June 12, 2008

Being Born Again

When I was 12, I was introduced to Jesus by my Grandma and Grandpa Carmichael. Actually, it wasn't my first introduction. I had people telling me about Jesus since I was a little girl and sang "Jesus Loves the Little Children" and "Jesus Loves Me." I had pored over a Bible story book and best loved the picture of Jesus holding a little child in his arms with an expression of loving bliss on his face. However, no one told me that I had to pray to ask Jesus to forgive my sins and receive him in my heart in order to be saved. In the two weeks I spent with Grandma and Grandpa Carmichael, I heard this message every Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening at church, in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. They took the words of Deuteronomy 6:7 VERY seriously. I remember thinking "Every discussion we have returns to the Bible and God". And yet, the last Sunday morning, when the pastor was preaching, a little voice (not a physical voice, just that little voice in your head that tells you things like not to put the glass that close to the edge of the table) told me that I needed to respond to Jesus' message of repentence and forgiveness. I whispered to my Grandma that I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart and she hightailed us to the preacher. He questioned me to make sure I really understood what I was wanting to do and led me in the sinner's prayer. After I was done, I immediately felt a great weight being lifted from my body and being filled with untainted joy.

This weekend, at the Illinois Christian Home Educator's Convention, I had another "born again" experience. For the last two years, I have been trying to figure out what I believed about creation: Did God make everything in six, twenty-four hour days or was it six indeterminite periods of time, which is another translation of the Hebrew word, as my former pastor had mentioned in a sermon many years ago? I was taught as a child that "scientific evidence" in the form of carbon dating, reported that the earth was much older than what would be considered by taking the times and geneologies mentioned in the Bible. There were also passages that supported the "old earth" theory", mainly Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 and the fact that the sun wasn't created until the third "day". How could God count 24 hours without the sun? On the other hand, any Being that could create everything out of nothing could do it all in six days or even less. At stake was my credibility (a.k.a. pride) as a graduate with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois. How could I (gasp) turn my back on all of my scientific training? Grammer was the key to my "salvation" (forgive me for getting melodramatically silly). One of the keynote speakers whose focus was comparing Biblical Creation against Evolution, starting making arguments for the young earth theory. He talked about the passages in Genesis dealing with creation and mentioned the fact that in Hebrew, when ordinal numbers are used (first, second, etc) combined with the Hebrew word for day, it always refers to a 24 hour period. Secondly, God defined day and night in Genesis 1:5, before He even created the Sun, Moon and Stars. But the final convincing evidence was when the speaker mentioned God's words about creation in Exodus 20, when He gives Isreal the Law. Exodus 20:11 states "For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy." A connection was made: If God uses the word "day" in Exodus 20:11 and if He doesn't change as Numbers 23:19 and James 1:17 says, then God is saying that he created it in six days. There is definite logic in that argument. Sure I may look like a fool to people like Richard Dawkins and the Carl Sagan wannabes and even my dad, who is an evolutionist; but as that great philosopher, Connie Stevens sang "Everybody's somebody's fool". I would rather be a fool for Christ than anybody else's fool. I felt that same sense of release and joy that I did when I first asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, mainly because I was no longer double minded.

1 Corinthians 3:18-20:
Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness" ; and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."

1 comment:

Loretta said...

I want to commend you for you very thoughtful and insightful decision to change your view of the creation vs. evolution. And of "being a fool for God." I too believe in the literal six days of creation.
Thanks for your explanation of the six day creation and the seventh day of rest. As you well know, people have traded the truth for fiction. I have recently realized someone close to me has also gone to the side of evolution more and more. It's really sad to see. I asked them if they've read the account in Genesis lately. I also mentioned that Genesis chapters 1-11 are the cornerstone from which the Bible stands on. If you don't believe those, then the rest of the Bible will fall away as well, as a basis for your beliefs.

One interesting observation that a friend saw: both the beginning and end of the Bible (Genesis & Revelation..."Alpha & Omega") have very interesting similarities. Check it out sometime. God is good, all the time.
Loretta at Vegan Footprints
Thanks for visiting! =)