Sunday, July 17, 2005

Things I don't understand

I don't understand the uproar among Christians about how the world began. I've read about creationism but don't understand why it is important. I understand that evolution is a theory. I don't understand why there is continued interest in making sure that everyone believes that God created the world. Nor do I understand why it is important to protect the Bible by making the Genesis account of creation is scientifically accurate.

I believe that God created the world and all that is in the world. The natural world of animals, insects, rocks, water, reptiles and human beings etc. are all God's handiwork. How God made our world or when God made the world doesn't interest me much. I'm curious but not rabid about how and when. I'm satisfied with the view that this amazing world is God's creation.

If this is an authority of scripture issue, I still don't understand why it is important. Many things in our Faith are not provable by secular standards and are taken, as we might say, "on faith". For example, I read the studies of how prayer helps hospital patients but I don't have to understand completely how God works in prayer. God's presence in hearing my prayers and yours and working in our lives is a mystery. A mystery, by it's definition cannot be "solved".

I'm ok with this.

Will it make us stronger believers to have the making of the world conform to scientific standards? Does it make theology a higher science if we trump science in understanding the cosmos?

What's the point here?

A few of the other things on my Don't Understand List are these:

I don't understand believers who grab someone and talk them into saying that "Jesus is Lord" then feel that they've gotten another pelt on their salvation belt for saving a soul. Jesus is the one who saves us, who offers by his death and resurrection the promise of living in relationship with him now and into our futures even after our death.

Our part in the process of helping others know Jesus Christ is to live our lives so that our daily living shows such trust in God that others who are searching want to know Jesus, too. I don't think pressing a booklet of the spiritual laws into the paw of a stranger is good enough.

I don't understand why Christians pretend to have such interest in the life of an unborn infant but do not do everything possible to create an environment where unwanted births are very rare, where women are safe from violent sex and where babies, when born, have all they need to grow up healthy and nurtured. Hollaring about unborn babies doesn't seem like much to help the situation for mothers and children.

Are there things in contemporary Christian discussions which you don't understand?

Maybe it's the way many Christians think you have to be a Republican to be a good Christian or why some Christians think issues are black or white and that their understanding of the faith is the only understanding.

I'm tired from a long day. I'm serious about not understanding these issues.


jo(e) said...

I am the same way. People get into such an uproar about the creation of the earth. I just shrug and say, "Who cares?" I am perfectly happy saying that I don't know how life began. I don't see that it is information I need.

Mary said...

"I am ok with this", too.
Great post, St Casserole.
I understand your not understanding.

PPB said...

I really don't think knowing exactly how the world began would change my life in any way. Go St Cassie

Texas Jaye said...

Thank you for your prayers and support. I figure the Big Guy answers your calls.

Love and your site is a blessing.

revmom/cheesehead said...

I totally get what you are saying. Thanks for saying it.

mibi52 said...


We're called to love, not to judge, and surely not to nit-pick. These folks who expend all these cycles of energy on insisting that Darwinism is the evil empire and it really only took seven (honest-to-gosh-literal) days give me indigestion.

How about those folks applying all that energy to hungry kids, or spousal abuse, or something?

Just call me simplistic...

Songbird said...

Not too long ago I preached on this creation thing. It seems to me a real insult to the authors of Genesis to suggest that they didn't know how to tell a persuasive story, but were just writing down some facts.
It's always seemed to me like the silliest argument there could be.

the reverend mommy said...

There's beauty in not knowing. That way, there is a little room for faith.

I get weary of the same old arguments over and over and over again. There is a discussion I have been involved in on another blog about gender-inclusivity. I've come to the conclusion that 1) there is no convincing anyone of anything 2) some people can't even agree to disagree.

And that makes me so very weary. And it doesn't get anything accomplished, as well.

Apostle John said...

Amen! No one seems to notice that Genesis opens with two completely different creation accounts -- they always favor the first and ignore the second. By placing these two side by side, I think the message is "God created, don't worry about how."

CGAuntie said...

I got over the creation issue when I learned that faith traditions predating the writing of Genesis have nearly identical creation stories. Not to mention the two different stories aspect.

It's the can't-see-the-forest-for-the-trees syndrome: the majestic truth is that God created this world, and the beautiful storytelling in Genesis has allowed us to carry that truth with us for thousands of years.

Why can't that be enough?

Friday Mom said...

Even as a science student at a conservative baptist college, I could never get too worked up about how the world was created. Just doesn't seem to matter much to me.

The others on your list can be found on mine as well. I, of course, would add my inability to understand what some people have against two people who love each other wanting to make a lifetime commitment that's recognized and supported by the church just because they happen to be the same gender.

Sandra said...

Isn't all this bickering back and forth about things that just don't matter much a way to take our focus off of the important things. If we can make a big hulabaloo about the creation of the earth then we don't have to spend so much time acctually being the church.
Did the Bible warn us about this?
I'm with you 100%. There are way too many other things to fight for.

Purechristianithink said...

Actually, I think folks dig their heels in on this because so much of our theology flows from what we think happened in the first three chapters of Genesis: it frames our understanding of human nature,(image of God), our condition in regards to God, (Fallen, in need of healing/salvation/redemption), and our relationship to the rest of creation, (stewards with important responsibilities). For some folks, if you say it's all just a fable, you are throwing the underpinnings of our theology out the window. It's not just about how old the Grand Canyon is or where those dinosaur fossils come from. I think for those of us who don't take Genesis literally, the question is, how DO we appropriate and understand the foundational theological doctrines that flow from a traditional reading of this text?

Aola said...

I think it says something wonderful about you that you can say that you don't have all the answers and don't care to.... God is a mystery, right? Faith is about unseen things. I tend to shy away from people who think they have all the answers.

St. Casserole said...

Aola, it's my Presbyterian influences that teach me that you and I (and our institutions, political parties and governments etc.) will never have the final word on truth or be absolutely accurate when we speak about God's will. We speak about our knowledge of God with a sense of humility because we cannot claim God as our own thingie.
PureChristianthink, thanks for a thoughtful post. Well said. What about those who want to protect God by proving all the literal aspects of creation? Can you say more?

Lisa said...

Hi..was hitting "next blog" and found you. I recognize several of your readers. :)

Hope you don't mind me commenting on an old post. I think the focus on these issues is a lack of faith. It takes real trust to believe without proof and without approval. We trust in God believing that he has disclosed to us what we are supposed to know.

The crazy thing is that Jesus' words about feeding the poor and loving our neighbor are about as literal as the Bible gets and that goes largely ignored by these same folks.

Perhaps when we have done what he plainly tells us to do, God will let us in on the mystery of creation and a few others.

There are priorities.