Ken Ham, Young Earth Creationism, Young People AbandoningTheir Faith: My Daughter’s Story

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This next story pains me. It’s a personal one. Parenting is very challenging. Homeschooling children has also been a challenge. When we began homeschooling our children, we chose to do so for a number of reasons. We wanted to have better oversight over the curricula our children were taught because we wanted to give them a solid Christian foundation.

Source

I’m sure my kids played
with dinosaurs like this. (Source)

As typical Christian parents, we did not want them to have “worldly” influences. We got support at homeschool conventions, conferences. I spent time on the internet in e-mail groups, message boards, etc, and got support and information there. In the Christian homeschooling arena, Creationism was taught in the science curricula. Evolution was labeled as evil and we needed to protect our children from those false ideas.

Ken Ham spoke at the homeschooling circuit and we went to his seminars. Others echoed his ideas and if you were a Christian homeschooler, you very likely taught your children Young Earth Creationism  (YEC), as this was the primary science taught in the available Christian homeschooling texts – at least that I saw in my circles. Science has never been my “thang.” I don’t need to know the process of how we got here. The Bible told me how we got here. I believed what it said and that settled the issue for me. I didn’t need to discuss it further. My husband, however, is an engineer. He is very interested in knowing the process of things. :::::ja yawns at the thought of such a thing::::: I can’t imagine him not wanting to know how things work. Engineers live and breathe processes. Teaching creationism was a perfect fit for my husband. He took the kids to creationism seminars over the years, bought quite a few creationist books about dinosaurs and the origins of the earth, and the kids soaked it up. I found our eldest daughter devouring the books just for fun. She was sold. It was a foundational issue for faith, just like Ken Ham always said. Here is a quote by Ken Ham to students at Bob Jones University:

“The majority of Christian colleges in this nation won’t take a stand on a literal Genesis, as you do here at Bob Jones University,” he said. And that compromise, according to Mr. Ham, is the very reason that some Christian young people are abandoning their faith. He said, “We have increasing numbers of people who have been led to doubt the history in the Bible, and so they don’t believe the Gospel based on that history.” (Source)

A couple of months ago, my older kids and I were at a restaurant and Hannah, 26 yrs old, shared with me a pivotal experience. I hadn’t heard this story before. Remember, science bores me. When she talked this time about science, I was not bored. I listened with great sadness and also understanding. It made sense to me. I asked Hannah if she would share her story here and she agreed. I do not agree with Ken Ham anymore. I hope my daughter’s story will open your eyes to another side of the story which Mr. Ham would not dare to admit. His intentions may be good in holding so strongly to the YEC teachings, but we cannot dismiss that his ministry and possibly livelihood depend upon it. I don’t care if people believe in Young Earth Creation or not. To me, it is not a salvation issue or gospel issue. But the YEC-only way of believing did not work for my daughter, it backfired. I think it’s important to take a closer look at this issue. Hannah’s story follows.

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My Experience with Young Earth
Creationism

by
Hannah Smith

hannah

While on a break between classes at the local community college, a previous homeschooled friend I knew from church and I were sitting at a table chatting in the main lobby. I honestly have no idea how the subject came up, but we were talking about YEC and evidences for it. I was trying to explain Carbon-14 dating (it’s not the easiest thing to break down off-the-cuff, but I was pretty sure I knew the very basic fundamentals of it in order to have it make sense to her. As I was trying to explain it, one of my classmates overheard our conversation and came over and joined the conversation. He very efficiently sliced-and-diced my YEC “points” and “evidence”, but since I felt I hadn’t brushed up on the subject in a year or two, I’d investigate it more in the light of the contradictions he’d brought to surface. I wanted to see if I could do more in-depth research on the topic and figure out if and how much of what he was saying could be verified and where the disconnect between our two viewpoints occurred.

So after I went home, I dug up our trusty creationism-is-true-sort-of books commonly found in good Bible-Believing Homeschooling YEC family’s libraries. After reading the articles and chapters, I did what my father always said to do and “checked the source” – probably more to see if there were books completely dedicated to the topic of Carbon-14 dating that I could look up in the local library. Flipping to the end of the book with the citations I was shocked that pretty much all of the sources for their proof was from other Christian YEC-believing books. So I quickly determined that they were just quoting what other people who believed similarly where saying, rather than going to scientific journals and scholarly articles written by secular authors and scientists. For example, take a look at the following excerpt taken from an article at Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis site (Doesn’t Carbon-14 Dating Disprove the Bible?)

In 1997 an eight-year research project was started to investigate the age of the earth. The group was called the RATE group (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth). The team of scientists included:

  • Larry Vardiman, PhD Atmospheric Science
  • Russell Humphreys, PhD Physics
  • Eugene Chaffin, PhD Physics
  • John Baumgardner, PhD Geophysics
  • Donald DeYoung, PhD Physics
  • Steven Austin, PhD Geology
  • Andrew Snelling, PhD Geology
  • Steven Boyd, PhD Hebraic and Cognate Studies

That looks VERY impressive – every single person, a PhD. But they probably ALL have a vested interest in this – 3 of those 8 people have written books advocating YEC and you can find that information one simple mouse-click away from the article. Look at the sources quoted at the end of the article – they go back to other Christian Scientists with published books on the subject (the scientists above) – unless they are quoting the opposing viewpoints for comparison. I found this info out in about 1 minute while I was writing the first paragraph above, about the same amount of time it took me five and half years ago, when this originally occurred. This kind of circular reasoning raised (and honestly still raises) major red-flags for me from a logical and scientific standpoint. If they can’t find outside sources, how does them quoting from their friends make it true? This was the starting point of me doubting my faith. I never recovered from it.

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266 comments on “Ken Ham, Young Earth Creationism, Young People AbandoningTheir Faith: My Daughter’s Story

  1. This, to me, is the basic flaw in fundamentalism, which actually has a name: foundationalism. Fundamentalists claim that there are certain truths on which the whole of Christianity is based, and if those fall, then everything else falls with it.

    For many fundamentalists, YEC is one of those basic truths. If death occurred before the fall (a la natural selection), then why did God condemn Adam and Eve to “death”? Why did Jesus come to die, to bring us eternal life, if “death” is a natural part of life?

    Fundamentalizing and foundationalizing these concepts results in people leaving Christianity when they encounter different ideas and can’t ignore the validity of opposing claims.

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  2. Reblogged this on Lana Hobbs the Brave and commented:
    A personal story about realizing young earth creationism isn’t as founded in science as they make it sound. … YEC is one of what I call ‘Achilles Heels’ of young faith, along with teachings like innerancy and total depravity.

    Like

  3. I, too, was taught YEC in youth group and as a homeschooler… It would have been absolutely devastating to my faith but for a dear friend from youth group: right as I was having problems with YEC in high school, she lent me some books that argued that it was ok to be a Christian and still believe in the Big Bang/”old earth” creationism. I’m quite sure that she saved my faith. These YEC people just have no idea how much they set up young Christians for failure…

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  4. Ryan – What a story! Thanks so much for sharing. Sometimes I sit here and read comments and shake my head and get tears in my eyes. This is one of those moments.

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  5. Some fundamentalists are trying to get my church’s children’s director to add an “apologetics” curriculum to Sunday school. It’s so dangerous to teach kids things they will have to unlearn when they hit middle school.

