reject the observable findings of the scientific community.
The issues between faith and science were highlighted in a recent article in “Christianity Today” titled, “Give Us Clean Hands: Christians Embrace Scientific Responses to COVID-19.” I suppose many think Christians reject scientific answers when it comes to matters where faith and science intersect.
Christians are not blinded by their beliefs. I think we are misunderstood because of past historical clashes that have been misapprehended, as when Galileo was excommunicated for claiming the earth was not the center of the universe.
This has often been touted as a classic example of a conflict between faith and science, it was actually a clash of scientific theories. There is nothing in the Bible that suggests the earth is at the center of the universe, so Catholicism’s rejection of Galileo’s theory was not predicated on biblical revelation.
A second century Egyptian astronomer named Ptolemy proposed a geo-centric universe based upon his observations with the naked eye. This theory of the universe had been settled science for fourteen centuries and Roman Catholicism was reluctant to reject such a long-standing theory in favor of Galileo’s newfound discovery.
The mistake was not embracing faith over science. The mistake was embracing one scientific theory over another one, because the church failed to recognize Galileo had something Ptolemy didn’t, a telescope.
The clash between faith and science today is the same as it was then. There is no genuine conflict between faith and science. There are just those who would rather embrace an unproven theory than intelligently consider observable facts.
“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings and oppositions of science falsely so called,” 1 Timothy 6:20, KJV.