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kahlanne

Why the need to know?

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To me, it doesn't matter if God created an old-appearing universe (with fossils already in the ground and light already en route, etc.) vs. one that is actually old. I lean towards the latter, but no human actually knows. From a scientific perspective, there is no way to distinguish between the two possibilities because God's actions are beyond science.

 

From a theological perspective, I believe in an omnipotent Creator who exists outside of the human conception of time. So while the 7 days of Creation could represent a time period equivalent to 144 modern hours, I don't think that it contradicts the truth of Scripture for it to represent some other time frame. There's another quote in the Bible talking about how a thousand years are like a day to God and a day a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8) so it's clear that God's time is not necessarily equivalent to human time.

 

I think people worry FAR too much about the issue.

See, to me, it totally matters. If God created an old-appearing universe...well, that's just dumb. Also, there are so many processes that rely upon chemistry or physics or whatever. Would God make coal compress into diamonds on a speedy schedule just because he wanted it to "seem" like diamonds were formed over a long period of time? I have also heard (and I'm not a scientist at all, so forgive if I say this wrong) that stars dying leave chemical signatures, so again, it would make no sense to say God put all sorts of processes in place as-is in media rez already happened/happening.

 

Also Day-Age does not make sense to me, either. Either Genesis is an account of (at minimum) the timeline of things coming to be, or it isn't. god creates light one "day," but doesn't create the sun until later. He also doesn't make plants until after the sun, so if it was a long time before photosynthesis could happen, I'm not sure how the plants made it. Animals are interdependent with other animals, soil, plants, seasons, weather. How could these things be created separately, divided by long time periods? Also, one verse with a poetic simile about a day being "like" a thousand years to God does not support an entire thought process of "days" not representing days of about 24 hours. Anyway...I sort of wish I could think it doesn't matter; I could have retained my faith, but it seems to me that Theistic Evolution offers just as much wishful thinking, explaining-away, and have-cake-eat-it-too as YEC does.

 

 

ETA: i said this wrong:

He also doesn't make plants until after the sun, so if it was a long time before photosynthesis could happen, I'm not sure how the plants made

I meant it the other way. People probably figured that out. He allegedly made plants one day, then did not create the sun until the next day.

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:lol:

 

 

Okay, I'll try, but be aware that I find this topic a quagmire and seem to possess no ability to outline my thoughts on the subject systematically!

First, the stories in Genesis, whether they are literal facts, or allegorical truths, undergird the entire concept of why there is mankind, what our nature is meant to be, why we are unable to live up to our own ideals, and why redemption would be necessary. This has become difficult for me because I no longer believe any of those doctrinal concepts, regardless of whether the stories are literal or allegorical.

For example, God was lonely and kinda bored, hanging out in a void and formless space, so he thought he would make some things. He made some stuff (setting aside for a moment dinosaurs, etc.), thought it was good, but really thought a being who was more similar to a god would be much better. So he made a) *A* man; or b.) mankind. God comes belatedly upon the idea that a biological pair of genders would be wise for humans. (If he made a whole bunch of men before he realized this, he had to make a whole bunch of chicks, too.) obviously, I'm being a bit facetious, because i find it strange that God's activities in Genesis are always described as if things just occurred to him. So anyway, either mankind, or one individual pair of humans turn out to choose poorly (yet another very elementary outcome; where two choices exist, the probability is eventually, the quarter comes up Tails. God should know that.) Somehow this obvious outcome of choosing one of two possible choices separates man from God forever. Now our sins must be "paid for." (Why? God is the Landlord, yet he cannot cancel the debt.) Anyway, we must work in toil and atone for sins with the blood of an innocent. (Again, why? How did Cain and Able learn this? Cain gave up what he had, but god deemed it inadequate because it wasn't a dead lamb.)

Moving on, God realizes people are all messed up and he totally must get a do-over. (Why didn't he foresee this? Who are the giants? Bizarre mythology borrowing in that story.) God "needs" one family to save all the animals (though clearly he could make them from scratch) on a ship that takes a hundred years (or whatev) to build. Does he save viruses? Gnats? Mosquitoes (not a good call, IMO)? Logistical problems with the flood story abound, yet even if one says it may not have been literally world-wide, the question remains - why? What does it tell us? That we suck and God might just scrap Project Earth at any given time? Is the story lieral, plus horrifying, not to mention implausible? Or is it allegorical, but if so, what is the point?

So, anyway, the whole point of Jesus is a way to fix this messed-up world, yet a) i don't believe the story of how it got messed up, nor how to fix it, and b.) it isn't fixed in any case.

 

Danielle, you don't happen to live near a progressive Jewish synagogue?  You might enjoy dropping in on a Torah study session, lol.  Saturday morning, all welcome, no commitment, good times.  Come October 18 it'll be working through these very stories, in order, you can go online to find the (global) schedule and decide which ones you'd like to get another take on... I suspect you'd find fellow travelers.

 

Sorta joking, but sorta serious too... it's fascinating to me how both progressive and observant Jewish traditions look to these same texts and come to such a different balance.  Part of it is the idea that I think spans across Jewish traditions that the Bible is not a textbook -- akin, I think, to Mrs Mungo's idea above that the Bible contains truths, not facts.  Part of it may also be a tradition that embraces debate / codifies competing understandings rather than looks for doctrinal unity?  I don't know.  But there isn't the same sense that we have to make a choice between accepting mainstream science vs. accepting God.

