My name is Dana Oleskiewicz. I have a story to tell. A very significant personal story of a faith journey from atheism to a belief in God. We, as humans, have a duality to our existence of both the physical and the spiritual. My story exemplifies a struggle to realize and embrace this duality. A story that the Holy Spirit has compelled me to write down as a blessing to others, especially for those wrestling with the same deep questions over the Bible and science.
I grew up in the 1980s in a Christian home. My faith hit a brick wall at Genesis, blocking me from the Gospel. A brick wall that did not hinder those around me, such as my church and family. Unlike them, God created me to excel in the sciences. Therefore, I strongly perceived ‘God OR evolution’ as an explanation for our origins. The Genesis account in my church did not fit with my academic knowledge as an ecologist. The more questions that I had, the more doubt that piled onto my faith.
Asking about God in my science classes made no sense as I rightfully recognized that spiritual matters do not belong in science. Science has limits. It is limited to the natural world, as it is, by design, silent on the topic of God. I went to my spiritual leaders with little satisfaction. Do not question God was the response. Either accept natural conclusions (evolution) as explored through our five worldly senses, thus more easily experienced, OR accept the supernatural (God) that is far more elusive.
The Theory of Evolution, as a natural explanation for our beginnings, has been systematically demonized for decades. Well-meaning Christian mentors, with little to no understanding of biology, guided me to young-earth, anti-evolution teachings. I heard evolution ridiculed from the pulpit and was given Young Earth Creationist (YEC) material. After honest and thorough consideration, I concluded that YEC was not scientific and its logic flawed. Ultimately, my faith became prisoner to a science argument when I became convinced that YEC science was not the science practiced elsewhere. It was bad science in the name of Jesus, thus I rejected Him when I walked away from Creation Science.
I was unable to reconcile a faith in God, defined by unscientific church rhetoric, with the science I understood as I moved through my young adult years. I also witnessed the strategy of hiding information in an attempt to preserve, and push, particular views within Christianity. By the time I emerged from college to begin my science career, I had washed my hands of religion all together due to a severe distrust in the entire institution. My worldview was firmly planted in the natural with no room for a belief that we are also entities connected to a spiritual realm. Unfortunately, this I learned from my church, not my science education.
In essence, I was asked to either trust the Bible OR trust the science that was essential to me becoming a scientist. I had to choose. Science denial was the only Christianity I had experienced. No one introduced me to the alternative, to trust both. Thus, I rejected that we are both physical and spiritual as we walk this earth. I spent 30 years with this dichotomous view, without Jesus, until a religious/science debate ensued with my three sisters over a highly inaccurate YEC science video. This opened the door to a profound spiritual event that will be an inspiration to faithful Christians and a powerful witness for Christ, for I have a story to tell in a testimony of pure wonder and joy.
Hence, The Christian Ecologist blog.
I reflect on the incidences that contributed to my lack of trust in Christianity and realize they served a purpose. I grieve deeply, due to a tumultuous spiritual journey, over the damage to Christianity from Genesis beliefs, especially within the science community. Thus, my passion is great to serve the Lord through educating on science, focused on the Christian audience. I hope and earnestly pray that you will join me. Visit my blog often. Share with others. You are sure to learn something new and be uplifted by hearing how the Lord has touched my life.
“For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” (Proverbs 2:10)