About a year ago I found out that some churches celebrate evolution day sometime in August. I was surprised and posted it on my facebook page. One of my good friends from college replied that to believe in evolution was logically leading to Atheism. I didn’t really understand that because I know so many Christians who are just fine with the idea that God took 14 billion years to evolve its creation.
Recently some of my family members and friends have posted that their church teaches is not any way you can believe in evolution and still believe in a creator. They have also posted things toward evolution in a positive manner, which was quickly put down by people.
I found that to be sad. The more I read about evolution the more I think, “How wonderful this creation is.” Recently I read “God and the Big Bang” by Daniel Matt, a Jewish Kabbalist and professor at U.C. Berkeley. I found it a very fascinating book. I learned a lot about Kabbalah and their beliefs on creationism. It also gave me a lot of insight into how Jewish people look differently at the Torah and the prophets than what Christians look at it.
I have found that most of the time, when opponents argue against evolution they use the Biblical story found in the book of Genesis. I should really say the two stories found in Genesis chapters one and two. Written by two different people with two different agenda’s to different audiences and none of them were us. I remember sitting across the table from one person who argued that it had to be seven days because the Hebrew word for day means a 24 hour period and I was thinking “Really? That is your argument? That’s your logic?”
Using that logic Jesus should have had to be in the tomb for 72 exact hours, but he wasn’t. If you take the bible literal he was in the tomb around 40 hours give or take a few hours. (He was placed on the cross sometime Friday morning and died and was buried before sunset, but arose when the ladies when to the tomb early Sunday morning.) After all Jesus said “for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40
How much does it matter how God created the earth or mankind? Does it really matter if it took a few thousand years or several billion? Not really. It’s the same God. And when you get so picky about little things like that you forget what is important. Love. Kindness. Peace. Caring. Taking care of one another and other virtues.
When we forget those virtues and concentrate on details that don’t matter in eternity we lose track of what is important. Theologies don’t matter, how we translate certain words don’t matter, rules and traditions don’t matter. But love does. Jesus said that all the law is based on loving God and Loving your neighbor. So saying someone is going to hell because they believe in evolution is not loving. I think that’s Gods job anyway. Telling someone they are an idiot for believing in 7 exact days of creation is not loving either. Instead ask them to look at the earth using scientific methods.
For me, evolution is science and the Bible is not science. The Bible is a group of books written to help people understand God and why things had happened to those people it was written to. If there is any science in the Bible it is 2-3000 years old and should be understood that way. I don’t even think the Genesis stories are about how God created the earth and mankind. It’s more about why. Story 1 (Genesis 1:1-2:3) is about how the Jewish nation is to be “fruitful and multiply” because they have a God that loves them. A promise you see repeated throughout the Torah. Story 2 (Genesis 2:4-4:2) is about how the Jewish nation had screwed up but that God will always be there for them. I could go deeper, but that’s too long for here and now.
Well anyway, those are some of my thoughts. What do you think?
On a side note there are many theories about who wrote the book of Genesis from Moses to P1, P2, and D sources to J, E and D sources and sometimes R, but whoever wrote it they were simply writing to the people of their day and so we have to look at it in the eyes of someone who lived 2,500 years ago.