Photo Credit: thesplendorofthechurch.com
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed by website attributed with the photo credit are their own, FSS does neither claim to advocate or disagree with them explicitly.
There are people who argue for evolution, and there are others who argue against it. I think the problem is that is not where the argument should be taking place. Catholics have no problems with evolution and it was even a Catholic priest who came up with the Big Bang Theory. I also have no problem with evolution either. If you have problems with evolution, but have good faith in Jesus, look I’m not trying to devalue anything you have. I’m just exploring one avenue things may have happened. A thinking Christian will understand that having many alternative theories of how things happened is good for the faith if we’re not exactly sure how God did it. Additionally there are aspects of evolution such as species adaptation that are observable phenomena, which all of us should take note of. Whether we believe all of evolution or not is another story, but it’s fair to at least concede that at least portions of it are true.
This brings up my first and greatest argument about the Creation. When God does anything, how does a human mind rationalize what he did? Jesus healed the dumb, deaf, blind, and paralyzed. We can understand the results of what he did. But we can’t understand how he did it. Did he use miracle power? Is his mind so great that he used natural physics with everything aligned correctly to change particles just right to achieve it? Did he set everything up from the beginning of time to have things align to cure the people right then and there? We can’t know how God did everything in detail, but He provides a simple explanation of what He did.
When God made the universe in six days, all we know is that he made it. How did he make the sun? Did he condense nebula gasses to create it? Did he point to a place in space and go,”The sun goes there.”? Seriously, we don’t know how He did it, but we know that He did it.
This is the strength of Genesis. It provides a simple explanation for us to understand that God did it. People of Moses’ time understood it and we can understand it now. God did not intend to give us a science book to explain every thing about the universe and why he made it. If he did, that book would take more paper than all the trees in the world could provide. It would be so long that no single person could read it all in their lifetime. So a quick summary of how God made the universe seems an apt opening to God’s work in our lives.
I like to quote this verse to talk about scientists getting respect like modern day kings. It also gives us a hint to why God would want to conceal the secrets of the universe at first:
Proverbs 25:2 (GNT) We honor God for what he conceals; we honor kings for what they explain.
A day for God can be any length of time. We know this from scripture.
Psalm 90:4 (GNT) A thousand years to you are like one day; they are like yesterday, already gone, like a short hour in the night.
2 Peter 3:8 (GNT) but do not forget one thing, my dear friends! There is no difference in the Lord’s sight between one day and a thousand years; to him the two are the same.
It isn’t far fetched then to say that a day of Creation can be any length of time. I don’t think it takes anything away from God to say that He could have created the days in a longer or shorter amount of time. I’m sure if He wanted, everything could be created in an instant. To say that Creation may have taken billions of years isn’t far fetched. Before you balk at where you think I’m taking this, lets just say that is the only thing new I’m going to be discussing in this conversation.
Besides, how long is a day before the sun is even created? How can one be sure it is 24 hours when the only reason we call a day 24 hours is from reference to the sun? Also the Hebrew word for yom in the Bible that we refer to as day refers to any length of time, but sometimes used for the word day. If you’re not with me on this, that is okay, it should be the only thing I think I’ll be saying that sounds foreign to Christians raised classically to the strict 24 hour day theology.
What I am doing is pointing that the age of the Earth may be more than 6000 years old. The Earth may be billions of years old. That doesn’t conflict with the fact that God made the Earth scripturally.
One might go,”Well then James, just how did it happen in this Long Day Theory?” Well if you ask me that, I’ll refer you back to my original argument about Creation,”How can we know how God does anything?” He may have done it any number of ways, but I’m not going to guess how God does anything.
How did God flood the Earth? I don’t know but he did. How did God cure the blind men when he walked the Earth as Jesus? I don’t know but he did. How did God create the universe? I don’t know but he did. That is the purpose of the Creation story: It teaches us that God did make the universe. Another might go,”But science tries to explain everything. And what we don’t understand, we take our best rationalized guess at until someone comes up with a better informed notion.” And I see Christians trying to mimic this and trying to explain everything.
I won’t get into “examples”, but you don’t have to look far to see some Christians trying to explain everything from Creation to modern times. By doing this, they’re trying to use their best guess of how things went down against scientist’s best guess on what happened. Then it is a matter of who can out science the other person because they’re using knowledge gained via sciences. Who’s going to out science someone in a battle between scientists and some random person? Who’s going to win a boxing match in the 80’s of Mike Tyson against someone random on the street? The prize in a battle of whose knowledge is better,”Whoever wins this contest becomes the person who gets listened to while all the loser’s opinions are invalidated.” And then I hear young people say,”God can’t be real because science told me he can’t be.” or “How can you be Christian? They’re people who aren’t smart.”
