Silhouette of Debaters

Is Focusing on Young Earth Creation a Distraction?

Debate Logo

Next week, a scientist with the Institute for Creation Research is participating in a debate with another Christian. Each man will be doing their best to prove their position is the most reasonable and the other’s is not only wrong, but damaging to Jesus’ kingdom.

What topic is so important believers are willing to hold a formal debate at a seminary to see who can convince more people?

Did God create the world by speaking it into existence in less than a week not too long ago? or did He use Evolution over millions of years to bring us to where we are today?

One of the things we are likely to hear from the Evolutionist is that focusing on Creationism, especially Young Earth Creationism, turns unbelievers away from Jesus. Christians who believe God used Evolution tell us

  • No one will take us seriously if we ignore science like we do
  • We make ourselves look unnecessarily foolish
  • We close people’s hearts to the gospel by focusing on such an unscientific interpretation of Genesis chapter one

Let’s see how well these ideas hold water when we look at them carefully.

English: A child's drawing of a scientist.Do Young Earth Creationists ignore science? I’ve collected a couple important links on my For Teens page. The first encourages young people who take Genesis at face value to enter the sciences. We need lots of new people to search for the truth we find in the natural world. Then the first link under the skeptics arguments shows just how many active scientists don’t believe in evolution.

We don’t ignore science, we just refuse to interpret it the way the world wants us to.

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IMG_2603 (Photo credit: ~dolldreamer~)

The second point seems reasonable and serious. Who would put on a silly hat before heading out to witness? But, are we doing something unnecessary that could be avoided?

Here’s what God told us about how the world looks at everything He says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” I Corinthians 1:18

The only way to avoid looking foolish to unbelievers is to never tell them about Jesus’ cross or anything else God considers important. The reality that Jesus is powerful enough to use words to create everything (John 1:1-4 and Genesis 1) is awfully important. If He made it, He owns it. If He didn’t, He doesn’t.

Contortionist, posed in studioSure, people will think we’re foolish, but they thought Jesus was crazy, too (John 10:20). What’s more, although people who reinterpret the days of Genesis to mean long ages or even evolution can’t, the rest of us see what they’re doing. To believe both millions of years and the Bible you have to be really good at mental gymnastics or give up.

The last point is the most serious of all. How horrifying it would be to have someone’s eternal soul at risk because I wouldn’t drop some picky detail! But is this the reality we face?

The other week I heard a testimony at church. This person was at their wits’ end and knew something in their life had to give. Here’s what they said, “it was either atheism, or Jesus. Evolution was stupid, so Jesus won.”

For several years now, this person has been following God more and more closely because they first acknowledged Him as Creator.

A few days later, I caught the trailer for Creation Today’s new movie on Genesis. They’re bringing us into the process by raising funds to add 3-D technology to make this a top notch movie experience. Turns out the director found Jesus when he realized there really was a Creator God.

Then, watching the Galapagos Islands movie, I heard a bit of the producer’s testimony. He found Christ by reading Henry Morris and George Whitcomb’s classic the Genesis Flood.

All three of these people directly tied their choice to follow Jesus to the Creation/Evolution debate.

The truth is, the closer we stick to God’s Word, the more His power can flow through us. A God strong enough to speak the universe into existence in a matter of hours is powerful enough to transform me.

For more, check out these articles:

Answers in Genesis: Feedback: Are We Wasting Our Time?

Wake Up Shepherds!

Seven reasons why we should not accept millions of years

Creation Ministries International: Hebrew scholar affirms Genesis (how Theistic Evolutionists have to turn their brains into pretzels)

Dr. Gurney a testimony of following God both as an Old Earth and then Young Earth Creationist

Book Review: Organic Outreach for Families by Kevin and Sherry Harney

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This book takes us on a journey learning how to introduce our children, families, and communities to Jesus and His life through everyday life. It is full of practical applications and links to more resources in each area. Several times I thought the only way to improve on what they’ve done would be to have them visit each of us and help tailor things to our particular situation.

Starting with reaching our own children, moving through how to share with unbelieving relatives, and ending with practical ways to make an impact on our communities, the Harneys set themselves a big task and fulfill it winsomely.

The Harneys are experienced in many ways and it shows throughout the book. Their 3 grown sons each contributed essays to support their parents’ message, which is a wonderful testimony for a pastor’s family involved in the public school system. Sprinkled throughout the book are examples of how their lives have been used by God in each area they are covering.

