Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The New Creationist Religion Doesn't Fit My Appalachian Upbringing

I posted this on Facebook and folks liked it and wanted me to publish it. Something that has been bothering me for a while. A few years ago a cousin came to spend some time with me. It was the first time I had heard mentioned this new creation doctrine that the world is less than 10,000 years old. He had moved out of Appalachia and joined a very large mega church... What he was telling me he now believed, a new idea learned in this new mega church, it just didn't sit well with me then.

I mean, here I am reading about an archeology site called Cactus Hill in Nottoway County, Virginia. I am sharing with him a very exciting discovery on the east coast that they date from about 17,000 years ago. That's earlier than the Bering Strait crossings of the first people to this continent. Opens a theory that there could have been additional earlier human crossings from Europe to what is now the U.S.  Here he is telling me that the time line on that discovery is false because according to the Bible the earth is only 4,000 to 6,000 years old.  It was a new religion of taking the Bible word for word literally and applying it to the timeline of the creation of the earth and the universe.

I thought it just a fluke, some kind of new religious cult kind of thing. I prayed for him and saw no harm in that he was personally adhering to something that really doesn't work in what we have learned about God's natural creation or as I knew it. We have trees and other things that we can observe older than that on the earth.

But now, here we are........ years later, and there are those pushing that view and having it invade education policy. If I offend you, I ask forgiveness and people I've talked to about this get really offended because I absolutely don't believe in this new doctrine. One actually told me I'm evil and in danger of hell fire for not believing and condemned!!!  But I just have to say something, since it's grown and being pushed in the educational institutions now. To me, not speaking out is more an evil than speaking up for truth. I hope you will read on and consider what I have to say.

Speaking out? We Appalachians are definitely a religious bunch. I have been the subject of several sermons in my community before....this is nothing new and what I write might upset those that believe this view. For the last 30 years or so I've watched as Christian doctrine has changed to something I don't even recognize as what I learned as a child in Appalachia. People want to believe that way....That's ok....Lord Bless them. But before posting this I searched scriptures too and cherry picked my own. I stand on Titus Chapter 3.....SO BRING IT ON!!!

I finally got around to watching the Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate Creation Vs Evolution on You Tube. It's over 2 hours long. I'm a Christian...I believe in God....I believe in Jesus Christ but I can't believe in this NEW Creation Doctrine. WHY? Ken Ham and his "Kind" seem to me...... a little NUTS! Educated but still nuts.

The Bible as we have it today, I also was taught, spiritually inspired. God is a spirit and those that worship God have to in spirit and in truth. Despite man's tinkering with the Bible, by leaving out books, and a gay King James insisting on a different interpretation for some passages.... the spirit of God, or what I call God I believe in, will speak through this book (and it's various interpretations) as well as many other things in this world.

I have studied the Bible for years and what I know is, it is still JUST A BOOK....it's not God!!! I don't put my God in a box or just leave the spirit of God in a book and I certainly don't limit God to man's interpretation. Especially when the Bible itself tell us the foolishness of God is wiser than man.

These new creationist believe that Genesis is literal, that a God day is 24 hours and because of genealogy listed in the book the earth is less than 10,000 years old. In Ken Ham's version it's the same as my cousins, 4,000 to 6,000 years old. Though some converts are up to 11,000 years old today, to take in those big old trees, and some other things that don't fit, I guess. These particular Creationist want to redefine science, the word science and even the word evolution to fit this literal interpretation in Genesis of "THEIRS". They cherry pick the Bible apart to enhance their view, when I believe I or anyone can find just as many passages in the Bible that could be interpreted to refute their view.

I remember I asked my momma once how come dinosaurs were not in the Bible and she told me, "The Bible was inspired by God but written by men who didn't know about such things. Man does not know everything about God nor God's creation and never will."

It is their limits in the interpretation of God that I find amusing. It is their version of the history of the exact determination of the creation of the world, or where we came from or how the universe began, that they want to enforce on the rest of us to "HAVE TO" believe or we are not right, and going to hell, that is disturbing. 

My interpretation or understanding of God is not ever contradictory to current science nor evolution. Why? Because my, "Ah Hah" moment really about God came from watching, of all things, Star Wars!!! Yep....Star Wars.....  When the Jedi tell each other, "May the Force be with you!" That's it... a light bulb came on.... for me God is a force, God is energy, in everything, beginning and end, Alpha and Omega. Infinite...undefinable, not created at all by man and certainly not controlled by man. 