    I think St. Augustine had great advice on this 1600 years ago.
    http://www.pibburns.com/augustin.htm
    “Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7] ”

    And the same goes for the ridiculous Focus on the Family “Truth Project” adult video curriculum. (We can save that for another day, but for those curious, do a search for Truth Project Critique Wheaton College — or Pt. Loma University — or Gordon College.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh no. I can no longer ‘like’ Spiritual Sounding Board page. Attacking Scripture, saying that creation science is wrong…I am simply astounded that you would be duped by the lies of the world. This is deeply troubling and upsetting. And then to call those who believe creation science a bunch of fundamentalists as a pejorative, is simply insulting. I hope you all open your eyes to the truth.

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  7. The science for creation is excellent, unfortunately, most scientific journals have evolutionary gate keepers. You have been duped. It all happened exactly how the Bible says it happened.

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  8. marusha – I find it interesting that you feel it’s so important to defend Creationism, that you failed to even mention my daughter who abandoned her faith because of it. Maybe that was an oversight? I don’t know, it makes me think of arguing about c-section vs vaginal birth after a stillbirth. Where’s the love?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Julie Anne,

    One can always tell when a commenter is to be utterly ignored, eh? (hahaha) When that spacey-sounding Star Trek noise rings in the distance while reading a comment — oooo-weeeee-ooooooh — time to keep reading to the next one. (Yeah, “marusha,” I’m talkin’ ’bout you.)

    I, too, was raised on YEC. To deny it was to deny Scripture, the gospel, and the Faith. But I was taught in college (The College at Southeastern, that is, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) not what to think but how to think. Difference of opinion was not just permitted but encouraged on matters such as the age of the earth (though perhaps not on other subjects, such as egalitarianism, Arminianism, or paedobaptism — but let’s not get crazy here, lol).

    Come to think of it, my holding to inerrancy is also a left-over tenet from my Southern Baptist days, and I’m not necessarily complaining — only that I’ve come to not to base my faith on these issues at all. I’m grateful for this. How tragic that fundamentalism has been the instrumental cause of driving people away from the kingdom of God rather than to it.

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  10. Julie Anne, thanks for your kind words!

    Marusha, may I just ask: who here has attacked the Scriptures? What we’ve “attacked” is a particular misinterpretation of the Bible. And I might add, it’s a misinterpretation that wasn’t widely popular among Christians until a few hundred years ago. 1400 years before Charles Darwin sailed aboard the HMS Beagle, St. Jerome was already arguing that the word “day” in Genesis more nearly meant “age” or “era”…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Here’s the deal, Marusha, You said:
    “It all happened exactly how the Bible says it happened.”

    My problem with that is, your version of “how the Bible says it happened” is much different than how my “Bible says it happened.”

    I can debunk YEC very easy, using the “Bible says it happened”, without using science at all. It’s very easy. You have been duped, Marusha.

    Ed

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  12. I don’t know if marusha will be back, but I did a quick search for her name on Facebook because I remember “marusha” on my SSB Facebook page. I found her public Facebook page. She posted a comment on her page right around the time her comment was posted here. It’s on the topic of evolution/creationism. This might explain where she is coming from:

    “Creation demonstrates the Creator. Evolution simply cannot be proven, because it doesn’t exist. It is not even logical. It doesn’t even make sense in reality. If you were willing to dig into it and do some real research with an open mind, I’m sure you would find out that fact. Evolutionary theory is nothing more than a compelling lie orchestrated in order to distract people from the truth that there is a God before whom we are all morally responsible. If only people could clearly see how truly ridiculous it is. It is fundamentally flawed. It is flawed throughout. It is a house of cards. There is so much out there debunking it, yet so much has been stifled and suppressed by the evolutionary gate keepers who refuse to acknowledge the excellent science presented by Creationists. I am not saying anyone here is unintelligent, on the contrary, the most intelligent people are the ones who can be duped the most because of pride. I am appealing to your reason and intellect, but most of all, I am pleading with your consciences. All people have the basic knowledge that God exists and the intelligent design in all creation testifies to this. Many people in their pride won’t admit to this, however, because they hate the fact that they are responsible for all they have done. They, therefore, attribute creation to chance. If you can hide the evidence for God, you can more easily convince yourself that God doesn’t exist. And round and round it goes until one day, at any given moment, God saves someone and they are set free to revel in His truth. I hope you will all come to the realization that you are sinners in need of salvation. The only way is Jesus. Repent of your sins and turn to Christ for mercy. He is mighty to save.”

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  13. Marusha,

    There was once upon a time that Christians believed in a flat earth, too. Were they all hell bound for that belief? Were they infidels? These YEC leaders have an agenda that has nothing to do with the age of the earth to begin with.

    It’s too easy to say, on one hand, “Yep, I believe every word of the Bible”, and, ON THE OTHER HAND, to say, “I don’t understand it, but I believe it.”

    Anyone can quote scripture, as you imply with, “It all happened exactly how the Bible says it happened.”

    So, how did it happen?

    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh boy, her public facebook page is, um…somethin’ else. Marusha, if you’re still reading this, I really don’t mean to be as mean-spirited as this will probably sound, but: the youtube video you posted with a bunch of Rick Warren quotes with you singing about hypocrisy in the background is the kind of stuff that drives young people away from wanting to even be associated with Christianity, That goes double for all the YEC malarky…

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  15. Okay, so this Ed Chapman guy comes to my facebook page and, twist God’s Word, call me names, tried to impose what he thinks Scripture means, defends an unbiblical view, used insults as arguments and judgmentally called me judgmental? Is this really how you professing liberal Christians discuss things? I will thank you all not to harass me. And you are all gossiping and putting me down here? You should all be ashamed of yourselves. You need to repent of your sins and put your faith in Christ alone for salvation or stop calling yourselves Christians.

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  16. Ryan, when you call young earth creationism ‘malarkey’ you are calling the Bible malarkey. There are essentials of the Christian faith that if you willfully deny them, (Scripture being one of them), you are unfortunately not really a Christian. Please stop name calling and looking down on biblical Christians.

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  17. Marusha can’t be believed, because she deleted all of my comments which shows that I never called her names. I told her that she was judgmental. That is an accusation, not name calling. But, you so called “Conservative” Christians have redefined what it is to be a Christian. This is NOT a salvation issue, and she makes it out to be one.

    Ed

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  18. Marusha gets “offended”, when anyone opposes her “interpretation”, and she accuses those who disagree with her take on it as sinners who need to repent!!!

    She has drank the cult Kool-Aid.

    So, there is an us and a them. She believes in YEC, and so, everyone else who claims to be a Christian are in fact infidels if they don’t believe what she believes. To her, it is a salvation issue. To the YEC, it is a salvation issue.

    What denomination of Church teaches that it is a salvation issue?

    Ed

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  19. JA, I knew I said that wrong…Sorry…

    I am a Christian. I don’t categorize it between liberal or conservative. She accuses me and others of being a liberal Christian above. I am learning that there is one major group of Christians that are labeling themselves to be “conservative” Christians, and that is in the Calvinist movement…very hard line. This YEC is very hard line stuff that is being shoved down the throats of a certain group. You have no choice but to believe what is presented, and it is very biased, and certainly cannot be questioned, because then, you would be accused of being an infidel that needs to repent of your sins.

