After reading this article: “Chilean Miner’s Rescue” I felt compelled to respond with the thoughts that ran through my mind as I read it. (Go ahead and read it first if you would like.)
I imagined what would happen if the major religions of the world sent messengers to the mine site when it was discovered that 33 men were trapped inside. What would they say to the captives?
I imagine that the Hindu representative would send them a message that would sound something like this: “We are sorry to hear of your present situation. What you are experiencing is the return of your Karma. Somewhere, sometime in your previous life, you did something to displease the gods. There is something in your distant past that has caused Karma to bestow on you a death through this means–buried alive in a mine. You must beseech the gods and pray that somehow in your next life and reincarnation you can attain a better existence.”
The Buddhist representative would be sent to comfort the miners with these thoughts: “All evil in the world is a consequence of desires. In order to make Nirvana, you must abandon your desires and learn to need nothing. Kill your desires to be rescued, stop needing. Become one with the energy around you, after all, you really don’t exist.”
The Naturalist would speak to the miners about the meaninglessness of their existence. They are just the product of a random universe and can only survive if they are the fittest of the species. This mining accident is simply Mother Nature making her Natural Selection, and they have just been “voted off the island”.
It makes me wonder if there would be the same kind of media coverage, gathering of people, vigils of hope and cries of celebration if these were the messages sent to the men and their families.
Though many would deny that they believe in the God who revealed Himself in creation and whose words and actions are recorded in the Bible, men cannot deny their urge and need to rescue someone in need. Though we want to say there is no absolute good or morality, we cannot escape the empty gnawing feeling in our guts when we witness a tragedy or learn of events such as this incident. We are compelled to help. Something in our souls transcends the “Survival of the Fittest” theory and causes us to show compassion, mercy, love, self-sacrifice. But these characteristics are not woven into the philosophy of the atheist, the Hindu, or the Buddhist. At the heart of their religions lies a denial of life and mankind.
So, where do these qualities and attributes come from if not world religions or philosophies? They come from God–the Absolute Good, the Creator of the Universe, the Power that holds all things together. It is because of His love and mercy we are saved. It is because He Is that we are compelled to reach out for one another despite the influence of our world religions. These attributes should be most apparent in Christ-followers.
What the world celebrated was human life. We applauded the value of their lives and that they were worth rescuing. We watched vigils of prayer and people expressing hope and anticipation that an answer would be found and a rescue initiated. We watched and applauded what only the Judeo-Christian world view delineates, supports, and offers–hope and the sanctity of human life.
We celebrated because life is precious, valuable, and worth saving. We celebrated because hope is alive because there is a God and He is alive. We celebrated because even though our philosophies and nations work so hard to keep God out of our thinking, we are blown away by the fact that He refuses to leave us alone. He is still saving, still redeeming, still rescuing and still at work in the hearts of men.
So yes, we applaud the men who worked to rescue and sustain the lives of the miners trapped. We thank and honor them for their efforts and success, and we consider the source of their compassion and determination. What causes a man to help another was not formed in the primordial soup of evolution, or in the think tanks of philosophers and religious gurus. We cannot help but respond to the image of God stamped on each of our souls.
It is one thing to behave like God behaves; and another thing to have a relationship with Him. My prayer is that you would seek a relationship with this God and find out what life was meant to be.
Romans 10:13 (New International Version)
13for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”