Are Dogmatic Young Earth Creationists Complicit in “Faith Suicide”?


“I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and that the earth is roughly 4.5 billion years old,” writes Rachel Held Evans in a recentWashington Post article entitled “When Atheists and Baptistsagree”.


“This position routinely puts me at odds with two groups of people – atheists and Baptists,” she states. Evans then expressed her deep concern:


“While not all Baptists are young earth creationists, one of their most esteemed leaders recently took a strong stand on the issue. Responding to criticisms that he misrepresented Charles Darwin in a June 19 speech at the Ligonier Ministries conference, Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, declared on his blog that evolution is incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ even as it is in direct conflict with any faithful reading of the Scriptures."


Rachel Evans, who grew up in the “apologetics-driven evangelical subculture of the 80s and 90s”, explains that she believed the theory of evolution “had been concocted by godless scientists intent on undermining the authority of Scripture”. Evans then affirms: “We were locked in a battle with these "enemies of the faith," I learned. Only one side could win, and if it wasn't ours, the Christian faith would be lost.”

This idea was reinforced at the Christian college Evans chose to attend. She describes how “one of the science professors liked to tell the story of how, as a sophomore in high school, he had dreams of becoming a scientist but could not reconcile the theory of evolution with the creation account found in Genesis. So one night, he took a pair of scissors and a newly-purchased Bible and began cutting out every verse he believed would have to be removed to believe in evolution. By the time he was finished, he said he couldn't even lift the Bible without it falling apart. That was when he decided, ‘Either Scripture was true and evolution was wrong, or evolution was true and I must toss out the Bible.’”


I had previously read this exact same testimony in the Wikipedia article on Kurt Wise and surmised that Evans must have attended Bryan College where Wise taught prior to joining forces with Al Mohler at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. 


In her article, Evans explains that Wise’s story had such a tremendous effect on her that when she began to study evolution on her own she nearly lost her faith. After learning about the fossil record, DNA sequences, ice rings, and other topics, she found evolution to be a plausible theory which meant that she could no longer ‘follow Jesus’, according to both atheists and Baptists.


Then Evans shares what I consider to be the most important point in the article:


“What leaders like Mohler fail to realize is that they are setting young Christians up for failure. They are inadvertently orchestrating the very exodus that they fear. In presenting faith and science as a choice, the Baptists have essentially conceded that the atheists are right after all, and as a result they are losing some of the brightest young minds in Christendom to a false dichotomy.”


Rachel Evans is a gifted Christian blogger, among other talents, and you can learn more about her this link


Al Mohler responded via his blog to what he described as Evans’ “glib and superficial endorsement of evolution and its reconciliation with Christianity”. You can find it here. h


Let’s see . . . So Al Mohler, Kurt Wise, Ken Ham, and the dogmatic Young Earth Creationists (YEC) are the ones who get to define Christian parameters. According to them, if one does not embrace their extremely narrow view of creation, then one is not a follower of Jesus Christ (or as Ken Ham would say, “is in danger of denying the doctrine of the atonement”)? As I have explained in a previous post, I find it rather odd that Southern Seminary adopted its Young Earth Creationism position a mere four years ago. Now the YECers pronounce to the world what is doctrinally acceptable when it comes to how God created the universe. It certainly sounds to me like they are making themselves out to be gods…

I believe the following passage could be applied to Mohler and Company.



4"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
7when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

8"Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
9when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
11and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed'?

12"Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
13that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
14It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
15From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their uplifted arm is broken.

16"Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.

Job 38:4-18 (ESV)


On the very same day that Rebecca Evans’ article appeared in the Washington Post, I found a wonderful book in Blowing Rock — located in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains (which YECers claim are less than 10,000 years old). The book is entitled Who Made the Moon? A Father Explores How Faith and Science Agree and was written in 2008 by Sigmund Brouwer. This father recounts how he and his family were gazing up at the night sky when his little daughter asked “Who made the moon?”


Inside the book’s jacket cover, Signund Brouwer shares some heartfelt words for why he wrote this volume:


“I began the journey that led to this book because, as a father, I want to see my daughters in heaven. I didn’t want them to be alone as they faced widely asserted contradictions between science and Genesis, especially as they grew older.