 

 

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I'm married to a scientist and I can't think of a time when we focused on evolution while out with friends.

 

 

Two examples from my life: 

 

One of my friends who resides in the NE is a high school biology teacher. While on the beach together earlier in the summer, she related an incident of a recently relocated student from another part of the country who was in her AP Biology class.  The girl's mother set up an appointment to discuss objectionable content in the curriculum, namely evolution.  My friend went on to explain to this parent how evolution can be witnessed in every day life.  The parent thought it was very interesting--and had never realized this before. 

 

My second example occurred with a group of teens.  I was a chaperone.  One of the girls was asking another about her church which led to the question "Are you an Evolutionist?"  Unfortunately the conversation that ensued was not productive. Sigh.

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I am as liberal as you can get and I still manage to coexist with people of very different views.

There's a difference between co-existing and friendship you want to encourage.  I recently pulled my kids from something where one of the moms was talking about how Mexicans were all "dirty" and everyone knew that. She was also in charge of teaching the kids at this.  Unfortunately one of my girls loved her and was friends with her daughter, but there is no way my kids are being around that.  If she said that in public, I can only imagine what else she believed.  I've had acquaintances who were not quiet about my kids going to hell since they weren't their brand of religion.  No matter how we get along in other ways, there will be no friendship there.  I will be polite if I have to talk to them, but that's it. I'm a pretty tolerant person, but I already live in a place where we are a religious and political minority and KKK pamphlets have been handed out.  I will not raise my children to think that that is any way acceptable behavior. 

 

As for why you need to know: Everything already stated, really.  It's so necessary for scientific studies.  And it's just cool.  Why wouldn't you want to know? :)

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How would you know someone believed in "young earth"?  I have been around a lot and can't recall any conversation in which the age of the earth ever came up in a friendly social context.

 

If you can't be friends with someone who isn't a slave to cold logic, that's your prerogative, but maybe your kids are different.  Personally I don't think it hurts kids to be friends with someone whose beliefs are very different, as long as they don't think they have to think like their friends.

 

I ran a 4-H before I returned to work.  It was a Cloverbud group (K-3rd graders) so we didn't get into a lot of details but the fact that at least 3 of the families in my group were YE did cause some issues.  I had to completely skip the fossil hunt we were going to do.  When we visited the Bug Museum, they talked about cockroaches having been around for millions of years, and of course the Rock & Mineral museum brought up similar issues.  Even on tours geared to young children.   I live in an area that I always thought YE was very fringe but I'm finding it's not as fringe as I thought (still a minority but more than I expected).  I was/am still friendly with the families that were in my group but we certainly avoided talking about how we school, what books we use, what we like to teach.  Avoiding topics that are a major part of your life doesn't lead to close friendships.  Science is a big part of what we do so I could see it becoming more of an issue as the kids get older.

 

 

I really wish I could go to dinner with you and your friends.

 

 

Me too!  It sounds like a ton of fun.

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I don't believe one cannot practice or enjoy science and proper methodology therein while maintaining a 6 day creation worldview.

 

We will not agree on this point.

 

One can enjoy studying science regardless of how they do it, but one can only practice the scientific method within certain, well-established, universally honored parameters. Accepting religious texts as a basis for knowledge falls outside these parameters regardless of what religion is being referred to. 

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I was reading the homeschool convention thread and see that many have a difference of opinion on young earth vs old earth. I realize some have religious reasoning behind their views but if you take that out of the equation, why is it necessary to know the earth's age?  What are the benefits? I ask because my lack of science knowledge rather than to start a debate.

 

If you are asking what are the benefits of knowing the age of the earth in one's day to day life, I can honestly say I have never had any practical use for that bit of knowledge in my life. But I have not had any practical use for most of the science that I learnt in school, and almost all of the history and high school mathematics.

 

The reason I have not had any use for all this, is because I live in a society and benefit immensely from the knowledge and creativity of others. I trust that the people who manufactured my car, my microwave, my cell phone, my medicines and the innumerable other things that I use everyday know the science and the maths behind these. I trust that the people who built my home and my office understand enough about architecture and engineering.

 

I trust that the doctor I go to understands biology and that the seismologist who predicts earthquakes in my region understands geology.

 

That is why it is important to me, because I do not live an isolated life on a deserted island. I live in a highly networked society and everyday, I place my trust on the people whose knowledge and competence I take for granted.

 

Scientific theories too, similar to us, do not lead isolated lives. They are all extremely connected. So when we question the age of the earth, it is not just one isolated piece of trivia that is challenged but almost the entire body of scientific knowledge today. In the other thread, there were a couple of posts that said well the earth could just as well be 6000 years old. Well no it cannot - not without completely shaking the foundations of much of physics and chemistry and throwing out most of cosmology, astronomy, geology, geography, human history, anthropology and of course all of biology.

 

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Some of my best friends disagree with me on almost every "important" worldly topic.  We love each other anyway.  Our kids are the same age and we try to get them together whenever we can.  I teach my kids not to spout some things they hear in their evangelical school, and possibly they tell their kids a few things too....

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My point on this thread was that the creation views do matter, but that they aren't necessarily defining of the individual's worldview or theology in the way some assume. 

