I pride myself on being friends with people who have different views than myself. It’s because of these friends that I end up having the most interesting conversations, although it’s become harder to keep these friends in recent years. However, one of my closest family friends, let’s call her “Beatrice”, believes in creationism rather than the theistic evolutionary theory I subscribe to (or the sixth option that Pastor Jeff mentioned in the thoughts that Christians commonly think about creationism and the spectrum that these thoughts fall on). Beatrice, who has given me many pamphlets about her view, has told me on multiple occasions that her view makes sense, has more evidence to back it up, etc, etc. I always end up walking away from these conversations, raring to go and ready to write up the best presentation on metaphorical Bible language and theistic evolutionary theory, but I always fall short of doing so. I usually decide that something else is more important than carrying on a small argument with a good friend who I essentially think of as a real member of my family, since I often go to her with problems from my own life, and have even shared Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner with her and her family many a time.
Pastor Jeff made the same point in his Sunday sermon-these petty arguments that we get into over creationism with each other, non-Christians or Christians, are just that-petty arguments. He made the point that the important thing to concentrate on is the “who”, not the “how” of the process that made this big blue and green ball, the surrounding universe, and all the things that live on it.
God certainly doesn’t care about the “how”, and so neither should we too much, essentially. The only “how” we should care about? How we’re doing on a day-to-day basis acting like Jesus, throughout our daily workdays, home time, and any time in between. This is no matter if you believe in a young Earth, an old Earth, creationism, theistic evolution, or a mash-up of some of the other ideas Pastor Jeff mentioned that Christians believe about how the world was created.
What we need to focus on, and really stick with, are these ideas from these two passages:
John 1:1-3 NLT
In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word
was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in
the beginning with God. God created everything.
John 1:14 NLT
So the Word became human and made his home
among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.
And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s
one and only Son.
The key points are that God made us and he made the physical and spiritual world. He also made men and women, and he made marriage, in order to give men and women a successful way of living our lives in this big wide world. Most importantly, he made us, in imago dei. For those of you who are not Latin nerds like myself and have not delved into the wonderful language of the Ancient Romans, this means “in the image of God”. In other words, God made us like him! So why do we do bad things and make mistakes, and sin, even as imago dei? Well, imago can also mean a sort of reflection in Latin, so it works because just like a reflection in a pool, we’re not perfect images, but we try the hardest that we can. And our heavenly Father, our Creator, knows that. He loves us despite our mistakes and sins, and forgives us. He cares for you regardless of your “how” belief. We need to stop sweating the small stuff in these “how” discussions and come to compromises that will find peace, common ground, fellowship, and comfort as we celebrate God together as He intended.
So today, let yourself become more like Christ. Let yourself build bridges to Christians whom you disagree with, or those who don’t know the Lord. We just have to keep trying, keep loving others, and keep persevering to truly live out our days the way God wants us to live: with Christ-like intentions and an open heart to all.
Kahla Vise is a native Mainer, and graduated with a BA from Bowdoin College. Currently she is a graduate student in Teaching English as a Second Language at American University. She loves animals, chocolate, and anything to do with the Ancient Romans. She also is looking forward to growing her relationship with God.