Sooner or later, regardless of what you tell your children, they will make faith choices that we cannot make for them. We can only present the truth as clearly as possible, giving them the tools they need to search for answers and find them for themselves.

If we require our children to reject the major teachings of science in order to have faith in God, there is too great a danger that they will turn away from the faith. For Genesis is the foundation of the Bible, and if they can’t trust Genesis, why should they believe what follows?

I hope as you share my journey, you’ll learn for yourself that faith has nothing to fear from science.”

As the book explains, Who Made the Moon “is a guide to helping your child – and anyone else with doubts – understand, through Genesis and science, the first cornerpiece of faith: God created the universe.”


Brouwer explains that although he believes a six-day creation is within God’s power, he (after years of searching) sees the “harmony of science and the first two chapters of Genesis in a different light, without discarding the historical accuracy of the gospel.” (p. 15)


This concerned father of two then expresses the purpose of the book, by writing:


You and I may disagree on how to view the book of Genesis, but Who Made the Moon? isn’t about you and me. It’s about our children, our common desire to help them come to understand and agree with Dr. Warren (The Purpose Driven Life), so that they too will have purpose-driven lives that lead to eternity with God.

Our children are growing up in a science-driven society, where it is far more challenging than it was for you and me to make faith decisions putting God at the center of the universe. Given that difficulty, could we consent to staking the faith of our children on where we agree on Genesis, instead of where we disagree?” (pp. 155-156)


Brouwer explains in the early chapters of the book that evolution without a creator is mathematically impossible. He painstakingly describes for the unbeliever that the reason why the universe exists is because Almighty God brought it into being. I gave Dee and Dr. Jon a copy of this book, and I’m sure they understand much of the scientific evidence in Who Made the Moon? However, I must confess that I’m an ignoramus when it comes to the information Brouwer includes. It was WAY over my head! I do, however, encourage you to read it.

For those of you who may not know much about Sigmund Brouwer, he is a former journalist and a best-selling author of sixteen novels. As an accomplished writer, he explains the following about God’s Holy Word:


“To avoid misinterpreting the Bible, you must first understand that it is a divinely inspired book, made of a rich tapestry containing many assorted writing genres – poetry, for example. You also need to acknowledge that it was written by a collection of authors from different time periods and diverse cultures to varied audiences in several languages. The most recent writing in the Bible is still nearly two thousand years old. Without an understanding of historical, cultural, genre, and biblical context, many crucial nuances are lost.” (p. 126)


I believe the crux of the book has to do with the Hebrew word for “day”, which is “yom” (sorry, I don’t know how to add the ^ symbol over the “o”). In this regard, Brouwer asks the following question:


Why are so many respected Christians, such as the Reverend Billy Graham, willing to concede that the six days of Creation in Genesis might be longer than twenty-four hours each?” (p. 133)


Brouwer then explains that the word “yom” has several meanings in biblical Hebrew. He recounts how in the late 1990s the Presbyterian Church of America selected a panel of scholars “to determine the limits of permissible interpretations of the Genesis 1 Creation days under the assumptions of strict biblical supernaturalism, a denial of naturalistic interpretations of life’s history on earth, a belief in creation ex nihilo (out of nothing), and a belief in Adam and Eve as actual historical persons from whom all of humanity is descended.” -“Report on the Creation Study Committee,” PCA Historical Center,


After two years of deliberation, these scholars produced “a ninety-two-page report that agreed with the Westminster Theological Seminary’s position that there are four different views of the Creation days that are deemed to be within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy:


Calendar day: Creation days consist of six consecutive twenty-four-hour periods that are historical and chronological.


Day-age: Creation days are six consecutive long ages that are historical, sequential, and chronological.


Framework: the Creation week is a metaphor to narrate God’s actions in Creation with the days to be understood as topical rather than sequential and the durations as unspecified.