Being a 3rd generation on-fire Christian, I was pleased to find there were specific ways to present Jesus which I’d never thought of before. For example, they would share their stories of finding Jesus with their children on a regular basis; I know my parents’ stories, but not because I heard them often! What I most appreciated about this book was the balance the Harneys achieved, both inspiring us to aim higher, and encouraging us no matter how far we have to go.

It was just a little discouraging trying to picture myself mimicking Mrs. Harney’s style of outreach. She’s a born server who revels in cooking and casual entertaining. I’m not. The book does point out outreach will look different for each person but doesn’t flesh out what this might look like. If you tend to think you have to “do it all” you’ll probably find parts of the book overwhelming!

My suggestion is to keep in mind your family’s spiritual gifts and ask God for wisdom to find how to consciously reach out to people around you based on the way He designed you. The Harney’s book is certainly a great place to start the conversation.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NLT

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review;  this review reflects what Cheri Fields thinks of the book.

Links: God is Working, Let’s Learn how to be Good Helpers!

C. H. Spurgeon,

C. H. Spurgeon, “The Prince of Preachers”

I’ve started visiting facebook before I write up my posts here so I can check up on any stray comments and so my blog posts don’t get buried by all the other cool things I run into and share with my “fans.”  This morning I’ve found some things that are so wonderful I wanted to share them with all of you.

Yesterday I found Ravi Zacharias’ fan page, so I will get updates on what his group is up to.  I also ran into a general Christian Apologetics page.  Apologetics is just a fancy word for learning to explain why we believe the Bible and how our Worldview works to everyone.  Today I saw a quote from Spurgeon that I really wanted to share with you all:

If you are drawn into controversy, use very hard arguments and very soft words. Frequently you cannot convince a man by tugging at his reason, but you can persuade him by winning his affections.” –Charles Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, p. 173

I know none of you are guilty of doing this yet, but I’ve already run into a number of grown ups who could use a serious reminder of the truth in this.  It is easy to forget that every single person who is arguing with you is an immortal soul for whom Jesus shed His blood.  I’ve even (rarely) seen YECs being mean to other YECs who disagree with their particular view.  Although I agree with this one man’s position, it makes me ill to see how he treats another brother in Christ.  How much worse is it when we treat someone who isn’t part of God’s kingdom yet with put downs and meanness.  I sure would never choose a worldview that was presented to me like that!

When Jesus was working on earth there were only two groups of people He was harsh with (I was shocked to read His words for myself in my teens, I didn’t know He was “mean” to anyone until I read the Bible through on my own): the 12 disciples for their faithlessness, and the religious leaders.  These leaders already believed the Bible, they just refused to let God interpret the Bible His way rather than theirs!  Jesus never said a put down to an ordinary person in His life.  Let’s follow His example no matter how annoyed we get.

I can’t speak for the rest of the Creationist ministries since I don’t follow them closely enough to know, but I do know two groups that are careful to follow this rule.  Answers in Genesis regularly posts responses to people’s letters.  They would be uncomfortable to read if you were the one being exposed as a fool, but it’s not AiG’s fault that the person wrote what they did, they just published it and politely responded!  The other group is Creation Today who will read letters from Evolutionists and address them as valuable, but mistaken people.  Very refreshing.

Let’s never forget the whole reason we Christians (yes, even kids) are here on earth: to teach, disciple, and baptize people who are being added to God’s kingdom.

Some other things I ran into today to share:

English: Uniform of the Boy Scouts of America ...

Uniform of the Boy Scouts of America in 1974.

Answers in Genesis has an exciting and thoughtful report on the Creationist work in the Russian speaking world.  I encourage you to read it, think about what is going on in our thinking, and PRAY!!! God is working, but for some crazy reason He has chosen to limit Himself to working through our efforts and our prayers.  Have you ever been part of a group where you work to earn awards?  Well, God’s kingdom is the biggest one of those there is.  The amazing thing is we can earn awards just by taking a couple of minutes to ask God to clear the way and do His work!  Wild, but true. 🙂

 

Lastly, Creation Today has put up a list of Orlando, FL businesses that are offering discounts to people attending the Proof of God conference (which is one big Apologetics meeting!).  If your family is going to vacation in Orlando sometime in the future (like mine will), take a minute to check out the places to stay or eat so you can reward them for their openness to followers of the Truth; think “boycott” backwards!

[Jesus said,]  For he that is not against us is on our part.  

For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.  Mark 9:40-42