Yesterday Miranda wrote about being a plant and all the advantages that might go with that. The plant is pre-programmed in it’s DNA to do what it’s supposed to do (grow into a tulip or a turnip, etc.) As long as it’s planted in a good environment and supplied it’s needed nutrition (sun, water, maybe some miracle grow) it will become what God created it to be–minus any destruction from bugs, nibbling creatures or over-watering husbands. Would it not be great if that’s how our lives could be? We grow into exactly what God created us to be naturally just by following our implanted inner DNA guide! This, I believe, was Miranda’s point.
Well, when Miranda told me her idea for her post it got me thinking. Lately I’ve been reading about how scientists have discovered the “God Particle” an invisible particle of energy that gives, well, everything mass…at least I believe that’s a simplified explanation of it. I also read an article on how scientists have now explained the physical/chemical reactions in the brain that are responsible for spiritual experiences! Yes indeed! Scientists can now stimulate a certain part of your brain in a certain way to induce a certain chemical reaction that will give you the feelings of awe, peace and connection to a higher power. Between these two discoveries man can now explain the deep mysteries of both creation and spiritual experiences! No need for God or an all-powerful being, we know how it all works within the realm of physical science. All of your emotions, thoughts, and actions are simply a result of chemical reactions in your brain. So what does a Christian say to this? Well, I say it’s true.
Yep, you read me right, I believe it’s true, after all, it can be scientifically proven! Lets go with Miranda’s allegory of being a plant to help explain. Just like a plant, you are born, dare I even say, “created” with a pre-programmed set of DNA that will determine quite a bit of who you will be. Next, the environment you are “planted” in will also have great influence on the person you will become. It’s the combination of nature and nurture (DNA and environment) that determine how you will both act and react to life and develop your character and personality. All those chemical reactions in your body and brain are doing just that: reacting to the physical and environmental input to determine your actions. The more you have the same type of input and repeat the same chemical reactions in your brain, the more engrained those behaviors become till you are no longer really acting out of choice but acting out of habit, sometimes even compulsion. Again, all this can be scientifically measured and proven. There is one thing, however, that science cannot seem to nail down: choice.
Yes, your actions, and even thoughts, can be broken down to a series of chemical brain events that have been pre-determined by your natural given DNA combined with the experiences of your growing up and repeated through time. What science cannot explain is how you or I are able to completely defy all this pre-programming and CHOOSE something different. Yes, once a choice is made the brain chemistry goes into action again making the thoughts, feelings and actions of that choice reality, but there is a moment that defies measurement or quantifying and that my friend is the power of free will choice.
I find it interesting that this eludes science as I have always said that choice is the center of the Great Controversy between Jesus and Satan. I love asking my high school Bible classes and even church members, “Why did Jesus die?” Inevitable I always get the predominate answer, “To save us from our sins!” At which I yell, “No! Jesus did not die to save you from your sins.” Then, in the stunned silence of the moment I add, “He died so you could CHOOSE to be saved from your sins.” I know it sounds like splitting hairs, but it really is a big deal.
You see, after Adam and Eve sold out in the Garden of Eden their power of choice was gone! They did not have any power to resist Satan. Another “set-up” question I love to ask my classes and congregations is, “What was God’s first gift to fallen man?” I get varying answers from fig leaves to fur coats. But really, God’s first gift to man after he fell was the ability to hate. Don’t believe me? Read Genesis 3:15. Here God is in the middle of handing out the consequences of everyone’s actions that day. Cursed is Adam and the ground, cursed is Eve in childbearing and then God says something that completely takes catches Satan off guard. Talking directly to him and Eve God says “I will put enmity between you and the woman and her seed and your seed.” Know what “enmity’ is? It’s a strong form of hate. Basically God is saying, “I’m going to give man and woman the ability to hate sin. I’m restoring their power of free choice and I can do this because I’m promising a Savior who will come and die in their place.” Free choice, the ability to hate sin, that’s what Jesus gave His life for, to protect, so we could freely CHOOSE Him. And the power and ability of our free will choice is beyond the measuring tools of science. It’s beyond a simple chemical brain reaction, beyond an invisible particle and it was beyond our own grasp till God gave it back to us through the life, death and resurrection of His Son. So the next time you make a choice for anything, give thanks to Jesus…and go plant a flower.