Analogical days: Creation days are analogous to, but not necessarily identical to, human days, that is, broadly consecutive but of unspecified length.” (pp. 133-134)


Brouwer then explains how he was heartened to read what noted Hebrew scholar Kenneth A. Matthews had to say in a Bible commentary published by a conservative press that is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention:


The weight of the arguments favors a nonliteral “day”, but definitive answers to the meaning of “day” and the duration of creation remain elusive.” (Kenneth A. Matthews, The New American Commentary; Genesis 1-111:26, (Nashville: B&H Publishers), 149.


As Sigmund Brouwer brings this book to a close, he writes:


“I cannot say this strongly enough. The science behind the theory of evolution does not state that there is no God. The science of evolution is not an enemy to your child’s faith. The real enemy is evolutionism. If you understand that, you will be much better prepared to help your child understand that science and faith can be harmonized…there are legions of scientists who have made worldview decisions (in favor of God) based on the breathtaking beauty of what they’ve discovered in science. For many, the science behind the theory of evolution has led them to God.” (p. 181)


At the end of the book Brouwer recommends Francis Collins’ book The Language of God. He explains that Collins’ book makes it difficult for an open-minded individual to remain an atheist after reading it.

There are countless young Christians who have been taught a literal six-day twenty-four hour creation PERIOD!!! and when they land in a college science class they are laughed out of the classroom when they share what they’ve been taught in church. How many of these students have renounced their faith because they believed they had been taught a lie by spiritual leaders whom they trusted? We know some, and we’re certain you do, too…


“Like a child”, who commented on the Francis Collins post, was one of those young Christians who could have renounced the faith. (S)he inspired the title of this post by writing the following:


“I had the pleasure of meeting Francis Collins at a conference 8 years ago. To this day, his demeanor left a lasting impression. I think he is saving many science students from faith suicide.”

Lydia's Corner: Genesis 20:1-22:24 Matthew 7:15-29 Psalm 9:1-12 Proverbs 2:16-22


Are Dogmatic Young Earth Creationists Complicit in “Faith Suicide”? — 23 Comments

  1. Deb,

    Great article. You are NOT an ignoramus. You merely studied English instead of science at one of the leading universities in the country. This is simply a new language kind of like me dealing with split infinitives.

  2. My husband is reading this book and I asked him to write a review for it on my blog. We were in blowing rock two weeks ago, incidentally. Where did you find the book? I found it by accident on a google search.

  3. like a child,

    I found Who Made the Moon? at a Christian bookstore in the Tanger Outlet Center, and I purchased the last two copies. My younger daughter and I were visiting her best friend who attends Appalachian State University. My daughter’s fall break coincided with ASU’s homecoming weekend, so we were able to take part in all the festivities, including a fantastic football game!

    We stayed in Boone and ventured over to Blowing Rock Saturday night for a little shopping. The weather was fantastic, and we had a very special weekend!

  4. Holding down the ALT button and typing 147 on your keyboard = ô. For further reference, bookmark this page:

    I’m having this same debate at home to an extent. My oldest son has been a scientist, particularly of the natural world, since he was very young. I fear he will lose his faith because of the insistence on a literal 6 day, 24 hour creation. Thanks for providing some resources to show him that faith and science are not exclusive of each other.

  5. Tikatu,

    I am very encouraged by your comment. Please encourage your son to read The Language of God by Francis Collins, and I will pray that he will impact his peers for Christ.

    Thanks for letting us know that what we are doing here at TWW is making a difference.

  6. When I was first a Christian I was with a fundamentalist group, so I assumed literalism from them. But several things over time changed my mind.

    First was reading the creation stories of the cultures that originally “competed” with Judaism in ancient times. I particularly remember the Philistine version, in which the male god had sex with the female god and she then gave birth to whatever they both were at the time, from cows to stars, and this was the origin of all things: divine sex and birth. The others were similarly silly, but what really struck me was how similar by comparison the Genesis version was to the “scientific” view. Everything in Genesis is in a logical sequence, in amazingly similar order to that which science teaches, esp by comparison to the other creation stories, born not of sex between divinities but of the Logos, reason, the “word”. After that there was no conflict between science and Genesis in my mind.

