Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Monkeying Around with the Bible

"If man came from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?"

Anyone care to answer that? That was the last line of a letter critical of our Evolution Sunday celebration. This letter to the editor in today's Elizabethton Star was in response to Saturday's article in the Star.

I am glad letters like this are written in the newspaper. I think we should talk about these things publicly. The monkey question is a legitimate question. My response is that I don't think science says we actually evolved from monkeys. We 'cousins' do have common ancestors. But the question leads to: "Why is there a diversity of species?" That is a good basic question.

One place to go for basic answers is ETSU's Gray Fossil Site. On their website is a nice introduction to Evolution. This museum is so important for our community.

I view the Bible differently from my colleague in some respects. I don't see the Bible as "the inerrant, unchangeable and infallible word of God." When we analyze how the Bible came to be, we know that it changed a great deal. That is why my congregation is reading the Bible cover to cover. [Advertisement: Excellent resources are found on Bible and Jive.]

But I do agree with him that the Bible "is meant to be used for personal growth in our relationship and service to God." That is why we both study it.

Anyway, thanks for the letter Pastor Largent. God Bless.

Here is his letter:

I would like to respond to the article from the Friday, February 8 paper about the celebration of evolution. I was greatly troubled to hear that this topic is being supported from the pulpit of a church. If we as pastors are supporting and allowing this to be spoken of as being held with the same reverence as the Bible, from behind the sacred desk of God, then we are in complete and total error.

To say that evolution is God’s way of making the world as it is today is completely obtuse and asinine. As quoted in the paper — “While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook.” I believe that the Bible is the true word of God. It should be read as the only authority in our lives. It isn’t to be read like a textbook. The problem in the world today is that we separate our lives from the word of God. I think that if you are just using the Bible as a matter of faith and practice then you are not using it as God intended. It is meant to be used for personal growth in our relationship and service to God.

The article stated, “We the undersigned Christian clergy form many traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist.” I think that the word of God clearly covers this coexistence, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:14-15 KJV. I believe that science proves what the Bible has already stated. God is an awesome God and creator of all things. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him.” Colossians 1:16 KJV.

To place God’s wonderful design as being an evolutionary effect is to say that 20 different colors just came together all by themselves and made a beautiful work of art. Who are these different traditions anyway and how many are they? Traditions are just that, tradition. (Traditions are long-established customs that has the effect of unwritten law. Webster’s Dictionary). The Bible is not a tradition. It is the inerrant, unchangeable and infallible word of God. It is his written laws for our purpose and his guidance for our lives. It states that the truth and the truth shall stand. If you do not stand for something then you will fall for anything.

The pastor further stated that, “To resist this truth or to treat it as one theory among others is to embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such intolerance to our children.” I would rather be scientific ignorant and have my children as such than to be a conformer to the worldly view of evolution. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. But, I guess that I am too hubris (excessive pride or arrogance) to see it any other way. If man came from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?

Greg Largent; Pastor