Easter: Proof vs. Belief?

Yesterday’s passage was about one of Jesus’ disciples, Thomas, who asked for proof that Jesus returned from the dead; coincidentally, last Saturday was also the March for Science (advocating for belief in climate change) in Denver and other cities- I noticed that both have to do with asking for measurable, tangible evidence in light of what would otherwise be far-fetched claims. A dude was dead and now after three days he isn’t dead anymore? Prove it. Ocean levels are rising and humans are contributing to global warming? Prove it.

I’ve seen a lot of “science versus religion” stances, when really I think that the “versus” part is misrepresentative of the relationship between these two subjects. I can’t remember where I was told this, but someone said/wrote that science and religion answer different questions. Hmmmm. Maybe? When it comes to things like how the earth and its creatures were formed, science says a couple different things and religion branches off to different answers. Science is (supposed to be) objective and about testing existing hypotheses and then coming to a conclusion given the scientist’s observations; religion thrives on story, which is why ancient texts and oral tales across religions are seen as sacred. I definitely think there’s convergence between religion and science, and historically, they’ve contributed to each other. If I remember right from bits and pieces from classes, churches played a big role in creating universities and Islam was a chief contributor to how we study the stars. I know nothing about the “Church of Christ, Scientist” religion/denomination (?) that has “Christian Science Reading Rooms”…but I kind of wonder what they’re about.

Proof isn’t always reliable, folks. But it does indeed affect how we see our world, and most importantly, what we do about it. When Jesus’ female disciples returned to the rest of the disciples, saying that Jesus wasn’t in the tomb and that angels told them he was alive, it was shocking to everyone. In the shorter ending of the gospel of Mark, the reader might conclude from the text that the women heard from the angels and then just kind of shut up because they were scared shitless. Makes sense, I would be too. In other gospel endings, the gospel authors recount Jesus’ post-death appearances to multiple people. If you see and touch, it’s proof right? That’s what Thomas thought. The Christian faith rests on the apex of Christ’s resurrection- we carry a tradition that claims that new life is on the other side of death.

That new life is mirrored in the natural world, and that science observes over and over again when spring comes around. With glaciers melting and increasingly hotter days than in the past, I’m concerned that us humans have left an ugly mark on our home planet. Where are we headed with all this? Why do other people contest that climate change is untrue? What would they be losing if they looked into why our weather patterns have been changing?

I guess I have more questions than answers, as you can see by my meandering!

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