    Second, I learned, mostly from a class at the U here called “Science and Religion”, taught by a Rabbi who became my favorite prof, that both science and the fundamentalist view are new things beginning in the 17th century had different origins and justifications. Before that, it was considered ridiculous, both among Jews and Christians, to take Genesis literally. Although he was never discussed in the class, I’m particularly struck by the voluminous writings of Philo, an educated “Hellenized” or “greek” Jew of Alexandria, who was famous in Christ’s day in a city which alone held more Jews than the entire country of Judea. He takes absolutely nothing from what we call the OT literally, from Genesis to Moses! Everything is symbolic of some grander idea. Even Abraham isn’t a literal person.

    All that being said, I strongly believe that those who don’t believe in six day creation (like me) have an obligation to respect those who do. No one should be “laughed out” of a science class, or anywhere, for daring to believe differently than 20th century science teaches. Keep in mind it’s not just fundamentalists who believe differently than science, but many Native Americans, who are daring to remain true to their centuries old traditional beliefs.

    It’s far greater ignorance to mock such people, which is something the Christopher Hitchens of the world, it seems to me, don’t know. It’s not scientific ignorance to do so, it’s moral ignorance, a thing far worse.

  7. I’ve known many Young Earth Creationism (YEC) adherents who were unaware of how recently the entire YEC field was developed. They assume that churches and seminaries have been teaching the tenets of YEC for centuries or millennia.

    They would be surprised to learn that YEC can be traced back to the writings of a Seventh Day Adventist in the 1920s (George McCready Price, whose views were influenced by the teachings of the false prophetess Ellen G. White). And YEC was only popularized in other evangelical churches / denominations by subsequent writings in the 1960s (Morris and Whitcomb).

    When a seminary like SBTS adopts YEC as official dogma (and questions the commitment to the Bible of anyone who does not accept YEC), they are making a very recent and novel (theologically and historically speaking) viewpoint a test of orthodoxy.

    As I’ve stated before, I’m just ignorant enough to be ambivalent to the age of the Earth, and I respect the views and arguments (particularly the theological arguments) of both sides of the debate. But I have a problem with those who elevate YEC to the point of a primary doctrine. I’ll stick with something that’s been around a lot longer, like the Apostle’s Creed, to delineate the most important elements of the faith.

  8. Junkster said:

    “As I’ve stated before, I’m just ignorant enough to be ambivalent to the age of the Earth, and I respect the views and arguments (particularly the theological arguments) of both sides of the debate. But I have a problem with those who elevate YEC to the point of a primary doctrine.”

    You and I share the same position. What is important to me is WHO created everything, not how Almighty God created it.

    The Apostle’s Creed states: “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth”.

    The Nicene Creed begins with these words: “We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, of all that is, seen and unseen.”

    If Ken Ham and the YECers had their way, they’d likely change the wording of the Apostle’s Creed to:

    I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth, who completed His work in six twenty-four hour days…” Then they would accuse anyone who does not believe in the literal interpretation of Genesis 1-2 as being a heretic.

    Next week Dee and I will explain why it’s extremely important for the YECers to do be so dogmatic about a literal six-day, 24 hour creation. Here’s a hint: “Ken Ham is married to a “very, very submissive, supportive wife”. That’s a direct quote from the Wikipedia article on Ken Ham. Check it out at this link:

  9. Junkster

    A few years ago I used to respect all sides of the debate. In fact, I was a bit of a Pollyanna, assuming everyone, except for a few, were interested in truth and unity.When I began this whole teaching thing in our class, “the man behind the curtain” as well as an other man warned me that presenting all sides of the debate would not be well received. I ignored them, assuming they didn’t understand that Christians can really get along. Then the following happened

    -A teen and a man were kicked out of two different creation classes in the church.
    -A group of boorish people from a local creation “research” group showed up to the debate and disrupted things.
    -The one YE man who I thought was normal and assisted me in the class told me he would NEVER allow any other side to be taught to the kids.
    -The pastors refused to talk about the poor attitudes of these YE people and I believe they encouraged them in this behavior.
    -The church hid the fact that it is rabidly YE .
    -I watched a well educated man in my class attempt to explain that the study a YE “expert” was quoting was out of date. The man admitted that he knew this but used it anyway.
    -Ken Ham has accused a number of wonderful, highly intelligent Christians of denying the doctrine of the atonement. This means one is not a Christian. He routinely flings around hints of heresy.

