Recently I read an article where you stated that you could no longer believe that God is directly responsible for the creation of the universe. I will have to admit that I read this from a facebook post which quoted a Christian news site. Having been burnt by this kind of “gotcha-journalism” before, I knew I needed to read your original blog from which this article quoted. Based on reading this entire post, I would like to respond to your blog entitled, “What Do We Believe?”
Your article deeply concerns me – not just because of your lack of belief in the Creator and His revelation to us of how He created the heavens and the earth. My concern goes deeper than that. My greatest concern is on the way you cleverly dismiss the Bible as an authority because it is about belief, and yet tout yourself and modern-day science as a fitting replacement, Your arguments in this blog post take on the appearance of wisdom and ‘well thought out’ reasonings. The problem one finds while reading them is that, in the end, they are based on little more than a false premise that you are a free thinker without an ultimate authority. Your reason alone (informed by scientists who are smart enough to reject biblical creation and hold fast to evolutionary theory) leads you to your premises unlike those who hold the Bible as an authoritative book in all matters of faith and practice.
You make an interesting statement early in your article. You state, “. . . pretty much everything is a belief because everything we know is built upon assumptions.” After this seemingly wise statement you speak of what happens when “some of what you built the words and concepts on – no longer exists.” From this dubious vantage point you begin to speak of God, the Bible, the book of Genesis – and eventually even whether what we believe about God is even important.
What is fascinating is that you then use “your own words” to convince us not to judge or make distinctions based on what we may or may not believe to be God’s words (i.e. the Bible itself). Even though you seek to present some self-deprecating views of yourself, you do little more than replace one authority with another. What is truly fascinating when I read this article is that in the end – I become the authority over myself – just as you become the ultimate authority over yourself. You and I define our own words. You and I also choose to decide if our former definition of words were true – or were imposed upon us by others (in your case those who taught you the Bible in Christian school and church). You approach biblical authority with the greatest of skepticism while embracing current scientific theory as factual.
What you have done in your really cool and open minded article is trade one form of authority for a different one. Whereas people like myself who CAN believe in a God-created universe – Adam and Eve – a 6000 year old earth – a literal world-wide flood – and personally my favorite, “naked people in a garden eating an apple being responsible for the death of the dinosaurs.” (Isn’t it interesting when you want to prove other people to be stupid – you not only denigrate their beliefs – you mock them by mis-stating them.) While we are held up to a very high-minded form of ridicule (notice the NOTE below), your particular views are help up as enlightened, gracious, and far more believable. We are seen as those who hold fast to defined words – while you are seen as one who is more interested in how someone lives. Your “healthy beliefs” are then given credit for leading to a “lifestyle” defined by caring attitudes about your neighbor, ministering and caring for the poor, and living according to James chapter 2 (which evidently IS God’s Word?). We are left thinking that we should reject the Bible as a literal authority (quite an authoritative thought, don’t you think) and be more loving and kind (at least how you define loving and kind – which considering the neighbor and poor stuff is hard to argue with – you know). What we actually get is a view where WE become our own authority – at least the “we” that agrees with modern scientific theory.
I don’t hate you Michael – and neither do I know whether you are lost or saved at this point. All I’ve done is read your article – and yet that article concerns me greatly. It does because it presents the same lie that caused our world to end up in the mess it is in today. “Has God said?” is the lie to which I refer. The original lie was to distrust God’s Word – and instead decide that WE would make a much better god over ourselves. Isn’t that what Satan said to Eve? “God knows that in the day that you eat it – you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” How we live (which seems to be your way of determining what is best) is derived from what we believe to be truth. If truth then is solely in the eye of the beholder – because us-forbid we’d actually believe God’s revelation of Himself in the Bible – then isn’t it true that the beholder becomes God in the end? That is little more than a 6000 year old lie repackaged in really cool blog post.
[NOTE: Yes, Adam and Eve were naked. No, they did not eat an apple – the Bible simply states it was fruit. Yes, the Fall of man into sin precipitated death in our world. No, the dinosaurs were not singled out in this judgment upon sin – and its effects on the earth. BUT . . . when lacing these facts and mental inventions together it does make the Bible accounts sound sufficiently stupid doesn’t it? How you state something truly does have an effect on how believable someone else views it. Imagine if I referred to evolutionary theory in a similar way. It is little more than believing that, “Everything came about as a result of nothing being done by no one for absolutely no reason at all.”]