 

I don't know how one's approach to to understanding the world could not directly and greatly influence one's epistemology and philosophy in general. Either one recognizes objective data and a critical analysis of that data to be reliable for understanding the natural world, or one believes something other than objective data and critical analysis of that data can be used to better understand the natural world. This has a direct effect on one's interpretation of everything, from personal experiences to academic information. It's not about what one thinks, but how one thinks. Different information plugged into the mental equation will produce different results.

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Again, racism is not really equivalent.

 

My former backyard neighbor happens to believe the Bible is literally true.  Everything.  Genesis.  Jonah.  Having her live behind me was one of the greatest joys of my life.  Our girls are stairsteps and we both enjoyed their friendship and many sweet times together as they played.  We also disagree HEARTILY about politics.  But we sure can sympathize about ill family members and unemployment, strife with inlaws, share the excitement of her sister's impending marriage, and more.  

 

I am sorry for those of you who would choose to eschew someone because they believe differently from you.  It is bigotry.

I don't necessarily agree.  If someone is convinced I am going to hell for my beliefs and that I am a terrible person because I don't subscribe to their religious view, is that really very different?  I was raised Jewish.  I've dealt with enough condescending and haughty attitudes about how wrong I am and right xyz is.  It's not emotionally healthy at a certain point.  I do have a good many Catholic friends.  No idea if they are YEC because it never comes up.  It probably wouldn't even bug me too much because they are genuinely good people that I enjoy and that are respectful.  However, I've met some people that use their religion as a means of attack and insult others with it.  THAT, to me, is no different than racism.  Am I a bigot against racist and mean people?  I suppose I am. 

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I don't know how one's approach to to understanding the world could not directly and greatly influence one's epistemology and philosophy in general. Either one recognizes objective data and a critical analysis of that data to be reliable for understanding the natural world, or one believes something other than objective data and critical analysis of that data can be used to better understand the natural world. This has a direct effect on one's interpretation of everything, from personal experiences to academic information. It's not about what one thinks, but how one thinks. Different information plugged into the mental equation will produce different results.

 

I disagree that it has to be all or nothing.

 

It is very easy to find opportunities to teach the scientific method to young kids without touching on issues that are controversial from a religious or political point of view.  They can learn all about the scientific thought process and then separately decide whether or not to use it to challenge things they hear in church etc.

 

I was taught about the scientific method in an evangelical Lutheran school.  We didn't apply it to carbon dating etc. (as if any elementary school ever did), we applied it to stuff the Bible doesn't touch on.

 

There are lots of scientists who happen to believe in God even though (as far as I know) no scientist has proven God using the scientific method.  Very smart, analytical people are not required to be atheist.  Perhaps we'll have to agree to disagree on that.

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I disagree that it has to be all or nothing.

 

 I suggest there is an element at some point where the religious believer accepts information as being reliable, information that is understood to originate from a source outside of the natural world. This doesn't assume an all or nothing approach. 

 

It is very easy to find opportunities to teach the scientific method to young kids without touching on issues that are controversial from a religious or political point of view.  They can learn all about the scientific thought process and then separately decide whether or not to use it to challenge things they hear in church etc.

 

Ideally, yes.

 

I was taught about the scientific method in an evangelical Lutheran school.  We didn't apply it to carbon dating etc. (as if any elementary school ever did), we applied it to stuff the Bible doesn't touch on.

 

This was similar to my experience in an Episcopalian high school.

 

There are lots of scientists who happen to believe in God

 

No doubt.

 

even though (as far as I know) no scientist has proven God using the scientific method.

 

It can't. The scientific method is a method by which the natural world is explored and understood. We have no way of reliably exploring a "super" natural world - a world outside of our natural world. We have no way of reliably identifying a single component of any supernatural thing, much less observe, measure, experiment, and analyze it. Belief in a god or gods cannot be proven scientifically simply because of the nature of the beast (science). Supernatural claims are accepted as true on faith. Faith is not using a scientific methodology to understand something, it is using a religious methodology to understand something. The two methodologies are not the same, they do not overlap, they are not compatible. That is not to say one uses one exclusively or the other. I do not promote that idea or mean to imply it in any way.

 

Very smart, analytical people are not required to be atheist.

 

This is an awkward statement. I'm not sure what you're trying to say. If this is meant to be a serious, reasonable conclusion, then I agree with you, although I would think it could go without saying. It's clear to any observer that many very smart, analytic people are believers of various religions. If it's meant to be a sarcastic comment, then... okay? If this is the conclusion you are sincerely drawing from my comments - that I'm promoting an all or nothing approach here - I will try to post in such a way as to avoid any further confusion.

 

Perhaps we'll have to agree to disagree on that.

 

What if I disagree? ;-)

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What if I disagree? ;-)

 

If you disagree to disagree, then that means you agree, which means there is no need to discuss it further.  ;)

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Perhaps they do, but not without reason. The one state homeschool convention I went to had a keynote speaker from AiG who talked very passionately about the importance of trusting the bible to say what it means, and mean what it says.

 

Somewhere earlier on, someone said "NOBODY" takes the Bible literally" or something like that. 

 

I disagree. I've met quite a few people who take the Bible Literally. Word For Word. 

 

They often tell me that I'm going to hell; that my children are at risk. Again: these are homeschooling moms and families I've spent time with socially. Live... in person. The relationships have always been brief, because they tell me that they'll pray for us, but they won't let my evil secular ways taint their children. 

 

Seriously. 

 

We know a guy who won't walk through certain parts of science museums because there are dinosaur skeletons in there. He believes that even viewing these bones will let Satan in. 