    So this one friend told me he would no longer tolerate this and would confront them with the truth at every opportunity. I thought he was radical. But, no more.

    I love theology and I believe that we often split God’s truth into two camps:theological and scientific. I believe that all truth is God’s truth and I am tired of some elevating one kind of truth over another.

    From this point on, I am most guarded around the rabid YE crowd. They seem cult like to me and I am tired of having to defend my position under accusations of heresy.This is wrong and is hurting the cause for Christ.

    I now believe that the real problem is primarily on the YE side. I didn’t three years ago but I have moved in this direction. I will try hard to be gracious but I am dealing with some people who claim to be Christians while spouting off about heresy in a mean-spiritied way. I can assure you that folks like Hugh Ross and Francis Collins are gentlemen and outclass and out brain Ken Ham and associates.

    Guess you could say I am mad. They drove me to it.Throwing kids out of class. Teaching them science that is outmoded and not reviewed. And tying the faith to their conclusions, horrid!They are leading many kids down the path to faith suicide and they could care less. So long as their version of the Bible is preached and they are in control. This is a sad state of affairs and this is NOT the faith i came to many years ago.

    So, to Dave and Dave-you were right, I was wrong and I am now up to speed and not happy about it.

  10. Ken
    Thank you. I only wish Ken Ham and the other YE crowd actually treated others with respect. It does not go both ways.

  11. I am both horrified and and strangely encouraged by the term “faith suicide”. Horrified for what should be obvious reasons, since my relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is life itself to me.Strangely encourages because at least some few people are starting to understand that it is the fundamentalist rigidity and poor reasoning that are responsible for what is happening to our youth.

    I am a Christian home school mom. I started home schooling (as any home schooling purist would say! 😉 ) on the day my first child was born. I was attracted to home schooling as a nurturing, creative, possibility-filled, liberating way to raise and teach a child. All of this is possible for a home school, and many people choose to home school for this reason.

    BUT, once you start exploring the religious branches of the home school sub-culture, especially the “Christian” support groups, curricula, seminars, etc., you quickly find that it is a rigid, doctrinaire, fear-based, lifestyle. Ken Hamm rules in this world. Apologetics are taught in every spelling lesson, math workbook, history text, and especially in what passes for science education. The most popular high school science textbooks supplier is even called Apologia.

    I am a curious person, and I watched closely the family that had gone before me. One thing I began to notice after only a few years in the home school community, was that children were not truning out to be the principled holy warrior world changers the home school prophets were promising. I noticed quite a few home school grads starting families awfully young and not according to script, i.e. out of wedlock, and certainly outside of mom and dad’s master plan for the lives of their young people.

    So what was the religious home school communities answer to this? More control! Vision Forum sprang up, and scared parents willingly shelled out the money and started putting a stricter milieu control into their children’s lives.

    And now, what am I seeing? Starting a family young and outside of mom and dad’s master plan is the least of problems. Cutting, eating disorders, suicide attempts, substance abuse, and atheism are the products of this impossible to survive religious paradigm.

    It is this rigid fundamentalism that is destroying the faith of our children. 61% leaving the church? Jesus said in John 6:37 “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

    So who IS driving these children away? Rigid ideologues are driving their own children out of the faith. They are doing so by relentlessly insisting on a more and more stringent belief system. YE creationism is at the heart of this movement.

    Ironically, the tighter controls they are taught are necessary to keep their children in the faith are the very thing that is causing their children to reject the faith. These youth are not rejecting Jesus, they are rejecting the false Jesus and his ridiculously narrow and mean- spirited dogma that their parents are presenting to them.

    These same parents insist that anything less than complete agreement with the whole paradigm is apostasy. So when broken and discouraged young people finally realize that there is no earthly way possible to be happy and healthy in that paradigm, they choose apostasy. The teaching allows for no other options.

    Tragically, those late-comers to this fear based lifestyle are calling for the rest of the church to follow in these home school train wrecks footsteps:

    This author thinks parents need to dominate their children’s thought and social lives more completely, and that will solve the problem. Insanity.

