Does Church Keep Black Women Single? - 3

Science has proven a lot of Biblical advice to be correct.

The first article in this series discussed advice from a romance counselor claiming that black Christian women restrict their marriage choices too much by refusing to date non-Christian men.  Scragged pointed out that the Bible places many obligations on husbands which would be appealing to women and that there's no reason why a woman should compromise on the support she expects from a husband nor on the nature of her relationship with him.

How does this tie to the core Scragged concern for politics?  Simple.

Today, our nation is engulfed in a battle between groups who hold essentially incompatible views of how our nation should proceed.  Each of these conflicting groups has radically different notions about schools, taxation, welfare, medical care, immigration, and, yes, they even disagree about the fundamental definition of what constitutes marriage and family.

The Bible claims to have been written to teach believers how to get along with God, with their spouses and children, and with their governments.  The Bible also teaches that believers are to "walk by faith" - that is, they are supposed to base their lives on what they believe without demanding proof.

That makes it clear that, by design, there can't be proof of what the Bible says about God, or even whether there is a God at all; otherwise people wouldn't have to walk by faith.  The realm of the supernatural is, by definition, outside of the reach of scientific proof; you believe what you want to believe and nobody can conclusively prove otherwise.

Much of what the Bible says about marriage and families is susceptible to research by social scientists and doctors, however, and we're beginning to see confirmation that a great deal of scientific accuracy is buried in its pages.

An open-minded comparison between what the Bible teaches and contemporary social science research shows that many modern thinkers, whether they know it or not, are rediscovering Biblical truths that were written down thousands of years ago.

It sometimes seems that conservatives are ashamed to defend ideas taught in the Bible precisely because they are taught in the Bible, without regard to independent confirmation of their wisdom.  Regardless of your personal opinions about the Bible, though, it has been around for a very long time and a great many cultures have found it useful.  Could there perhaps be a good reason for that?

It may be that some liberals will admit that ancient beliefs may have some value after all, but our main hope is that conservatives will use these facts to show that liberal ideas, no matter how reasonable they seem, are often simply wrong and disastrous in the real world.  Maybe conservatives will end up less apologetic about advocating ideas which have been around long enough to have stood the test of time.

Public Health and Bible Teachings

Some of the clearest examples of Biblical wisdom are found in the area of public health and hygiene.  The book of Leviticus, which many scholars date to around 1,400 BC, commands quarantine for lepers.  The bacterium that causes leprosy was not isolated until 1873; for 3,000 years, leprosy was contained purely by blind faith in what the Bible taught.

Leprosy spread when people thought that it was hereditary, rejected Biblical teaching, and allowed lepers to mix freely in the community.  It is now known beyond doubt that the Biblical practice of banishing lepers "without the camp" keeps the disease from spreading.

The Bible also teaches that toilets should be "without the camp" to improve health, but medical practitioners did not realize how diseases spread in sewage until the London cholera outbreak in 1854.

The Bible teaches that hands should be washed frequently and that anyone who'd touched a corpse must stay away from other people for a week.  In April 1847, a young Viennese doctor named Semmelwiss ruled that anyone who had participated in an autopsy had to wash hands thoroughly before examining live patients.

Even though the death rate in his wards dropped from one in six to one in eighty-four - that is, mortality was reduced by a factor of 14 - his colleagues did not wish to believe that conducting autopsies put death on their hands which they then carried to their patients.  They refused to wash and ridiculed him so harshly that his mind broke.

To this day, getting hospital staff to wash their hands often enough is a major public health problem.  Might it be easier to enforce rules about hand washing if the staff were convinced that an all-seeing Almighty God wanted them to wash?  Mere ironclad scientific proof doesn't seem to be doing the trick.

The Bible has many more rules which turned out to be effective health measures.  Jews were forbidden to eat pork which kept them from being infected by the Trichinella spirali parasite.  The parasite was first noticed during an autopsy in 1835 and its life cycle was not understood until around 1870; only with modern cooking techniques and equipment could pork be cooked thoroughly, safely and reliably.  Begging off pork in a pre-technological era was a good idea.

The Jewish passover festival required that all leaven, or yeast, be removed from the house because leaven was a sign of sin.  We now know that cleaning a house thoroughly enough to remove all spilled yeast also made it much more difficult for the house to be infested by any form of vermin.  Since all the houses in a neighborhood were cleaned on the same day, there was no place where the bugs could survive to reinfect any given house.

The Bible also recommends periodic fasts.  Many believe that periodic fasting helps cleanse the body; even though mainstream medical science has not fully agreed about the benefits of fasting, research shows that severe calorie restriction greatly slows the aging process.

There is even Biblical surgical advice that modern medicine has proven sound.  The Law of Moses declares male circumcision as a mark of a man's participation in the covenant between God and his people, but it also has major health effects.  In the early 1900's it was recognized that cancer of the penis is almost completely prevented by circumcision, and recent studies show that circumcision greatly reduces a man's chance of contracting AIDS and other sexual diseases.

What about the best time to circumcise?  The Bible specifies that babies should be circumcised on the eighth day of life.

Babies are born deficient in vitamin K.  Before the days of routine vitamin K shots, babies were found to be at high risk of bleeding until their digestive systems were able to produce enough vitamin K.  A study by Owen, Hoffman, Ziffren, and Smith showed in 1953 that after bottoming out around day 3, clotting factor rises to normal levels by the 8th day after birth, making that the ideal time for a circumcision.

How did the ancients know that the 8th day was the best time for infant surgery?  They must have done a randomized blind study, circumcising many infants on many different days, collecting data, computed statistical significance, and chosen day 8 as optimal.  How else could they have known?

Is The Bible Worthwhile?

For an individual who does not believe in God or does not believe that God wrote the Bible, it's easy to dismiss anything the Bible says.  After all, if you don't believe God wrote it, why waste your time?

But God didn't write college textbooks.  God didn't write scientific research studies, nor does He regularly write for Scragged for that matter, and yet you find it worthwhile to read those.  Why?  Because you have decided that the authors proffer useful wisdom.

Regardless of whether the Bible was written by God or by a fair number of wise men or women, the fact is that any book which has been so honored by so many for so long must have something useful in it; we've just seen several crystal clear examples of Bible teachings that were thousands of years ahead of the best that science could offer.

Having demonstrated that a number of Biblical principles and rules have scientific validity, the next article examines the scientific outcome of our current national experiment of trying to run a society which abandons and, indeed, utterly rejects Biblical teaching about marriage and parenting.

Lee Tydings is a guest writer for  Read other articles by Lee Tydings or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments
This article from AOL says that there may be a natural explanation for Moses leading his followers across the sea and later drowning Pharaoh.
September 22, 2010 5:29 PM
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