Dr. Derkins’ Religion

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, February 5, 2014 0 comments

Back to Dr. Derkins’ class, Bio 101. I walked into the lecture hall, once again, but it was easier to find my seat this time. Megan was not there yet, but I found the spot where I sat before and took my seat; just like on a Sunday morning the devoted church-goers find their familiar seats that they have assigned to themselves. Megan arrived and, of course, found her spot beside me again. This is one of those strange phenomena that happens in the context of any group of people that must meet somewhere on a regular basis. Why? It probably has something to do with security, familiarity, and just general comfort. It was later in the day, so we had both completed our two-a-days and were both sore and worn out.

“Hi Megan,” I said.
No response.
“You doing okay?” I probed.
“Not right now please.” She replied.
This may have seemed scathing to a degree, but she did choose to sit next to me and at least she said “please.” I was starting to understand that this Megan girl was a tough cookie. I started looking over my notes.
“I’m sorry,” Megan interrupted, “It’s just that…“ She paused and looked uncomfortable.
“It’s okay, you don’t have to explain.”
Class started. Derkins turned on his power point and at the top of the screen it read, “Can there be a God who is good?”

“Welcome to class. I feel as though it is important to continue from where we left off last time. And I must ask the question, ‘Can there really be a God who is good?’ If you must know, I was brought up inside of the church. I was Lutheran. I had to learn all of the catechisms and all of the rituals that come along with being Lutheran. I believed that God was good. But then something happened to me that would make me question that belief.

“My parents were both killed in an automobile accident when I was 16 years old. I became angry with God. How could he let this happen to my parents? They were good people. They always attended church. They loved him. And then, out of nowhere, a drunk driver ran a stoplight and extinguished their lives in an instant. Where was God?

“You might think that I am merely attacking your religion at this point; but I am really promoting science. There is an old saying, ‘red in tooth and claw’ that describes the natural world. Charles Darwin stated that the struggle for life is one of the most obvious observances you will ever make and nobody can deny that fact. If the lion must eat the gazelle to live and the gazelle escape the lion, whose side is this beneficent God on?

“The process of evolution can be perceived as cruel. But it is actually a very beneficent force. Those who are not fit to survive are extinguished so that they do not have to suffer throughout life. Those who are fit are allowed to survive to enjoy the bounty that they have reaped, in whatever form that may take.

“A long time ago, this bounty was merely survival. The first and simplest organisms had to bind together and fight to survive the ravages of the environment. As plant life emerged organisms had to evolve sophisticated mechanisms so that they could harvest the energy of the sun and propagate in all new ways that would allow their species to thrive. As plants evolved, they started to compete. Just look at the trees. Plants fought for the sun’s rays and the larger ones were more survivable than the smaller ones because they were able to horde more of the sun’s light for themselves while blocking the sun’s light from their competitors. So you can even see the survival of the fittest in the plant world. Does such competition arise from a God who wants everyone and everything to go forth and multiply? His creations would be fighting against one another to prevent them from multiplying!

“The unfortunate part of this whole evolutionary process is that mankind came along and developed a thing called compassion. There are people today who would not survive in a world governed by the rules of natural selection. They would not know how to survive, let alone be able to fend for themselves. Well-meaning people come alongside these people and enable them to propagate. What compassion does is promote the weak attributes of the species and set back human evolution.

“Unfortunately, there are lawmakers in Washington that espouse the fundamentalist views that all life, even before it is life, should have the same rights as those who can fend for themselves. I am not saying that anything should be done to people who are not fit to survive, but maybe we should not enable them to the extent that our culture has. This only happens because of certain religious beliefs that undermine science. They do not understand that we, as scientists, are able to accomplish much more for the human race when it is not hindered by their religious nonsense, and it accomplishes much more than their faith is able to for the sake of the dregs of society.”

I did not know that there were such things as churches for atheists. Today I was convinced that there were. I sat in my pew and listened to the message as our minister gave us the bad news. The sad thing, I realized, was that Derkins sincerely believed what he was preaching. Not only was that disturbing, but he was actually making sense. If God created a world where death and suffering take place, could God possibly be good like the Bible says he is? I chose to stand firm because I just knew, for whatever reason, that the Bible holds the answers to these questions that he was posing.

Dr. Derkins said a mouthful today. Despite his cohesive message, Ryan chose to trust God nonetheless. Does he have a reason to trust God, or is he merely choosing blind faith? Next time we join Ryan, he is going to be alone, by himself, in his room engaging the wisest teacher of all, God. And he is going to do so through prayer and by reading his Bible. Do not miss the next chapter as God has an honest discussion with Ryan.