    YE creationsim is responsible for creating more atheists than Darwin himself, from where I sit. And that is just the beginning of the problem. Total subordination of women, adults living as children under their father’s “authority” for the rest of their lives, no birth control, women can’t work outside the home, college is evil, It’s a sin to work for anyone other than yourself, the medical community can’t be trusted- the list of verboten thoughts and practices just keeps getting longer and longer.

    Total milieu control and attempted total thought control of our children will not produce disciples in love with Jesus and passionately devoted to Him for a lifetime. When successful, it will produce automatons who parrot back what their parents and church taught them to say. But mostly it will fail, and produce angry, defiant, hurting and broken people who will conclude, if faith in God is so weak that it requires total isolation and continual indoctrination to survive, then it’s a sham.

    Well, I have gone on long enough, but it is a subject I am passionate about. It is very encouraging that others see how damaging and destructive this rigid ideology is to the future of the church.

  12. Tomas and readers

    Welcome, brother!

    This is what google translator says of your above statement: “Which is really a great site, keep up”

    Thank you, Tomas! I am glad that our concerns about the church makes sense to you. Do you see such problems in the church in your country?

  13. Shadowspring

    Awesome comment! I believe that God is provoking an uprising amongst those who are seeing the long-term effects of legalism, especially in the homeschooling movement. Before I proceed, let me make a statement to readers who might misunderstand. I support the homeschooling movement and have some wonderful friends who have done a bang up job with their kids.In my current church, I have met some folks in the homeschooling movement who are OE in their perspective. So what I am about to say is not an indictment of the entire movement.

    Shadowspring, this week I found this site and was planning to write about these issues. Here is a link to it. This also deals with some abuse issues as well.

    You get the issue very well. These armchair theologians are doing everything they can to control those in the faith and do NOT care about what happens to the faith of those who cannot tolerate their rigidity on secondary and tertiary issues. They will throw children under the bus to prove their points. If you disagree with them, you are called a heretic.

    i apologize for my rambling thoughts but I had surgery yesterday and am still fuzzy. If you don’t mind, I will include some of your comments in my post in a couple of weeks. You express your concerns very well. Thank you.

  14. I’m glad you discovered Chandra! I’ve been following her blog for quite a while. Her voice deserves to be heard.

    One of my great frustrations is that home schooling as a movement seems to be unwilling to hear criticism. Granted, we are a diverse group, and resent being lumped together as if we are all the same. Educational philosophies, parenting styles and religious dogma (or lack thereof) vary widely.

    BUT, and this is the biggie, there are problems with every single philosophy, parenting style and religious dogma! If we shut our ears to criticism, we have only ourselves to blame when we make shipwreck of our families!

    There are plenty of home school graduates out there. We who home school owe it to our families and the future of home schooling to listen to them, both their praises and their complaints. We need to find better ways of encouraging healthy behavior in all areas: academic, interpersonal, spiritual.

    Gullible moms who only want what is best for their children are falling for slick marketing and guarantees of success. There is a lot of money being made off of those looking for someone to give them that guarantee.

    Support groups, so important to reassure us that we can do hard things, seem to always face the temptation to become such stalwart cheerleaders that they gloss over real problems. People in these groups are hesitant to say that maybe a person should seek professional guidance, have children tested for learning disabilities, and even, in Chandra’s case, demand people seek emergency medical care for their seriously ill children!

    The complaint from the beginning that critics of home school have lodged against us- it makes it too easy to isolate children in unhealthy ways- was one I accepted as valid and worked hard to overcome. I wanted my children to be a part of the greater community- not merely “like-minded” clones of my family. They were in scouts and community league sports, as well as youth groups.

    But around the time my oldest was in middle school, the religioSITy hit the fan! Suddenly people weren’t acknowledging isolation as a weakness to be countered, but as a strength to be exploited!

    This has got to end. Home schooling can survive as a movement if it acknowledges inherent weaknesses (like isolation) and arms people with strategies to avoid that problem. Home school as a movement needs to root out the ideologies that lead to these problems- QF and patriarchy, for the most part. These are dangerous ideas, that when followed, are almost guarantees of neglect, if not criminal neglect, and often result in varying degrees of domestic abuse as well.