 

I'm all about Live and Let Live, but there is a limit, even for me. In many ways, I agree with Jennifer. But it's not that I actively try to keep YE believers out of my life. It's more that we cannot talk to each other effectively very long without crashing into this huge cognitive disconnection when it comes to basic understanding of how the world works.

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That is why it is important to me, because I do not live an isolated life on a deserted island. I live in a highly networked society and everyday, I place my trust on the people whose knowledge and competence I take for granted.

 

 

Something I haven't seen mentioned in this thread are the political implications. Most of us who frequent this forum live in countries where we elect our leaders. Here in the U.S. there are politicians who proudly proclaim their YEC beliefs, and this matters. It matters on a national, state, and local level. These are people who will make decisions to fund scientific research. They will appoint judges. They will sit on school boards and state education departments and make decisions about curriculum, including science curriculum. We've already seen it happen. It will unfortunately continue to be an issue.

 

It matters.

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See, to me, it totally matters. If God created an old-appearing universe...well, that's just dumb.

I think the idea that the universe is old-appearing is profoundly disturbing. That would mean that a creator was jerking us around and playing mind games with us. That certainly doesn't jive with a benevolent, omnipotent deity. There is no logical argument against the idea, but it paints the creator as a malevolent trickster in a way that I can't imagine anyone finds comforting.

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If you disagree to disagree, then that means you agree, which means there is no need to discuss it further. ;)

"Good day, sir! I said, good day!"

 

:lol:

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I think the idea that the universe is old-appearing is profoundly disturbing. That would mean that a creator was jerking us around and playing mind games with us. That certainly doesn't jive with a benevolent, omnipotent deity. There is no logical argument against the idea, but it paints the creator as a malevolent trickster in a way that I can't imagine anyone finds comforting.

Others would argue that creating a world using suffering and death on purpose doesn't jive with a benevolent, omnipotent deity either. If theistic evolution is correct, God created a universe/world using a process that included untold suffering for millions of years before there was even a creature around able to self-reflect on what all that suffering might mean. Even worse, this deity was capable of creating a space without suffering and death (heaven and/or the new world to come) but decided not to.

 

If I had to choose which was a worse god, I'd go with that one rather than one that might have tricked us for some unknown reason rather than actually creating all that suffering on purpose. Then again, I go with option C which is there probably isn't a loving, powerful deity at all.

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I think the idea that the universe is old-appearing is profoundly disturbing. That would mean that a creator was jerking us around and playing mind games with us. That certainly doesn't jive with a benevolent, omnipotent deity. There is no logical argument against the idea, but it paints the creator as a malevolent trickster in a way that I can't imagine anyone finds comforting.

 

A hypothetical deity could've just done it for the artistic challenge (assuming challenge has any meaning for our standard more or less omnipotent monotheistic god), but then one assumes a good or at least neutral deity wouldn't therefore hold it against humans for accepting the evidence of their senses and reason.

 

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Want to blow your mind? here's an alternative point of view as to how/why. A different article, explaining the same idea, is how I fell in love with the Church. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yimcatholic/2012/12/for-mind-blowing-franciscan-thoughts-on-the-incarnation-by-bl-john-duns-scotus.html

 

Interesting take on it. Thanks for the link. For me, it doesn't really answer the necessary questions though, and it just raises new ones. I wonder though, would a s/o thread be of interest to anyone else?

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I see that a ton of new posts have been made since I typed up this one and the next one I'm going to post, so please forgive me if I'm repeating things that have been covered.  But I typed it up, so I'm going to post it!   :lol: And then I'll go back and read the new posts.

 



To me, it doesn't matter if God created an old-appearing universe (with fossils already in the ground and light already en route, etc.) vs. one that is actually old. I lean towards the latter, but no human actually knows.

 

Crimson Wife, it isn't my intention to direct this at you personally and specifically.  I know that many people feel the way you do on this point, but your comment provided a good jumping off point for further discussion.

 

Putting the scientific arguments aside, I think there are some potential theological dangers in a YEC viewpoint.  And this is perhaps the biggie among those:  the universe very clearly appears to be billions of years old, so if we insist on a literal 24-hour day interpretation of Genesis, the only conclusion we're left with is that God created the universe in such a way to make it appear older than it is, making God a liar and a deceiver.  And I have a very visceral reaction to that, because if God is a deceiver, that changes our most basic understanding of who God is.  The devil is the father of lies.  Not God.  

 

Which is more likely, that God deliberately tricked us or that we misunderstood what the creation story is trying to convey?  I certainly believe it's the latter.  I believe the point of the story is NOT a historical, chronological, scientific account of how God did it.  The point of the story is that God did it, and it was goodThis article talks a bit about how the people at the time would have interpreted the story, and therefore helps us get out from behind the lens of our own culture and see the story the way it was intended.  Another example not mentioned in this particular article is that some cultures at that time believed in a sun god who was the source of life.  But the Genesis account has God creating plant life on the third day, and the sun on the fourth.  So the point is to show that God is the source both of life, and the sun, the sun (sun god) is not the source of life.  

