Science and Christianity have had times when they were at odds with each other. Famous scientists of the 21st century like Richard Dawkins or Stephen Hawking have tried to use science to disprove God, but to no avail, because Yahweh is the Creator of everything they are studying. Nonetheless, they pursue their fruitless endeavor. But, science has also given Christianity many tools, like the Hubble Telescope, which has given us the ability to see parts of creation, that in previous generations were not available for us to see. Therefore, finding the good in every discipline in our culture is necessary, to extract where God is moving in our earth realm.
In the vein of science, when we were in Middle school we were introduced to the microscope and the telescope. We learned that the microscope was to identify the smallest of details in a cell, blood or some other material that was placed in a petri dish or on a glass strip. The direction of a microscope is to look down, to see details on a micro or small level. Much of the church has had a microscope approach to God and people’s lives. We have been critical of details that we deemed as sin and nit picking at theological issues. At one point, it was related to women wearing pants in church or standing behind a pulpit to preach. On the other hand it was related to whether or not someone can have a glass of wine or watch a certain movie. All microscope issues. But, it should not be surprising, for the Pharisees, Scribes and Teachers of the Law were experts in microscope issues. More often than not, you will find them coming to Jesus to “test” Him about some microscopic issue.
We have entered a new day, a new era, a new place in the spirit of God. This does not mean that we ignore the microscope issues in our own lives, but we must not nit pick them in other people’s lives. I tell people, “I am a full time job.” Meaning, it is a full time job for me to remain in obedience to what God has called me to do, I do not have time to put a microscope on the issues in your life. However, in this new era, we are seeing through a telescope. Because of this new era that we have entered, we are hearing of people who, to some are sounding “new age” like, as they talk about “being caught up in the spirit” or “traveling in the spirit” or “seeing in the spirit”. This is going to be heard more and more, and we must guard against using a microscope on those who are seeing through a telescope.
With a telescope, you are able to see things in the sky that cannot be seen by the naked eye. The telescope does not look down at the small details, it looks up at the vast expanse of the sky and all that is “out there”. For many this shift from microscope to telescope is going to be very difficult. But, the telescope idea is very biblical. In the old testament, Ezekiel speaks of being picked up by his hair and brought in the spirit to another location (Ezekiel 8). We also hear of the apostle John being “caught up” in the spirit on the Lord’s day, in which he saw many things not visible to the naked eye (Revelation 1). And we cannot forget our beloved apostle Paul who said in 2 Corinthians 12, that he knew of a man in Christ, who fourteen years ago was caught up into the third heaven. Therefore, there is ample biblical precedence for this telescope perspective.
As we shift from a strong focus on the microscope ministry model to the telescope, we must remember that there is always room for error. Just as the Pharisees and religious leaders of Jesus’ day erred in their microscope approach to the Law, some will err in their telescope ideas. This is why knowing the Word of God, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and walking in obedience to what God has called us to do is of utmost importance. In addition, we need God to restore the Word of God as the primary message coming out of our pulpits. This new day is full of life, love and adventure, we are not leaving the microscope behind, for there is a place for that, but we are adding to our generation a telescope view of the kingdom of God. This will not take away from us, but add to us, more revelation about who God is.