    Ed

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  20. Please remove all the comments I’ve made here. I didn’t realize that I would be found and harassed like that. All I can say is, I hope you all are set free by the truth found in God’s Word. I don’t wish harm or insult on any of you, I’m sorry if my feeble attempt to show concern offended you. I am merely following the command in Scripture to contend for the faith. I pray you all can heal from any hurts done to you and that you will find comfort and truth in the powerful, inspired Word of God. Let us continue to look to the cross where Christ took God’s wrath on behalf of all those who would repent and trust in Him alone for salvation. He who rose from the dead is mighty to save. He is also the one capable of making the earth in 6 days. Please learn of Scripture. Please take Christ at His Word.

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  21. Marusha comes to JA’s blog and insults her blog, and can’t stand to be judged for it. Tisk Tisk. If only Marush would take another look at the nonsense that she was taught, she would RUN AS FAST AS SHE CAN away from the YEC doctrines.

    Ed

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  22. marusha – I think you are misunderstanding. How do you feel that anyone here is not contending for the faith? I’m curious about this because here I just explained that my daughter abandoned her faith. Does that not tell you how concerned I am for her and for the many others who might leave under the same circumstances? What about that? Yes, I agree – look to the cross, but deciding whether or not the 6 days of creation were literal or not does not take away anything from what Christ did for us there. Do you see how the obsession with this literal 6 days can be a distraction to Christ? It’s a secondary issue, not a primary doctrinal issue.

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  23. I think we need a chill pill here. Let’s call it a night. I’m not liking the direction this is going. Thanks! I think I might hide some comments while I sleep on it. I may or may not put them back. g’nite all.

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  24. This kind of extreme black and white thinking in regards to YEC and other issues is backfiring badly on fundamentalists. I’m 24, and an agnostic now, and one of the big issues that really troubled me was not only the barbarity of the Old Testament, but aspects of the OT like the Creation story and Noah’s Ark.

    For example, after thinking that such Biblical accounts were literally true was a major problem when you find out that according to the Biblical measurements, Noah’s Ark would have only been half the size of the Titanic, and yet it supposedly held 8 people and two of all the species of the earth.

    It causes everything else to crumble. There were other factors involved, including my family’s denial that my depression existed, it’s just “guilt”, or a “lack of a right relationship with god” (I’m on medication for it now, no thanks to them), and losing my faith that a loving, merciful god was possible, (it just doesn’t fit with what goes on in this world).

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  25. I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s struggle, but I suspect that YEC cannot be her only reason in rejecting Christianity. All of my 6 kids were exposed to YE yet not one has rejected the faith. Yes, they too were exposed to other viewpoints in college… one son got a PHD in biological science and another is a nurse working on becoming a nurse practioner. The one thing I tried to emphasize in homeschooling was for them to “think for themselves.” As a result we still have all sorts of theological debates and lively discussions on other topics. I’m not better than you nor less – I’ve managed to gather a long list of mistakes in raising my children. I guess what bothers me is how viciously YEC are being attacked here. Go your way and think what you want, but I am not ashamed of being a YEC and know these issues are a lot more complex than what you have expressed here in such black and white opinions.

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  26. A closer look at what constitutes Christian fundamentalism might be profitable. The Fundamentalist movement dates back to the early 20th century and was a response to ‘modernism’ and it’s effects on the church. the main tenets of fundamentalism are:

    1. The inspiration and inerrancy of scripture, from which flows the rest.

    2. The Virgin birth and deity of Jesus Christ

    3. Christ death as the substitutionary atonement for our sin

    4. The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    5. The reality and authenticity of Jesus’ miracles as confirmation of His divinity and ministry

    The YEC issue is a direct ‘descendent’, if you will of the inerrancy debate, the root of which is creationism v. evolution. Evolution cannot/does not fit with the story of man’s redemption that begins in Genesis itself with Adam as the first man and eve the first woman and mother of all mankind, as genesis would tell us.

    It all begins with the inerrancy of scripture, which Satan hates. I am often reminded that the first lie is still the BIG lie…..”Did God REALLY say?” spoke the serpent to Eve.

    Just a bit of clarification concerning what seems to be one of the ‘targets’ of this post’s bashing. Perhaps some objective, intelligent will ensue.

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  27. There is a lot that can be said about this topic.

    For now, to Marusha, if you are still reading here–

    I think you are greatly misunderstanding something. Not believing in YEC does NOT mean that a person does believe in evolution as the origin of life. For example, I do not think that God created everything in a continuous span of 144 hours. Rather, I believe that God created everything over a longer period of time. I do not believe that all life started out as single cell organisms coming out of a “primordial soup,” and that humans eventually evolved from apes. I believe that God created Adam and Eve seperately from all other creation, I just don’t think it was a mere 5 days after the beginnings of the universe were formed. Furthermore, while I don’t believe that one species can change into another species over time (macro-evolution), I do believe in micro-evolution, that species can change and evolve traits and features over time. This is simple genetics. So evolution itself is not necessarily an evil thing.

    Finally, even IF evolution were true, my faith is not built on how God created the universe. My faith is built on Christ! I believe there is more historical evidence for the death and resurrection of Christ than for any other worldview. If one day we were to discover beyond the possibility of any doubt whatsoever that Darwin’s theories on evolution were true, but we still had the same evidence for Christ’s life, death, and resurrection as we do now, Christianity would still be true, and I would still hold firm to it because Christianity is built on CHRIST, not creation.

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  28. B4B: I was fine with your comment until this part:

    Just a bit of clarification concerning what seems to be one of the ‘targets’ of this post’s bashing.

    Bashing? Where?

    <b?Perhaps some objective, intelligent will ensue.

    Wow.

    Like

  29. Julie Anne
    Many, many people point to the indoctrination into YEC as their beginning point to leaving the faith. One of the latest YEC talking points is “they do not leave over YEC, its something else.”(unrepentant sin, lack of humility, etc.). The reason for this latest defense is the increasing evidence that young people, when confronted with the reality of thoughtful science, believe that they have been lied to.

    Once they know they have been lied to in this area, they extrapolate to other statements of faith. Before you know it, Christianity is thrown on the trash heap along with Ken Ham.

    I have spent years conversing with atheists on the the various atheist sites. Over 50% of those that I have talked with point to YEC as their starting point for walking away from the faith.

    That is why i annoy so many people by bringing up the serious problems with YEC regularly. Good for you for facing it dead on. you are most courageous.

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  30. JA, You really can’t see all the negative hits against ‘fundamentalism’. I used to be one such basher then actually did some homework (a lot) to find out all about it’s origin and history. It does seem to be a ‘target’ in this one.

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  31. It seems that the reason Christ’s body wasn’t broken on the cross was less to fulfill scripture and more for leaving it for us to break with divisions over minor points of doctrine. The past couple of days have been filled with a lot of heartbreak and a lot of thinking for me. Paul wrote “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”. With the emphasis on minor points of doctrine like social justice, abortion, creationism, literalism, millennialism, Arminianism, Calvinism, Universalism, Ismism, etc., all stamped with the imprimatur of “True Christian Doctrine”, it seems we’ve relegated the thing that Paul thought was more important than anything else to the back burner to simmer. Most of us need or like to have something to stand up for and advocate, but what are we doing to our fellow man, and the Body, when we place these things above knowing Christ, and Him crucified, by claiming that these things are the markers of true faith?