 

I know that the theological problem that some people have with a theistic evolution point of view is that it means that death has always been around, before humans even evolved, and so the story of the fall doesn't make sense to them.  I understand that, but at the same time, I just (again) don't see the need to impose a chronological meaning on the story.  I don't think the story is about time, I think it's about source.  I think the story is saying that God is good and God's creation is good.  Evil comes about when we use our God-given free will to turn away from Him.  So, the source of all that is good is God.  And the source of evil, sin, and death is our stubborn disobedience to God's will, our desire to do what we want rather than what He wants, to worship and honor our own egos rather than Him.  *I* fall when I turn away from God.  It's profoundly personal.  It's not about what two people whom I never met did x number of years ago, it's about what *I* do, every day.  It's immediate and present and personal.

 

I hope that I've made some degree of sense here, and I'm not saying my view is the only right view.  I'm just sharing my struggles, thoughts, and feelings on this.  I do not believe that this is a theological "hill to die on".  But I do believe it raises important questions.  I don't claim to have all the answers, but I do think the questions are worth asking.

 

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No biggie. I've been bothered for a decade; what's another day or two?

 

Quill, thanks for your patience.  :)  You've raised so many BIG questions and topics, and as you said yourself you have struggled with them for years.  So I know I'm not going to be able, through an Internet forum, to give you a nice pretty answer wrapped up in a bow, neat and tidy, though I wish that I could.  I think that all I can really do is tell you a bit about my story, and how I've wrestled many of these same concerns.

 

 

I was raised with a similar view/interpretation of those OT stories that you described.  They make God out to be a rather petty, mean-spirited guy, don't they?  That is what led me to conclude that man created God, rather than that God created man, and become an atheist for 17 years.  In an effort to make a long story short, I will just say that a few years ago, I had an experience of Christ, and it prompted me to do something that surprised even me:  ask God for help and direction.  He led me (in no small part, through members of this board, especially the wonderful Patty Joanna) to the Orthodox Church.  Imagine my utter shock to learn that the interpretation of those OT stories that I had thought were the only valid interpretation all my life had never been the interpretation of them by the Christian East!

 

St. John Chrysostom's commentary on the scriptures is, well I don't know how else to say it except "huge" in the EOC.  And it is so beautiful how he helps us understand and the love in the creation story, God's love.  He talks about how God tried so hard to give Adam and Eve one simple rule to obey, to lead them as gently as possible into obedience.  He gave them paradise, filled with, among other things, abundant food, and asked them only that they not eat the fruit from one particular tree.  Easy!  Such an EASY rule to follow, right?  God wasn't trying to make things difficult for them or set them up for failure, He was trying to make obedience as effortless as possible.  That shift in perspective was revolutionary for me.  I had been raised to think of God as this big powerful mean parent who had set a trap for his children so that he could punish them.  But the truth of the story is the opposite:  He is a loving and gentle parent who tried to teach His children to follow Him by giving them the easiest first step imaginable.

 

Chrysostom goes on to talk about how after their disobedience, God tried to gently and lovingly coax Adam and Eve into confessing to Him, so that he could help them out of the mess they had created for themselves.  He knew what they did!  But He asked them anyway, to try to get them to face up to it, for their own good, because only through recognition of their disobedience could they come back into obedience.  (It failed, sadly:  Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.)  This is to show us that God is eager to forgive our sins, He wants very much to heal us of our failings, if only we will confess them, turn away from them, and turn back to Him.

 

The EOC understanding of the story of the flood is as a sort of pre-figuring or metaphor of the sacrament of baptism.  When we turn away from God, we bring suffering and spiritual death upon ourselves.  But He washes us clean, heals us, and gives us new life through baptism.  The promise given through the rainbow is kind of like a hint about the promise that would later be given to us through Christ’s resurrection.

 

I'll try to keep this short (-ish) and wrap it up at this point.  I think you get the general gist of what I'm saying.  An improper understanding of these stories can lead to a lot of heartache.  Properly understood, they lead us closer to God.  At least, that is my belief now.  If this interests you at all and you'd like to hear more about the EOC view of these (and other) stories, please let me know and I will point you to some articles by people who can explain it FAR better than I have.  If your reaction is, "meh, I still don't get it,"  then I respect that and won't bug you anymore.  :)

 

And while I have said that this is the EOC view, I hope everyone understands that this is MY understanding of the EOC view, meaning that any flaws or mistakes here are entirely my own and not that of the church.

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Interesting take on it. Thanks for the link. For me, it doesn't really answer the necessary questions though, and it just raises new ones. I wonder though, would a s/o thread be of interest to anyone else?

Maybe, but honestly, I don't have time for this. I don't really even have the time I've put in already. :/

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No one is suggesting you befriend someone who would attack you for your beliefs or condemn you to hell.

 

Ime that only happens online with any degree of frequency. IRL I have only once been told I was headed to hell and the perpetrator was a neighbor who was four. I was noteably not friends with his mom- tho we both homeschooled with Sonlight we had nothing at all in common.

I have noticed it more frequently online, for sure. But I also faced a lot of it when I was a child/teen with friends' families who took issues with me being Jewish or pushed friendship so they could convert me.  Luckily there hasn't been much of that here where I live.  People do tend to assume I am Catholic because I have Catholic friends, live across from the Church, and have a bunch of kids, though. :lol:  Unfortunately that also means that some people let down their guard around me and say things that would be blatantly rude if they hadn't made that assumption.  I am certainly nice to people I disagree with (even vehemently disagree with), but I can not see me being friends with some people who are so very very different from me that it causes tension.  It would definitely be boring to be surrounded only by people I entirely agree with!  But there's a difference between disagreement and hostility.  Does that make sense?  I'm feeling sort of rambling.  Two hours of spelling work with my kids today and I'm fried.

