I’m in a pickle with some friends of mine

I researched creation vs evolution for two whole years because I wanted to decide for myself what is true. It all started with me being curious about what the Bible says about Dinosaurs. It’s a big topic, but that’s why I wanted to look into for myself. After two years of research, I decided to take the position of theistic evolution. I’m okay with people having their beliefs, because I have family members who are catholic when I’m not a catholic. I even have other friends who don’t share my beliefs. I have zero problem with it.

I’m in a pickle with some friends of mine and I really don’t know what to do. It has to do with young earth vs old earth. I was in the car one day with my friend C and the topic of evolution got brought up. C is autistic and he claims he’s high functioning, but I think he’s more medium functioning. Not trying to be condescending, but it’s because of the way how he acts is why I think he’s medium functioning. He doesn’t understand some things. He was telling me that he believes that evolution is true because he was taught in school.

He’s dating my friend J and he was telling me that he was worried that J would break up with him over it. She’s a hardcore young earth creationist and doesn’t understand that there are other ways to interpret Genesis. She doesn’t understand that there are Christians who take other viewpoints besides a 6,000 year old Earth view. She thinks that’s accepting evolution means you don’t believe in God. I told C that I didn’t think that she would break up with him over it. All I did was tell him that I take the position of theistic evolution and that if there are any problems with her about evolution, he could show her Biologos.

They got into an argument over it. J messaged me saying I put it into his head about evolution being true. When all I did was just state my view on it. I told her that she needs to talk to him about it and what he said in the car. J was accusing C of lying to her about being a Christian. C being autistic, he didn’t understood how to respond and got intimidated by the confrontation, so he told her he doesn’t believe in evolution. Just to ease the tension.

I thought they got that resolved, but they didn’t. J and C got into a heated argument over it. It got bad enough where they almost broke up. They started blaming me for forcing my beliefs onto C, when like I said, that wasn’t what I was trying to do. They think I was trying to be manipulative, when I wasn’t at all. They refuse to talk to me now. I want to get the conflict resolved, because they’re good friends of mine.

They also said they think I’m hanging out with sketchy people. Which I don’t understand how they came to that conclusion because I barely hang out with anybody anymore since I’ve been so busy with school. The only one who I hang out with consistently is Ben and Ben is a normal innocent guy. So I’m very confused as to how they came to that conclusion. I really would appreciate advice. Thanks!

Welcome to our little community. Maybe BioLogos should do a Valentine’s edition on what to do when your origins views cause tension in your love life. (Are you listening @HRankin? You should get Mario Russo or some other pastoral type right on that. It’s an obvious gap in the content.)

It seems like your friend Jess has been a little sheltered if she is not even aware that lots of Christians accept the evidence for evolution. (Tell her C.S. Lewis and Billy Graham both did, that usually gets you some credibility.)

I know people who have broken things off with people they really cared about because at the end of the day, YEC/EC really was a deal-breaker. Better to figure that out sooner than later. I don’t think it is fair to tell someone that their beliefs on a pretty important thing don’t matter, because they do matter. People have different levels of tolerance for how alike they want their partners to think on this issue.

In any case, it’s not very healthy boundaries of your friends to somehow blame you for this situation. Your beliefs are your beliefs and you are entitled to hold them and share them whether they approve of them or not. What other people do with what you share with them is their decision that they need to own.

You could always invite your friends to come here and ask any question they have and offer to go to a YEC FB group or something and ask any question you have and try to understand each other’s perspectives better. You could reassure them of the common ground you do share as Christians, which hopefully has to do with Jesus being your risen Lord who reconciles you to God and empowers you to love and serve, and not anything to do with how many days it took to make the world we see now or whether dinosaurs ever co-existed with humans.

I don’t think this kind of conflict has an easy solution. There is just figuring out if you are the kind of friends who can talk about your differences and accept each other or not. I hope you find out you can.

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Sounds like a big mess and I don’t think any advice we can give you is worth a plug nickel. You are the one who knows them and that makes you more of an expert on this than any of us. There may not be a solution, but perhaps you should steer things away from evolution toward all the things which are more important. After all it is just science – only one of many many activities that people like to do. Most people could really care less about it. They have other things to do with their time.

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It happens. It’s always stressful when your beliefs on god, science, politics, or even how to visit on holidays. This kind of thing will pop up more and more. Just know that you are not actually the problem. The problem is the insecurity they have in themself , their faith, and their relationship. They are not being good friends and are caught up in paranoia and emotions. This is obviously a trigger issue for them.

If it was me, when I’m in these situations, I know that my belief won’t change, and my actions are still just as friendly as before. So I take a step back, let the emotional rollercoaster level out for the other people and then they tend to be more open, calm, and civil. Then in the future, remember this and tread carefully and innocently without lying.

I also hope that you can make more friends. It’s beneficial to have a wide circle of friends to enjoy heart to hearts with, watch movies with, and pursue passionate hobbies with. The same theory behind the quote , “ don’t place all your eggs in one basket” also applies to having many friends and acquaintances. Don’t let it suck you into a despair or paranoia and remain a great friend which can include giving space and let others chill learn and grow and come back into your life.

I have a really close friend who is superstitious. I found a black cat in the woods and then got sick repeatedly for months from various things and broke my foot and chipped a tooth, and developed new allergies and so on. Not related to the cat what so ever. Turns out, she sincerely believed through cultural conditioning from the small asian island she grew up on that the cat was a witches cat. That I needed to get rid of it. Even to the point I made a joke that I was burning leaves and looked outside and saw her prancing around the fire shaking her butt and the girl believed it. I immediately regretted the joke. She wanted me to get rid of the cat, she threatened to have nothing to do with me or talk to me because of the cat, and many other things. I told her no I love this cat and all of gods creation was called good. Three years later, me and that girl are happily engaged, working through the fiancée visa process, and looking forward to having a marriage centered on God. I also still have that cat and two more and she now adores them.

