***"I realize", "I see", "I think". Do you really? I don't think you know were I go to church, and I don't think you know my parents. Such sterotypes!***
I was hoping that you were in a church that was more fundamentalist than you. I was hoping it was your parents' beliefs that stiffle your education. If it is you, then I fear that your situation is more dire than I thought.
***The church I am presently at is not nearly as fundamentalist as I am. I have never heard the origins of the universe mentioned once. And the pastor does not interpret the scriptures nearly as literally as I do. I also disagree with my parents on many things.***
Then is it no problem for you if you told church members and your parents that you have come to accept evolution and a 14 billion year universe? Would they not disapprove of such an card blanche acceptance of science?
***Is freedom that important if you are wrong? Would you rather be free for 80 years on earth then die and go to hell for eternity, or would you rather be do things according to God's will and live in heaven for eternity? Sounds harsh, but it's what I believe.***
This sounds like your minister talking. Sam, there's nothing wrong with not taking the bible literally in every verse and chapter. You already do that when you say that the 'four corners of the earth' is not literally meaning that the earth is a square shape. Most Christians don't take the 'blood of Christ' as his actual blood at communion, do they? It is wine (or grape juice) - we all know that.
You are putting too much emphasis on very unimportant biblical points. It doesn't matter how long creation took, and it doesn't matter with whether God did it by some magical means or had the earth produce life. I wish you didn't put these unrealistic constraints on Christianity. It totally diverts from seeing the important message of the faith.
Warm regards, Harv