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My view on being well-educated is this:

 

Someone can be very knowledgable about all sorts of subjects, but if they think science can support a YEC or YLC view if you just interpret the data differently, then they are not well-educated in those pertinent fields of science. They can be well-educated in all sorts of things, but not that.

 

If they understand science, properly done, does not support their view and they understand why, but still believe in a YEC or YLC view because of theological reasons, then I could consider them well-educated in those areas of science too.

 

I know people whose amount of knowledge in things blows me out of the water, but are YEC/YLC and show their ignorance about those areas every time they open their mouths. They know so much more than I do about all sorts of things, but not that.

 

It's just my opinion.

 

I would add too, that I know people who are educated about science in general, but they get their information about the science/creationist controversy from untrustworthy sources and so are misinformed. They might understand how science works etc., but they are basically being lied to and they don't realize it because they think their sources are reliable. It is hard to get educated when you are being lied to.

 

Agreed.

 

I can look past the YE belief/ignorance of science in someone as long as it isn't thrust at the centre of discussion very much.  It's awfully hard to maintain respect for someone, though, once that becomes a focus.  I can't maintain friendships with someone I can't respect.

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I'll try to keep this short (-ish) and wrap it up at this point. I think you get the general gist of what I'm saying. An improper understanding of these stories can lead to a lot of heartache. Properly understood, they lead us closer to God. At least, that is my belief now. If this interests you at all and you'd like to hear more about the EOC view of these (and other) stories, please let me know and I will point you to some articles by people who can explain it FAR better than I have. If your reaction is, "meh, I still don't get it," then I respect that and won't bug you anymore.

Greta, I appreciate your well-thought-out reply, but in reality - meh, I still don't get it. ;) I really don't have a big problem with God as Mean Parent (in the Flood, I do, but not so much Adam/Eve), it's more logic that is my objection. If A & E had no knowledge of good and evil, they were morally innocent. They were morally like babies. When my first baby was extremely fussy and cried for hours, she wasn't "sinning," she was a baby who didn't feel good for reasons I could not determine. So A and E, with no knowledge of good and evil would be unable to weigh obedience to disobedience. So, it is not so much whether or not God was being mean, it's simply - was this logical? Where two choices exist, it is probable that eventually Choice B will be chosen. Even if there were literally only two humans on the planet, it was inevitable that eventually, someone would choose Choice B. Even if there were no Trickster to whisper temptations, it is still inevitable that someone, sooner or later, would eat of The Tree. See what I mean? It is illogical.

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Agreed.

 

I can look past the YE belief/ignorance of science in someone as long as it isn't thrust at the centre of discussion very much.  It's awfully hard to maintain respect for someone, though, once that becomes a focus.  I can't maintain friendships with someone I can't respect.

I think this is part of it.  I've had people get very weird around us because my kids love Harry Potter and Dinosaurs.  Once you step in and correct my child about the age of the Dinosaurs, my respect wanes.  There is really no need for that.  I don't step in and correct other kids about YEC beliefs because that's what their parents wish.  But it's the disregard for my wishes and confronting my children that I find annoying. If it is such a big part of your focus that it drives your behavior, then there's really not much common ground for friendship.  I can't talk about going to museums, the books I read, our hobbies, the kids' interests, my background in science and lab work, dh's work and background, some of the music we listen to, or even some of our parenting choices.  I'm sure there's SOME common ground in there enough for being acquaintances.  But true friendship?  Probably not.  

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Again, racism is not really equivalent.

 

 

 

I think it is.

 

Both racism and YE are rooted in ignorance.  And when I say "ignorance" I mean the definition thus:

 

ig·no·rance

noun \ˈig-n(ə-)rən(t)s\

: a lack of knowledge, understanding, or education

 

 

It is a fundamental lack of knowledge, understanding or education on the topic that propagates racist beliefs and YE beliefs.  Couple that with a herd mentality wherein going along with what the group says or the leader says without giving it due thought is considered  most desirable.  Within that group, the thought (of racism or YE, per example) is believed to be normal, even if the majority outside the group believe it to be abnormal.  It is only until faced with the norm outside the group that the ignorance is fully exposed, because inside the group, it feels like knowledge, despite the normative view that it isn't.

 

It is important to add that ignorance is not a permanent state.  It can be easily remedied with education.

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No one is suggesting you befriend someone who would attack you for your beliefs or condemn you to hell.

 

Ime that only happens online with any degree of frequency. IRL I have only once been told I was headed to hell and the perpetrator was a neighbor who was four. I was noteably not friends with his mom- tho we both homeschooled with Sonlight we had nothing at all in common.

Your are fortunate that you have not experienced this IRL with any frequency.  I have.  My children have.  After that, I pretty much steered clear of the "Christian" groups because it meant I could not talk about science, field trips, books, etc. 

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Greta, I appreciate your well-thought-out reply, but in reality - meh, I still don't get it. ;)

 

 

 

:lol:   I understand!  I've enjoyed the conversation.   :grouphug:

 

 

 

I really don't have a big problem with God as Mean Parent (in the Flood, I do, but not so much Adam/Eve), it's more logic that is my objection. If A & E had no knowledge of good and evil, they were morally innocent. They were morally like babies. When my first baby was extremely fussy and cried for hours, she wasn't "sinning," she was a baby who didn't feel good for reasons I could not determine. So A and E, with no knowledge of good and evil would be unable to weigh obedience to disobedience. So, it is not so much whether or not God was being mean, it's simply - was this logical? Where two choices exist, it is probable that eventually Choice B will be chosen. Even if there were literally only two humans on the planet, it was inevitable that eventually, someone would choose Choice B. Even if there were no Trickster to whisper temptations, it is still inevitable that someone, sooner or later, would eat of The Tree. See what I mean? It is illogical.
 
