Saturday, 20 September 2008

God created me

Thanks to John Richardson who recently posted First they came for the Creationists.. in response to the controversy raging at The Royal Society over Professor Michael Reiss. This was the comment I posted in response.
Spot on John. For me there are two issues running alongside each other.

1. The deliberate or ignorant confusion in the media and amongst commentators between ‘creationism’, a belief that the world was literally created in six days and should be taught as a scientific explanation, and the ‘creationist’ belief in a creator God who purposed the creation of the world. The commentators use their ridicule of the former to attack the position of the latter and suggest that both are claiming the same thing. This is backed up by much selective and partial quoting, as in the case of Palin and Reiss. There is a clear dishonesty in much of this debate which betrays the prejudices and presuppositions of many so called liberal commentators.

2. The second issue is the determination by some to remove people of faith, including Christians, from influence in public life arguing that we should not even be allowed a voice. This isn’t liberalism, it is fascism and needs to be named as such. (I am defining fascism here as a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control). Hence my dismay when Ekklesia signed up to Accord and its agenda to attack faith schools posted here. How ironic that some of those who are so quick to wrap themselves in the cloak of liberalism act in the most illiberal of ways i.e. denying a voice to those who do not agree with them.
Lesley Newbigin flagged up these concerns some twenty years ago in his book ‘The Gospel In a Pluralist Society’ and it still speaks very powerfully to our present context.

However, the more I think about this the more I believe we are being distracted from the real issue. When I say I believe in a God who created me and the universe I am not primarily making a statement about the origins of the world and how it came about, I am making a statement of commitment about how I will live. I am saying I believe that God is Lord of my life and the world around me and that I want to live in the light of that truth. This means I recognise I am accountable to him for the way I live, the way I treat others and the way I care for the world he has entrusted to us.

So the question I have to face up to is this: do people see that I believe God created me by the way I live? Is one of the reasons so many people have a go at those of us who believe in a creator God because they just don't see the evidence that we believe it to be true?

1 comment:

paul said...

Good analysis and comment, Philip.

'God is Creator and Sustainer' is a doctrinal formula for talking not about nano-particles in an accelerator in Switzerland, but about "how then shall I live?"...

The old chestnut applies:

"If I were arrested today for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict me?!"