Someone who really cares for you will realize what they are doing is wrong and their actions will flow back in line with their heart. Just be there, and let them chill. Dont overly pursue the friendship and push them further away. Also, pray about it.

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One last thing also. Not sure if this is beneficial or even a wrong presumption. But a young man backtracking on something he said and neglecting his friends over fear of the woman he loves leaving him is common. It’s probably not related to whatever disorder he has. It’s just part of being confident in yourself, and maturing and developing stronger healthier relationships with others regardless if it romantic, buisness, or friendship. If he was still talking with you, and he’s mentioned he did what he did because of his issues, he’s probably just trying to justify what he knows was wrong by misplacing the blame. Or either he never did, and it’s just how you are coping with his betrayal. If you calm down, you’ll see that they will most likely calm down as well. It may even happen a few times. As he matures , and everyone, things get better handled.

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@marusso you hearing this?

And glad you came to the Forum, @Eric_Vierthaler92! I knew there would be some people here able to help you. :slight_smile:

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I think it’s their own relationship, and if they want to work it out, that’s between them. It’s not your fault for being an example of good science! I know many people who change interests, beliefs and sports teams based on who they’re dating. It may not be forever anyway!

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Hi and welcome @Eric_Vierthaler92. You can’t force people to talk to you, and your friend’s autism makes social situations difficult for him to navigate. It sounds like you’ve already given them your side, and they don’t accept it. My advice is not to get involved in their relationship, and wait for them to return to you. Let them work it out. Anything you do will be interpreted by one or both as interfering, and when they eventually break up, that will give one (or both) a reason to falsely blame you. Stay out of it and be patient.

More importantly, you need to edit your original post to remove your friends’ names. You’ve revealed personal details that they might find embarrassing, and they would be easily identifiable to anyone who recognizes your name. Use initials or make up false names for them. Gotta be careful on the internet.

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Eric, I was raised as a YEC.

It was an epiphany when I noticed that there were two creation stories with different orders and methods of creation. I realized that both cannot be literal history.

This led me to the understanding that the early chapters of Genesis are not literal history.

The Bible itself is clear that we should not take the early chapters of Genesis as literal history.

I hope this helps.

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@03Cobra,

I think Prof. @swamidass would love this story!

I am so glad.

Part of the epiphany was reading 2 Samuel 22, which is repeated in Psalm 18.

In those passages, the history of David’s rescue from Saul is told. God flew down on a cherub, smoke pouring from his nostrils, hurling lightning and arrows.

We don’t take that passage literally because we also have a literal history recorded.

Since we do not have literal history of creation, so some people demand what we do have must be read literally. If we did not have the actual Saul/David stories, I suppose those with the “it’s literal or it’s a lie” scriptural interpretation approach would demand that we believe that David was rescued just as 2 Samuel 22 literally says.

@03Cobra (@swamidass):

This is the first time I’ve seen this point made… what a sheltered life I’ve led!!!

2Sa 1:22
From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty.

But are you sure you mean 2 Samuel 1:22 (as above)?

(He meant the whole chapter of 2 Samuel 22, echoing Psalm 18… or rather Psalm 18 echoes it.)

Yes, I meant the entire 22nd chapter of 2 Samuel.

Ah brother, stories like these. You need to be very upfront and tell one of them that you guys need to have a conversation about this and tell them that what they’re saying about you is absurdly unfair. If they refuse to have this conversation, you may need to put them aside and begin talking to others. If the conversation happens, you need to direct it, be the first to begin speaking, and immediately explain what you did and what you’re confused about what they’re saying about you. That’s how I’d approach it.

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I sent them a letter trying to clarify myself. I was as amicable, empathic, and Christlike as I could possibly be. It was a very long and heart-filled letter. I offered them that we could either read the book The Fool and the Heretic, come here to the forum, or a Facebook group about it. Telling them that we need to talk this through. No answer and I know I would’ve gotten an answer by now. I do appreciate all the advice everybody here gave me, but it appears that there isn’t anything that I can do about it. Maybe they’ll eventually come around, but I won’t get my hopes up.

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Sometimes you have to shake the dust off your feet, but if you want to continue being friends, try to focus on what you have in common.

When I learn something new ( to me). I am excited and wind up focusing on it too much and referring to it too much. Ultimately, we need to step back and not push our ideas, but rather listen ans ask questions. When with those who do not agree with me on a point, we focus on other things. Ask about what is happening in their lives, how God is working.

Quite honestly, the discussion about evolution or old earth makes people very uncomfortable if they hold a young earth view. There is the cognitive dissonance in holding a belief is true that is not founded in reality. There is the threat of loss of family, community, and church support if the old earth view is accepted. Losing you as a friend vs. losing their identity and all their other friends may be painful, but is an easy choice. Your ultimate desire is probably acceptance, not agreement, but to them acceptance is rejection of their world.

Fortunately, there is a whole world of loving people who are not threatened and who will accept you into community, not only here but in churches in your area. If I had one piece of advice to give my younger self, it would be to not take myself so seriously, and focus more on accepting others as they are and seeing them through eyes of grace.

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I absolutely concur with acceptance and not agreement. I can’t force anybody to think the way that I do and nor have I ever intended that. I have friends and family members who disagree with me on the age of the earth and evolution and we agree to disagree. What matters most, is that we give our lives to Christ. Christ does not care what side we take. As long as you accept him as your Lord and Savior, then you are saved.

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Huge news! I gave up too soon. My friends finally got back to me and we talked things through. They understand that it was a severe misunderstanding and they’re okay with me being theistic evolution. My prayers have finally been answered! :blush:

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