Oh, I see that I largely misunderstood what you were getting at -- so not such a well thought-out reply at all!  :blushing:

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No one is suggesting you befriend someone who would attack you for your beliefs or condemn you to hell.

 

Ime that only happens online with any degree of frequency. IRL I have only once been told I was headed to hell and the perpetrator was a neighbor who was four. I was noteably not friends with his mom- tho we both homeschooled with Sonlight we had nothing at all in common.

 

Unfortunately your experience is the unusual one, at least where I live. I have been told that far more frequently IRL than online actually. I usually don't stick around these debates long enough online to be told I'm going to hell.

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I guess I have been really lucky to know my sweet neighbor. Interestingly I once mentioned not being able to sign a statement of faith and she said her church taught that she never had to answer to anyone but The Lord about her faith so she also was very uncomfortable with SoFs! She is just such a respectful sweet girl. We maintain our friendship tho we live so far apart now. And our girls are so big now. They were 4,5,6 and now are in grdes 456!

Luckily not everyone is hard to get along with!  They're not common, but definitely more common in homeschool circles and very small towns from my experience.  A lot of us have dealt with that.  Even more religious people have dealt with those sorts of attitudes-it's not exclusive to outspoken YECs!  But sometimes extreme opinions fuel extreme behavior.

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I absolutely agree with this! Scientific research in the the US used to be a priority. Not so any more.

 

Something I haven't seen mentioned in this thread are the political implications. Most of us who frequent this forum live in countries where we elect our leaders. Here in the U.S. there are politicians who proudly proclaim their YEC beliefs, and this matters. It matters on a national, state, and local level. These are people who will make decisions to fund scientific research. They will appoint judges. They will sit on school boards and state education departments and make decisions about curriculum, including science curriculum. We've already seen it happen. It will unfortunately continue to be an issue.

 

It matters.

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Again, racism is not really equivalent.

 

My former backyard neighbor happens to believe the Bible is literally true. Everything. Genesis. Jonah. Having her live behind me was one of the greatest joys of my life. Our girls are stairsteps and we both enjoyed their friendship and many sweet times together as they played. We also disagree HEARTILY about politics. But we sure can sympathize about ill family members and unemployment, strife with inlaws, share the excitement of her sister's impending marriage, and more.

 

I am sorry for those of you who would choose to eschew someone because they believe differently from you. It is bigotry.

While I agree that racism isn't really equivalent, there are some issues that arise that seem to follow around yec types. Let me give you a recent example from my life.

 

I befriended a woman who I knew to be a conservative Christian about a year ago, we became fairly close, as did our sons. Until the little comments started. Things like "I was so mad when they repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell", um my gay dad served 20 years tyvm. She knew this. Things like "Islam teaches people to be terrosists", the term "black @ss ghetto" once came up. Disagreement with Boy Scouts over new policies. And the cusp, was a Facebook post that railed against common core teaching "anti-Christian, pro-Muslim liberal garbage". It was over. It caused me a lot of pain, honestly. Clearly she's not a nice person, and she's preaching her views to the wrong person, but these attitudes, are, unfortunately not uncommon to the whole sect IN MY EXPERIENCE. I am sure I have offended some, but I say this to convey why it is sometimes hard to be friends with people whose views are drastically different than your own.

 

I do apologize for the horrific quotes though. :(

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Unfortunately your experience is the unusual one, at least where I live. I have been told that far more frequently IRL than online actually. I usually don't stick around these debates long enough online to be told I'm going to hell.

Yep, my daughter was told that we worship satan. Um... Okay?

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Unfortunately your experience is the unusual one, at least where I live. I have been told that far more frequently IRL than online actually. I usually don't stick around these debates long enough online to be told I'm going to hell.

My IRL experience has been mixed.

 

When we are around some of DH's family, and most members of the denomination they attend, we hear a lot more of the over the top judgmental comments. People know we homeschool and assume we are the "right" kind of homeschoolers so they feel free to say all sorts of really ignorant things.

 

Locally it is more focused on the politics than the theology. But the lines are definitely drawn in some circles along a combination of the YEC beliefs, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, anti-immigrant, and this weird flavor of anti-feminist movement.

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While I agree that racism isn't really equivalent, there are some issues that arise that seem to follow around yec types. Let me give you a recent example from my life.

 

I befriended a woman who I knew to be a conservative Christian about a year ago, we became fairly close, as did our sons. Until the little comments started. Things like "I was so mad when they repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell", um my gay dad served 20 years tyvm. She knew this. Things like "Islam teaches people to be terrosists", the term "black @ss ghetto" once came up. Disagreement with Boy Scouts over new policies. And the cusp, was a Facebook post that railed against common core teaching "anti-Christian, pro-Muslim liberal garbage". It was over. It caused me a lot of pain, honestly. Clearly she's not a nice person, and she's preaching her views to the wrong person, but these attitudes, are, unfortunately not uncommon to the whole sect IN MY EXPERIENCE. I am sure I have offended some, but I say this to convey why it is sometimes hard to be friends with people whose views are drastically different than your own.

