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The creator not only created us, he created hope
Do you remember what happened this February? Bill Nye the Science Guy debated “young earth Creationist” Ken Ham. The debate lasted nearly three hours. It was the perfect reason not to discuss creation and evolution. To me, debates of most kinds end up being more divisive than helpful. They crush people and don’t build up.
The debates like this often caricaturize the “sides,” and leave most of us feeling isolated. Dialogue is more important than doctrine and that is what keeps us united.
Our society loves this. Politics teach us to be on a side. Sports do the same thing too. Bad marriages end up being that divided too.
There are debates that I think are worth having, don’t get me wrong. But I hesitate to be too dichotomous or didactic when it comes to these kinds of things because I want to be open to the Spirit and open to you all as well.
But I am still compelled to ask a question about creation. Instead of how, let’s start with why. Why creation? Why should one to bother to think that we are created?
I’m going to go for practical answers here, not necessarily rational or scientific. If our judgment and decisions are based on rationality, my worry is that the powers that be will be the ones who decide what is rational and what is not rational.
The pattern is dangerous, and the things that are so-called rational so often make up our world, that I simply do not trust them. I do not really believe that there is an objective rationality. But I’m convinced that there is truth. I just get it from different sources—Jesus, his body, his Spirit, and his creation!
Moreover, there is more to the world than just the physical. If we simply believe that all that is in the world is the material, there is a cost to it. Materialism is the belief that matter is the main thing in the world. All things that happen—including what happens in our minds, hearts, and souls—are the result of the material. I think we have a hard time justifying many things we believe in if physicality is all that exists.
For example, when we start thinking about things like the environment. For me, the best argument for caring about our environment is creation care. With that said, if we don’t believe that we were created, our best environmental argument is anthropocentric. Our main reason for protecting the environment is just to perpetuate our species. “Nature” is going to win ultimately. The polar bears will eat us if we melt the ice caps. And then everything will keep going. The ocean will recover from the oil spills. Eventually, all the carbon emissions will filter out. And nature will keep churning on. The tide of nature is stronger than the will of humans. Our best argument without a creator and creation is just keeping ourselves alive until we inevitably go extinct, like 99.9 percent of all organisms thus far.
The world is bleak without a creator and without creation. We’re left to our own devices, our own morality, and our own thought patterns. Without a creator, I can’t make an argument for being moral, I can’t make an argument against war, I can’t make an argument against human suffering. Well, I might be able to, but it can quickly be deconstructed. Just like everything will be. We’re all moving into entropy and chaos. To those who don’t believe in creation, the world as we know it is falling apart. So we’re left with the philosophies that dominate us: capitalism, nihilism, postmodernism. And why bother convincing me anyway? What’s the point of the truth? Without creation, there is no truth, no meaning—only the material, so you may as well acquire as much as you want and feel good all the time.
Look at this debate between the capitalist and the anarchist—without a creator, the argument for morality seems futile. It’s from Mad Men.
Don Draper is right: without God, the universe is indifferent. But God is alive! So he is actually wrong.
Ultimately, though, why don’t my cynical arguments about the futility of progress and morality make sense? Why don’t they sit right with you? Because we’re created. We are made by God. You can debate the how all you want. But I don’t need to debate it, because I have been restored.
The universe isn’t indifferent. God isn’t indifferent. He compels us to do more than just serve ourselves. Paul says it best to the Romans in the first chapter of his letter to them. Of course, the Roman Empire has formed the thought that has ultimately led us to this nihilistic, narcissistic world. Paul calls it out right away.
We are created to care for others and the whole world. There is hope on the other side. We have an undisputed origin. A place to revert to. An order of things. We have true authenticity. God sees us in the way he created us. We are more than our trauma, more than our wounds, more than our insecurities. God made us to be more than that.
What do we do with the fact that we were created? How do I live like I am created? How do I not fall into the indifferent nihilism?
Be a creator. Mimic the creator and create yourself. Make your art more than self-expression.
Be a worshipper. Sing a new song to the Creator. It’s worth celebrating the beauty that is around us in the created world. If we really want to convince the world of the creation, we need to start with our praises to the creator.
Be a relater. Relate as if you were created. Love your neighbor. Make a new friend. Share the positive message and meaning you have behind your life. Show the world that there is more to it than just self-service. Do it in love and in hope.
Be intentional. Do everything on purpose. You were intentionally made and created. So take care to be that real and that genuine and that authentic everywhere you go. Take nothing for granted. God made you with a purpose, so find it and intentionally do it. Do things on purpose. (Find out what the purpose of your random actions are too).
Be a world-changer. Redeem the whole creation. Clearly, it has been fractured and injured. Be a part of the restoration process. Justice, peace, creation care. All of these things are the responsibility of the created. Don’t serve yourself, serve others. Join or serve a compassion team.
Be recreated. Change again. Be transformed again. Be recreated. Get rid of your old self and clothe yourself with your new self. The false self you have: all of the trauma and difficulty and woundedness that defines you—reject it and find your wholeness as the beloved created child of God. A great way to be recreated: spend time in the creation. Swim in a lake. Take a hike in the woods. Do something outside.
Without the creation, I’m unsure if we have a purpose, and I think we might just be left to our own devices. That bleak indifference is soul crushing. Belief in creation leads us to know that we are loved and to spread the love to others.