Choices

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Choices

Postby Calhoun07 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:28 pm

I was wondering what other people think of the episode "Choices."

I recently listened to it on my journey through the series from episode 1 to current.

I think they treated the topic of evolution flippantly and had some misinformation in there. Such as the monkey sound when the kids were watching the film in class. Evolution does not actually teach man evolved from monkeys. And then they said man had been around 2 million years. But science knows it's about 200,000 years ago.

And then they say evolution is "just a theory." It was clear to me the writer of the episode was implying that a theory in science is just a "guess." A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Such fact-supported theories are not "guesses" but reliable accounts of the real world. (Source Wikipedia.) They seem to confuse "theory" with "hypothesis."

I understand the awesome responsibility of the creators of this show and do not envy them. They have to walk a careful line and not be too offensive to one side or the other. And there are so many denominations and an array of what people believe from church to church. So I am sure they thought they were walking a safe line here, but I don't know...I think that if they were going to take the stance they took, they at least could have gotten a few facts about evolution and how it's taught correct. It is like they didn't do their research and it takes me out of the story.

But that's just part of my issues with this episode. I won't debate the age of the Earth (though, my personal view is the Bible is clearly a history of the Jewish race, not the entire planet, and the Jewish people go back 6000 years, not the entire planet or the universe. But for those concerned about it, I think Keith Green said it best: "You know, I look around at the world and I see all the beauty that God made. I see the forest and the trees and all the things. And says in the Bible that He made them is six days and I don't know if they're a literal six days or not. Scientists would say no, some theologians would say yes. But I know that Jesus Christ has been preparing a home for me and for some of you, for two thousand years. And if the world took six days and that home two thousand years, hey man, this is like living in a garbage can compared to what's going on up there."

(And in my studies, I found that the young earth doctrine is relatively new in the history of the church. If I recall right it started gaining a foothold in the church in the mid 1800s.)

But what really got me about the story was at the end when he has the girl read Romans 14:23 and concludes that if you believe in your heart something is wrong then you shouldn't do it.

I thought that was ill advice. Our hearts are very deceptive and only God knows the true intent of our hearts at times, even more so than us. If we follow that, I think it could be dangerous. Our choices should be checked with scripture, not based on if we think something is right or wrong in our hearts. Sometimes our "gut feeling" can be wrong. I know it has for me, if I am completely honest.

And the question is can a Christian do or not do something they believe is right in their heart and still be wrong? Well, I absolutely think so. A lot of people defend their behavior by calling it a "deeply held religious belief." But those are not always Biblical. https://revolfaith.com/2014/10/18/your-deeply-held-religious-belief-isnt-biblical/

And I think that's pretty much the message of the episode. And then they take the verse in Romans out of context to support that view.

Ok, it's a kid's series, I know. And maybe I am reading too much into it, but it does appeal to a lot of adults, including myself. And I am disappointed when the show misses the mark, as this one did.

And I guess there are enough controversial topics in this post, but I hope it doesn't turn into a controversy. From the other threads I've seen here, I think this is a good place to open the discussion. I know people will respect others even if they disagree here. And please be respectful even if you disagree!

Here is Romans 22-23 in context: Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you’re not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you’re out of line. If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong.
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Re: Choices

Postby Jonathan » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:40 pm

I'm not going to pick this apart--tonight, anyway, because it's past bedtime and such--but I did want to address this:

Calhoun07 wrote:(And in my studies, I found that the young earth doctrine is relatively new in the history of the church. If I recall right it started gaining a foothold in the church in the mid 1800s.)


That's false. The debate has raged throughout history, but I can say with certainty that by the 1500s young earth creationism had a good number of adherents, as evidenced by the backing of John Calvin:

I have said above, that six days were employed in the formation of the world; not that God, to whom one moment is as a thousand years, had need of this succession of time, but that he might engage us in the consideration of his works.


Nor will they abstain from their jeers when told that little more than five thousand years have elapsed since the creation of the world.


