"Galileo Is Scratching His Head"
September 29, 2008
Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 2 Timothy 1:13-14
Galileo, the 16th-century scientist who was silenced by the Church, has to be confused.
Some of you may remember the story of the brilliant astronomer whom the Church had silenced as a heretic and imprisoned in his home.
When the world wishes to point out how narrow minded Christians are, they love to trot out that story. Of course, they conveniently forget the Church did what it did only after the scientific community had been consulted.
Now, it seems the roles are reversed and the scientific community has taken steps to silence a Christian.
A short time ago, Michael Reiss, Britain's Royal Society's director of education addressed the subject of how schoolteachers should speak to Christian and Muslim students who believe in creation. After saying, "creationism is best seen by science teachers not as a misconception but as a world view," Reiss was asked to step down.
The Royal Society maintained, his words had "led to damage to the Society's reputation."
It is possible that Reiss, an ordained Church of England pastor, may have caused some problems for the Society but most certainly no more damage than the Society caused itself.
From the reports I've read, most people -- even those who disagree with Reiss - aren't pleased the Society, which objected to Galileo being censured centuries ago, is now doing some condemning of its own.
Still, the Society's vehement anti-Christian reaction is the kind of overwhelming response that seems to be becoming more frequent.
Because that is so, I would encourage Dr. Reiss, and all who are being shot down for their faith, to hear the encouraging words of Paul: "Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within you, guard the good deposit entrusted to you."
By God's grace and with Holy Spirit-given faith in our Savior, each of us needs to stand fast, holding tightly to the "good deposit" of salvation given to us through the life, death, and resurrection of the Savior.
This is why, in our prayer, I ask you to think upon one person you know who is being pressured and persecuted by the world. Let us ask the Lord to help him hold fast.
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, Jesus told us following Him would mean taking up our cross. For all who are being persecuted and especially for NAME _________, I ask an extra measure of the Holy Spirit. Help him hold fast to Jesus' freely given salvation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries