Recently as part of our "Gathering" Series of speakers for our campus ministry in Milwaukee, we had well known author/speaker on the topic of Creation and Evolution named Jay Seegert. Jay opened his talk just readily admitting that he is a Christian and as such, believes in God and that the Bible is His Word. Shortly thereafter, I found myself in a bit of a back and forth between differing views on the topic and found it interesting to wrestle with what I know, what I don't know and the essence of faith and what I believe. As it so often does on the internet, the conversation boiled down to people on two sides that ultimately started talking past each other. This was my response to it and thought it might help others who are stuck in the middle of these "debates/arguments". I don't have it all together, but Jesus is what I have and that is more than enough. I hope somehow it's an encouragement.
I have been watching you guys argue about definitions of words and research. I've been reminded of why I need to be a good listener so I can properly defend what I believe. I remembered that intelligent people want to be respected and that requires a willing listener. I've been reminded that whether you're a creationist or evolutionist, all of us agree that we're here because of a miracle. A miracle of divine proportions or the existence that we see against astronomically impossible odds for evolution to be true in the "traditional" portrayal of evolution.
I'm reminded that part of why anyone believes something is partially based on faith and partially what they know or have experienced personally.
I'm reminded that we are ALL one experience away from having our world rocked, where everything we thought we knew is stressfully challenged. Whether it's a new study, a personal tragedy, a national catastrophe.
I'm reminded that we will all die and that every one of us will take only our faith to the grave. Faith that nothing is there, faith that pearly gates are there, faith that there is a Savior, faith that hell awaits...
I'm reminded that people won't usually believe in a God that loves them when the people pushing that God demand that the ignorant people give up their idols of evolution and accept creation as a prerequisite to Salvation. (I hate when Christians do this because all too often they "communicate" the opposite of the words they say... we need to let the Spirit do the convincing)
I'm reminded that you can throw out "did ya knows" until you're blue in the face, but it will never prove your stance because it must be answered within the big picture, not just the lab.
I'm reminded that there is not one example of Kind mutation, but lots of species mutations.
And I'm reminded that at this time in my life and understanding, I believe in a young earth for a number of reasons:
* When God said "let there be", how old were all the things he called into existence? I wonder if the planets and solar systems have a "born on" date. If we used our calculations at the moment God said "let there be", what would the calculations be?
* Scientists are studying a fallen world, not the world that the Christian believes was called into existence.
* If God was an instigator and then it took Billions of years for things to come together... he's pretty lousy at creation and probably can't be trusted to supply my daily needs. Certainly doesn't seem to jive with the God of the bible.
* The biblical translation for "day" in Genesis is 24 hours, not period of time. There are other words that the writers use for "long periods" and it is not the same word. If I believe the Bible is God's word, I think God would know the difference.
* If God started evolution, death has been a part of the world much longer than Adam and Eve. Theologically it nullifies the need for a Savior and the whole "love of God" thing because the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life, which is the main story of The Bible. God would thus be a liar and a poor designer requiring billions of years of death before he finally accomplished Life.
* Everything tends to decay (laws of thermodynamics), not bigger and better things.
* The big bang... sounds an aweful lot like "Let there be"
* Science is the study of what is, and is not interested in the "truth" as we normally talk about it. It is the uncovering of information on how things and why things work. As one scientist told me "Science is self correcting"... so you never really know if we're at the end of understanding.
* Science is filled with a history of hypocrites as rich as the church and has many examples in which money taints pure research (just think of the tobacco/oil company research arguments).
* If the proof for creation is the bedrock of your faith... you will be tossed about by the latest research, you will be a very defensive Christian and you will spend a lot of your life not living in the peace of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only Foundation that is unshakable and the only one that doesn't change. Science admits that it is "self correcting", which means the conclusions can and will change, especially in historical science. To the Christian, we need to be careful that "evidence" does not become our God, which is a matter of Faith - sure of what we hope for, certain of what we do not see - which is also a huge component of Historical Science. They are certain of something they don't see, which is why they continue to pursue it so passionately. It would be great if Christians also pursued their faith as passionately.
That's where I am today, right now. This banter has been an experience that caused me to dig a little bit into what I saw going on between viewpoints, which devolved into the classic "he said she said", "you're not listening" as it predictably does. I come away being reminded of some of the things I believe to be true about the world around me and I'm sorry, I just don't see the scientific excellence in the theories of evolution as they have been taught to me and pushed on me in museums and in our culture. If you tell the lie long enough, people will blindly believe it. A great example of that is in the Field museum in Chicago, which has a fascinating colorful display that tells the story of evolution, without any proofs other than "Scientists NOW believe..." Looks convincing until you really dig in and look under the hood and take in the big view, that according to many Christians who are also excellent scientists, say could not and did not happen.
In the end, I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the one that was to come into the world and with his life atone for the sin of every person. So that we would know how great the Father's love that for us, even in a broken world that God himself weeps over. That the author of life and purpose, would step into time and fix the sin problem for humanity and make a way that we could find the peace that all of us are looking for... you only find it in one God, the God of the bible. Why would I believe that? Because by faith, I see this "life" all around me in the world today.
I love Science, thanks for reminding me that I really do love it. And I love my evolutionist friends that I will likely never win an argument with. I just hope they'll know that Jesus loves me, and I love them because Jesus loves them and when life gets hard and they are wondering where peace comes from in the hard times, I can share where I believe peace comes from. Not as a Scientist, but as a Christian friend who wants everyone to know that Jesus is the Way, is the Truth and ultimately is the Life we are looking for.
Thanks guys, have a great rest of your week!