There was recently a televised debate on the subject of evolution versus creationism. Bill Nye, representing evolution, and Ken Ham, representing creationism, were asked what would change their mind on the topic. Their answers were strikingly different.
The scientist’s answer: Evidence. The theologian’s answer: Nothing.
What an amazing difference in attitudes! “I’m willing to change my viewpoint if there is sufficient reason” versus “My mind is made up and I’m not changing it for anything!”
I’m not going to debate evolution versus creation here. My personal thinking is that God created everything and it’s been evolving ever since. But I wouldn’t try to argue against either side or any blend of the two.
But what really gets my goat is when people take perfectly good faith and ruin it by refusing to further consider a question. To remain viable, faith MUST be tempered by doubt. Faith untempered by doubt descends into the realm of dogma.
If there’s one thing that’s constant in this world, it’s change. Good faith is flexible enough to absorb the impact of change. If the impact is large enough to permanently alter the faith, that’s okay too. That’s called spiritual growth.
Bad faith, on the other hand, lacks flexibility. It seeks to shield people from change by hiding them behind rigid doctrine. It’s like being encased in protective concrete. NOTHING is getting through that concrete, right? But when that huge impact of change comes along, the concrete shatters, and the people are left naked and defenseless.
Our spiritual journey is just that: a journey. If we think we’ve arrived, we haven’t. We’ve simply settled for where we are. If we think we’ve found all there is to find, we haven’t. We’ve simply given up looking. If we think we have all the answers, we’re only fooling ourselves. It’s just possible that we could be wrong.
Never give up on what else God has to show us. Never believe that what we understand is all there is to understand. Never stop asking, “What if?”
And may we always keep a child-like sense of wonder and an insatiable thirst for knowledge.