A debate with a respected man of God ended. We agreed to disagree and the sign-off seemed permanent. What follows is emotive and quite unsuited to this forum – perhaps you won’t understand.
I just received an email from a man whose advice I have greatly valued. We only spoke briefly face to face, and years later through just a few emails, though I have read much of his work. He never ceased to advocate the sufficiency of the Classic view of Genesis which he championed. He discerned that I had a passion about what I advocated and that I would not be influenced by any debate based on approved understandings of Genesis. I agreed and the sign off on our messages had the sense that we would not make further exchanges.
I felt a great sorrow that I cannot explain. It seemed that what I knew was unchanged but my heart was being changed. Some things seemed clearer but others just hurt. Then I had this distinctive dream that seemed more like a vision:
I was on a long and complex journey but I got home. Home looked like a church but was divided down the middle left and right. I was on the left and the plumbing was fine but on the right side both the roof and in-ground plumbing was blocked and I saw precious water just spilling out all over the place. I had to go around the other side, or send others, to unblock it.
Then it changed, and my best friend who I grew up with appeared. He put a single gold chain around the necks of a group of people from my side and the other side. This chain also had a cross hung on it, just like the gold necklace I wear has a small cross. (It’s there to remind me who I belong to.) The two groups struggled to go their separate ways, but the chain would not break. As we struggled a great waterfall was behind us.
God does not want to see us divided. Classic or Day-8 view, we both belong to Him. My best friend, who put the chain on us, was of course Jesus. The rain pouring down and the waterfall was the grace of God. The chain won’t break and He won’t let us go.
I would rather not bear my heart like this, let alone to do it on a web-site and expose myself to the world! It seems that many who work at the Creation end of the Bible are into definitions of words and exegesis and the prophetic is excluded. I agree that the prophetic cannot be allowed to change the Word of God but it can change the heart of the hearer and reader to see God more than the words.
I imagined this scenario as I get to heaven and God clears up some details:
You were wrong about those creation days. I really did do each step in one 24 hour day. In fact I had to slow down and pace Myself to fill out the day and so lay down a working week by example and not by law. But you were right to reveal that I have been there every day for my children over the last 6,000 years. For them, like any father, I am always there and at work just as Jesus declared (John 5:16-17).
You were wrong about the time scales in the Garden. I created Adam not just fully mature, but with a language and perceptual framework. You cannot imagine how far you have fallen from his created state. It was just a small task for Adam to name all the animals. And I did not hesitate to provide for him all that he needed as a suitable partner. But you were right to reveal my heart in setting up a place and time scale for all men to get to know me and come into relationship with me.
You were wrong about Genesis 6. It was more complex than simple and brief language could describe but you were right to silence all that conjecture that defamed the uniqueness of My son in heaven by calling demons, “sons of God”. And you were right to defend my name when people suggest that I was cursing my children. And you did make it clear that it was all the consequence of man’s sin and that I was grieved more than angry.
You were wrong about everything, but you saw My heart.
I no longer care whether anyone thinks the Day-8 view of Genesis is correct. Find some way to see the God, who was revealed in Jesus Christ, at work in the early Genesis chapters – whatever framework or view you adopt. I am neither prophet nor teacher. Seek Jesus.
I want to leave the above sections exactly as I did them in the first draft after I saw the vision. But I need to clarify some things. Prompted by the vision I wanted to show a man that I honoured how God saw and held us both together despite differences. I went on to concede how I might be wrong but that the important issue was to see the correct image of God. But I have crossed over a dividing line in what is acceptable debate. You see, when I said that one side had its plumbing blocked and I was to unblock it, I claimed authority from God to correct the understandings of other believers. Well, actually I just recounted a dramatic vision exactly as I recalled it. But that will offend some people, and sadly it would seem to offend the man I honoured who was trying to correct me. It must look like the height of arrogance.
But you have misunderstood what the vision was saying. The vision does not endorse the Day-8 view over the Classic view. I repeat it does not declare one as correct and the other as wrong. It says that there is a blockage preventing the water, the grace of God flowing in one section of the Church. This vision occurred just two days after I had completed the “Absence of good” appendix of Page-1-God. I wrote that article when I could no longer bear some horrid interpretations of scripture that have become acceptable theology. Let me briefly list them.
