The Stuff We Fight About

The Stuff We Fight About

God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. Genesis 1:5

I have a question for today’s blog: In the creation story, how much time had passed in the universe by the end of the first day in today’s passage? Many of you have never asked this question. You don’t have an opinion and you don’t care. This question, however, has been bitterly debated by Christians for centuries. In fact, I can recall arguing angrily with my brother-in-law over this very subject years ago. At the time, I thought he was being myopic, but in retrospect, I can see that I was terribly condescending. In our argument, I suggested that eons had passed in the first two chapters of Genesis, prior even to the formation of our sun. The universe clearly wasn’t only a day old at this point. Anyone who didn’t see things my way was simply uninformed. It was my job to enlighten others, and it really didn’t matter how arrogant or condescending I was. I was a jerk.

I’ll address the science versus faith debate in another blog. Today though, I’m talking about our propensity as Christians to take smaller facets of our faith and inflate them into core issues. My pastor likes to talk about picket fence doctrines (those topics which we may often disagree upon as Christians) and brick wall doctrines (those truths to which we all must cling if we call ourselves Christians). Today’s topic is one of those picket fence issues which I’ve unfortunately magnified into a brick wall.

The funny thing is, I’ve been on both sides of this disagreement. As a younger man, I clung to young Earth creationism, believing the universe to be somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 old, with creation occurring in a literal seven days. I used this as a litmus test for those who truly believed the Bible. I understood that authentic Christians accepted a young Earth and those who bought into this billions of years hogwash, simply weren’t genuine in their faith. Later, I flip-flopped. Those who accepted that epochs were hidden in the Genesis story were the critical thinkers, and seven-day creationists were obtuse fundamentalists.

Today, it’s important for me to remind myself of the core truth of Genesis chapter one – God is the creator of all things. When did he create? I don’t know. If I get to heaven and he says it was one way or the other, it won’t really matter. What matters today is whether I follow God or follow myself. My way is a disaster and God’s way is life. That is what truly matters. Exactly when God created the Earth is a little less important to me these days.


Author’s Note: Due to technical difficulties, the blog was down yesterday but it seems to be fixed now. Thanks for reading!

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