    None of those things I listed are markers of true faith, they’re just the pet projects of some people. If they could be simply accepted as such, there wouldn’t be much of a problem, but they’re being used as tools of oppression to drive people to follow the vision of various people, rather than the vision of Christ. Christ gave us a few simple things to do for Him, things that are a light burden for a loving heart. By claiming that these lesser doctrines define “real Christians”, all that happens is heavy burdens are being thrown needlessly into people who shouldn’t have to carry such a load in the name of Christ. Small wonder that neither side of the church is growing anymore; people are too smart these days to be fooled into thinking that these pet projects are actually true religion.

    I’ll leave you all with that as I look for a new church and a new life. Let’s keep our eyes on Him and The Cross, and remember that it’s harder for people to see Him on the Cross when we stack up all these ‘isms’ in front of Him.

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  32. I don’t know if it is that I’m courageous, Dee, it’s that I’m angry at the black/white teaching that basically says believe in YEC or go to hell. Because that is essentially the message that underscores the hype.

    The lack of compassion shown among the YEC pursists about a young one abandoning the faith astounds me.

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  33. BTW for Everyone,

    I might also add, that since genuine faith is a gift from God, one who has it might doubt or evey deny it for a time, but he/she will return to it. In other words, one who departs from the faith and winds up in the hot zone witn no air conditioning never had saving faith in the first place. Jesus did say, “I give them (those who believe in Him and the substitutionary atonement) ETERNAL life and they shall NEVER perish. (wake up in Hell)”.

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  34. Hannah
    Thank you for bravely sharing your story. People must hear what you are saying.

    Many school friends of my now adult children point to how simple it is to disprove YEC by freshman level science.Some of my kids friends have also left the faith.

    Ken Ham will not allow anyone but another YEC review his science. Therefore it is biased. He is afraid because he knows it is painfully easy to debunk his stuff. So he says awful things about good people in science-Christians-saying that they, too, are involved in a vast conspiracy to “hide the evidence.” There are many scientists, including the great Francis Collins, who believe in evolution and believe in Jesus. To say that about his Christian brothers and sisters is despicable and shows a lack of character.

    When our kids were growing up, we taught them about old earth creationism and theistic evolution. We took them to evolution exhibits and explained how that science an be squared with Scripture. They got the YEC stuff at church, ad nauseum.

    Think of it this way. The scientists tell us there was a Big Bang.
    Read Genesis 1: God spoke and the universe leapt into existence.
    Both accounts match up.

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  35. Yea, B4B, I know where you are coming from with that specific doctrine, but that’s not the subject.

    The subject is why are so many young people abandoning the faith with regard to YEC? What do you have to say about my daughter’s words and how she saw the that the YEC couldn’t even cite anyone outside of the YEC group think?

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  36. Born 4 Battle,
    Jesus also said that every branch in Him that does not bear fruit the Father removes (cf. John 15:1-5), concluding, “Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned” (John 15:6). But that’s for a different post.

    Hannah’s story is heart-wrenching, to be certain, the effects of which are mostly due to YECs equating their theory of the age of the earth with biblical inerrancy and the reliability of Scripture, the Christian faith, and even the integrity of God Himself — utterly tragic!

    The fact that YEC is so very much inbred, academically, is telling in and of itself. But their stress of the association of the age of the earth with the Christian faith is entirely without warrant. My hope and prayer for Hannah is that she will overcome the ignorance inherent in YEC circles, understanding that there are many valid expressions of the Christian faith that do not sacrifice the intellect for questionable dogmatics.

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  37. Christy said:

    I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s struggle, but I suspect that YEC cannot be her only reason in rejecting Christianity.

    You are accurate, but it was a starting point for her. If it was a starting point for her and countless others, it seems like the rest of your comment is dismissing this important point. Why are you dismissing it? It seems like this should be an area to explore. If young people are leaving their faith over it, why??? and what can we do about it?

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  38. My hope and prayer for Hannah is that she will overcome the ignorance inherent in YEC circles, understanding that there are many valid expressions of the Christian faith that do not sacrifice the intellect for questionable dogmatics.

    Thank you, William, and amen to that!

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  39. I see a mother sharing some intimate and difficult happenings in the life of her family. B4B sees that a doctrine has been targeted. JA is reaching out to people who have been marginalized because they do not believe certain doctrines. Others are defending their pet doctrines over exalting Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life.

    Jesus didn’t approach people with a multitude of pet doctrines. He approached people and shared himself. The only way of redemption is in Christ! Jesus made this clear. So how much should all the other doctrines that have been developed (many didn’t start until 1500-2000 years later) play into our standing in Christ?

    Hannah, thank you for allowing your story to be shared. The issue is not about the bible and what it does or doesn’t say. It’s about you and Christ . . . a relationship.

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  40. Something I see a lot around these ‘Marusha’ types, is a worship of the Bible over and above the worship of a saving Christ. I certainly am not dismissing the Bible, but it’s intent is to guide and point to CHRIST alone, not to set us up on bullet point lists of acceptable doctrine. Bible worship is as much a ‘putting other gods before Me’ issue as any other idols we create for ourselves. I think when the Bible is put in it’s proper perspective, you lose a lot of this nonsense that detracts from JESUS, and faith in Him alone.

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  41. B4B –

    Jesus didn’t say this —

    Jesus did say, “I give them (those who believe in Him and the substitutionary atonement) ETERNAL life and they shall NEVER perish. (wake up in Hell)”.

    For someone who holds to the inerrancy of scripture, I would think that you would at least quote it without adding to it. Is scripture not sufficient without you adding to it?

    Why should people trust someone who adds their words to Jesus words? I’m an adult and I wouldn’t trust what you say, and that is based on your interactions (or non interactions) with people on this blog.

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  42. I have read several insightful articles at another blog, “Parchment & Pen” that deal a lot with this kind of subject matter; i.e. evolution and inerrancy don’t disprove Christianity, historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ, how the Christian worldview is more logical than others. In order to keep from being automatically moderated, I’ll put the links in seperate comments; hope y’all don’t mind. On of the primary ministries of the author of this blog is helping people who are doubting their faith.

    The first article is a quick run-through of issues that are not central to the Gospel, though many people try to make them out to be. Included on the list are YEC and evolution.

    http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2013/03/eight-issues-that-do-not-make-or-break-christianity/

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  43. All,

    JA,

    Jesus said what Jesus said – His words, not mine – His doctrine, not mine. therefore, saying that genuine saving faith, will in the end be adhered to is His doctrine, not mine. Having said that, that ‘doctrine’ provides an answer to the question of why anyone ‘departs’ from the faith. 1 John 2:9 says that ‘They went out from us because they were not of us.”, implying the same doctrine. Are you saying that non-doctrinal answers are permitted and considered while doctrinal answers are not?

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  44. All,
    To more specifically get to the reason(s) why some youth depart from their faith, it’s a ‘grounding’ issue. They weren’t well grounded in the faith they professed. That would probably mean a lack of individual Bible reading and /or study, teaching from parents, or in a group venue of whatever sort you can name. At the root, however is still the issue of saving faith v. non-saving faith and God’s power to ‘keep’ whom he saves.

