Camp Martin Johnson History Part Six by Martin Johnson

People talk about science as God and faith in God will have to give place to faith in science. They do not need God any more. I am sorry for this generation. It is sailing without a compass. But whathas science or evolution have to do with faith in God? How long God’s days of creation were or how he went about creating life, I do not think we will ever know. Personally I don’t worry about evolution. I think life has begun in a slow way but that it should disturb our faith in God I can’t understand. St. John tells us that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, or as a spiritually developed scientist of our day would put it, In the Beginning was the Gulding Intelligence and the Guiding Intelligence was with God and without that Guiding Intelligence nothing was made. THen the trees that are now standing leafless and frozen and apparently dead, and the flowers and grass apparently dead, when I see them come to life in the spring, leaf out and blossom, and when I see a tiny seed grow into a plant, flower, or bush or a tree after a definite plan, or when I see a baby grow into a self acting individual can I conceive of all this taking place as the result of haphazard happenings? I cannot. I prefer to take the easier way to believe — that there is a directing intelligence behind everything because it is simpler and it corresponds with my whole life experience. I don’t think any spiritual man who sincerely thinks about science will belittle science, but respect it. Science has done much for the world. All true science brings us nearer to God. Science has found nothing that should disturb our faith in God and Jesus Christ.

There is much talk about the earth being so small, only as a grain of sand compared to some planets, like the star Betilus. True, Betilus is an enormous thing, but for all its bigness it is only a gas bag. It has no soul, it cannot hear the message of the stars that I could hear as an ignorant child and am still hearing as an old man of experience. These big stars are only the beginnng of science. The human soul has not been penetrated by science. Compared to the sould everything in the universe sincks into insignificance. The man of faith does not look with dismay upon the researches into nature and the discoveries of science. On the contrary, he hails them with joy. Each new discovery is affording additional evidence of the wisdom, power, and goodness of God. Full well does he know that facts written on the rock lives beneath the star depth above, and the pages of inspiration when properly understood and interpreted will be found to be in perfect accordance; showing forth the glory of the infinite in them all. There is no controversy between the man of faith and the man of wisdom, providing each one sets in his proper sphere. There has never been any real conflict between religiion and science. Thre may be conflicts between the interpretations of scriptures and the interpretations of the facts of nature, but what God has written in his word never conflicts with what God has written in his creation.

The skepticism of our day ought to remember how much science owes to Christian man. To man who believed in a personal God; who believed in his written Word and in his son Jesus Christ. What would be said of the pious Christian Copernicus; what of the Christian Galileo, Bacon, Kepler, Newton, Herchel, Hugh, Miller, Chalmers, McCann, Morse, Dawson South, Southall, LeConte, Henry, and many others who led the vanguard of investigation and discovery? How dense a darkness would envelop the race were all the lights kindled by Christian men blotted out, but let it be remembered that the wisdome of the world is for this world only not for the world to come. Its proper sphere is the seen and the tangible; the here and now, not the unseen and the hereafter.

The wisdom of man has passed out of its proper sphere when it invades the domain of the invisible and the infinite; when it denies that the omnipresent can reveal to man that which the eye never sees, the ear never heard, and the heart never can conceive. It has passed the boundary of the known its only proper sphere. The man of faith does not affirm the uselessness of earthly wisdom but does affirm that it has utterly failed to find out and know the truthful and living God. However useful the wisdom of this world may be in iti proper sphere it has never yet given to man that knowlege of God upon which his soul can rest in satisfaction and peace. The world by wisdom has never known God at any time, in any country, among any people, nor by wisdom has he ever been able to make God known to his fellow being. Without the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the true and living God has ever been the unknown God. The wise men of this generation are not backwards in boasting of the Word’s progress and yet the hister and ruins of the old world before the coming of our Lord revealed evidence of a civilization that will bear all the light and tests of our day.

