Through science, prospective parents can peer through the mother's belly and determine which color of clothes to buy. Through science, we can know where a hurricane is likely to hit land. Through science, we can see pictures of where a new star will be born. Truly these are wonders. We are blessed.
What is this science? Noah Webster defined it in 1828 as, "In a general sense, knowledge or certain knowledge; the comprehension or understanding of truth or facts by the mind. (The science of God must be perfect.)"
Yet the everyday understanding of science that most of us have is very different. For example, a news report of some discovery has us thinking in terms of "3a: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b: such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena" (http://www.m-w.com, 20 Jan 2000). One can hardly imagine this sense of the word including Webster's usage example, "The science of God must be perfect."
The Truth about the Scientific Method
Historically, modern science developed from Christian culture in which men who valued truth prevailed. These men sought truth even when it proved them or the "powers that be" wrong. This was an unheard-of system — imagine devising a system of research that could not be bent to flatter the king or falsely bring glory to the experimenter. Far from evil, scientific method is a crown jewel in the civilization once known as Christendom. Adherence to the truth and valuing the truth is absolutely requisite for scientific research. It is an aspect of God's grace, an outworking of the Spirit of Truth. The results of scientific method are results that can be repeated — repeated in different locations by different experimenters. Scientific method produces the ability of man to predict the future. Your lamp will always produce light if plugged into a working electrical outlet and the light bulb or lamp has not burned out.
This science has been a great blessing. We live surrounded by technological wonders. Some have and do help missionaries develop credibility so that people listen. Western medicine, with its predictive treatments and prescriptions, helped overthrow the chokehold of demonic witch doctors and shamans. From cars to computers and weather satellites, we enjoy the results of scientific method. We work to purchase them. When we get sick, they heal us. We can see our babies still in the womb.
Awesome credibility has accrued to somebody. Science today means how we know things, the system of research that produces certain knowledge, the kind of knowledge that splits atoms and safely puts men on the moon.
Religion today is a system or notion of beliefs. Belief today means "state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing[Faith as a synonym:] Faith almost always implies certitude even where there is no evidence or proof" (http://www.m-w.com, 20 Jan 2000). Scientific method produces certainty in limited areas. But modern man believes that science is how we know every important matter, while religion produces suspect knowledge of a lower order. Born again believers do have firsthand, certain knowledge in keeping with the older definition of science (a modified version of which still exists in the dictionary but is rapidly falling into disuse). However, by today's redefinition and orientation, our God does not measure up. As the Definer of all things, however, He will not fit into the confining box His enemies have prepared for Him, so they seek to discard Him entirely. He cannot and will not be weighed or measured; therefore, to them He is not relevant.
Deuteronomy 13:1-5 tells us:
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And the prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
The predictive power of science has given it great credibility. When men use the credibility of science to "go after other gods," they are false prophets. We swim in a sea of false prophecy of this type.
The Power of Scientific Predictions
What today masquerades as science is a very old religion. Eve presented Adam with "scientific" evidence. She obtained it by failing to fear God enough to shut off Satan (the false prophet) as soon as he spoke of violating God's clear command. The serpent prophesied that Eve would not die. As she presented the case to Adam, very much still living and breathing, Satan's credibility was very high. Satan is still running the same powerful con. Satan has proved capable of constructing very compelling and credible arguments for the short term.
The credibility of this new religion — science — is so great that in areas where it clearly has not produced verifiable knowledge, its theories are accepted in full faith by millions. The false prophets of our day declare their triumph over the "dark ages" which were the product of religious dogma. Fictions regarding the origins of life are presented to children as scientific fact. Many would complain that such things are only theories which are presented by non-scientists as fact to forward their own purposes. They are, of course, correct, but such foolishness is "scientifically" (older sense) predictable. A discipline which does not fear God will attract and produce fools. It is certain knowledge that is presented in Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Such fools will prefer science fiction, but the battle has never been science vs. religion, but true religion vs. false religion.
The False Prophecies of Science
Please observe that this powerful form of false prophecy, while it may entail massive evidence of the power of evil, is not outside God's control. In fact, it has a purpose in God's economy. By it we are tested and proven. You say you love God; you say you only wish to serve His kingdom and you desire to follow His laws. How do you or anyone else know you are truly sincere until you are proven? Through testing, others learn if whether the Lord your God is the God of Scripture or some other invention of your own. Your actions demonstrate whether you love the God of Scripture with all your heart and soul.
Science, like every other godly area, serves only God. Adam's work, assigned by God, was to name (classify) the animals. Naming meant knowing. This opened the door to many forms of research and knowledge: physics, molecular biology, etc. Further, man has been given a dominion mandate and scientific method as a tool to subdue nature. However, once we abandon or are lured away from the fear of God, we decide which laws of His to follow. We cannot pretend that we have "put on the full armor of God" if we continue to pick and choose among the commandments of Almighty God. This tactic has proved no challenge for our adversary. When we decide to disregard Deuteronomy 13:1-5, we leave ourselves defenseless to the power of satanic and demonic false prophecy.
When a man, a group, or a school of thought can predict the future reliably, it generates great credibility. It is prophecy whether the glory is given to God, to Baal, or to some other power. If the glory is not given to the Living God, most likely the fulfilled prophecy will be used to lead Christians and non-Christians alike away from God's Holy Scriptures and commandments. Utilizing the evidence of fulfilled prophecy to generate credibility in the packaging of a subtle sales pitch or indoctrination, people are proven and the object of their adoration uncovered. The fact that Western civilization (i.e., "Christendom") has divorced itself from its Christian roots evidences how poorly we have fared as we've been tested.
- Ford Schwartz
Ford Schwartz lives in San Jose, CA and works as a sales manager at a car dealership. He is on the Board of Chalcedon. He and his wife, Andrea, have been married for 41 years and have 3 children.
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].