    I first read the entire Bible as a project in Advanced English a senior in HS. I read the book and simply believe what it says. That’s ‘fundamentalism’ as its simplest.

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  45. B4B,

    Your theological interpretations of the text of Scripture notwithstanding, you decided to address Julie’s daughter’s abandonment of the faith rather then bring any sort of comfort, any sort of offering for prayer for Hannah, or any type of denouncing of the fundamentalism that contributed to her struggle against or loss of faith? Am I right? So, in essence, you care more about your pet dogmas and interpretations of Scripture than you do about people. Am I right?

    BTW, 1 John 2:19 concerns false teachers (the “antichrists”) — they, the antichrists, went out from us — not individuals in general. Context is king here, and I think you have misinterpreted the passage in order to propagate your presuppositions.

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  46. I hope Hannah reads your above comment, B4B, and responds. She works full-time, so it may be several hours before she even sees it.

    My daughter is a very smart cookie and was very grounded spiritually. Knowing what I know about you, you would have been very proud of Hannah if she were your daughter.

    I notice how you are having difficulty addressing the main topic of the article about YEC teachings causing folks to abandon their faith.

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  47. Bridget, I defined the ‘them’ in the passage and the ‘perish’ in the passage. Eternal life is given to whom I stated (in parens), and perish means wake up in Hell. Your comment there is not well thought out. The only thing I didn’t do was state that the parens were mine. If you doubt their truth, do a bit of homework. Those who believe in the Son have eternal life, and those who do not are condemned already.

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  48. William – Thank you for pointing out this important observation.

    The beauty of the discourse here is that we are able to read the words, think for ourselves and challenge one another. We can clearly see here where doctrine is being placed above love.

    I have a hunch, however, that Born4Battle would say that his doctrine defines love. That it doesn’t matter if you bulldoze over someone with doctrinal truths because the underlying doctrinal message is love. And if you didn’t feel the warm fuzzies, get over yourself.

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  49. The word “believes” in Greek, pisteuōn, is a present active participle, indicating a continued belief: i.e., the one who believes and keeps on believing — these have and keep on having eternal life. Some fall away. Some fall away for a while and return. Others fall away forever. This is why Paul frames eternal salvation in conditional terms: “IF indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard” (Col. 1:23 ESV).

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  50. The first comment you didn’t care for goes to the very root, the second one, in moderation, goes to it more specifically. I am also working a full time job, but have a moment here and there to comment.

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  51. Julie,

    So sadly true. Jesus not once behaved in such a manner. My hunch is that some believers are not necessarily “born for battle” but born for contention, and, “Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife” (Prov. 26:21 NASB).

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  52. I’ve noticed that fundamentalists worship the certitude of their opinions as a proof that they love God above all else. As Richard Beck masterfully stated, “When you hear a person say that they love God more than people they are preparing to hurt someone.”

    That’s an important dynamic to consider, especially on a forum dealing with spiritual abuse. Claiming that Christ requires people to believe in a certain atonement theory for salvation is not only an abusive power-wielding tactic, it’s a blatant lie against Christ and every member of the church. But it’s a lie that serves to exclude people, something that Christ never did, but far too many Christians enjoy doing. Isn’t placing a wall and a stumbling block that keeps people from Christ the worst kind of harm one Christian could do to someone?

    Funny how some people decry scientists for not having any faith because they are looking for the ‘whys’ behind the things we see, yet go on to claim that knowing the whys of how the atonement works is a requirement for salvation. The whys and hows of the work of atonement are far secondary to simply believing that it does work.

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  53. Hannah,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. We need to hear these stories. I am still shocked that some today are making YEC a litmus test of whether or not anyone can be considered a Christian. My father, a devout Southern Baptist, has believed in an old Earth his entire life. It was central to his career as a geophysicist. I can’t imagine someone telling him with a straight face that he is not really a Christian.

    When we left our former church I boxed up (and stuck in the storage shed) hundreds of dollars worth of curricula that we were required to purchase from them. These last few posts on YEC have piqued my interest. I dug out the Creation book which is authored by Duane Gish. It’s written for kids, but still no references. Same with The Fossil Book by Gary and Mary Parker, and The Geology Book by Dr. John Morris. Very interesting. A year and a half ago I would have taught this to my kids without a second thought. Not exactly critical thinking, is it?

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  54. Eric said–
    “Funny how some people decry scientists for not having any faith because they are looking for the ‘whys’ behind the things we see, yet go on to claim that knowing the whys of how the atonement works is a requirement for salvation. The whys and hows of the work of atonement are far secondary to simply believing that it does work.”

    Agreed. It is the same with all of these secondary doctrines. They have varrying degrees of importance, and understanding how they work is not a bad thing, but more importantly believing that Christ’s atonement DOES work is far more important. I, for example, do believe that if a person is genuinely saved that they cannot lose their salvation. I do not believe you need to believe this to be saved though. That would be adding to Christ’s sacrifice alone being enough. Same with evolution. I don’t believe in the general evolutionary idea that we descended from apes. But I don’t believe you must throw away this belief to become a Christian.

    Sadly, so many people, and the YECers can be bad about this too, will say that no real Christian can believe in anything but YEC. That’s hogwash. More accurately, it is legalism. And as this blog post points out, it is often one of the first things that will cause a person to begin to doubt their faith. There is pretty strong evidence for an old earth. YECers (and others like them) that elevate their doctrine so highly do a great disservice. They set many people up to begin down a road of doubt, that if not helped, can lead to abandonment of the faith that is difficult to come back from.

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  55. This: Isn’t placing a wall and a stumbling block that keeps people from Christ the worst kind of harm one Christian could do to someone?

    . . . is the important point that keeps getting put on the back burner. And it not only applies to YEC, but it also extends to so many other issues: ie, pastors who overlook sex abuse in their churches, etc.

    Think of what kind of spiritual confusion occurs when pastors are spiritually abusive, fail to handle abuse cases appropriately. This, too, becomes a stumbling block/wall for many and can cause them to abandon their faith.

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  56. B4B: I saw you diverting the topic saying the young people were probably not grounded spiritually. Is that what you mean by addressing the topic? That’s not working for me.

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  57. All,
    Just an FYI for those who think Bridgette’s challenge made sense. Believing in the inerrancy of scripture in no way means that the parenthetical expressions placed in my previous contribution meant that I didn’t really believe in inerrancy. they amplified the truth that is inherent to the passage when compared to other scripture and the original language in which it was written.

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  58. FYI: GodDiscussion.net will be interviewing me along with 5 others on the topic of homeschooling and it looks like Young Earth Creationism might be covered as well. Find details here.

    You can listen live and even call in. It will be recorded so you can listen to it later as well. The time is tomorrow night 6 pm Pacific.

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  59. JA,
    Whoa!! One of the topics on GodDiscussion is “The 2009 Men’s Leadership Summit that emphasized “the necessity of patriarchy” and other issues about female submissiveness;”

    Necessity of patriarchy? Kool-aid.

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  60. JA and B4B-

    It may sound odd, but I think you both may have a good point. Allow me to try to explain what I mean. First off, I think Julie has a really good point about how it is important to not be placing stumbling blocks between people and Christ. Many YECers and others who hold too tightly to various doctrines, as well as those who are abusive leaders, get in the way of people having a faith filled relationship with Christ. Often, these things will cause people to doubt their faith and some to lose their faith. This is bad. These kinds of teachings and practices should be addressed and removed.

