Why choose to believe that a Supreme Omnipotent Supernatural Being would create the entire physical universe out of His own mind, from nothing, with no help, and make no mistakes, in seven 24-hour days?
I mean, look at how everything works now; nothing goes right the first time. There’s the law of entropy, after all, and mathematical formulas to support it. Death and destruction are the rule, the end of all things, no matter how well they are begun.
And what’s with seven days? Couldn’t an all-powerful God make everything instantly? Why take more time than necessary? Doesn’t the gradual growth and change concept of Evolution make more sense?
And then there’s all the fossils, the Ice Age, the radioactive dating, the expansion rate of the Universe, and all those scientists and writers that are so sure they’ve got proof for the continually improved understanding of the Universe’s ability to change itself; how could it all be so wrong? How could so many be so mistaken about something so important?
I attended both public and private schools; I have read the Bible; I have read and listened to Christians and Non-Believers espouse their various theories; I was trained as a science teacher; I have evaluated many science textbooks regarding the Origins of the Universe, and…I believe the seven 24-hour day notion of Biblical Creation. Why? Lemme ‘splain.
First, it must be reckoned that one may become a Christian (or anything else) and remain so, possibly to the end of his days, and only engage superficially in the debate regarding the Origin of the Universe. I am not the judge of men’s eternities, and will not insist that others agree with my position, nor that they must even agree with any part of it. Also, I do not wish to present a stumbling block to those new to the faith or the debate, or placed in delicate situations, who are not ready to take an obvious and public stand for or against the well-established opinions and worldviews of those who ought to know most. If that is confusing, just know that my position here is solely my own. This is the story of how I arrived. Take it or leave it. Now that we have agreed to listen to a story, and not a sermon, I will get on.
My first reason for believing the 7/24 Theory of Origins is that my Father believed it, and still does. My Mother loves to ask questions, and seems willing to set the issue aside when it becomes a point of contention, and I have also tried to adopt this attitude. However, when my Father believes something, it is difficult to find weaknesses in his reasons. He is highly educated, but more than that, he is a voracious learner. He reads constantly, and reads difficult things that most of us would give up after a paragraph. This includes science research, philosophy, and the philosophies of scientists on the cutting edge of Origins theory. He teaches Philosophy of Science at a Christian university, and began the Philosophy major there, so he’s good at thinking, analyzing, and understanding. He is always learning something new, and he shows the observational skills of a veteran scientist. Yes, he holds some opinions irrationally, like we all do. I have a different favorite baseball player, but both his and mine are arguably among the best in the game. Disagreeing with him about the Origins of the Universe is not the same kind of debate.
Secondly, having read the Bible most of my life, and lived with parents, family, and friends who also believe it, and having seen God at work in my life in harmony with His word, I cannot honestly deny that God’s word is true. I have lived it. Now, as to the Non-Christians reading this, if you want extra-religious reasons for my belief, skip the next few paragraphs. For the Christians who have chosen a longer time period than the 7/24 idea, keep reading.
Setting aside the language debate about the first chapter of Genesis, look in the new testament at Romans 5. If death only came with the sin of Man, then there must have been a great many creatures living on the planet in the 13+ billion years it took to evolve. Indeed, the number would be astronomical; remember, no disease, no predators, no decomposers…think on that. These balancing forces, the tools of natural selection, only come into play after Adam and Eve break God’s one rule. And we can count the years since then. It’s fewer than 10,000, according to Scripture. That means that the term “survival” doesn’t even become relevant until 6,000 years ago, so all the impersonal forces that promote one kind of characteristic instead of another, all the pressures of evolution, never even existed until after the Fall.
It follows that the wide variety of creatures alive today must have been alive then, so there would be a staggering amount of creatures living in the centuries before the flood, including all the in-between species as macroevolution went on. And Adam would have named them. People would have seen them. Why is their very limited story represented only by a few fossils? This, to me, seems less tenable a position, as it relies on unsupported conjecture almost exclusively.
My third reason is that a 7-day week is non-negotiable in the practical sense. Theory may attack theory in the world of ideas, but real life has a way of settling disputes with results. The French tried to use a 10-day week; the results were disastrous. Animals couldn’t handle it, let alone people. The only reason found anywhere for a 7-day week is found in the Bible’s Creation account: God rested on the seventh day after creating for the previous six, and wants us to do the same. Apparently, we are designed to need rest, to live within limits, to work best by not working constantly. History, Psychology, Medicine, and (ironically) many governments are agreed in their support of this notion of the 7-day week, whatever their beliefs about God may be.
My fourth reason came to me as I listened to the debate in school, church, on the radio, and among family and friends. I kept seeing the same perspective in those who affirmed the God of the Bible, but not the 7/24 theory: they wanted God’s word to fit with science and not have any conflicts. Now, God’s word warns us that such a thing is not practical nor possible, but we humans usually try to avoid conflict if we can. If we see that conflict is inevitable, we tend to empty the clip in preemptive strikes against our opponents, hoping by intimidation to avoid the pain and embarrassment of losing ground in an argument. We cannot stand to be “in the wrong”, or to be shown to be a fool by someone cleverer. Our pride will not stand for it.
But pride is anti-God, and the more I listened to the Christians who tried to make the Bible fit Scientific Theory, the more I disagreed with their reasons, and with their goal. To make the Bible “fit”, that is, to alter our understanding of it to satisfy the requirement of another authority, is to submit God’s authority to that of someone else, and purely for avoidance of suffering. This is worse than heresy; this is idolatry and rebellion that God hates worse than witchcraft. Remember, it was God who said that.
But beyond my religious understanding, I felt that those who chose to hold both Scripture and Science as true, even if they were diametrically opposed, were being dishonest to one or the other, and wanted to avoid conflict by denying the conflict. They were decided out of fear, not true belief, and I could understand their reluctance to take on one side or the other; a great many on both sides have used personal attacks, false logic, clever slogans, and plain lies to try to undermine the other. But the excuses did not hide the debate from me. I decided to choose the side that seemed then, and still seems, to be the least fearful.
Lastly, I enjoy the idea of a God who rose from the dead, worked miracles, and created out of nothing, all in contrast to the operating rules of the physical universe He created and maintains. I guess I’m a bit of a rogue, but it bothers me to agree with someone or with an idea just because it’s presented well; I have to believe in it, or I won’t keep it. I want a God who is bigger than science, bigger than Man’s interpretations, and bigger than the world He made; big enough for His fingerprints to be visible. Maybe that’s the issue; maybe His fingerprints are so big, they are hard to accept, hard to submit to, and hard to follow.
As a 7/24 Creationist and a chap considered somewhat intelligent and moderately well-educated, I sometimes cause a stir when I express this position. That cannot be helped. I must say what I think true, and hold what I believe, even when inconvenient, even if I must let go my pride. I must also be patient with those who oppose me, affirming the truth when they say it, and my own weaknesses when they are evident. We cannot find the truth by being dishonest.
The truth is what it is, whether we agree with it or oppose it. We can only understand anything else if we start with the truth. That is why the Origins of the Universe debate has been so important to me. My decision has affected the rest of my life. It describes the God in whom I believe and His power. It defines the limits of Science in my life, and my role within Science. And my experience in the debate, as I searched for reasons and answers, has helped me understand people with all our fears, needs, and beliefs. What’s important in your life? What do you need to understand and decide? There’s a reason why it’s important to you. Go find the truth. We all need it.