Injustice should not stand
We learned recently that Northview Community Church (Abbotsford, B.C.) has barred women from serving on council, thus joining other flagship churches in our conference in this action. It ironically matches our moniker as “brethren,” doesn’t it? This invites a few questions: What dialogue is going on with these churches with our executive re this flouting of the conference’s position on empowering women in all phases of ministry? Is the B.C. Society Act privy to this exclusion of women from decision making – we who stand under the law and get income tax preference as a perquisite? We trust that this injustice to our sisters will not stand.
|Editor’s note: The council of elders at Northview Community Church, Abbotsford, B.C., concluded a study of the role of elder described in the New Testament with a study conference on “The role of men and women in the church” Sept. 25, 2010. As a result, the office of elder was restricted to men.The 2005 BFL study conference resolved: “The Board of Faith and Life recommends that the Conference bless each member church in its own discernment of Scripture, conviction, and practice to call and affirm gifted men and women to serve in ministry and pastoral leadership.”|
The other side of Remembrance Day
Re “What about Remembrance Day?” (Letters, January). The writer is disappointed that Remembrance Day is not mentioned more and that fewer Mennonites are wearing poppies to remember “those people who laid down their lives for others.” This phrase is often used by politicians to ease our conscience or justify participating in a war.
We soldiers – and I was one of them – were drilled to kill. We were expected to follow orders and if we refused, we could be court-martialled. Governments vilified our enemies to make it more honourable to kill. This is the other side of “laying down our lives.”
Soldiers in battle made mothers widows, children orphans, and innocent people homeless. If those memories haunt us and we are reluctant to wear poppies, maybe the writer will forgive us.
Positive approach a critical first step
I read with great interest the January issue of the MB Herald and the articles on Creation. I applaud your choice of topics and the focus on an appropriate understanding of Scripture that relates the redemptive message of Genesis. Some might say that the theological treatment in the issue is superficial because it does not address the tough questions about original sin, the Fall, theodicy, and how Paul and Jesus taught about Creation. However, the positive approach taken in this issue is a critical first step to understanding the distinction between nature and Scripture.
The front cover of the January issue enticed me, and I immediately flipped to the article “God saw that it was good.” I was quickly disappointed. Living in a world where my geology teacher announces 5 minutes into the first class that “until someone shows [him] a picture of God, creation science is not a science”; and my geography teacher says in the first lesson, “For those of you who believe in a god or that sort of thing, bless you, but that’s not for my classroom,” I am always looking for theories about creation that match and further prove current scientific theories of the day. I was upset when I found absolutely no such thing in your article.
Do I blindly believe that Jesus lives, that he cares for me and has great plans for my life? Yes, I do. However, can I expect everyone I approach to feel that way? Certainly not. The most common insults I receive after people find out I am a Christian are that I am either ignorant of all scientific knowledge or choosing to ignore “the evidence.”
I have spent a fair amount of time searching the Bible for things that prove God had knowledge of the workings of his universe long before we even began investigating it. God gave us brains to think, did he not? Is searching for or having knowledge of a few really quite insignificant details about how God created the universe really such a terrible thing? Dr. Cooper is correct in saying that we will not and do not all have to share convictions about how God created the world. Regardless, educating people so they can have convictions is what I believe God would want and expect from us.
Terms of creation discussion confusing
I find the arguments about origins in the January issue confusing, because they refer to the conflict as between “science” and “religion.” Both of these terms represent differing aspects of human wisdom. The real war has always been between the wisdom of man and divine Revelation. The term “science” can include or exclude evolution, and the term “religion” can include or exclude divine Revelation, so the use of these terms confuses the issue.
I agree with the position that the Bible says little about the “how” of creation. Would it not be better then to take a stand against the system that tries to explain the “how”? On the other hand, there is no mention of the “when” of creation, which the Bible does state ever so clearly, and which makes evolution virtually impossible.
It is no secret that evolution turns people away from Christ, so is it not the very opposite of Christ’s call to turn people “to him”? Evolution requires a different response to the opening chapters of Genesis where the foundation is laid for the gospel, God’s response to the “fall,” and the main theme of all the rest of Scripture.