    As to the idea of not being spiritually grounded, brought up by B4B, I don’t think I would put it that way, but I THINK I MIGHT understand what you are trying to say. I wouldn’t say they aren’t spiritually grounded because there have been many people who are very devote Christians that know the Bible very well and know the tenants of Christianity inside and out, but still end up leaving their faith all because doubt started to creep in brought upon by doubts due to some secondary doctrine they were having trouble with or some philosophical problem. Charles Templeton is a prime example.

    I think a better thing to say in regards to this is that they allowed in their mind for these things to be elevated so highly that they end up forgetting that Christianity is about Christ, nothing else. They focus on periphery issues and ignore Christ. What I mean is what I’ve said before, if Christ really died and rose again, then Christianity is true. Period. There is a wealth of information that makes me believe the only logical conclusion is that Christ really was who he said he was. What then, do you do with that? Personally, I think rather than spend so much time trying to defend things like YEC, once saved always saved, and complentarianism, more focus should be put on teaching the history of Christ’s resurrection and the evidence for it.

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  61. BTDT – I only took a quick glance and missed that. Yes, I know a couple of them were researching that talk from a homeschool convention. I remember reading about it years ago.

    These folks are very bright and articulate individuals who were raised in the Homeschool Movement and now are speaking out about it. Two of them are the founders of the Homeschoolers Anonymous blog. The others blog about it on their personal blogs and bring awareness in other ways.

    I have a ton of respect for these young adults who are boldly challenging the broken systems from which they were raised.

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  62. CongenitallyPredisposed2Conflict,

    I quite agree with you when you observe that those who believe in the Son have eternal life. If I believe in Jesus I have eternal life, even if I intellectually reject each and every one of the following propositions, which you posit as defining fundamentalism:

    1. The inspiration and inerrancy of scripture, from which flows the rest.

    2. The Virgin birth and deity of Jesus Christ.

    3. Christ’s death as the substitutionary atonement for our sin.

    4. The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    5. The reality and authenticity of Jesus’ miracles as confirmation of His divinity and ministry.

    If by contending for the truths of even these principles I drive people away from Jesus I am guilty of an error having eternal consequences. How much greater is my fault if I drive others from Jesus by contending for the inerrancy of my own interpretation of Scripture, including but not limited to an interpretation of Genesis as indicating a young earth!

    In the end, nothing counts except only Jesus.

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  63. Julie Anne,
    My previous comment was a visceral response to patriarchy. It’s a repellent.

    I’m so glad the previous generation of homeschoolers are sharing their experiences. Although there are many reasons why someone may choose to homeschool their kids, and there are success stories to be found, The Movement(TM) has been a recent social experiment. We’re only now beginning to find out what works and what doesn’t. Many lives were sacrificed for the experiment. That’s the tragedy. I hope we can all listen with open hearts to what these speakers share. Maybe, we can do better moving forward.

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  64. Exactly.

    If they are not grounded in the faith they profess, they might begin to doubt in the face of the ‘theory’ of evolution, et al. If you can’t see that that addresses the topic, I feel sad for you.

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  65. BTDT – Exactly – and that is why it’s important to expose it – and let these young adults tell their stories.

    I’m saddened when I read the responses of parents who instead of trying to gain understanding, defend and dismiss these kids. Ugh. I hope that my presence as a long-time and current homeschooling mom can help bridge some of that misunderstanding. Some parents take an us vs them posture from the beginning and I find that sad.

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  66. You still don’t understand, B4B. I believe you were saying grounded as in meaning: knowing the bible, having been taught well by parents, etc, doing daily devotions.

    Those are all works-based. Having a saving-knowledge does not equal relationship with Christ. You can have all the knowledge of the Bible and doctrines and believe them, without a relationship.

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  67. Gary,

    All the praying for your soul that Born4Contention will expend will not change his Calvinistic God’s mind with regard to what you believe or your eternal destiny. Interesting, no? (The same can be said about the belief or non-belief of everyone else in the known universe.)

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  68. JA,

    Works based what? Grounding in our faith? How else do we get grounded in our faith apart from learning what’s in God’s word, either by reading or studying ourselves or from sitting under sound teaching of some sort? the post was about young prople leaving their faith, was it not? those who just say ‘I do’ to Jesus but never grow spiritually from study of the word ARE more prone to doubting their faith. that’s just a fact.

    The issue of salvation by faith is one issue, and growing in that faith is another issue, and that is not rocket science. I have NO idea what you are trying to get at, saying am not speaking to the point.

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  69. If your daughter abandoned her faith in Jesus Christ over carbon-14 dating citations in a book, then it wasn’t there to start with.

    Don’t blame Ken Ham or marusha for your daughters lack of faith. Praying for your daughter.

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  70. I owe Mr. Chapman an apology. I was able to look at the exchange on my fb page with a cool head, without being in the ‘heat of the moment’ and discovered that he didn’t call me an infidel, but instead was correcting a spelling error. I had missed a previous comment where he misspelled infidel. I am sorry for taking that as you calling me names. You called me judgmental in a judgmental manner, which I didn’t take offense to, just found that funny. I should not have been rash and said you were not a Christian without giving an explanation of why your words indicate that suspicion. I plan on addressing the debunking of YEC and OEC that Mr. Chapman claims he did with Scripture. Once again, Mr. Chapman, I apologize.

    As to you Julie Anne, I feel I approached this all wrong. I just jumped in without considering the very real concern you have for your daughter (are you sure you have a 26 year old daughter? You don’t look it). Anyway, I see some people have given you some very reasonable biblical advice here on why she may have fallen away. It’s true that Jesus gives eternal life to all He saves and they cannot be snatched out of his hands. I want to carefully say, knowing that I may cause offense without meaning to, that YEC is not to blame. Creation science is not to blame. You are misplacing the blame. We can’t depend on worldly science over the Bible. We can’t elevate it up to the level of God’s Word. Since you have thoroughly worked to discredit AiG, you have cut off an important resource. A well reasoned one with excellent science. I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth in the way He works through the Word. There are other creation science resources out there as well. Real science supports the Bible, exactly as it tells it, it does not contradict it. It is a fascinating pursuit. I just remembered you find science boring! Sorry! There are compelling things out there, well crafted lies that is called science, but are just made to confuse people and lead them astray. BioLogos is one of the biggest culprits of this. If anyone is interested, please look at the scientific method. For a theory to be true, it must be demonstrated, observed and repeatable.

    I never said that YEC is a salvific issue. It is not a litmus test, but can be an indication of deeper issues in essential Christian doctrine. More specifically, in regards to Scripture. If someone is willfully misconstruing Scripture to make it seem like it says what it really does not, that is a huge concern that must be addressed. Scripture is inspired, inerrant and infallible. It is the external, objective standard. Please don’t use the tired accusation that we worship the Bible. That is a fallacious, unfair statement meant to shame us for our zeal to read and study God’s Word and contend for the faith. You can’t separate God from His Word. To do so is dangerous. Please read 2 Timothy 3:13-17. Thank any of you who kindly read this long comment. God bless you, and may we all be found in Christ who took God’s wrath for sin on the cross, died and rose from the grave to give eternal life to all who would repent of sin and trust in Him alone for salvation. Peace to you all in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. May we grow in grace.

