I’ve previously taken my fellow Christians to task for taking a story and then misrepresenting the substance (‘Christmastime, mistletoe and lies‘). Given how central Truth is to Christianity we should be renowned for our integrity without recourse to swearing to prove it (‘Swears‘).
We fall short of those standards, all the time, and it’s unreasonable to hold those on the outside to a higher bar than we set ourselves. Nevertheless, the rhetoric that says Christianity and Science are at odds and completely divergent is, bluntly, either casual ignorance or wilful misrepresentation.
This week it’s the free schools that will fill the minds of impressionable children with the not-worthy-of-the-word ‘science’ of Creationism. And when that word rears its head then most people instantly associate it with the Young Earth beliefs (that I don’t share) lampooned to good effect by Ronson, Theroux, Gorman et al.
I’m not going to rehash what The Church Mouse has written, suffice to say it’s a massive +1 from me over his concerns with the presentation of this story and the treatment of known fact (rather than future, paranoid conjecture).
What Mouse doesn’t get into but what strikes me about the ridicule levelled at Christian Creationists is how it undermines Christianity’s delight for you as who you are.
Mainstream, orthodox Christians are all creationists. Whatever our beliefs about how the world came into being we all believe that God is more than simply interested in who we are and our potential in life but that he knows us because he’s been at the heart of our design.
The Bible’s plot is the God of creation seeking relationship with those whom he has made. It’s a book littered with creation stories far beyond Genesis 1 but Genesis 1 provides a scene setting backdrop.
Whether you take it literally or not the natural world that sets the scene is the backdrop – one to prod and pull, to investigate and expriment, to care for and steward but it’s scenery. The actors to this story of creation are you and I, not in a corporate sense but as individuals with names, personalities, foibles and flaws.
If you attempt the exploration of Christianity without presenting a personal God who knows us as individuals, who fashioned us to be in relationship with one another, who put passions on our hearts and genius in our heads then all you do is make it about relic and ritual. Now that’s misrepresentation.
When Jesus was in the midst of his ministry he said this
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10b)
That’s not about dogma, it’s not about structure but it’s about freedom, relationship and being you. You’re no accident, you don’t need to lose yourself to find yourself, you’re not insignificant. You are created.