While a number of Christian leaders and radio personalities are gleefully hailing the recent Ebola outbreak as a sign of the “End Times” or perhaps the means by which God will purge the Earth of homosexuals, atheists, and other types which fundamentalist Christians love to hate, Ken Ham's Answers in Genesis sees a different silver lining: a chance to proclaim their God’s goodness (and the literal truth of Genesis). I’m not kidding.
In response to the current crisis in West Africa, AIG has published an article on their website called “Where Did Ebola Come From?” by a Dr. Andrew Fabich, who is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology… at Liberty University – that bastion of cutting-edge learning founded by the now-deceased evangelist Jerry Falwell.
Fabich starts out by talking about some friends who asked his advice about traveling to Liberia, in light of the outbreak. I was a little disappointed that he did not uphold the fundamental inspiration of the Bible by telling his friends that if they had God on their side, they had nothing to worry about. I mean, Psalm 91 was tailor-made for this sort of situation:
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease… Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Psalm 91:1-3,6-7 (NLT)
Apparently forgetting this powerful ‘promise’ from God, he “began trying to help them understand a few things about Ebola so they could make an informed decision.”
He states his intent to correct misinformation being spread about the Ebola outbreak, then covers some basics about the virus and how it is transmitted. All this, however, is just foreplay. What he really wants to do is explain how a good God and bad viruses can exist at the same time.
I will briefly cover and comment on some of the more face-palming low-lights of the article.
“With the wickedness of this particular virus, people often wonder where God is amid all this death, disease, pain, and suffering. It is imperative to understand several key concepts as we approach an answer to this question. First, we must understand the goodness of God. The psalmist writes, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good” (Psalm 107:1). We must, therefore, also be committed to the idea of God’s goodness. “
Translation: The Bible says God is good, and that must be the rose-colored lens through which we view all evidence to the contrary.
“The idea of God’s goodness emanates from Him in the Creation Week. God uses the word good to describe the original creation six times (every day was pronounced “good” except for Day Two) and the last verse of Genesis 1 describes the original creation as “very good” after God had created man in His image.”
Translation: the Jewish creation myth (appropriated by Christians) has God saying everything he made was good, so of course it is true.
“God’s goodness can sometimes be difficult to see in some created things (e.g., viruses in general, but Ebola specifically).”
Uhm, yeah. You think?!
He then goes on to quote godless scientists (should he be using such ‘tainted’ sources?) about some beneficial functions that viruses may serve. He even dares to reference evolutionary science writer Carl Zimmer (gasp) to say that almost all mammals have one or two genes which appear to come from a virus and are necessary for the development of the placenta.
“If our genome did not have this bit of apparently viral DNA, then none of us would ever be born. So we have examples of good viruses and essential viruses, which helps explain how not all viruses are bad.”
Apparently, Fabich’s God is so stupid as to not have the foresight to custom-create a mammalian genome without the use of viruses which would later cause untold suffering to humanity. Also, within that quote from him, isn’t there a hint of an admission of common ancestry?
“While we can see some elements of possibly good things about viruses, it is important that we understand God is our Creator and Redeemer, not some cosmic killjoy. We read that not only did God create the world and everything in it, but that He regularly interacts with it…”
According to the Bible, God mainly interacts with the world to angrily kill people and animals on a regular basis… and to order his ‘chosen people’ to carry out acts of genocide. Seems kind of like a party-pooper to me.
“God is not detached from His creation. The reason it is important to realize that God is the Creator is because viruses are efficient machines that quit working when one part is removed. The machine analogy strongly supports that these were intelligently designed and meet the criteria of irreducible complexity."
Oh, cool! Those nasty viruses are here to undercut the idea of evolution. All those people dying horribly from Ebola? Totally worth it, to defeat the lies of Charles Darwin!
“The idea of having a Creator-Redeemer is important in understanding viruses because of the related idea that we live in a fallen world. Knowing that we live in a fallen world, we can see that God did not design viruses to kill us. We can look in Scripture and understand that viruses (like Ebola) are simply a molecular thorn and thistle (Genesis 3:18). Originally, viruses most likely were part of the very good creation. Therefore, this concept of God as Creator and Redeemer correlates well with what we observe in the few good and essential viruses in light of the many viruses causing disease. Yet in this sin-cursed world, much has gone wrong, and many organisms not designed to be pathogenic have become so.”
