googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Is creationism driving young people out of the church?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Is creationism driving young people out of the church?

In my last post, I made some comments about an articled titled, 5 Ways Creationism Is Bad For Christianity. Just recently, someone I am friends with on FaceBook linked an article from the Huffington Post titled, Creationists Drive Young People Out Of The Church. The headline might sound similar to my last post but I'm going to make different points. Bear with me.

My first thought when I read that article was that it is fake news. It's not fake in the sense that I don't believe it's correct (although it is very misleading). I'm saying it's fake in the sense that it's not news. Does anyone really believe a left-leaning site like The Huffington Post is at all concerned with young people leaving the church? The point of the story isn't, “What are we going to do about these young people leaving the church?” It's more like, “Ha, ha. Look at how stupid these young people think creationists are.” The author seems to want to shame people away from believing in creation. It's a common tactic which I've written about years ago. Consider this quote from the first paragraph:

Particularly disturbing is the finding that only 27 percent of evangelical pastors “strongly disagree” with the statement that the earth is 6,000 years old.

Do you see what I mean? The author finds a belief in a young earth, “particularly disturbing.” In spite of its headline, the article is less about young adults leaving the church and more about getting Christians to stop believing in creation. But the liberal bias and shoddy reporting of The Huffington Post is not the point of my post today. I was more interested in what my FaceBook friend said. When he posted the link to the article, he commented:

Young Earth Creationists need to think about this.

Now, I can't claim to know exactly what this person was thinking when he said this. He seems to be making the same point that unbelieving evolutionists make when they write similar comments; he seems to be saying to creationists, “Just stop it because you look silly.” Maybe this person was trying to make a legitimate point that completely escapes me. I've thought and thought about his comment and the only thing I can conclude is that it is a blatant appeal to consequences.

Let me ask this: if a six-day, literal, miraculous creation is the correct understanding of the Genesis account, then what else is there think about? If I tell people the truth, and they leave the church, am I wrong for having spoken the truth? Should I not tell the truth for fear of offending someone? What else about the truth should I water down? What if people leave the church because I tell them Jesus was rose from the dead? Another reason cited for people leaving the church is that they are uncomfortable with the exclusivity of Christianity. So then are we to teach universalism instead? Jesus is one way but any way is fine.

If people leave the Church because we believe the Bible about creation, that does nothing to prove a belief in a miraculous creation is wrong. And if creation is correct, then why should we compromise on the truth of it in order to make the Bible seem compatible with the incorrect theory of evolution?

Articles like this one and comments like that made by my FaceBook friend are pointless. It's a worthless argument. But I have something to say to Christians who make these arguments: I think you're doing far more harm than good with your compromise!

The Bible commands us to love God with our minds (Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:37, et al). Evolution is a worthless theory. It is rife with difficulties, it makes no useful predictions, and it has made no contribution to any scientific advancement made in the last century. If a young person is wavering in his faith because he sees a conflict between “science” and the Bible, you need to know how to defend the Bible rather than giving credence to some useless, fairytale dreamed up by men how proudly boast that miracles never happen. Do you think it's helpful to say to an inquisitive youth, “Well, the Bible doesn't always mean what it says”? I think young people are leaving the church because they don't see the church as having any authority. When Christians pick and choose which parts of the Bible they will believe, it sets a bad example that these young people can see.

Jesus faced this same problem during His ministry. He preached the truth and people turned away because of it. John 6:53-68:

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.

Jesus spoke the truth. People left following Him because they didn't want to hear the truth. I will be like Peter and accept the truth no matter how difficult it seems. I will not be like those Christians who compromise on the truth of the Bible for the sake of making it seem more appealing.

1 comment:

Steven J. said...

Let me ask this: if a six-day, literal, miraculous creation is the correct understanding of the Genesis account, then what else is there think about?

Why, obviously, whether it is true or not.

Normally, we start by asking what a story means before we go on to try to determine whether it is true or not. I realize that you go about things the other way with the Bible -- conclude that it is true, and then worry about what it means; thus you don't see anything else to think about a passage once you've assumed you know what it means.

But note that this leads you, in some cases, to assume that what it means is not what it plainly says. The Bible speaks of windows in the sky, pillars of the Earth, and storehouses for hail and snow. From what we know of ancient Near East cosmologies, including extrabiblical writings of the Jews in the first centuries BC and AD, every single one of these passages could have been interpreted literally by readers contemporary with their writers, but you assume that they must be figurative because you accept scientific ideas about meteorology and geology that cannot be reconciled with a literal reading of these passages. By the same method, while every statement in the Bible touching on geography or cosmology is consistent with a flat, disk-shaped Earth, even while the Bible speaks explicitly of removing the believer's sin from him "as far as the east is from the west," you assume that the Bible must be compatible with a spherical Earth.

Evolution is not a worthless theory. A theory that makes no useful predictions cannot be "rife with problems," and the usefulness of predictions, for a scientific theory, is not whether they can be spun off to make new gadgets but whether they are testable and provide explanations of why things are one way rather than other possible ways. Pseudogenes for the main protein in egg yolk, in the human genome, make no sense in creationist terms but are an obvious prediction of the idea that humans (and other placental mammals) descended from egg-laying ancestors. Fossils that straddle any dividing line you might wish to draw between humans and nonhuman primates are a prediction (given a sufficiently complete fossil record) of the idea that we are descended from nonhuman primates, and such fossils exist. There is a certain obstinate perversity in refusing to admit that comparative anatomy, comparative genomics, and paleontology are as incompatible with separate creation six thousand years ago as meteorology is with the idea of literal hatchways in the solid firmament spread, like a tent or dome, over the flat disk of the Earth.