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  71. People that claim faith can only exist in believing exactly the way they do are actually the ones with weak faith in a small god. If your faith were truly as strong as some of you claim, then it wouldn’t bother you one bit if other people are wrong according to your interpretation. You’re merely trying to defend the facade of faith you’re putting out for the world to see. Christ Himself, and His truth, need no defense from anyone, but the churches of man that claim to know the only way certainly do.

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  72. Scary,

    Perhaps you’re unable to read properly, I don’t know; but the issue of carbon-14 dating was one among other contributing factors to Hannah’s loss of faith, especially since YECs like Ham, marusha and others (I’m guessing you, too) place so much weight on the age of the earth as attributing to “true,” Christian faith. Hannah’s issues concerned proper interpretations of data, and the shoddy and inbred so-called “academics” of YECs. That’s all right in the post itself.

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  73. Hi marusha:

    Thank you for your apology here. I’m unable to address your full comment at the moment, but wanted to acknowledge my appreciation that you took a second look at what happened last night in an effort to make things right. That is great.

    I’ve got a 3-hr drive and meeting/dinner ahead of me, so I will be in and out on my smartphone for the rest of the day.

    Be expecting typos y’all! 🙂 My fingers don’t do well on those small gadgets.

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  74. Oh, and before I leave – – notice how a certain side won’t touch the idea that the common denominator of many leaving the faith is YEC – – and none seem to have problems with the citing problem my daughter mentioned in the post.

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  75. I’m so glad to have had Christian parents: an OEC father and a YEC mother. They didn’t make it a big deal about it in their marriage, and so we were free to go wherever the facts took us.

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  76. Marusha writes :

    “I never said that YEC is a salvific issue. It is not a litmus test, but can be an indication of deeper issues in essential Christian doctrine. …. Scripture is inspired, inerrant and infallible.”

    So, what if I believe that Scripture is “inspired, inerrant and infallible” but still think that YEC is not the best interpretation? Surely there are other issues which you think we can disagree on that are not “indication of deeper issues in essential Christian doctrine”. What makes this issue so essential? Why can we not both hold the scripture in high regard but disagree on this interpretation.

    Oh and please do not think that because I do not hold to YEC that I willfully misconstrue what the Scripture says. That is a tired old canard meant shut down conversation and put the accuser in a superior position from which to categorically dismiss anything I have to say.

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  77. Man, it’s amazing how many comments one has to catch up on after being away from the computer for just a few hours 🙂

    Marusha, I have to point out something inaccurate in your most recent comment: you claim that “I never said YEC is a salvific issue.”

    Actually, you did. Way back up at your comment from 10:41 last night, you told me that I am “unfortunately not really a Christian.” Sounds salvific to me…

    And listen: I’ll speak as someone who doesn’t find science boring at all. I was a math major in college, and additionally had lots of course-work in the sciences, worked as a lab assistant in my college’s anatomy & physiology lab, etc. I’ve taught and tutored math and science for years now, at all levels from 6th grade on through to college.

    And I’ll say this: the “science” behind YEC is just pure garbage.

    More over, any hermeneutic of the Scriptures that requires a belief in a young Earth on pains of apostasy is also pure garbage. Old Earth theories of creation were taught by some of the Church’s greatest theologians and Bible scholars hundreds of years before the scientific revolution, and even longer before a Christian astronomer became the one who first posited the Big Bang theory…

    As far as I can tell, the only fruits of passionately defending YEC are 1) making Christians look like complete fools in the media, and 2) driving intelligent young people away from the faith (which was the original point of Julie’s post…)

    To those who have argued something to the effect of “YEC isn’t the problem, it’s a lack of a proper grounding in the faith”, I have this to say: nonsense. Complete and utter nonsense. I could personally introduce you to plenty of the most well-grounded, well-raised, former youth group all-stars who walked away from the faith over this and similar issues. And that’s just my circle of acquaintances…

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  78. B4B,

    I don’t get it. You believe in the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. John 3:36 clearly indicates that “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.” I most definitely believe in the Son, and yet you say that is not enough. If I do not also accept what you have identified as certain tenets of fundamentalism, you undertake to pray form my soul. You require faith in Jesus, but you add the necessity of what you define to be right thinking.

    You do not really accept Scripture at face value, nor do you really place your own faith in only Jesus. You appear to have placed your faith in Jesus, but also in being right in what you think on certain questions.

    And, by the way, what difference will your prayers for me make? William Birch at 10:30 is quite right. According to your own monergist position, God will save me or not, and nothing you do or do not do will make any difference whatsoever.

    Just in case anyone besides B4B is concerned, while holding on to the need to test everything, I accept the following:

    1. The inspiration and inerrancy of scripture, though only in its original form, which we do not presently have. I certainly do not accept the inerrancy of any English translation.

    2. The Virgin birth, deity AND HUMANITY of Jesus Christ.

    3. Christ’s death as the atonement for our sin. I expect that it is substitutionary in nature, although I cannot think where any such word is applied to Jesus in Scripture. I think that the atonement is identificational as well as substitutionary. I tend to think in terms of Jesus’ having taken on the natural (as opposed to penal) consequences of our Sin.

    4. The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, yet it was a spiritual body, just as Paul indicates that our resurrected bodies will be spiritual bodies. I do not mean by this that Jesus’ resurrected body was immaterial. It was quite physical.

    5. The reality and authenticity of Jesus’ miracles. I do not accept that the miracles were performed as confirmation of His divinity and ministry. I believe they were more likely performed simply as acts of mercy.

    6. That Jesus’ atoning sacrifice was sufficient to save all who believe/trust in Him, whether or not any or all of the above 5 points are either accepted or rejected.

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  79. All, Actually the Bible supports YEC if we mean that the earth is around 6,000 years old. And I say AGAIN, if being taught YEC cause one to kdepart the faith, it’s a sign of one or two things: unfamiliarity/disbelief of the Biblical acount of creationism, or swallowing Darwinian evolution as fact. Then there is the possibility that the ‘faith’ departed from wasn’t genuine in the first place.

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  80. Julie Anne,

    Since others seem to be resisting the topic, it appears to me that Hannah’s apparent departure from the faith is directly attributable to the way in which it was insisted that a young earth view of creation is essential to the faith. How much better it would have been if these teachers had simply said something to the effect that, “This is what we believe about creation, this is why we believe it, others disagree, but in the end, it just doesn’t matter. All that really matters is Jesus.”

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  81. Yes, yes yes! That was the way I was taught in college at Southeastern: “This is what I and others believe,” said the professor, “and this is what others believe; and you must weigh the evidence, think for yourself, and make up your own mind” on any given topic. Thank God for that experience!

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  82. Gary said-“How much better it would have been if these teachers had simply said something to the effect that, “This is what we believe about creation, this is why we believe it, others disagree, but in the end, it just doesn’t matter. All that really matters is Jesus.”

    Yes! There are a vast number of differing beliefs on secondary teachings in the Bible, and many of the views, even contradictory ones, can be backed up Biblically and with some amount of logic. When teachers build up these secondary doctrines as paramount parts of the faith, and those hearing it become convinced of that, it is no wonder when their faith is shaken because their faith has been built up on something it wasn’t meant to be.

