March 29, 2011

Conflict makes me sad....


{And in corner number one....}


So there's a big "Bru-ha-ha" in the homeschool world right now......do I even want to enter into the waters of the conflict???  Sure....I guess I'll dive in...



Before I do, let me give you a little bit of my story.....

I initially was a college drop-out.....I left for Ithaca College at age 17 and returned home 5 weeks later...quite broken.  I made a deal with my parents to attend a local Christian college for 1 semester.  In my mind....I was out of there at the semester's end.  I didn't want to have anything to do with God.

Well....I got assigned a roommate who would kneel by her bed every night to pray....very weird for me.  I would actually hide in our bathroom and peek out until she was finished....it just really freaked me out! 



My RA asked me to be a part of a Bible study.  I got involved more because I was lonely and bored at night than I really wanted to be a part of a Bible study.  But, while in it, I noticed that when those girls prayed......it felt like they were really talking with someone.

I completed the semester willing to come back for the following year.  To make up for my lost credits from dropping out, I took summer classes at the local Community College.  It was in one of those classes that I was faced with a choice.....do I really believe in an historical figure called Jesus Christ?  I remember closing my pink notebook and praying in the middle of the lecture.....yes, I do believe (My professor by the way didn't!)




That was a changing point in my life......no I didn't have any wild ways to put aside, but life became clearer for me and I suddenly had purpose in my life and I understood that Someone loved me and died in my place...

Fast forward to one night in the back of a car with a bunch of friends.....Geneva College at that time was amok in controversy over some different theological positions. Being very new in my belief, I stated...."I am not sure that we can really know the mind of God....."  Well, one of the passenger in the front seat turned around, pointed a finger in my face and told me that I wasn't really a Christian.....all because I disagreed with him on a theological "truth".....



Right now there is a lot of mud-slinging in the Christian homeschool community because Ken Hamm---founder of Institute of Creation Research was dis-invited from some of the regional Homeschool Conventions....not because of his academic opinion, but basically because he pointed his finger in the face of another respected speaker and believer and said....."You are not a Christian!"

I still vividly remember the emotions that I felt that night in the backseat of the car......sick and weak....how can another believer hold the scales of judgement in their hands.....isn't that God's job?

I feel the same way about this whole controversy......I posted some comments on a blog and have gotten some rather interesting responses......again, I just said that only God was present at Creation.....do we really know how He did it?  What if we find out that we're wrong??? 

Is a Young Earth viewpoint necessary for entrance to Heaven?  Is the purpose of Genesis really to be an historical, scientific record....could God be bigger than our interpretations???

Wow....didn't know that position would create such strong emotion in others...

The reality is this....we are probably not all going to agree.....My friend, Nancy and I have very different viewpoints on the age of the Earth and various things....yet we are still very close friends.....and have had great discussions.....postive and open....yet we never change our individual positions and still walk away friends.

So, why is this issue of Old Earth vs. Young Earth, global flood vs. regional flood turning into one of squabbling little kids screaming...."No...I saw the toy first!"



How sad our Christian world is when we spend so much time and energy attacking each other..........

At our church, the pastors rotate being "on call".  Recently, it was my hubby's turn.....it was a heavy week with many broken lives desperately seeking help....a listening ear.....Godly counsel....

Lives that have been destroyed by a spouse addicted to alcohol.....gambling......pornography......   Lives that have been fractured by divorce....adultery......cancer....the death of a loved one.

I don't think in any of those cases, the wounded person even cares about when dinosaurs existed or how old the Earth really is or if evolution is true.....they are desparately seeking One who loves them and can help them put the pieces of their life back together....

When Jesus began his public ministry, he unrolled a scroll from a passage in Isaiah that would have been very familiar to his listeners.....he said:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
      for the Lord has anointed me
      to bring good news to the poor.
   He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
      and to proclaim that captives will be released
      and prisoners will be freed.


Jesus' mission.....one that I'm eternally grateful for since I was one of those brokenhearted prisoners!