Now there is some times when authority needs to be shot down. If the Church is standing for something wrong, it needs to be corrected.
Ecclesiastes 9:14 (GNT) There was a little town without many people in it. A powerful king attacked it. He surrounded it and prepared to break through the walls. 15 Someone lived there who was poor, but so clever that he could have saved the town. But no one thought about him.
There are times when the Church has been wrong in history. For the most part, the main teaching is good for society,”Be good and loving to everyone.” Who doesn’t want their neighbor to be good and loving to them? It is way better than spreading hate. But the Church had a problem with indulgences, the crusades, treating Galileo badly, and a host of other things that we widely regard as sinful by modern theologians. The Church shouldn’t have done that then, but most of us learn from our mistakes, and as a whole, we don’t intend to do that stuff anymore. Instead we view them more in terms of scriptural commands to love and be good to others.
In the times when certain people in the Church had been wrong, it would have been good if authority was challenged. The thing is that the true leader of the church has never been wrong. Jesus Christ is real and lives today. He is the judge of all mankind. Jesus never sinned though people have been rebelling against him in his service even before he existed. Just read the Old Testament and look how many people who should have been doing it right were doing it wrong. People are fallible, but our Savior Jesus Christ is not. He wants us to be good and loving to everyone.
Science wants to explain everything, without the why. Religion provides the why, but doesn’t need to explain everything. Science observes the universe and tries to predict what will happen next. Religion serves an invisible God who is unpredictable aside from his unfailing love and goodness. God doesn’t owe us an explanation, but He doesn’t discourage us from learning either. As long as that knowledge doesn’t puff us up, or pull us away from Him and His Word, I believe He delights in our education.
I want to elaborate a bit more on the Long Day Theory. What we know from the Long Day Theory is that a day for God can be any length of time. You don’t have to subscribe to the theory, but you know that the Bible lets us know a day for God is any length of time.
Where can we take this though? Some people want to justify evolution with long days of God and call it,”Theistic Evolution.” I personally don’t know how things went down. Again, I talk about God and Him doing things we don’t understand. I can’t say that God used Theistic Evolution or not. That is beyond the scope of what I want to present. We can’t tell how God did anything? How did he cure the lepers? How did a young kid beat a battle hardened giant? How did Daniel get thrown in a pit of lions and not get eaten, but when they threw his accusers in that they got attacked before they hit the ground? How did one man make a furnace so hot that the people building the fire were overcame with heat and died, but God’s favored men walked inside the furnace and didn’t get harmed or even get the smell of smoke on them?
It’s crucial to recall that whether you are an Old Earth Creationist, Young Earth Creationist, or undecided – knowing the age of the earth isn’t essential to being saved. We cannot allow issues like this to divide us as believers. There are some views that are essential doctrine, and those are some that we need to stand our ground, but this isn’t one of those that makes or breaks us. There are many who ascribe to either view that feel if we consider the opposing viewpoint we are compromising the integrity of the Word of God.
Remember that what we theorize, within the logical scope of the Bible, doesn’t qualify or disqualify it. The Bible is true whether we’ve correctly assessed little, a lot, or all of it. Prayerfully seek that God would enlighten you as it pertains to matters such as this, and don’t be afraid of sharing your ideas boldly. We all have a lot to learn from one another, and the way we can interpret Genesis is a testament on one hand to the simplicity of the Bible’s instruction, and the intricacy of it on the other hand. It’s a book that is simple enough for a child to understand, but complicated enough that throughout the lifespan into adulthood, we still retain questions about matters such as these.
Whether you are YEC or OEC, I hope you delight in understanding the opposing viewpoint better. There are so many things that God does, and we have no idea how He does them. Some things He does are pretty cool and creative. For every miracle, a person could think,”Is there another way God could have done this that isn’t as creative and got it done in a more pragmatic fashion?” And I think for many miracles yes, things could have been done without Him being creative. But God is a very creative God, and this gives me hope for living forever. We haven’t even seen our glorious bodies we’ll get in Heaven, or our mansions or our land, or the billions of friends we’ll have. We do know that with God that anything Preyis possible.
I tell people to play the Heaven Game. Imagine you had infinite wishes and eternal life. What type of reality would you wish for? Know that no matter how good you can think it up for yourself, not only is it possible, but God has something better for you. God’s plan is to fulfill your heart and for you to be satisfied and at peace in Heaven. All he asks is that you listen to his son and be good and loving while avoiding evil. I can’t even think of any other way at peace than for people to stop being evil and to be good and loving. There is no other way to Heaven than through Jesus Christ.