Yesterday, I had the privilege of listening, in church, to a panel made up of four scientists who happen to be Christians. They discussed their professions, how their faith impacts their science, and vice versa. All four proclaimed their sense of awe for God’s incredible creation and the complexity of the world He has made. Yet, all four of these Christians would be in serious trouble at my former church and in many others. All of them believed in an old earth and some form theistic evolution. Yet, as I listened to them, I could sense their passion for the Lord as well as their dedication to the Scriptures.

Several years ago, I had a conversation with a lead pastor at another church. His church only offered a young earth creationist view and mandated that it be taught every year to the high school students for one month. I reminded him of Galileo and how he was forced by church leaders to recant that the earth moved around the sun because, in their eyes, the Bible proved that the sun moved around the earth. I asked him if he would reconsider his beliefs about this subject and allow for the children to be taught all views consistent with a Christian world view. His response was startling! He called me arrogant and condescending, utilizing a technique that insecure folks use when they are uncomfortable. They effectively make the other person the problem in an attempt to shut them up. Truly secure individuals are not threatened by other points of view and seek first to understand before drawing the Walther.

Let’s take a look at the Puritans and see the obvious parallels in today’s churches.


Puritan children were to sit still in church and listen to the sermons, which often dragged  on for hours. If they wiggled or fell asleep, they would be smacked on the head with the end of a hard stick. Now we know that small children are not equipped with the ability to sit still for long periods, so we know better, don’t we? Well, how about the Growing Kids God’s Way by the Ezzos? This philosophy has permeated some churches. Not familiar with the Ezzos?  They “instruct” parents to keep tiny babies on a strict breastfeeding schedule.  Supposedly, such training will result in well-behaved children.  So what’s the problem?  This parent-controlled schedule has sent some breast-fed babies to the hospital with malnutrition. If you are mistakingly following the Ezzo’s advice, you may be endangering your baby’s life.  Please read the following important information we obtained at this website: http://www.ezzo.info/feeding.htm

Infant Feeding Advice

Babywise and Preparation for Parenting (also known as Let the Children Come: Along the Infant Way) have been criticized by hundreds of professionals in pediatric medicine, human lactation, psychology, anthropology, child development, and theology. Problems have been associated with these programs — cases of slow weight gain, failure to thrive, depressed babies, even hospitalization. Its feeding recommendations were the subject of a warning sent out by the AAP.
Summary of Concerns

The following are some of the concerns experts share :

  • Lack of expertise and credentials. The primary authors of the material, Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo, are self-proclaimed experts. Gary Ezzo has no background or expertise in child development, psychology, breastfeeding, or pediatric medicine, and holds neither an associate’s nor a bachelor’s degree from any college. His master of arts degree in Christian ministry was granted through a program that awarded credit for life experience in lieu of an undergraduate degree.Anne Marie Ezzo worked only briefly as an R.N. decades ago. The Ezzos raised two daughters who are presently estranged from them.”

Surprisingly, if you check out J.D. Greear’s recommended reading list on his blog http://jdgreear.typepad.com/recommended_reading/, he promotes Garry Ezzo’s book On Becoming Baby Wise:  Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep under the heading Children: Philosophy of Parenting.   J.D. — our advice to you is stick to preaching the Bible and leave parenting advice to the experts (and by that we don’t mean the Ezzos). The Ezzos’ advocacy of harsh discipline and first time obedience has caused great turmoil in churches and homes. Parents in some Sovereign Grace Churches are fearful that if they have a shy child and he doesn’t make eye contact with the “leaders”, they will be told that their children are disobedient. Interestingly, some of these churches are now handing out Puritan pamphlets on how to raise children.  How sad that they don’t hand out materials that incorporate years of studies regarding child growth and development.

Land Grabbing:

There is evidence to suggest that some Puritans were motivated by the possibility of acquiring a convicted witch’s land. This may have led to their support of the witch trials. Do we see self- interested greed on the part of church leaders today? How about Mac Brunson’s land deal? What about the salaries of pastors? How about Ed Young, Jr.’s massive home and plane?  We could go on and on about this…


Obviously there was a belief that witches were running amuck in Salem. But we are far too smart and savvy for that today, aren’t we? How many Christians are guilty of believing urban myths? How many of our readers remember the Proctor and Gamble executives who worship Satan story? Not only did I hear about this in a Bible study but church members and even one pastor sent emails to warn me about P&G.  P&G sued over these false claims and won BIG!!!

