Re: [asa] Nativity story- genealogy issue?

From: Merv Bitikofer <>
Date: Wed Dec 09 2009 - 18:09:59 EST

There is something unhealthy in this conversational direction, I think,
with regard to our need for at least some basic level of Christian
unity. Or at the very least, some important distinctions ought to be
observed before Christians make off-hand dismissals for what must surely
amount to a large number of Christian churches. There are different
reasons why a church might not "talk about this stuff" ---different
reasons that should be significant. First: there are probably the "we
have talked about it already and know what the right answers are (and
will happily inform you about those should you be outside of the fold)"
variety of churches. And we all imagine that this first category would
only be the anti-evolutionary kind --probably most are, but either side
could easily share in that attitude and approach. The second category
might be the: "we aren't going to be dogmatic about this, and in the
name of unity don't want to go out looking for battles to fight with
Christian brothers & sisters. There are plenty of pressing issues
Christians need to focus on and we think it is unhealthy for this issue
to monopolize our priorities." I think it safe to say that I attend
one of these latter sorts of churches. We have had an occasional sermon
that brought up the subject (though maybe not even as its central point)
and I would venture that very few people in our church are
anti-evolution. (or if they are they are not at all pushy about it here
in a university town.) But if you attended on a Sunday morning, rarely,
if ever, would this subject be brought up. I think there is an unstated
congregational community-shared perception that our congregation just
doesn't have a "need" to hash this around. Perhaps most are already
pretty settled in how they think and their faith & intellect is already
healthily integrated. But if a large number of members started pushing
YEC beliefs in our church setting, I'm pretty sure leadership would then
show some dogmatic rigidity (against YECism) and get a whole lot less
"fuzzy around the edges". But let's face it. Evangelistic YECs just
wouldn't be at home in our congregation and would find birds of their
feather to worship with instead. And likewise we find our own
like-minded flocks to be among. Neither type has to do much "talking
about it" when they refuse to mix. When they are mixed, that's when the
excitement and talking happens --and is usually not to our taste who
would rather not spend our Sunday mornings going off to crater-ridden
war zones. So is our conflict avoidance unhealthy? or necessary here?
I personally know of one church nearby who lost a major contingent of
its members basically over this issue. It would be interesting to
sample the perspective of the remaining congregation (still going
strong) to see if they regret the schism or see it as necessary. But
I'll bet they don't talk about it now as much as they used to.


Douglas Hayworth wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 12:31 PM, Ted Davis <
> <>> wrote:
> ...churches don't talk about this stuff, either. That is probably
> true for quite a few churches, but not for those that I'm
> interested in being part of.
> Ted
> I just discovered such a church and confirmed why I'm no longer
> interested in being part of it:
> Doug
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Received on Wed Dec 9 18:10:36 2009

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