Darwin’s Intelligent Design
Darwin was a deist creationist. From our most recent paper in World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution: “As scientists we were not willing to consider intelligent design theories because in our opinion they metaphysically fall outside the parameters of ‘good science.’ In chapter fourteen of the Origin of the Species, however, Darwin clearly writes, ‘Therefore I would infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed by the Creator…. In a similar fashion in the last paragraph of the Origin of the Species, ‘There is grandeur in this view of life with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one.’ Darwin also writes in chapter six, ‘Have we any right to assume that the Creator works by intellectual powers like those of man?’ Rooted in intelligent design and written by a Victorian deist, Darwin capitalized ‘Creator’ intentionally. Further, before his death, in The Descent of Man, Darwin reiterated, “the idea of a Creator and Ruler of the Universe had been answered in the affirmative.’ Some scientists continue to misquote or dodge this basic deist fact concerning Darwin’s Theory perhaps to perpetuate our current worldview mythology. Because of this widely held mythology Darwinian Evolution was left in the calculations, but more for historical reference.”
Dr. Chris Montoya
Assistant Professor of Psychology at Thompson Rivers University
Not everything that is called “science” is truth. Science is really raw data interpreted through a scientist’s worldview. The “Big Bang” is a creation myth from a purely naturalistic view of the cosmos.
Anything created has to have a creator. That’s basic reality. Our Creator said in Isaiah 45:12, “I have made the earth, and created man on it. I, even my hands, stretched out the heavens” (King James Version). This is how God caused the distances of space to be so vast in a short period of time. Sinful man has misinterpreted the data because he doesn’t want to acknowledge his creator, and serve him.
Shotgun approach to creation
The January issue re origins, together with 2010 issues of the MB Herald, form a shotgun approach to the bedrock of Christian thought. Creation by God and evolution by chance are clearly opposites.
So there are educated and famous professors in secular and in Christian institutions who are flirting with theistic evolution. Theistic evolution is often the incline toward the steep Gadarene slide.
Darwinian evolution has nothing to say of the origin of the universe; of time, space, and energy; of order in complexity; of the laws of physics; of the solar system; of life from non-life; of the atmosphere; of the hydrosphere. In these areas as well as in the origin of man, of marriage, of evil, of religion, of languages, of culture, and of nations, the book of Genesis is unique; there is no competing record.
So how did God create something out of nothing? He said: “Let there be light…. Let there be a firmament…” (Genesis 1:3,6, King James Version). And so on.
Have any of your readers found a better way or a rival account for making something out of nothing? Have any of your readers some knowledge of other gods who can trump this God, the Word who later was made flesh and dwelt among us?
When the Lord Jesus Christ walked on earth, how did he raise the dead? He said, “Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43, KJV). How did he calm wind and wave? He said, “Peace, be still!” (Mark 4:39, KJV) What marvelous power in the Word of God!
How old is the earth? Read Andrew A. Snelling, Earth’s Catastrophic Past: Geology, Creation, and the Flood. And after reading Stephen C. Meyer, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, there should be no doubt regarding God’s use of “the survival of the fittest.”
Mixing lies with truth
The views expressed in the January articles are trying to conform us to the ways of the world. Many people get tired of fighting with the powers that be and are influenced by the schemes of Satan, which for the most part mix lies into the truth, and by doing so contaminate the whole of it. People are compromising the basic teachings of Scripture, intentionally or not, in an attempt to avoid conflict and to make things less black and white. It kind of reminds you of the scenario in the Garden of Eden, when Satan said, “Did God really say that?”
As I understand it, there are basically two options. You can say that things were created by God, or you can say that everything happened by chance (or evolution). Even if any other form of intelligent design is promoted, behind that train of thought has to be someone outside of time and our universe, and so we end up with God. If they are talking about accepting macroevolution, or the “goo to the zoo to you,” then you cannot believe in that and the God of the Bible. Things are completely in opposition to each other.
The main opposing issue is the cause of death. The Bible says that it was because of sin that death came (1 Corinthians 15:21). Macroevolution says that there was death before sin. If we have no problem with the death before sin promoted by evolution, then we should logically treat the Bible like a myth, and so chuck out the resurrection, because there is now no need for it.
Fort St. John, B.C.
Looking forward to further discussion
I wish to commend you for continuing to engage in the creation discussion, and for publishing so many of the response letters. You rightly stress “appropriate attitudes” in discussion, and note that our Confession does not choose to make this an issue that divides Christians. I found the theological and cultural analyses very interesting. However, to make this a true discussion, we need to represent the range of viewpoints held. If not, we send a message, rather than help a discussion. While being very careful in word choice, I do not perceive that any of the writers of this issue (or in the April 2009 and March 2010 issues), clearly present a literal 6-day creation and young earth viewpoint.
Science and the Bible do not conflict, but worldviews do. A young earth and global flood also provide the same rock layers and fossil evidence used to “prove” evolutionary long ages. Jesus referred to both creation and the flood (Matt 19:4–6, 24:38–39). I look forward to such a viewpoint being expressed as an option in future editions of the Herald.