As well as Martin Luther:

...the Decalog(Ex. 20:11) and the entire Scripture bear witness that in six days God made heaven and earth and everything in them. (pg. 6)"; "We know from Moses that the world was not in existence before 6,000 years ago. (pg. 3)


As these quotes were given in the 1500s it's fair to say that young earth theory was well established by then, and likely well before.
Last edited by Jonathan on Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Choices

Postby Calhoun07 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:15 pm

I understand that there were young Earth teachings in the past. I am not ignorant on that topic, sir.

But the fact remains there were more who taught it was allegorical and not literal in the past. And that those who taught a young Earth declined in the 18th century. It only saw a rise again after the late 19th century/early 20th century.

As for your quotes to claim it was "well established," well... I can also find quotes that it wasn't predominately taught that way. So while your attempt to "pick apart" my post (obviously you disagree with it as a whole) is admirable, but your statement that what I said is "false" is not accurate. What I said is absolutely correct, from a certain point of view. I didn't share with you my studies and how I drew that conclusion. I certainly didn't pull it out of the air, sir. Nor did you pull your quotes out of the air. But your quotes does not invalidate what I have read in the past. Not at all. What I said is true. Neither were the universal view, however. Because you find those who taught a young Earth doesn't mean it was universal.

If we go back to the earliest Christian teachers we will find a substantial focus on metaphorical and spiritual meanings of the Bible, more than maybe a modern Christian might expect. Roger Forster and Paul Marston write in "Reason and Faith" (Monarch, 1989):

In [the Church Fathers] there was, compared with today, a much greater emphasis on allegorical meaning of scripture. Thus, for example, Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 led many of them to take an allegorical interpretation of the 'days' in Genesis 1 to mean millenia. This view is expressed, for example, by Barnabas, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Methodius, Lactantius, Theophilus and John of Damascus.

That was not the universal view:

Basil specifically refers to 24 hour periods, yet later writes: "Whether you call it a 'day' or whether you call it 'eternity', you express the same idea.

Chrysostom, who appears to take the 'days' literally in his homilies, repeatedly emphasizes that ideas are being given 'concreteness of expression' in Genesis 1-3, to help our 'limited human understanding'. Thus on the 'rib' used to form Eve, he writes: "Don't take the words in human fashion; rather interpret the concreteness of the expressions from the viewpoint of human limitations. You see, if he had not used these words, how would we have been able to gain knowledge of these mysteries, which defy description".

Origen writes (around 231 AD):

What man of intelligence, I ask, will consider it a reasonable statement that the first and the second and the third day, in which there are said to be both morning and evening, existed without sun and moon and stars, while the first day was even without a heaven? And who could be found so silly as to believe that God, after the manner of a farmer, 'planted trees in a paradise East of Eden'? ... And ... when God is said to 'walk in the paradise in the evening', ... I do not think anyone will doubt that these are figurative expressions which indicate certain mysteries through semblance of history.

Augustine of Hippo writes:

Of what fashion these days were, it is either very hard or almost impossible to think, much more to speak. As for ordinary days, we see that they have no morning or evening but as the sun sets and rises. But the first three days had no sun, for that was made on the fourth day.

Augustine thought that the Genesis language reflected the Angelic perspective, which could know something either directly in God or in its later actual being.

The issue was not thought of as a crucial one to Christian belief.

The scientific evidence that pointed to an extremely old earth did not arise until the 18th century. This re-dating was not at the time generally taken as a 'disproof' of either Genesis or Christianity, and many of the scholars supporting it were Christian.

Significant Christian opposition to the geological dating did not arise until the early 20th century, with the Fundamentalism revival. Leading early exponents were George McReady price and Henry Morris.

This Wikipedia article gives an excellent overview of the history:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Earth_creationism

So I stand by what I wrote. I hope the further detail helps.
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Re: Choices

Postby Tea Ess » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:51 pm

I mean, at the very least one has to admit that this episode grossly misrepresented evolution. Which really shouldn't be a surprise coming from Focus on the Family, considering they do stuff like that all the time in real life.
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