    I love home schooling. I hope my children can have the option to home school if they become parents. I hope my grand-children still have the option to home school if they become parents. But I want the community to return to the openness and flexibility it started out with, before the religious curriculum providers and religious lecture circuit swarmed into high gear.

  15. shadowspring

    What you have shared is EXACTLY what I plan to discuss in our upcoming post. I plan to include part of your comment, so I hope that O.K.

    There is a strong connection between Doug Phillips and Ken Ham.

    They have done conferences together in Branson, and the Creation Museum store sells Vision Forum stuff. YEC is a “business”.

  16. Sure, you can quote me. =) Glad you’re posting on this. I told my pastor yesterday that the youth don’t need MORE apologetics, they need BETTER apologetics!

  17. If I could change one thing about my religious upbringing, I wish one pastor would have said “I’m 99.9% sure that 6-day creationism is true”. That would have been so freeing to me, even allowing just that 0.1%, when I came across evidence that showed the earth is probably much older. Instead, they act like they are 100% correct in their interpretation, and if you disagree with them you are not a true Christian. You can agree with them about all the major doctrines about sin, atonement, the deity of Christ, and all their denominational baggage. However, if you disagree about this one little thing, the age of the earth, many Fundamentalist pastors and Evangelicals make you feel like you are a heretic.
    Also, like shadowspring said, I noticed a lot of kids from these Fundamentalist backgrounds were involved in pregnancies out of wedlock. I saw many of them in college act really holy as Freshman, then by the time they were seniors they were into binge drinking, drugs, and premarital sex, and often bragged about it. They were more likely to abandon the faith than the “bad” mainliners. None of the atheist professors disturbed my faith very much, but the behaviour of Christian students did.
    Two things woke me up. First, somehow I came across Hugh Ross and his books. It was the first time someone treated the Bible as the word of God and had an old-earth view of the universe. Second, I read an apologist say that nobody takes the Bible completely literally, that even Fundamentalists do not think Jesus meant that you should limit forgiveness to 490 times when He said 7 times 70. That really blew my mind. I was a hard-core literalist, but I knew he was right. Then I had to admit that there may be other versus in the Bible that are not meant to take literally. I had always been taught that true believers take the Bible literally, and those who didn’t were destined for hell. When I tried to bring the 7 times 70 verse up, I would get a rude “of course Jesus did not mean 490”, but they still would not admit they don’t take the verse literally. I began to see the rudeness, dishonesty, and self-deception so common in many Fundamentalist and some Evangelical circles. I almost became a Catholic out of spite. I also had to do some soul-searching and admit that I felt superior to others by taking the Bible literally, that there is a certain machismo in certain Christian circles in taking it to literal extremes.
    So, for me, my crisis of faith was due to the behaviour of Fundamentalists in college and the dogmatic insistence on a literal 6-day creation of many
    pastors. After all these years, I’m still in a state of shock that many pastors do not seem to care about the apostasy their rigidity is causing. It’s sad that so many Christians repulse people from the faith, but by the grace of God I never completely left the faith, and am starting to go to church more often lately.

  18. Jim
    Next week we will be writing a few articles. We are so impressed with what you have said, we plan to feature some of your comments.

    You said the dogmatic insistence on 6 day creationism was one reason for your crisis of faith. Do you know how many Christian leaders will deny this? I have said this to some previous pastors, some legalistic blog writers, etc. They all say I am wrong. I think they can’t admit to this because they know they will have to copt to being stumbling blocks. Instead they like to pretend they are the “defenders of the faith.” It is a bunch of baloney.

    My current pastor would say that it is their lack of faith in the grace of Jesus that drives them to their legalistic stance. They like to ignore deeper sins so they invent a few things we all should do and believe in. If we do this, we are good Christians and will go to heaven. However, they never deal with the deep and unrelenting sin in their lives. Instead they “cook the books” so they look like good Christian folk. They aren’t. They are strugglers just like the rest of us but they add the sin of “pretend” onto the list.

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