During the week it's kinda hard to get on my computer long enough to make many posts on my blog. I have teenage daughters that suck up the computer time like a high-powered vacuum. So, here I am late at night, eyes drooping, trying to type (and yes, for me, 10:30 is late at night).
I posted a little comment of this blog over on MSN. The writer was spouting anti-Christian stuff; mainly griping about evolution vs. creationism, and how stupid Christians were for believing anything other than evolution. He was especially vitriolic toward the far fundamentalist crowd that stands hard on the 7-day creation story, and the Earth being only 6,000 or so years old.
I don't really blame him. Personally, I'm not a big buyer of that concept, and I wrote the guy a fairly gently comment, ending with "...
So I get an e-mail today from someone who read that comment, and sends me a link to www.answersingenisis.org, which is actually a very interesting website devoted to the literal, 7-day, 6,000 year-old-Earth, Genesis creation story. I've visited the sight many times in the past.
The e-mailer tells me " Here you will find many of the answers to questions you may have about the "theory" of evolution vs creation."
He goes on, "The Lord called me nearly two years ago and at the time (He left me in NO DOUBT as to His existence) I was struggling with the whole evolution thing. Being faithful He led to to the answers I was seeking. After you have had a look around this site it might be worthwhile for your walk to consider this - If Genesis is not accurate, the fall never happened, then what purpose was there for God to send Jesus to redeem us? Once we limit God, i.e. "He can't have created in 7 days", we are losing sight of his awesomeness..... Once we put our "spin" on His Word, i.e. They are examples...... We are removing His authority over us..... I pray that this is of some use to you........ God Bless"
Sigh. Didn't read my comment very well, did ya, friend? See, I have no questions about the validity of creationism vs. evolution. I don't know why he thought I did. What annoys me is when well meaning people send you a link, telling you, essentially, "this should set you straight, and correct your wrong thinking."
Maybe I'm over-reacting. I probably am, since I'm tired and fuzzy.
I want to post my e-mail response, because I think it lays out what I believe pretty well:
"Dear (insert his name here):
I've been to Answers in genesis many times, and to be honest, I'm not buying all of what that organization says about Genesis.
The Bible is the inerrant word of God, I don't question that at all. What I do sometimes question is whether we are interpreting it correctly. The "correct" interpretation of The Bible has changed and morphed as man's understanding of himself and the Universe has changed and grown. It took Martin Luther to stand up and question the Catholic Church's "interpretation" that stood as canon for 1000 years. Our Protestant "interpretation" is only some 400+ years old, and is still changing. The modern evangelical movement didn't start till the 1800s.
I believe that God is not a liar. God does not test us capriciously or uselessly. To say that the world was created in seven standard 24-hour days is one interpretation. To say that a day in God's time is an epoch is another. Yes, I know all about the Hebrew words used to denote "day" and "time period" etc, etc.
That the Genesis account is accurate is without question. I think our understanding of it is definitely limited. To say that seven actual days is the only possible interpretation is hard-headed.
To ignore all the evidence placed not only here on earth, but throughout the universe (stars whose light travels for millions of years to reach us, etc), that points to a much longer history is staggeringly ludicrous. And to say that God put it there, pre-made, with the fossil strata and stars whose light was already enroute, all laid out in advance for mankind to find and test our faith, is plain outrageous. That, in my mind, calls God dishonest, and a Liar. I know that whatever God is, it's not a liar. He is unchangingly truthful.
Neither does this change the veracity of the Garden of Eden story. Through Adam and Eve, our ancestors, whoever they were, sin entered the world. Whether Adam is a literal man, or a parable man, somewhere our ancestors sinned and stepped out of favor with God. The point of the account remains. The need for salvation does not waver one iota.
I think the argument over Genesis is over blown by Christians, and is often a stumbling block. The fact that the universe is here is evidence enough of God The Creator. Whether God did it in seven days, or seven billion years, makes no difference, because no one will ever prove anything until Christ's return. God made everything, and God made us. That much is plain to see.
I think by limiting God to 7 days of work, and our existence to a mere few thousand years, and demanding that the exact wording (which has changed subtly from translation to translation) is ALL God could have intended to convey to us, then we mold God into a limited, boxed in God, making Him small enough for us to handle, and try to understand.
But God is so much larger than that.
Universe filling large. Universe ENCOMPASSINGLY large. The brightest pulsar, the most fiery nebula, the most violent supernova, the most distant galaxy, to the most gentle lamb and the very center of the human heart - God is there, in all of it.
And His ways and thoughts are so far greater and deeper and wider and wiser and greater than my ways and thoughts, that for me to assume I KNOW the heart and mind of God, and have Him figured out, is hubris on an astounding level.
No, I believe in Genesis, the fall, and Christ's redemption, for Christ has set me free. I just don't buy the Answers In Genesis version.
But if God uses that ministry to bring souls to Him, then God Bless it, and continue to do the work God laid out.
Thanks for reading though, and your kind response."
Thank YOU for reading. Kindly respond.