Hunting Microbes for the Glory of God

By Brian Lowther

H1N1 Influenza Virus Particles - Flickr/NIAID

H1N1 Influenza Virus Particles - Flickr/NIAID

One thing I wanted to highlight but didn’t have enough room for in my last entry was a list of questions Ralph Winter posed at the end of his editorial. You’ll recall that his editorial suggested the basic idea of destructive intelligent design and proved to be rather controversial.

Here are his questions:

  • Are Evangelicals today too “spiritual” to fight this kind of evil [harmful microbes] at this level? Who knows? Probably quite a few individuals here and there are actually involved. But I don’t read about them.
  • Are pastors recruiting young people for this kind of a mission?
  • Does the National Association of Evangelicals include a division that helps coordinate Evangelical efforts in this sphere?
  • Do our Christian colleges and seminaries fight malevolent microbes?
  • Is there room for a Christian organization that will galvanize efforts to fight evil at tiny levels?
  • Please tell me if there is anyone reading this who knows of an association of microbe hunters or cell-level researchers who, under God, are at those levels straining to beat back the ingenious evil of the Evil One. I will gladly highlight such activity in these pages and try to reinforce those efforts. In fact, to highlight the crucial need for that kind of mission may be one reason my wife, specifically, has a very resistant form of cancer.

Compare these questions to a statement he made just two years later, two years of diligent, tireless searching:

There is absolutely no evidence I know of in all the world of any theologically driven interest in combating disease at its origins. I have not found any work of theology, any chapter, any paragraph, nor to my knowledge any sermon urging us—whether in the pew or in professional missions—to go to battle against the many disease pathogens we now know to be eradicable. Jimmy Carter, our former president, is the only Christian leader I know of who has set out (in his phrase) “to wipe Guinea worm from the face of the earth.” Note that his insight did not come from a seminary experience but, perhaps, from being a Sunday school teacher.

Even until his death in 2009 Winter kept searching for this evidence. Though he found a handful of very admirable non-Christian examples such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he did not find even one substantial endeavor that was initiated for the glory of God. This is the niche the RWI hopes believers will populate and the motivation behind our mission.

Do you know of any significant work being done in the area of disease eradication for the glory of God? Please contact us.

Posted on May 11, 2012 and filed under First 30.