Egypt speaks out of this self satisfied generation in her mummied kings, her silent sphinx, her matchless pyramids. Egypt could lift monstrous stones four hundred feet in the air and adjust them to a mathematical line, and not vary a hair’s breadth. They could paint on glass, grind gold to dust, embalm the body to preserve it. They built gigantic houses that have outlived all nations and civilizations, and still this good old civilization lived in died in gross and utter ignorance of the one true and living God. The religion of the wisest men of Arr and Nemphis was negritain fetishism, the lowest kind fo nature worship. The people bowed down and worshipped the Nile, the Ox, tree, hills, the birds, and the creeping things. Egypt has wise priests, her magnificent temples, her gorgeous worship, but alas: all was of the earth. She knew not God and her wise men withstood Moses when he came to them with a message from the living one in whom they lived and moved and had their being. No woner the people were liars and thieves, sensual and treacherous with all their wisdom. There were four other great world powers of ancient time — Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, but not one of these nations ever attained unto the knowledge of God which is life eternal. The men of those civilizations worshipped and served the creature more than the creator and for this cause God gave them up to vile and unnatural lists and passions. They were afflicted with unrighteousness, fornications, wickedness, covetousness, murder, and deceit. And to this Godless condition many people of our day want the word to go back to the wise men of this world filled with their philosophy. They ask first that we give up the miracles of the Old Testament, the imprecatory songs, the immortal parts of the Scriptures and all the prophets, then the miracles of the New Testament and Jesus himself. This is the modest demand of the unbelieving wisdom of our day, this substituting knowledge of nature for knowledge and faith in God. They would have us believe that this is progress, this is advancement of thought; and so there is left a grave without a resurrection, a universe wtihout God, sin without a savior. Thoughtful men understand well that the objective point of all these infidel attacks is the Cross and the Crucified One. Shall we cease to preach Christ and Him crucified at the request of boasting unbelievers? The answer comes down to us through the ages of patriarchs and prophets, apostles and martyrs, from saints for all ages, all lands who have endured all the evils that man and devils could inflict. Go ask them if the gospel is true, and there shall come this answer, “We know in whom we have believed Christ crucified is the wisdom of God and the power of God unto salvation.”

Why, then, should we want to accept a theory so void and so hopeless as the infidels whose highest inspiration is a world without a God and a grave without a resurrection. Is the soul going to perish with the body when it dies? It does not seem reasonable to me that a creation that has gone on for billions of years as science believes, for the very purpose of producing that wonderful thing, the soul, should cause that soul, your soul and my soul to exist only as long as our physical bodies exist. Although science doe not offer mathematical proof of the immortality of the soul it gives us plenty of food for thought, plenty of ground for intelligent hope and it adds to our conviction that our physical life is only a stage in the existence of the soul. In my opinion all scientific evidnece tends to show and point to the belief that it is unlikely that the soul of man will cease to exist when the body perishes.

The law of continuity and the general scientific view of the universe tend to straighten our belief that the human soul goes on existing and developing after death. True science is constantly revealing Divinity and man’s religion and relationship to God, and science therefore is the hgihest form of human theology, the highest form of reasoning about God. Science leads us straight to a belief in God and this is the foundation of religion. Science should not prevent a man form being a Christian but should make him a better Christian. My personal belief is that everything that happens in this world is for the purpose of betterment of the soul. This is where science and religion touch. Science adds immeasurably to the foundation of religious faith. Science should strengthen our faith in God and if it does not bring us nearer to God then science is a failure.

I am not an educated man as far as book learning goes. All that I have is what I have picked up and mostly here rooting and grubbing, but I have seen evidence of an intelligent spirit every day and have learned every day and am glad that I haven’t seen anything which in the least contradicts the faith of my fathers, the faith I had as a child, but it has given me a better faith.

God is not a being far away. He is not far away and is not hard to find. He is near all them who seek him in spirit and truth. God will reveal himself to all who seek him in earnest. Believe in God and Jesus Christ, His Son, believe his word and trust in His grace, accept Jesus as your personal Saviour and you will never be sorry, reach out and take His hand; He is ever ready and waiting for you to take His hand, and He will safely lead you through; He will safely lead you home.

M. G. Johnson. 1930

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