One of the most controversial subjects in the church is that of creation. Did God create the world in billions of years, or six, 24-hour days? Did it happen by a Big Bang, or did God breath creation into existence a few thousand years ago? Did animals evolve on their own, under God’s direction, or were they created in less than a week? What kind of day is “yom” referring to? How does a believer reconcile faith and science?
Spring may have finally arrived. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and flowers are beginning to bloom. It’s amazing how the beauty of nature can lift my spirits.
I’ve been thinking lately how that beauty is no accident. I’ve never met a person who was indifferent to a glowing sunset, spectacular mountains, or the white sand and turquoise water of a tropical beach. While standards of human beauty change somewhat from culture to culture, and generation to generation, an appreciation for the beauty of nature is universal.
What are your core beliefs? If someone asked you to explain what you’re all about—the central convictions that define who you are, what would you tell them?
Our adult Sunday school class was talking about different world views. The speaker explained that as Christians, our world view differs from Muslims, Hindus, humanists, atheists, etc. Then he asked us to list five things we absolutely believe to be true about our faith. He claimed that most people would have trouble making such a list. Of course, with a challenge like that, I pulled out paper and started writing. The more I wrote, the more items I thought of. I soon realized that if I wanted to pay attention in class, I’d have to finish my list at home.
Later that evening I was still working on my list. (I’m kind of one-track like that.) As I finally ran out of Truths I was sure about, I realized that there were still a lot of truths (small “t”) that I believed but knew I could be wrong about. So, I made a list of those, too.
I hate controversy. It really bothers me—not when people disagree, but when they become defensive, obnoxious, hateful about it. (If you’re familiar with the DISC personality test, you won’t be surprised to learn that I’m a strong “S”—as in steady. Don’t rock my boat!) Unfortunately, the world is full of controversy. Just witness the presidential election. (I’ve already voted—I can tune it all out now.)
One of the biggest controversial topics in the church is the divide between Creationists and Evolutionists, “Young Earthers” and “Old Earthers.” What seems to me to be a peripheral subject has become a litmus test for determining the faith of others. One side accuses, ‘You can’t possibly be saved if you believe that!” while the other side retaliates with “You are an idiot of you believe that!” It’s enough to make me want to hide under the bed.
Last time I mentioned that Pete and I were headed out on a road trip. One of the advantages of being away from our normal routine is that we can’t just run on automatic. Every simple act requires a lot of effort. Which road do we take? Where should we stop to eat? Should we go to this state park or that wildlife refuge? There isn’t time to do everything we’d like to do, so which option is best?
I’ve taken enough trips by now to realize that God is the ultimate tour guide. He doesn’t just hand you a map and point you in the right direction, He comes along and leads you step by step.