You know....if somehow evolution was proven tomorrow as some irrefutable scientific law, it would not shake my faith....because my faith is based in a mysterious relationship with the Creator not in the complete understanding of His creation....

my thoughts.....
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15 comments:

Stacylyn said...

Amen sista. I also think it's sad that some many people get caught up with "the logistics". Not everything is going to make sense to us, because these things were created by a powerful, all knowing, eternal God. What is important is feeling his influence in our lives. When I feel his influence, nothing else matters to me. Thanks for sharing.

Marie C. said...

You sound very sane and thoughtful, if you ask me. I grew up in a very legalistic and crazy-fundie house and am now completely different from that. This has caused problems because when I apply for jobs at Christian places and tell them that I can't be adamant about things that we just can't know for sure, I'm not really told that I'm wrong...I'm just never offered the job (even when I'm told beforehand that I am "the most qualified"). My entire life I've found that the most judgmental people I come into contact with are Christians, and that makes me very sad because it's so far away from what it's "supposed" to be.

A while back I read a book called "Misquoting Jesus" and it had a big impact on my life. The author really focuses on faith and its importance, rather than facts, which so many people dispute (regardless of proof). If we are called to love God and love our fellow man, then all these disagreements are just petty and pointless.

Take a deep breath! Hang in there.

Paulette, Jvona & Rachel said...

I believe that there are questions that we will not have answered until we stand face to face with our Savior. So maybe we need to keep a notebook of those questions.
God said "your ways are not my ways."
Our understanding of time is limited. We see things as having a beginning and an end. God sees things with an Eternal perspective. Why should we expect to understand someone who is all knowing. We only use 10% of our brains anyway! If He wants us to know, He will reveal it to us.
Those who try to discount God's miracles have all kinds of explanations. they say that the events in the scriptures are allegorical. There was no burning bush; there couldn't have been enough animals on the ark to have saved them ALL from a flood that large...etc.
When the Holy Ghost whispers truth in your ear, it is undeniable.
Anyone who says someone is not a Christian, doesn't understand the atonement. Thomas was a disciple of Jesus, and is remembered for his doubting. It's not for us to judge. Thank goodness! Teach your children based on your own conscience. Beware of those who mistake evil for good. (Also in the scriptures.)
-Paulette

alison said...

as a former 'rigidly dogmatic' genevan i totally understand your point of view and agree that as believers we cannot know the mind of God...as your hubs' new book says, if we could figure God out with our limited brains, then there wouldn't be much of a God there...and also, we should be able to discuss and disagree in love, not moving toward disunity, but always wanting to build one another up.

however, i think there is merit in seeking to discern the scriptures as much as we can...and while there are primary doctrines like 'salvation thru jesus alone' and secondary doctrines like sprinkled vs. dunked, it doesn't follow that those secondary doctrines are rendered unimportant...in fact, anything that God chose to be included in His inspired word is worth our interest, investment and even healthy debate...in the interest of keeping this shorter (wink) here is an article i came across yesterday that articulates the importance of delving into the creation account: http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/02/01/creation-vs-evolution-the-new-shape-of-the-debate/...thanks for the thought provoking post.

blessings,

alison

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, if we can't take Genesis as the literal WORD of God, if we have to add to it, or "interperate" it, than what's the point of the Bible? Are the Gospels there not as literal recordings of true events or nice stories to think about and ponder? If one part of the Book is to be taken with "artistic license" so to speak, we can't see the rest of it as any different.

People are crying out for truth today. Nobody wants to say anything is a lie, particularly in the warm fuzzy lovey dovey greasy grace movement. "Let's just focus on Jesus" is fine for those newly saved, those who need milk and not meat. But eventually the rubber meets the road and their Faith is tested in the world. If they have no solid foundation in anything other than "focusing on Jesus" they will be quickly swept away by good sounding rehtoric ('cause Satan has plenty!).

