Once upon a time, I thought science had well proven the ancient ages of the universe and earth, and I personally had followed the popular culture into wedding Genesis 1 with Big Bang cosmology. Turns out it was one of those short lived Hollywood marriages.
Since then I have become a science teacher and a Young Earth Creationist. Also, according to FaceBook, Genesis 1 and the Big bang have split up (Relationship Status: “It’s Complicated”). I suspect the marriage was never legitimate in the first place. Big Bang was merely looking for a green card. I think he needs to move out of the church.
One of the big questions everyone has about the Creation account as given in Genesis 1 is
On the surface this seems like a very silly question. They were a day long. That’s why they were called a DAY. Seriously, go read Genesis 1. It’s really redundant about making this point. “And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day...And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day…And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.“ Over and over with this same language. Why would anyone question the fact that creation week was a week long?
It all started in the 1700’s.
Cynical atheist philosophers had begun to attack the church. Following the popular atheism of the day came atheist “scientists.” I put that word in quotes because many of them were not actual scientists. Charles Lyell, who sought to disprove the Genesis account with geology, was actually a lawyer. Charles “Chuck D.” Darwin only had a degree in Theology. But the two of them had the only thing that matters to a lot of people evaluating scientific models these days- a cynical disdain for the Bible. Once Lyell’s work became popular, and Darwin’s work built the slow, gradual development of life on that LONG history, everyone just kind of went with it.
The atheists of course were all, “FINALLY! A way of burying Genesis and the need for God to explain what we observe in Geology and Biology!”
and the church was all, “Oh, science says so? Well, I suppose science would never lie to us. Science has such a kind face, and has done so many nice things for us. Let’s just pretend that the Days in Genesis can mean… oh, something else. Like, REALLY, REALLY LONG days. Nobody has to be wrong here!”
Deep time was quickly put into textbooks and taught simply as scientific fact, and then when the Big Bang model came along a few decades later, much of the American Church just said, “Maybe we should just stop reading Genesis all together.” A few decades later, people like Ken Ham and Dwayne Gish came along and said, “Are you kidding? This deep time stuff isn’t even SCIENCE! When you look at the Data and not the atheistic interpretations of the data, Genesis stands up as tall and proud as she ever did!” And then other Christians started calling them “divisive.”
Apparently, trying to use science and reason to show that the Bible is TRUE is more than some Christians can tolerate from other Christians. I’ve been called a few names myself.
All of this to say, the reason people started questioning how long were the days of Creation Week is not because we suddenly gained a better understanding of Hebrew. Nor was it because we found older Bible manuscripts that showed that Genesis shouldn’t say “Day.” The reason was merely because the church didn’t want to look stupid in front of her friends. They were told that SCIENCE proved the earth to be billions of years old which meant OBVIOUSLY Genesis couldn’t possibly mean what it says. But we need to keep in mind that deep time was not DISCOVERED by science, it was INVENTED by atheists and then got a “Hello, My name is: SCIENCE” sticker slapped onto it. Good grief, some people still believe that sticker. It’s really sad how much some people REALLY REALLY believe that sticker above all else. But I digress.
So, what DID God have to say about it all?
Once again, I seriously suggest you go read Exodus Chapter 20 for yourself. If people spent as much time reading the Bible as they do reading ABOUT it, I wouldn’t have to write so many of these articles.
It’s the Ten Commandments, as given to Moses by God. Because of the various Sunday School cartoons and other movie depictions we’ve all seen, we tend to imagine that Moses wandered down the mountain and said, “OK guys, listen up. I’ve come up with ten rules for all of you which God has signed off on. I’m gonna read them out loud now, and we’ll have a brief Q&A, and then I expect you to start putting this into effect by the middle of next week at the latest.” The chapter actually starts with this rather significant phrase;
“And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God…”
GOD is doing the talking here, and one of the things he says (which always seems to get left off of those posters on the wall at Sunday School) is this:
“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
It really doesn’t get any clearer than that. GOD, speaking to Moses and company, says they will work SIX DAYS and rest for ONE DAY (For a seven day work week) and explains WHY by saying it was SIX DAYS of Creation and ONE DAY of rest, for a total of SEVEN DAYS. When you compare this to Genesis 1, you’ll start to see some similarities. Both say it was six days of Creation and one day of rest.
I feel like I’m talking down to you even explaining this, but some people really can’t see this. To me, this is like showing you the ingredients for a “Chocolate cake” to prove that “Chocolate Cake” has chocolate in it. I don’t mind doing it, but I know SOMEONE is going to write me a snotty note that says, “Days don’t have to be DAYS! They can be something else! Like overlapping epochs of vast amounts of time! And maybe the cake is named after someone NAMED “Chocolate” like Chef Gordon Chocolate. Stop being so close minded and divisive!”
This is how some people argue. And on Twitter, these are the smarter ones.
The take away is really simple- in the Bible, God says to Moses that God made everything in SIX DAYS. Then he took a day off. And he is explaining that working for six days and taking a day off is what he wants them to do as well. I don’t think that could be any clearer if it was written in crayon. If this were on Face Book, its status would be, “It’s NOT Complicated.”