To claim to be a “Christ follower” while at the same time fully embracing evolution as the only plausible cause for the existence of all living things is simply impossible. To embrace one idea is to deny the other. To follow Christ is to bow before the God of Creation. To embrace modern scientific theory is to yield to the God of Evolution.
We send our children to a religious school. It is the decision that my wife and I made early on with the intent to inculcate the disciplines of our faith into our children. However, even in faith-based schools, there are those arrogant teachers that believe they have the authority to teach ideas contrary to the home, despite our direct and substantial financial contribution to their annual salary.
Recently in a math class at my children’s school, the math teacher responded to questions about creation and evolution. One would think that a professionally trained math teacher would understand their prime responsibility to teaching math and not enter into such a deliberate and useless banter; nonetheless, the teacher trudged into the fray. In the end, he divulged that he believed in evolution, but considered himself a “Christ-follower.”
The teacher actually had the gall to ask, “Which creation myth do you believe?” This has caused me MUCH consternation. I had to sit for nearly am hour to discuss this with my children because of the issues he raised.
Let me clarify that I have NO issue with discussing these things with my children; however, there is a proper place and time for everything, and it is my and my wife’s opinion that tenth grade is NOT the proper time, and MATH is NOT the proper place. Furthermore, to discuss this concept from a purely objective idea is much preferred over some idiotic diatribe of some ill informed “Christian” teacher defending his firm belief in evolution!
At the baseline of faith, anyone claiming to be a Christ follower should, at a minimum understand a few things:
- Christ was a Jew. Jews believe in a literal seven day creation. To believe something contrary to what the Jewish Jesus believed would not be following Christ.
- In the few passages that Jesus quotes the firs five books of the bible, he insists a literal interpretation of those passages. Therefore, it can be safely deduced that Jesus adhered to a literal interpretation of creation as well.
- Evolution as a belief is not a modern idea. The concept of a mechanical evolution was a pre-Socratic notion and was commonly held among western philosophers of Jesus time, including Romans. While Jesus did not refute this idea, clearly he did not ever imply its credibility where creation is concerned. Since the coming of Christ was clearly intended to clarify interpretation of scripture, seems logical that this would be a pretty significant area to clarify, and yet He does not.
What Creation Myth Do You Believe?
So what myth do we believe? Let’s face it, going toe to toe between creation and evolution is pretty much a useless discussion. As has been evidenced by other debates, like the recent one between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, these debates just end up with two sides adhering arrogantly to their own opinions with little ground given.
I was a literature major in college. During my internship in public school, the literature text for tenth grade in the state of Florida covers several of the creation myths along with the Biblical account, including Popol Vuh, the Rig Veda, the Enûma Elish, and others. These myths proved a huge challenge to my faith and caused me to question everything I believed. And I was an ADULT! I was forced to either reject the biblical myth if creation which I had been taught as a child, or resolutely affirm what I believed.
C. S. Lewis once wrote that a myth was a “lie breathed through silver.” It was this very idea that would spark Tolkien to challenge Lewis on his understanding of the Crucifixion of Christ as a myth. Tolkien reasoned that if the myth is a lie breathed through silver, than which story is the silver? I applied the same logic to creation.
Ironically, many of the creation myths contain the constant theme of a mother, father, and two sons. What is more striking is that many of the myths recount one brother killing the other. From continent to continent, the story is told the same with little variation to disguise the basic tale! How is it remotely possible that the creation myths of the Algonquian Indians of North America, the Mayan Indians of central and South America, the Sumerians if the Middle East, the ancient Babylonians, the Norse, the Romans of Europe, and dozens more from other continents all record virtually the same basic story? The science of comparative mythology, the comparison of myths from different cultures in an attempt to identify shared themes and characteristics, scholars have used the relationships between different myths to trace the development of religions and cultures, to propose common origins for myths from different cultures, and to support various psychological theories. As has been applied to other anthropological similarities, these similarities actually point to the likelihood of universal truth, not a universal myth and falsehood!
I wrestled long and hard with these myths trying to validate or refute my own personal beliefs. I had no vested interest in validating my own upbringing. I was more than happy to abandon Judaism if I could resolutely prove in my own mind that another creation myth was “truer” than the others.
What I did discover was that creation myths were not the only myths carried down through oral tradition on virtually every continent. I found that most continents also held myths about a flood like Noah, and a great tower like Babel.
How Did All These Cultures Get The Same Story?
The Tower of Babel is an interesting tale on many levels. Sequentially in the Hebrew text the Tower of Babel takes place in genesis 11, AFTER the flood in Genesis 6, and AFTER creation in Genesis 1 and 2. Based upon oral tradition the builders of the tower would have ALL held the knowledge of the story of creation and the flood. After all, they were all unified in climbing to heaven to get to God, they must have shared SOME religious ideas about God!
God’s punishment to the Tower of Babel was to confuse their language. For the first time in man’s history, men could not understand one another. Up until this moment in time ALL mankind spoke ONE COMMON LANGUAGE–Koine Greek, centuries before Koine Greek!
In one moment, mass confusion ensued when every man could no longer speak with the man next to him. After the confusion and panic, people began to form into small groups with common language, giving rise to men of every tongue. tribe, and nation.” According to scripture, soon thereafter, the continents were divided (Gen. 10:25). What each if these new tribes took into their new geography, with their new language were three stories: creation, the flood, and the tower. Yet NONE of these cultures record the patriarchs, the Davidic lineage, and the coming Messiah. Not ONE of these “myths” is living today! Like silver in the silversmith’s cauldron, given enough time and heat, only silver rises to the top. Likewise, given time and change, ALL of these cultural myths of creation have faded to historical record, yet the silver of the Hebrew text remains, alive, powerful, irrefutable, infallible, inherent. That myth is no myth at all! And that is what I believe. Only the pagan and arrogant dare attribute the creation act and hand if God to anything other than His divine strength and sovereign will. Anyone claiming to follow the Jewish Savior of Christianity but not fully embracing the Jewish belief of creation is not following the Jewish Savior of Christianity, but some new and improved version of Jesus.
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