I think it is critical that Christians know why they believe what they believe and that we STAND for it. Ultimately, our true beliefs dictate our actions.

I don't know much about the conflict to which you are referring in your post, so I will not defend Mr Ham's accusation. However, I think sometimes we need more division inside the church. Love and understanding, discipleship, etc is great! But when we hear a lie, let's call a spade a spade; popular or not.

Although I largely disagree with your post, I LOVE your blog and appreciate the creative and beautiful things you post here! Thanks for adding to my life through your amazing blog!

Leah

angie @ the cellar door stories said...

good post!
we have had some interesting discussions around here lately because my hubby is VERY into theology and research, and has been changing some of his views from the standard fundamental viewpoints....nothing wacky, but it's pretty disconcerting how some people can make what we would view as a minor issue into a MAJOR one.

Anonymous said...

i appreciate the fact that you wrote this from your heart, and that you really believe what you wrote. However, please review how many times sound doctrine is mentioned in the Paulien Apitles, alone. And then, for kicks, look up "Do not be lead astray" or "led astray".

Santan never takes people and abrubtly contridicts the Word of God. But what he does do is slowly errode the absolute truth. For instance...the whole world was not "really" covered with water, just figuratively. Sounds kind of familiar to "You shall not surely die, you will be enlightened" (paraphrased) as Satan said to Adam and Eve. Satan's number 1 goal is to steal, kill and destroy- by getting you to believe a lie.

The reason the world is influincing the Church, instead of the opposite is because the Church does not teach sound doctrine.

I vote truth.
Brandon
"For this I was born and for this I came into the world: to testify to the truth " (Jn 18:37)

Nicole@Thrifty Decorating said...

Thank you Brandon for your dialogue....I appreciate it! I was intrigued though by your closing with John 18 and the context of that verse....

When Jesus was standing before Pilate, there was a lot of discussion of "truth," but isn't what Jesus saying in essence that He, himself, is Truth? Many times he answered in His divine name "I am". Testifying to the fact that He and God, the Father, were one.....

Pilate's response indicates how much he missed the point....Pilate was talking about earthly truth while Jesus was talking about eternal and heavenly truth...that He was the Son of God.

And that's my point...earthly truth is trumped by Heavenly Truth... :) And while we can debate forever, we do not know for sure what God intended for a time frame in Genesis 1.

Would love to dialogue more, but I doubt that we will change each other's minds! :)

Nicole@Thrifty Decorating said...

Actually, for kicks, I did look up "led astray"...I only came up with 19 references in the NIV version and they were all in the Old Testament! :)

amber said...

Hi Nicole! Do you have a link to something where it says that Ken Hamm actually called the other person/people unbelievers? I read a response from AIG and I'm just curious if you've read something specific about the negative things he said. My perception was that he was simply calling out something unbiblical that was being taught...which to me sounded like a good thing for him to be doing! =) I didn't actually read or see exactly what he said though. Thanks, Amber

amber said...

Just wanted to leave the link to the article I read from Answers In Genesis:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/03/22/kicked-out-homeschool-conferences

Anonymous said...

Here is the link to the Great Homeschool Convention's statement. I think it quite honorable in the communication & explanation.

http://www.cincinnatihomeschoolconvention.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Ken-Ham-Issue-Public-Statement.pdf

Liz

Lori said...

The problem of the whole debate is one of Scriptural authority. While debating evolution with the world is quite difficult, it is more important to want to gently point believers to full trust in the God of creation, trusting who He is. I wrote a post about it that you can read here:

http://lori-alifetimeoflearning.blogspot.com/2011/03/did-god-create-evolution.html

While I do not agree with everything that Ken Ham says and does, there is one thing that I agree with: Scriptures are to have authority in the life of a Christian.

Liza Mae's ReCreations said...

Oh my.

Anonymous said...

So interesting that you wrote this. Jason and I were just having a conversation along these lines. Really gets you thinking. Thanks for being willing to ask questions and look at things from a different view. Jenny M.

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