Another pastor told a story during one of his sermons that I knew to be an urban legend. I emailed him and sent him proof. He thanked me and promptly retold the story less than six months later in church! Oy!!!!!

On this blog, we have had comments expressing a belief in a vast conspiracy to cover up the supposed evidence for a young earth! Since over 95% of Christian scientists do not believe in this, such a conspiracy involves Christians as well! And Young Earth Christians wonder why the science world (including Christians) finds them obnoxious and pitiable.

Christians have no business repeating stories or forwarding emails without checking their veracity. We follow the One who is Truth. We should not be the purveyors of lies. Secondly, we need  to stop with the conspiracy theories already! Conspiracies are useful when one has little evidence for one’s position. When the logical discussion fails, conspiracies are the default position. It is difficult to prove a negative. Here is how such a conversation goes.

YE – Carbon dating is erroneous.

OE – Recent advances have accurate  radiometric dating  over millions of  years.

YE – There is a conspiracy to keep the truth about the problems of carbon dating from getting out. The Discovery Channel is sitting on such evidence.

OE – That is ridiculous. There is no conspiracy.

YE – Yes there is, and you can’t prove it because it is secret and you are being duped.

OE – Would someone please medicate me.

So many Christians love to listen to fantastical stories that seem to prove their peculiar view on life. Who can forget Mike Warnke. He burst on the scene in the 1970s claiming he had been a Satanist, a head warlock, and had been present for a ritual sacrifice and killing. As a new Christian, his stories filled me with horror and I worried that, at any moment, I could be kidnapped and sacrificed by marauding witches. Except, his “stories” weren’t true! He was disproven by some good investigative work in the early 1990s. Yet, even today there are those who repeat the crazy stories of a strange man who is now doing Christian comedy. Christians are still giving this charlatan money. So, how different are we today from our Puritan forefathers?

Theological Missteps

Cotton Mather wrote a pamphlet on how to determine if someone is a witch. There was absolutely no Biblical basis for his “proof”. In fact, today it is laughable. Just like the dogmatic pastor I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we all think that somehow we know better. We certainly wouldn’t make such mistakes. Yet, look around the Christian world. There are the prosperity gospel pimps whom we’ve discussed in detail here at TWW. How about John Hagee’s warped view of the Second Coming and the role of Israel ? And then there’s the latest Biblical interpretation from the Calvinistas — the doctrine of ESS (The Eternal Subordination of the Son to God the Father) — which was invented to justify the underlying issue of “the eternal subordination of women to men”.

There have been an increasing number of complaints about abusive ministries such as Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM). Pastors are getting into the seminary business (we call them “boutique” seminaries), obviously demonstrating that they think they know better than the other seminaries out there. There is Mark Driscoll’s ridiculous soft porn version of the Song of Solomon, accompanied by his rather unique penchant for uttering inappropriate words from the pulpit.  Supposedly, he’s no longer the cussing pastor.

We have the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention recalling those missionaries who have a “private” prayer language or who have not been baptized in a proper SBC church. There are folks like Paige Patterson who advocate sending wives back to their physically abusive husbands. And then there is the ever-present pedophile problem with pastors such as Steve Gaines covering up an incestuous pedophile pastor on his staff because he felt sorry for him!

There is C.J. Mahaney’s version of the Gospel that gets stuck at the foot of the cross, conveniently deemphasizing the resurrection. Yet, Mahaney and his apostolic team rule the SGM kingdom with an iron fist, keeping SGM members focused on their own “indwelling sin” that nailed Jesus to the cross and giving SGM pastors a pass on sin.

Science (ergot, mass hysteria):

The Puritans assumed that if a doctor told them there was no discernible cause for the physiological manifestations exhibited by the girls, then it was the role of pastors to determine a cause. It did not occur to the ministers or, for that matter, the Puritans of that day, that there were scientific (both psychological and physiological) explanations for what was occurring. The pastors immediately filled in the blanks for the explanation du jour, “demons and witches” with little to no Biblical justification for their “diagnosis.”

The pastor at the beginning of this comment obviously thinks he is sophisticated and that he could never be guilty of ignoring true science. He called me arrogant because he is cocksure that he has it right — kind of like the Puritans that I am sure he admires. The sad part of this story is that the time factor in Genesis 1-2 is not clear to the majority of Christians. But, you can be sure that he, along with the sour faced Ken Ham, are absolutely sure like the ministers who were involved in diagnosing witches.

