Last week, Maria, a self-described “31 year old, married, Christian, homeschooling mom of a 12 year old and a 2 year old” offered to answer questions about her conservative, the-Bible-is-literally-true beliefs. A lot of questions were submitted and I picked a number of them for Maria to answer.
Her responses are below.
While everyone is welcome to respond back, keep in mind that it’s not an easy decision to voluntarily throw yourself to the wolves So as you comment, just keep that in mind.
Many thanks to Maria for offering to do this.
If you have any other questions for her that weren’t asked below, please post them and we’ll try to do a “part two” in the near future.
Is there any amount of evidence that would be able to dissuade you of your belief in the Bible?
I guess the short answer to that question is no. I have struggles with belief from time to time, times where I feel very close and connected to God, and times where I feel really ticked at Him and want to pull the covers over my head and tune out and forget about church or anything like it. But as much as I can struggle or not like the way some things go on, there really is no other way of life for me. I’ve tried life without God and, for me, that just doesn’t work.
How do you reconcile contradictions and misinformation in the Bible?
Being as I believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God, I don’t believe that it contains contradictions or misinformation. However, it is a big book that covers a lot of topics and while I am no great Biblical scholar, I have had times in my study where I have come across apparent contradictions. However, further study and [making] careful notation of context have always cleared things up for me. If you have specific questions regarding certain passages, I will do my best to answer them.
How do you know you’re right when people of other faiths say the same thing with the same amount of certainty?
The simple answer to that is I don’t. I don’t know that I am 100% right and people of other faiths are 100% wrong. Really, putting it like that I don’t know for sure that I am any percent right and they are any percent wrong. I could write a book about all the ways that God has worked in my life and the many ways that I have seen Him prove Himself true, but that wouldn’t prove anything. Why do I stay the course then? Because, simply put, there is no other way for me. Maria, without God, is non-functional. I’ve been there and done that and have absolutely no desire to do it again. All churches have error in them, as they are run by human beings who, even with the best of intentions, are imperfect creatures. I love and am very committed to the church we currently attend but I don’t agree with everything the pastor/leadership says and does all the time. But I don’t have to. Just like I don’t have to agree with my husband all the time to stay committed to him. The Bible says that we see things “through a glass darkly” now, here on earth. Some things I won’t get answers to in this life and as I have told my own Mom and other people of different denominations or beliefs than me, I don’t believe that anyone is going to get to the other side of glory and hear God say, “Wow, you had everything 100% right!”
Do you believe the rapture will happen in your life time? If so, how does that affect your day to day decision making?
I really don’t know. I suppose the idea of rapture only very vaguely affects my day to day decision making as I am trying to live every day as the woman that God is calling me to be. If the rapture did occur during my lifetime, I’d like to be found by God doing what He wanted me to do. And I guess that means it would be best for me if it DIDN’T occur in my lifetime, as I have such a LONG way to go.
How would you outline the theory of evolution (in a paragraph or so)? From where did you get your information on the theory of evolution?
I attended a secular high school and took courses at college. It’s been awhile since either one, so forgive me for being rusty. I probably will never be able to do this justice.
Billions of years ago, there was an atomic explosion that hurled matter in every direction. Somehow, through this random chaos the universe and Earth came together. On Earth there was a pool of “primordial soup”. I have heard some versions of this in which the soup was struck by lightning or some other blast of energy to get things going. All life forms have cellular structure of some sort so life began with one celled creatures. Out of time and necessity of the environment, these one celled things gradually evolved into more complex organisms. A whole lot more time, some natural selection, and many more variations later, you have human beings.
What are you teaching your children (especially the older one) about politics and feminism? Where do you and your husband fall in terms of politics? How does your religion impact your politics, and vice versa?
I suppose I would be considered a moral conservative and maybe in some instances a social liberal. I don’t believe that our politics impact our religion much, but our religion does impact our politics. I get incredibly frustrated when I hear politicians say that they try to keep their religion separate from their political life. I don’t see how you can believe one thing and make a living supporting something else.
I am trying daily to teach my daughter to think for herself. I don’t want anyone to make her choices for her, her friends, her future mate, or her mom and dad. Nobody can control her but her. Her choices will dictate where her life goes. I tell her often that all we can do is her parents is give her the best information we have to give to try and help her make good decisions, but all the deciding about who she’ll be and what she’ll do with her life is up to her.
Is there any scientific/religious disagreement in human history that you can point to where religion has been proven right, and science has been proven wrong?
At one time, the most up to date science there was thought that the earth was flat. The Bible had said already that it was round.
If your child suddenly became seriously ill, would you take him/her directly to the priest with his prayers or the doctor with his science?
I’m not Catholic. I have never consulted a priest for anything in my life. When my kids are sick, and when they are well and just for scheduled check ups, I take them to the doctor. When there are emergencies, like when my two year old had the croup or when my daughter got bit by a dog, we rushed them to the emergency room. I prayed the whole way there, and once the kids were safely receiving treatment, I called my pastor and let him know what was going on and asked him to pray. When my husband and I are sick, we go to the doctor, and we pray for God to bring us through that trial. I think doctors, hospitals, and medications are some wonderful answers to prayer in this broken world we live in.
Do you homeschool your children because you feel your children will start to question their own beliefs if they are exposed to children at public school that hold different beliefs or no beliefs at all?
No. We homeschool because we believe that this is the best education we can provide for our children. My daughter is exposed to children who believe differently than her all the time. She has several friends in our neighborhood alone that attend public school. One or two of them are being raised Catholic and most are being raised with no particular religious affiliation. We expect and even encourage our daughter, and will with our son once he’s old enough to understand, to question what she believes and why she believes it. A belief that won’t stand up to questioning isn’t really much of a belief.
[tags]atheist, atheism, Christian, fundamentalist[/tags]