These things arise from a misunderstanding of the God revealed in Jesus. They are laced with misunderstandings that have grown out of the law. They pervert the image of God here in Genesis, right where people first start to read about God. God is a gracious and merciful God.
The flowing water symbolises His grace and mercy flowing to us and through us. If you pervert this image of God then the water is blocked. That is what I need to unblock and so I boldly declare them as wrong. They have no place in Genesis theology.
But does it take a vision from heaven to recognise these things as horrid? I was about to say, “Surely no! These are fundamentals of a New testament understanding.” But I immediately realised that that is wrong. It condemns those who have offered such understandings. The whole background to the vision is that both sides are equally Home or The Church and all are held together by Jesus and his finished work on the Cross. All we need to do is remove these horrid things, just like pulling a handful of dead leaves out of a blocked gutter. That does not represent a change in where the water flows. It does not mean changing the Classic view of Genesis. The Classic view of Genesis does not necessitate these horrid things but like dead leaves in a gutter, they build up over the years as one mistaken idea builds on another.
One of the hardest things to grasp is that God is not so much concerned about the apparent correctness of our different understandings as He is about the image we have of Him. I never realised that as clearly as I do now even though I think that many of the Game Start articles had that as their focus. One goal of the Bible is to introduce us to God. (Another is to see our need for God in Jesus.) The Day-8 view, whether you accept it as valid or not, is not the overall issue. Does it, and other insights I have shared here, correctly picture the God and Father of Jesus Christ? If you can also picture them through the Classic view then fine.
It seems like many things in Creationist circles are debates about what words can mean and acceptable theology that has grown and been approved over the centuries. This testing of understandings is not bad because it helps to stop someone perverting the Bible. In the past Genesis has been perverted by re-interpreting its imagery and claiming it means something else and this has probably been done claiming “revelation from God” to endorse it. Does anyone think that is what I have done in the Day-8 view? It is easy to use this argument to dismiss the Day-8 view. “Oh, he claims special enlightenment from God”, and so warn everyone to avoid this site.
Well, where does anyone get their understanding of the Bible and their revelation of who Jesus is and why, and what Jesus stands for. This goes especially for those who would be teachers and theologians. If you do not acknowledge this as the work of the Holy Spirit then you do not give glory to God. If you claim that you see anything of importance in the Bible and think that this is not insight from God then you have missed it. You can make an unbeliever read the Bible, but if he is deaf to the witness of the Holy Spirit he will miss it.
Many times during the development of the Game Start articles I suddenly saw things differently or saw things I had never seen before. I had never heard anyone else describe the things I describe in Page-1-God, about the timetable, about day-8 man, and about God’s heart and Jesus in creation. I was astounded as different bits and pieces came together and even more astounded as I saw how they simplified and better pictured God. Surely I should acknowledge this as insight. But at no time was I given a vision, or dream or prophetic word that explained it all to me. It was all insight from the Bible. It stands on the Bible. If you want to criticise it or challenge it from the Bible then go for it. But just be conscious that it may be your understanding of the Bible and not the Bible itself.
I could see how these things drew a focus on the literal Adam and on God’s timetable for His creation. This convinced me of things I share primarily in the Game Over articles about the return of Jesus. In those articles I do share dreams and visions that relate to the future. But it was these insights from the Bible that led me to an expectation of Jesus return. It was not a vision or dream or imagination that caused me to re-interpret the Bible to see the Day-8 view.
In Chapter 20 and Supplement 1 of Page-1-God, I described plausible scientific confirmation of the my interpretation of the events in Genesis 6. But that was not the source of inspiration – I only saw that later, as a confirmation.
If I see things I have never seen before and so far (March 2010), I have not seen anywhere else, then should I not wonder why these things have not been seen before? Nothing is really that complex. And if I have been emboldened in my expectation that Jesus will return soon, the hope of all believers, and indeed these insights help focus us on that event, then is it not 100% logical to assume that God is releasing these things now to prepare His Church for Jesus return? Well it is exceedingly logical. It is not “special enlightenment”.
But I can see that I have crossed over an invisible line. It is no longer a debate about what words mean and about events in the past where some technical correctness must be defined and asserted. It’s moved from being about the past to what God is doing now! Well, so be it. I started writing things down simply because I was angry when people claimed that the Bible, in particular Genesis, was inaccurate when I could see a plethora of ways that it was accurate. To the Glory of God, He has taken my zeal and redirected it to reveal His purposes.