During school this morning we were studying the scientific validity of paleontological reconstruction of the Neanderthal. The point the book was making was that the excessive use of downplayed artistic license coupled with various levels of educated guesses renders the authenticity of any renderings of Neanderthal highly questionable.
I want to teach my kids to ask questions—and to know which questions need to be asked. The book served this purpose very well. However, and more important, I don’t want my kids to make it their personal mission to debunk theories that appear to threaten God or the Gospel. If it turns out God created us through evolution, would your salvation be threatened? I pray not. God is God. He can do whatever He wants however He wants. I certainly have opinions about how He has done things, but I know that my opinions don’t change Truth, and that none of these issues plays a part in eternal life.
First, while Satan is the current ruler of this world and he is the beautiful father of lies, I believe in Truth. Truth is unchanging, and will always rise to the top. I am not so naive as to believe that people don’t go to their graves deceived, though. But the essential Truths do not need to have every untruth dispelled before they shine.
Imagine being in a boat that is taking on water. Shall we start bailing, or argue about the color of the pails we use to bail? If I believe the pail is black, but you insist it is blue, does it change the essence of the pail, or the need for the pail to start moving water off the boat? Not really. I don’t need to know the color of the pail before I make use of the pail. The essential truth is that I am going to drown and this pail will save me. The color of the pail, the molecular makeup of the water or even the geographical location of the sea in which I am drowning aren’t worth debating.
So, arguing young earth or evolution or full-immersion baptism when there are people who haven’t heard that there is only one way to eternal life doesn’t seem to be the best use of time.
That brings me to my second point. What if you are right? Wherever you fall regarding any of the debatable issues is 100% correct. In your list of doctrinal beliefs, there is not a single lemon. Congratulations, by the way! That is pretty cool. But now what? Will you reduce grown men to rubble as you debate and win every point? I picture some fight scene in an action movie where the hero dances through the movements that take down one attacker after another.
But there is a problem. Our enemies aren’t flesh. In fact, those fleshy things lying bleeding around the hero? They were the prize, the goal. And he’s killed them.
We are to preserve people, treat them with love. And if you are ‘in it to win it,’ the love is gone. When truth divorces love, it is no longer truth.
I want my kids to explore these issues. I am even fine with them making a decision after careful research. But I do not ever want them feeling so superior to another person because he falls on the other side of the line. I would be ashamed if my child chastised someone with ‘the facts’ regarding something like evolution. What would be the point? Certainly not to win him to Christ! And if that is not the point, there is no point.
I am a competitive gal. I like to win. But if I forget the prize and start thinking that just being right is the goal, I destroy the prize. I lose.