True arrogance is seen when men like that pastor and Ken Ham make pronouncements on the faith and theology of those who disagree with them. Ham routinely implies that all those who disagree with him are potentially heretics or theologically dangerous. The pastor proves that he agrees with this by only allowing the YE view to be taught to the children at that church. They are both willing to sacrifice the faith of college students on the altar of their brand of Biblical “literalism”. However, they do not interpret all Scripture literally. None of their wives wore veils… They are the ones who get to pick and choose.

What is even more concerning is that these men routinely ignore scientific advancement and knowingly teach decades old science which has been disproven in order to justify their worldview. For example, radiological dating has become increasingly precise; however, their courses teach that it is imprecise based on tragically old data.  They refuse to allow the door to remain open to the possibility that they are wrong, instead insisting that the majority of Christians who believe differently are somehow disregarding the Bible. So, they throw out the people who disagree with them, risk the faith of their college-aged children (who are leaving the faith in droves), and run around to “holy huddle” conferences in which everyone agrees with them, never seeing how out of touch they are with the vast majority of deeply committed Christians in the science arena.

So, some of today’s pastors have declared themselves scientists, treating the Bible as a science textbook, using it to “prove” the age of the earth. They are no different that the untrained Puritan pastors who diagnosed “witchery” because it fit their own worldview or those who convicted Galileo for his observations. They have been deluded into thinking that somehow they have overcome the problems of the past. Yet they, and we, are no different.

TWW has been criticized for dwelling on the “negative”. There are abusive pastors around the country who avoid dealing with issues by accusing their congregational members of negativity, bitterness, gossip, arrogance, etc. We believe it is because most of them do not really believe deep down inside that they are such awful sinners as they claim (you know, the worst sinner in the world). Somehow they think they are a little more knowledgeable, just a bit more sanctified and slightly more imbued with holiness than those in the membership. Isn’t it true that we learn more from our problems than we do from our successes? As we quote from the Puritans, may we never forget the witch trials or the banishment of Roger Williams and the roles pastors and the community played in these awful incidents. And maybe, just maybe, we might actually learn something from history instead of repeating it.



  1. Notice: Undefined variable: button in /home/guswo2wr8yyv/public_html/tww2/wp-content/plugins/quote-comments/quote-comments.php on line 127

    You’re conversation between OE and YE. HAHA! So true…

    It is people such as this that cause me a lot of grief here in Germany… they see Christians in America as Puritans almost… then again I don’t necessarily agree with how liberal the Church is in Germany.

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    Hi Lise

    Rumor has it you may return to the home of John Edwards in the near future.

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    Dee, I think you should rephrase that. :o)

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    By “home” I believe Dee means Lise is returning to within a 40 mile radius of John Edwards’ home (actually estate). Have you ever seen pictures of it? If I’m not mistaken, it’s over 30,000 square feet! He and Elizabeth built it near Chapel Hill prior to Edwards’ infamous run for President. Guess it was supposed to be the “Southern White House” when he became President. Oh, what a tangled web we weave… That applies not only to political figures, but also religious ones.

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    Here are a couple of interesting links showing the home of John and Elizabeth Edwards. By the way, I overestimated the size — it’s actually around 29,000 square feet, according to the Washington Post.



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    You are so funny!!!!

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    Around here, he is known as “scumdog millionaire.”

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    Call me shallow but I never trusted him..his hair was too perfect. I feel the same way about Mitt Romney. :o)

    What did Laura Ingraham call him? My silky pony Edwards?

    And what an “Inquirer” life he was leading all along!

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    This YouTube video definitely goes along with your comment.


    Have you seen it before?

    I have decided not to post an article on April Fool’s Day.

    This video will have to suffice.

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    That says it all

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    I think we all know the problem with rumors. 🙂 Although your birdie might be correct… define near future. 😛

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    Well, I certainly hope it’s sooner rather than later. Blessings to you!

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    College? Retirement?

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    A bit nearer than that. Graduation. Because parents these days get all whacked up out of shape about having a high school diploma. You’d think they were important or something! 🙂

    ps. I need both of you here! Germany is a firing range for conservation Christians! And I bet you could do a lot better than I at defending the faith. My host mom wanted to bring in her Pastor cousin to have a talk with me after hearing some of my beliefs/thoughts. They have a much more *ahem* liberal interpretation of the Bible. And of course once I “grow up” I’ll see the light and understand the error of my ways.

    well that was a long ps. thanks again for your awesome blog! 🙂