My problem with creationism is that it requires a legalistic, myopic and limiting view of the Bible. Jesus criticized the Pharisees for taking a similar view. As humans we like to have our boundaries defined clearly and I think this is largely the problem. We want definite answers and don’t like ambiguity. The Bible isn’t written as a book of laws and regulations. It is a collection of inspired writings that when read in context will give you understanding of what it is that God has done, is doing and well do, not always in detail but generally speaking. As well we can gain understanding of how God desires that we live our lives in a moral sense.
As a result of reading the Bible in the manner that creationists do we wind up with a very different God than what we do if the Bible is read in what I believe is the way it is intended to be read. This creates problems in a variety of ways. I think it portrays an incredibly inaccurate view of the true nature of the Christian God. This reading portrays a God who is inconsistent, being sometimes cruel and sometimes kind, as well as sometimes forgiving and sometimes vengeful. If we are to believe in a true God and one that is actually worthy of worship it seems to me that deity would have to at least be consistent. Why would I ever want to worship a god who orders genocide at the bloodied hands of His chosen people? My God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is not a God who engages in situational ethics or piques of temper.
If we believe in a God that can sanction genocide in OT times then we can’t reject a god that would want the same thing of us today. I know a number of fundamentalist Christians who just don’t think things through in that manner and so would never sanction such action, but as I found to my amazement on another thread recently there are those who do.
It also seems that fundamentalism winds up being intertwined with nationalism. I’m concerned with some of the rhetoric of some of the presidential candidates.
Romney recently said the following:
"God did not create this country to be a nation of follower, America must lead the world."The Link
Frankly, says who?
Contrast that message with the message of the Bible as taken in context within the whole metanarrative. We are told by the prophet Micah that what God wants is humble kindness, mercy and justice. Jesus tells us that the two great command are to love God and neighbour. He told His fellow Jews that the way to deal with the Romans was to love them, turn the other cheek and go the extra mile.
Perry has made similar statements and all of the candidates other that Ron Paul talk extensively about using huge amounts of American money, people and resources to support the military as the way to promote peace in the world. That is an OT view. The NT view as told by Jesus is that our battles are spiritual and though you might win military battles the way to win the war is by changing the hearts of the enemy.
I contend that this is a worrisome and dangerous mindset. Frankly I am very close to Americans. I find them to be the friendliest most enjoyable people on the planet. Half of my grand-kids are American and my wife is dual, and for that matter my politics are to the right of centre.
The Bible is not god. It is not to be used as a God substitute. The Christian message is about God the Father who is incarnate in the man Jesus and His Holy Spirit. The Bible is the story of God revealing Himself to us as told by those inspired to write the story in many forms but primarily through narrative that when put together forms one metanarrative. It is all culturally conditioned which is something we should just accept instead of trying to read it as a book dictated by God. If we see the OT through the lens of the NT we can see that the OT Jews were often going off track. Jesus was critical of most of the Jews of that era. He preached a different way of confronting evil. When read this way the message of God is relatively straight forward.
If someone wants to believe that God created the world 6000 years ago in six literal days then that itself isn’t a major problem, other than it makes Christians look silly. It is simply a misuse of the Bible. The problem is that this misuse also leads to other understandings of the Bible that are less benign. Thankfully there is increasingly better and better scholarship on the whole issue available and as a Christian I believe that God continues to reveal truth to the world.