I marvel over the things Christians want to think about sometimes. Mind you, if they didn’t write about this kind of thing, what on earth would I have to write about? This opinion piece by Rhys Demman comes out of the Pincher Creek Echo.
There is a common misconception floating around with many Christians, that Jesus does not support a literal six day creation because he never actually talked about it.
Did he have bowel movements or belly button lint? Bible says nothing about those either. The Bible says little about how he spent his childhood. Did he magically skip a few years and go from age 12 to 33? The original writers weren’t trying to outline Christ’s autobiography so people would understand the history of the man. They just picked the parts of Christ’s life that could be used to drive a belief system.
What I found interesting are the attempts to track Jesus back in time via geneology. Both Luke and Matthew trace his lineage through Joseph who supposedly isn’t even his father anyway. It would have made more sense to go through Mary’s if they wanted accuracy via genes. But they didn’t. Maybe they wanted to prove he qualified as the answer to prophecies made years earlier. Debate goes around and around trying to figure out why it’s written like it is and it seems everyone has his own theory.
But if everything that Jesus said was recorded in the Bible, there would be about thirty volumes of more text, so it is impossible to say whether he really did talk about it. Despite this, when you go into the scriptures, you see that there is evidence that supports the fact that Jesus was a part of creation.
He quotes John 1:1-3 like this:
“In the beginning was the word (Jesus), and the word was with God, and the word was God. All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that has been made.”
What’s his proof that “Jesus” is interchangeable with “word” here? John 5:46-47:
” If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
Personally, I think this makes Jesus sound like he has delusions of grandeur, creating a prophecy about himself so he can show everyone how well he fits into it. And rather than think he’s a loon, they bought it and packaged it and sold it to everyone who wanted someone to believe in. Is it worth mentioning that there’s debate about how much of what Jesus is reported to have said actually got said by anyone, let alone him?
Moses’ account of the 10 commandments, is taken as completely literal by nearly every Christian, and even by some non Christians. If you believe that Moses’ account of what God says is accurate, then why do so many find it so difficult to believe in a literal six day creation?
The commandments are an example of a set of laws meant to benefit everyone in a society and the majority of those are still useful rules in secular society. Some in the list are more “morally wrong” than legally wrong these days.
I found a honking huge list of commandments Jesus supposedly wanted his followers to abide by so why do people constantly look at the Exodus or Deuteronomy list as though those were all that matter? Exodus lists more than ten, besides. Why are these ten the only ones that get posted, though? A funny quote from a site regarding all the rest of them:
The number of edicts is not even ten; it is not really clear where one ends and the next begins, but in Exodus 20 there are at least fourteen and arguably more. The last one is the rather precious “neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.” (Apparently Hebrew priests, like Scotsmen, were not in the habit of wearing undergarments.)
Six day creation is hard to swallow because it requires faith that it’s true. There’s no evidence of it beyond what the book says, and says twice in different ways besides. Pick one or the other and you still can’t prove either, but reams of scientific documentation exist that can refute the claim. All Genesis is is a story of creation: two of them from two different time periods – likely the tenth century B.C and four hundred years later. And every culture has had its own stories of how the world came to be. Read a few of them and then ask yourself why the bible stories should ever be considered truer than those.
It seems as though everywhere I look, all I see are people trying to justify non-biblical claims about God using millions of years to create the world. Such claims are unfounded and inaccurate, because God’s account of creation is completely contrary to the account set forth by evolution.
He thinks this way because he’s used to using bible stories to create reality instead of letting reality speak for itself. Reality like the earth being round(ish). Reality like the earth revolving around the sun. Reality like dinosaurs dying out long before hominids appeared. People who want treat the bible like it’s the only thing they’ll ever need to read and believe are at risk of deluding themselves and they are not the ones we as a progressive society should be putting our trust in. They are wrong and uninformed and willfully ignorant and holding us back. I think proof of that kind of thinking is in the next paragraph:
We need to stop using the excuse that certain biblical statements are not literal, when you read about Joshua and the Israelites marching around the wall of Jericho for seven days, you would never assume that they marched for seven million years!
He’s creating a magnificent reductio ad absurdum with his ludicrous example. We know humans then were lucky to make it to the age of 70, no matter how old the bible might say Adam (930, Gen. 5:5) and Methuselah were (969, Gen 5:27) when they kicked it. Nobody would question seven days marching around a wall; it’s perfectly rational to question seven days making a universe and all that’s in it.
Once we decide that we like a passage better when it is not taken literally, it’s easy to take other passages of scripture and twist them to mean what we want them to.
I agree that’s a problem, but not the way he’s seeing it. Thinking Genesis could be true is the problem. “Knowing” that God held off flooding the entire world so people could mourn Methuslah for a week (Genesis 7:4) is a problem. Thinking God actually did flood the entire world is a problem. Believing every animal on the planet was collected and on the ark (even though that would be beyond impossible for the stated size of the thing and the known size of the planet) is a problem. Teaching this shit to children as if these are facts as valid as theories of gravity, planetary motion and evolution is a problem.
We have very limited minds and understanding, and are not able to fully fathom a God that can create a universe with but a thought and a spoken word. Psalm 90:2 says “From everlasting to everlasting you are God,” and Jesus says in Luke 18:27, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” The fact that we don’t understand how God did it, doesn’t mean that we can take what we want of his Holy Scriptures and twist them to our own devices.
Hanging onto beliefs like this is what limits minds and understanding. There’s no decent reason to hang onto the idea that a god did anything for us. It’s interesting to wonder how the universe got its start but pointing to a god and thinking that’s enough of an answer is a very big and problematic limitation people put on themselves. I don’t know why they can be satisfied with that answer. It’s also worth noting that people who think like this might also be people who would deny their children medical care because they think God’s plan is more important than trying insulin injections. That prayer will lead to cures or answers when all you get is loss and unnecessary suffering.
People need more than a belief in the bible to get through life.
edit Feb 21/11 — edited a couple paragraphs to fix the wording of an idea.
Edit same day but later: found an interesting piece at Camels With Hammers worth quoting:
I think this either/or logic is crucial in many other fundamentalists’ minds. They cannot accept the liberal’s or the moderate’s willingness to judge some things the Bible says as false or immoral because to do so would admit that it was not a perfectly true and moral book and they need it to be perfectly true because if it can be false anywhere then it is most likely false in the most important parts. Only if it is a perfect expression of a perfect God’s will, can we have any hope that its most outlandish offer of hope, for life after death, could possibly be true and not just one of the first parts to be discredited as obviously false.