 

I do apologize for the horrific quotes though. :(

 

I've seen many people who are not YEC say things like that.  Some people are unfortunately that stupid.  Not everyone who believes the Bible is like that though.  There is overlap but not causation IMO.  People will use the Bible as an excuse to be jerks, then point fingers at folks who use the Koran as an excuse to be jerks.  I don't see a big difference; jerks is jerks.

 

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I've seen many people who are not YEC say things like that.  Some people are unfortunately that stupid.  Not everyone who believes the Bible is like that though.  There is overlap but not causation IMO.  People will use the Bible as an excuse to be jerks, then point fingers at folks who use the Koran as an excuse to be jerks.  I don't see a big difference; jerks is jerks.

 

 

I don't deny you are correct.  However, in my circles, I have seen significantly more of it come from the mouths of conservative Christians.  I definitely do not mean to say or imply that all people who are YEC say or think things like that.  But the conservative movement (which has a lot of YEC) does pursue anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT endeavors.  Just today or yesterday Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty) said that we should "convert 'em or kill 'em", when talking about ISIS, which is pretty ironic.  But those types of people go on major media outlets and say things like that and a person just can't help but link all that stuff together.  

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I've had acquaintances who were not quiet about my kids going to hell since they weren't their brand of religion.

 

This is a very tough thing to constantly navigate. Teenagers seem especially bad about informing other teens that they are going to hell because they believe in evolution, dress up for Halloween, go to a different church, read Harry Potter and so forth. Sometimes it can be better to distance yourself from those people.

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I am sorry for those of you who would choose to eschew someone because they believe differently from you. It is bigotry.

I said above that I have friends of many stripes, and I do. I have YEC friends. But there are also people with whom we are not friends because of their reactions to various elements of our life. For example, one woman stopped allowing my dd to babysit after dd asked the kids if they had seen Frozen because it contains magic.

 

When my middle dd was in first grade she asked a girl at homeschool PE class, "what are you dressing up as for Halloween," and the girl said, "Halloween in the devil's birthday."

 

At a Bible study another teen asked my girls if they believed in evolution, then informed them that they were going to hell.

 

It would be nice to believe that these ideas are *very* fringe, but we have encountered them on a regular basis in homeschool circles from the east coast of the US to Hawaii. It isn't limited by region.

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:lol: I understand! I've enjoyed the conversation. :grouphug:

 

 

 

Oh, I see that I largely misunderstood what you were getting at -- so not such a well thought-out reply at all! :blushing:

It's fine. I appreciate your kind reply. There was a time when I strongly considered if EO or RC would help me retain the faith and I will say that Patty Joanna, milovany, justamouse and Parrothead were major influences because they are some wonderful ladies. But ultimately, changing up the details does not resolve questions of logic for me. Maybe Calvinists are correct and I am simply not elected to faith.

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It's fine. I appreciate your kind reply. There was a time when I strongly considered if EO or RC would help me retain the faith and I will say that Patty Joanna, milovany, justamouse and Parrothead were major influences because they are some wonderful ladies. But ultimately, changing up the details does not resolve questions of logic for me. Maybe Calvinists are correct and I am simply not elected to faith.

They are all, indeed, wonderful ladies. I hope that you find peace, joy, and the answers that you seek, wherever your path takes you.

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I said above that I have friends of many stripes, and I do. I have YEC friends. But there are also people with whom we are not friends because of their reactions to various elements of our life. For example, one woman stopped allowing my dd to babysit after dd asked the kids if they had seen Frozen because it contains magic.

 

When my middle dd was in first grade she asked a girl at homeschool PE class, "what are you dressing up as for Halloween," and the girl said, "Halloween in the devil's birthday."

 

At a Bible study another teen asked my girls if they believed in evolution, then informed them that they were going to hell.

 

It would be nice to believe that these ideas are *very* fringe, but we have encountered them on a regular basis in homeschool circles from the east coast of the US to Hawaii. It isn't limited by region.

 

This has been our experience too,  consistently. 

 

I'd like this post, but apparently, I'm out of likes. Which is a first for me. Lol.... guess I'm really back now. 

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One can enjoy studying science regardless of how they do it, but one can only practice the scientific method within certain, well-established, universally honored parameters. Accepting religious texts as a basis for knowledge falls outside these parameters regardless of what religion is being referred to. 

 

This x 1 000 000!

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Why wouldn't someone WANT to know, quite apart from needing to know?

 

I am not saying that you shouldn't want to know but is it necessary? Reasoning?

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Why wouldn't someone WANT to know, quite apart from needing to know?

This is a part of it for me, too. I don't want to believe in bunk. I just don't. As much as I am able, I want to believe in things because they are substantiated, logical, sensible. I have mind full of curiosity. Practically anything can capture my interest. If the moon is not made of green cheese, I want to hear accounts of why we know that is so; I don't want to keep believing it is made of cheese because my grandfather said that when I was five, and it does kinda look like cheese.

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I am not saying that you shouldn't want to know but is it necessary? Reasoning?

 

Necessary?  Necessary for what?

 

Is Shakespeare necessary?  Is Calculus necessary?  Is it necessary to be able to communicate in a language other than the one you know?

 

Knowledge may not be necessary but is life worth living without it?  In which case, knowledge is necessary.

 

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