The Bible says God created everything even Satan. I can agree on that point but I also believe "HOW" God exactly created everything in the universe or why is really beyond man's real comprehension. We are so limited in our knowledge of the universe, we see through a glass darkly. I know from being a historian how skewed that view can be, because really we were not there to see the actual event. We guess. But unless you can absolutely say where Cain got his wife, then to take the Bible as exact and literal in it's interpretation, is really to make yourself God.

How do we know God has not created other worlds out there in the universe? I see God in everything. The perfection of mathematics, the way things fit together naturally, the way when we open a key to learn something we didn't know and discover how interconnected it is. What I  have learned in modern science has shown me how interconnected every thing is. This really enforces why I have FAITH that there is some sort of intelligent design beyond ourselves and what I know of God exists.

Even in the Bible is a verse that says that a day can be as a thousand years to God and a thousand years as one day. (2 Peter 3:8) So why are we limiting and interpreting the beginning of God's creation to a 24 hour day and want that version of religion taught in school? George Washington Carver asked God to show him the secrets of the universe. Instead, he said God showed him the secrets of a peanut. That's how big this force I call God is.

If God is a creator of everything, then God created the natural laws of the universe of which we can observe. We know how in nature a tree grows, (we know to count the rings) and we have trees on this planet that are older than 9,000 years old. These trees, as Bill Nye pointed out, would have never survived Noah's flood in the new creationist's religion timeline.

Or how ice is formed at the North pole, we've monitored and watched and compared..... as Bill Nye pointed out that when we take a core sample we can see the seasons in the ice.  680,000 years of season's recorded in ice. With these things we can see, for what reason should we believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old? Why are the new creationists putting God and his creation in that box?

For what purpose is enforcing the "new" creationism on us? But to enforce a different new "Strict" religion and force it into the study of scientific discovery and the teaching of our children. And religion is not God either.

The Bible is definitely open to different interpretations, one only has to take a gander at all the different denominations of the Christian religion and versions of the book to see that.  The new Creationist, with their new interpretations of the Bible. try to take these verses and make the earth or God's creation fit "their" interpretation to create their belief in God. God's creation doesn't need to fit in the Bible for me to believe in God.

The book is good for instruction, but I think we have to use the common sense the good Lord gave us. For example, I don't think we need to know how or to apply literally these days the old testament practice of sacrificing a goat or turtledoves and how to place them on an altar. Nor apply literally, to our time many other cultural beliefs and practices, that were acceptable in the time periods of the Bible but no longer acceptable now. These beliefs and practices written from another time period just no longer fit. For example the practice polygamy or slavery in the U.S. or the practice of incest of Lot and his daughters.

I do find the Bible good for comfort especially in dealing with our fellow men and women.  Sigh.....I really wish they would start focusing on all the social justice passages again that Jesus and the Bible teach in relation to; forgiveness, loving thy neighbor as thyself, the poor, the sick, treatment of prisoners, strangers in your lands and how one is to act in business and really adhere to those....but it's funny how these new Christian sects leave those verses and instructions completely out!!!

Those teachings from the Bible are as applicable today as they were then. When I was a child these were the tenets our Christian religion and faith focused on and if you didn't adhere to them according to Jesus you were in danger of hell fire. (Matthew 25:31-46)

I agree with Bill Nye. This "new" religion of applying the Bible literally, the creation of the world being so young, if enforced to be taught in education as science and adhered to as policy, is going to set the United States back 150 years or more. We will be so behind in invention and discovery if we force our children to learn this new interpretation as fact.

Because those that adhere to the world being so young are going to spend more time trying to prove or make every discovery fit "their" religious interpretation of the Bible. The Bible may have been inspired by God but it was written by men still limited in their knowledge...i.e. they are not God. These new scientific views will be SO LIMITED, they will have to discard what doesn't fit.

They are going to spend more time trying to make God fit in this box or book, when God nor God's creation won't. Spend more time on proving it, than to open their minds and discover all the wonderful things God created in the universe that is beyond man's comprehension and not in the Bible!!!

I don't care what these new creationist believe and want to teach their own in the privacy of their own institutions. They are free to believe what they want to...... but that's not my belief and I certainly do not believe "their" narrow view of God is good policy to teach school children as fact nor as GOSPEL. Rant OVER!