What the hell?! “The idea of having a Creator-Redeemer is important in understanding viruses…” Somebody needs to get this info to the CDC, stat!
Okay, so here’s where we get God off the hook for unleashing those nasty viruses: they were probably originally good. Instead of Girls Gone Wild, we have Viruses Gone Bad - all because we live in a “sin-cursed world”.
Wait a minute, I thought… Let me go check my Bible.
Huh, the 'inspired' Bible says that God cursed the woman, the serpent, the man, and the ground. So that would mean that it was a God-cursed world that would have turned viruses into nasty little critters, not a “sin-cursed” world. The “thorn and thistle” thing that Fabich references in the Eden myth, is a direct result of a divine proclamation. If the Bible is to be trusted, then yes, Ebola is God’s fault. Oh dear.
Fabich mentions Kent Brantly, the missionary doctor who contracted Ebola – yeah the doctor that God forgot to protect from disease, while he was doing the ‘Lord’s work’. The guy who had to be saved by medical science. He then goes on to make a ridiculous assertion about humanists, and to trot out the usual tired assertions that there can be no morality or compassion apart from religion:
“The secular humanists are envious that Christians are being portrayed well in the media. In many ways, I commend medical missionaries like Dr. Brantly who decided to take the call of God seriously and use medicine to reach people for Jesus Christ. Ultimately, unlike those with a biblical worldview, the secular humanists have no clear moral basis to put themselves at risk to help the downtrodden, sick, and infirm. If we are just the product of random chance processes over time, as Darwinian evolution asserts, then why not let the sick die off so the strong will survive? However, since we are not the byproducts of random chance processes, we should conduct ourselves altogether differently.”
After slapping secular humanists around for a bit, he concludes by telling Christians what they can do to help.
“If Christians have the training to help the sick, then they should talk with our Lord and determine whether He would have them go or stay.”
You’d think the Lord (if he actually existed) might take the initiative and tell his Christian minions what the plan is, instead of waiting for them to haphazardly get in touch.
“There should be a concerted effort to find reputable organizations that perform medical missions and give financially to help send the necessary medical supplies where they are needed most.”
Okay, helping purchase medical supplies is good, but did you notice the “medical missions” part? Why simply help people in need, when you can use human suffering as an opportunity to proselytize? More on that in just a moment.
“But most importantly, it is important that we pray for the sick.”
I’m sorry, but for all the good prayer will do, you might as well spend your time watching Netflix instead. Prayer is merely spiritual masturbation, providing the devout with the enjoyable feeling that they have helped out in some unquantifiable way.
“We live in a sin-cursed world with death, disease, pain, and suffering. Those that contract this deadly virus will most likely meet their Maker soon. We should pray for the missionaries remaining in the country who are on the ground, meeting needs, to give them boldness to share the gospel under such dire consequences. What a wonderful opportunity to share with these sick and dying people that they do not have to spend eternity separated from a loving God.”
And here we have the clear display of how what Darrel Ray calls the "God Virus" hijacks host organisms and uses them to spread itself to others. We see it play out at the ending of the movie God’s Not Dead. Two Christians, eager to convert the atheist professor who has just been hit by a car, move in like vultures:
Close the deal and make the sale. Push your religion at a person’s most vulnerable moment. When people are suffering and dying, that is the perfect time to give the God sales pitch! The Christians don’t ask the dying professor if he has any messages he wants to pass on to loved ones. No. They have gotten him to sign the Jesus contract, and that’s all that matters. Belief in an afterlife robs meaning from life now, and it often makes people behave in abnormal ways.
The religious ulterior motive trumps all. Rendering aid to plague victims is merely a pretext for increasing the market share of their particular religion. The Ebola virus becomes a means they can use to further spread the God Virus.
“What a wonderful opportunity to share with these sick and dying people that they do not have to spend eternity separated from a loving God.”
Ebola is a “wonderful opportunity” and God is good. Just believe it.
Written by J. M. Green