Short version:

Coincidentally, in my last couple of sermons, I have been including reflections about “belief”.

Please, pretty please (with a cherry on top!) do not use “belief” to mean merely “I accept this to be correct”. Do not use “belief” as in “I believe that the planet Pluto exists” – say: “I accept that Pluto exists”, “I think that Pluto exists”. So many people mishear “I believe in Jesus” to mean “I accept that Jesus was a historical person” as if his historicity is questioned (except by extremist nutters). Some throw out accepting the historicity of Jesus when they stop “believing” in Santa and the Tooth Fairy.

The question for the videos was, “Should evolution be taught in schools?”. The constant refrain of “I (do or don’t) believe in evolution” is misusing/confusing “belief”. Evolution is a scientific theory, like the Theory of Relativity. Belief is about trust, about having confidence in, about giving my heart and life to. I believe in democracy. I believe in the All Blacks. I believe so and so loves me. I believe in Jesus. I believe in God….

Intelligent, well-educated people accept and understand that Jesus was a historical person. That is not “believing” in Jesus. Belief in Jesus is about entrusting myself to him. Belief is life-changing. Accepting that Pluto exists normally does not change one’s life.

ps. How many do you think of those representing each State of USA were unequivocal about a “yes” response? 2! Two!!! And before you start putting down education in USA, remember that evolution is not required to be taught in our NZ Curriculum!

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