Gaining New Meanings About God’s Creation Through an Open Mind

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Have you ever made a mistake without knowing you did? Surely, we have all experienced not fully understanding the events and/or all the facts surrounding some event in our lives and made a wrong judgement. As we grow older and gain experience, we tend to correct our perspectives and hopefully avoid repeating the same errors.

However, time and experience does not always serve to improve our concepts and opinions on such serious matters as: morality, social or political correctness, religion or scientific knowledge. Time tested, traditional ways of thinking are strong forces in our lives.

Maturity normally enriches most of us with sound judgement and increased wisdom. Unfortunately, additional years can also harden and fix our opinions and beliefs developed over a life time. The traditions and beliefs we accumulate come from many sources: parents, grandparents, cherished ministers and teachers, friends, business associates, books and electronic media. Most of us elderly citizens are reluctant to explore new ideas and particularly scientific information and are even slower to change – no matter the objective evidence!

If one inherited (genetically) a thinking process that is dominantly “left brained”, then analysis, data and facts tend to control your thinking. If one inherited (genetically) a thinking process that is dominantly (right-brained), then feelings, empathy, traditions and building good relationships tend to guide ones thinking and decision-making.

Please be assured that both brain orientations are equally good and yet both have capacities to lead us astray. In short, strong left brain people get things done efficiently but sometimes at the expense of the thoughts and feelings of others. Strong right brain people tend to dislike analysis and avoid confrontations or debates and base their decisions and actions on feelings rather than facts. In truth, we all possess varying amounts of both types of brains. This discussion is not meant to favor one type of brain orientation over the other or to suggest one brain type is more intelligent than the other.

So, where does this evaluation of human personalities lead us? There are many areas where this knowledge can be useful. I select to apply it to our Christian studies of the Bible. Here are several questions for our reader’s consideration:

  • Have you ever evaluated yourself or ask a medical expert to assist you in understanding how you prefer to think and make important decisions? I have two Masters degrees and it took me over fifty years to understand how my brain works.
  • As a Christian are all of your thoughts and beliefs regarding the Bible rigid and fixed?
  • Do you have a mind that is open to new interpretations of scripture?
  • Do you believe that God may not have revealed all the details of his full plan of Creation in the Bible?
  • Do you agree that God’s Word in the Bible is about revealing his power, meaning and purpose and not about God’s full scientific processes of Creation?
  • Do you believe that all of the marvelous scientific inventions that we enjoy are part of his Creation plan?
  • Even though your educational background may hinder your ability to understand all the technical details of God’s creation plan, is your mind and faith open to accept scientific facts  proved and believed by an overwhelming majority of informed scientist – all over the world?
  • Still holding tightly to our basic Christian faith, are you open to sincerely reading and studying about God’s scientific acts of creation? It is the most logical  and inspiring explanation any open-minded Christian could ever imagine!
  • How do you think we can keep young, smart and highly educated people loyal to our traditional churches when the facts of God’s creation processes learned in their public school studies are totally different from what they are probably being taught in their Sunday school classes or church sermons?
  • Is it possible God has not revealed everything to us, so far, that may help the world to become his “kingdom on earth as it is in heaven?”
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Justification for the Unusual Role of God in the Old Testament

So in order to reconcile what seems to be conflicts between our modern vision of our N.T. God and the God presented to us in the O.T., the following rationales are needed:

  • The writers of the O.T. reported how the ancient Hebrews related to and understood who God was for them – not to our modern culture with two thousand years of knowledge regarding the life and teachings of Jesus.
  • The O.T. world was primarily a primitive and pagan society not only struggling to evolve from beliefs in multiple gods to belief in one God, but living continuously under the pressures of military conquests by four very strong nations seeking to gain power over the various Hebrew leaders and their territories. For these reasons, confusion and inconsistencies in their writings could be expected.
  • The general populations of the O.T. were barbaric pagans who lived under whatever national power was in control. However, most of the biblical writers were priests or prophets that were historically a part of Gods remnant dating back to the early days of Abraham. They reported both what had been passed down to them and what they personally witnessed while living under substantial political pressure.
  • Biblical writers (including Prophets) often exaggerated the Hebrew Nations levels of suffering and oppression. Hyperbole expressions were common traits of ancient Hebrew writers.
  • Mid-eastern populations, for centuries, were culturally acclimated to believe their gods, and later our God, controlled and directed everything in their lives. Therefore, we must accept that O.T. writers (including prophets and priests) blamed their punishments for their sins on their enemies or oppressing  foreign powers –as being directed and controlled by their gods (or our God).
  • It seems reasonable to surmise that behind the scenes, our loving God of the N.T., during O.T. history, witnessed (and suffered) as his people performed terrible acts (sins) that he did not direct or approve of.
  • Many of the renowned writers in the O.T., being taught to believe that gods (or God) were responsible for all human events, put God in command of lots of terrible acts that were actually instigated by human leaders. How convenient it was to blame God.
  • In conclusion, one can accept that the God of the N.T. is the same God as the God of the O.T. only by understanding that the writers and cultures of both testaments come from entirely different time periods and sources of historic information. God’s role is seen differently by writers of both testaments.
  • Today, all believers, in all religions and Christian denominations continue to seek to understand who God is for them. We may never truly understand the nature of our God who is: all powerful, all knowing and all present. This is why we have faith.

 

Written by W.F. Peck