On Sunday, I shared the next message in our Why I Believe… series and talked about a favorite topic of mine: creation – specifically, Biblical Creation, or creation in six 24-hour days as recorded in the Bible and why it matters. It sparked some great questions and discussions with people after worship. But it didn’t stop there.
After church on Sunday, I took a break from some housework I was doing and perused Facebook (are we friends on Facebook yet? Add me – I’ll wait here). As I scrolled through all of the status updates, there was one that almost jumped off the screen at me. A friend from high school had posted to her Facebook friends a question: “Can you believe in God and evolution?” I nearly fell out of my chair as I read that question! I had spent all week preparing for a message about that and had delivered it just hours before! Clearly, this was a chance to put everything I had just talked about into action.
There was little response to her question, so I stated that I didn’t believe that the two beliefs were compatible and that evolution contradicts what is stated in the Bible. And the floodgates were opened. Comments began flooding in and suddenly it was very clear that, at least among her friends, I was about the only one who believed that creation not only happened but it happened in the way the Bible says.
I had to restrain myself from firing back at everyone and remind myself of the words that I had just preached at the end of the message (which admittedly, I didn’t come up with but heard in a presentation on Creation): We’re called to present, not to persuade. Let me tell you, the urge to persuade was awfully strong Sunday afternoon! But that would only have added fuel to the fire. I presented what I believed and why I believed it and ended up having one of the other commentors who was avidly fighting for a different view mention that, although we had different beliefs, he appreciated the way I was trying to answer the question.
It’s been a few days since then and the comments have pretty much stopped now. But hopefully, by presenting what I believed instead of trying to persuade it will give the message a chance to have more of an impact. After all, it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to persuade – not mine!