It happened again. In one five-minute answer to a question from the audience about the age of the earth, a speaker managed to throw under the bus all of science and all of us who believe the universe is more than several thousand years old.
A lecturer I was listening to last night told a group of people that the Bible clearly teaches that the earth and universe are thousands of years old, not "millions." (I believe it's billions
of years old, for the record.)
It doesn't matter that I and many I know are followers of Jesus Christ, or that we believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis One. It doesn't matter either that we believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. None of that apparently matters at all
to some young earth creationists. After 20 years of this, it just never
seems to matter.
What matters is that they
believe a Genesis "day" means a 24-hour day, darn it, nothing more, nothing less! And that a handful of "scientists" - actually less than a handful - support their interpretation. Any other opinions need not apply. Any other interpretation - and all of science - is wrong.
In fact, any other opinion is not just wrong but means being in bed with those "Darwinistic evolutionists." To these young earth creationists life is
that simple. Either believe as we do (read: the absolute truth) or backslide into the camp of the enemy. There is no in-between. It is black or white, no shades of gray.
How about this, young earth friend: Another alternative to your God-breathed opinion is that the Hebrew for "day" can be interpreted to be "a long time." Moreover, that interpretation fits the facts. No need to change the Bible. No Hebrew words were harmed in our interpretation. No compromise.
And, he added last night, why can't
God create things instantly in mere days? Why can't
He create Adam and Eve and the Garden in an instant with the appearance of age. And why can't
He create the entire universe
in the beat of a heart and make it look like
it's been here for "millions" of years?!
How about this, young earth friend: 1) It is never a question of power
or an ability
to do it in a flash, just a question of how
He really accomplished it all. 2) A God who waves a magic wand and poofs everything into existence with the appearance
of age is a deceptive God, one not found in the Bible I read. Unless I interpreted that wrong, as well.
Here's a suggestion that my apparently-deceived old earth friends and I follow when we
are asked about the age of the earth. 1) Start off by admitting the age of the universe is not a salvation issue (it really isn't), 2) State the fact that there are other views besides yours of how
God did it (there are more than five). 3) Then proceed to give your point of view
. (key phrase: point of view) 4) Finish by repeating steps 1 and 2.
One more thing: You are free to believe what you want about the age of the universe, but please
do not say there is good science to support it or "brilliant, brilliant scientists" who can prove it. That is an exaggeration of the highest order, beyond reasonable comprehension.
Like the belief that a thousands-of-years-old universe appears
to be billions of years old.