    Oh, and JA, you mentioned again recently about the citations in the back of Hannah’s book. I have a HUGE problem with that. At best it is sloppy science, and at worst it is intentionally misleading. There isn’t a problem so much with citing people who agree with your position, so long that person has done some serious study and has the work to show for it. Just citing agreeable people in a circular fashion is just plain wrong.

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  83. My daughters have abandoned Jesus, but I know HE hasn’t abandoned them. YEC played a small part in their decision to leave the faith. What played a bigger part is how cruel & self righteous our ex pastor was. His Pharisaical attitude spread like a nasty virus through out the church. Sin sniffing, judgmentalism, being scolded into submission was rampant, perfection was the goal. Gee, does anyone really want to be beat up for being human on a regular basis? I understand why my girls ditched their faith, thanks to the mean spirited, self righteous, control freaks, can’t say I blame them. Jesus knows what was done to them and how He was misrepresented, and since He seeks the lost sheep, I have hope that He will restore their love for him in His way & in His time, just like He did for me.

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  84. “… if being taught YEC cause one to kdepart the faith…”

    Being taught YEC doesn’t cause one to leave the faith. Being taught that YEC is an essential Christian doctrine without which one cannot be a Christian, and later coming to the conclusion that YEC cannot be true can cause one to embark on a path which leads to a false choice – believe blindly in YEC and perhaps other non-essential doctrines or “leave” the faith.

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  85. Oh, wait, it does look like I said YEC is a salvation issue. I was sloppy there. No, it isn’t, but if it reaches into essential doctrines, ie, your belief in Scripture, that is a huge concern. Sorry for the careless comment there.

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  86. Question for B4B: Do you consider what is called Young Earth Creationism to be essential to the Christian faith?

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  87. marusha
    JULY 11, 2013 @ 1:05 PM
    Nope, I didn’t make YEC a salvation issue. I said that belief in Scripture is a salvation issue.

    Would you like to be *very* specific as to *exactly* what you mean by “belief in Scripture”? Be very specific, because even though you have apologized for certain statements, you stated unequivocally that people that don’t agree with your interpretation of the Bible aren’t true Christians. You’re not fooling anyone trying to slip out of your earlier statements with dodging and weasel words.

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  88. Marusha, I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. I believe that its contents are completely binding on me, as a Christian. I believe that every Christian needs to have their life firmly rooted in the teachings of Scripture.

    And I also believe that your interpretation of the book of Genesis is scientifically ignorant, not supported by sound exegesis, not shared by many of history’s greatest theologians and Bible scholars, not logically necessary to uphold any of the core tenets of Christianity, and incredibly harmful to many a young Christian.

    But you know what? I don’t believe that your interpretation of Genesis, as filled to the brim with garbage as it may be, puts your salvation at risk. I think it’s entirely possible to be dead wrong about scientific issues and still love Jesus with all of your heart.

    My hope and prayer for you is that, in the future, is that not only will you re-examine this issue with an open heart and an open mind, and not only will you see that all truth is God’s truth and there need not be any conflict between faith and “worldly science” (as you put it in a previous comment), but that you would also learn to extend Christian charity to those with whom you disagree. There’s simply no need to come onto a blog and question the salvation of people you’ve never met in real life because they think its silly to believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old…

    Like

  89. RMR,

    My opinion isn’t the issue of this post, but having said that, salvation (eternal Life) rests solely on belief in Christ, while condemnation results from unbelief. Jesus said that.

    Like

  90. JA, The issue of why young people beginning to doubt their faith or considering walking away is the issue. that lack of spiritual grounding in the Word IS a great contributor to that. Sorry it’s not working. Maybe you need to research the issue a little. there are a LOT of folks that will tell you the same thing I have.

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  91. If someone tells a young believer that belief in YEC is essential to their salvation, He’s lying. that same young believer might momentarily doubt their faith, however all that is necessary is opening a Bible and see what Jesus said about who has/has not eternal life, and what Paul taught about salvation by faith alone. We are all to examine what we are taught by what is written. To not do that is spiritual laziness.

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  92. Born full of BS is basically claiming that you didn’t beat fundamentalism into your daughter’s head to the point of abdicating logic is why Hannah rejected the fundamentalist nonsense, JA. It’s pretty obvious that he’s doing nothing but trolling, and trying to belittle you and your life with your children.

    Like

  93. Scary
    You said:
    “If your daughter abandoned her faith in Jesus Christ over carbon-14 dating citations in a book, then it wasn’t there to start with.Don’t blame Ken Ham or marusha for your daughters lack of faith. Praying for your daughter.”

    You are wrong. Many people have left the faith over this issue. This is just another talking point from AIG which wants to blame everything else except unproven “science” which sets itself up as the only “godly” option. They have kept many intelligent people out of the kingdom by this claim.

    We need to care more for the people who are hurt than for our silly doctrinal fights. And that is what this is. A silly fight based on a particular view of Genesis.

    Never forget that Galileo went to jail for believing the “unbiblical” scientific fact that the earth rotated around the sun as opposed to vice versa as believed and “proved” by the church of his day. They also took the Bible literally and they were wrong.

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  94. For the church history buffs out there, the tenets drawn up by the fundamentalist movement in America are not unlike the formulation of creeds by the early church councils, in that they were all drawn up to articulate fundamental beliefs of our faith in order to combat error that was creeping in via false teachers. While belief in Christ is the essential matter at stake or our salvation, it naturally entails certain beliefs about Jesus Christ, His divinity, Virgin birth, etc. Like I said, for those interested in a bit of church history.

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  95. True believer do not permanently walk away from their faith. Jesus said “I give them eternal life and they shall never perish.” If one has genuine faith that means eternal life. Never perish means never perish. How that happens is another matter, for a different conversation. The ONLY thing that keeps anyone out of the kingdom is their unbelief. See John 3:18

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  96. For the church history buffs out there, the tenets drawn up by the fundamentalist movement in America are not unlike the formulation of creeds by the early church councils…

    This statement is a blatant lie.

    Like

  97. Eric, if you can’t tells why you declare that, should you be making that false assertion? They are similar in principle, if you know your church history.

    Like

  98. Okay, I’ll chime in here as well.

    Hannah ~ thank you for your story. I hope you hear what you need to hear in this discussion. I’m sorry for what you have and are going through, but I trust Jesus will see you through. He’s really not all that complicated ☺

    I homeschooled all my kids with the Ken Ham AIG and other YEC material. Within the homeschool groups I belonged to, YEC was just assumed. I can’t remember a time where it was encouraged to study the other options out there. I was so surprised to find so many old earth Christians! That is just so tragic.

    Once you do a little research, it’s pretty humbling I must say. I’ve now landed in the category similar to JA that it’s just not that important to get all worked up over. But that isn’t what you get from many YEC’ers.

    After I realized all this YEC is not as grounded in science as it’s made out to be, I was left with a sense of betrayal.

    I felt lied to and betrayed. For me, I could see a loss of belief because of the attitude portrayed that anything other than this is a lie. No, there are other options for believers to peruse. You are not in danger of hell fire for studying and leaning in another direction. And if you choose to believer the YEC version, great. Just don’t make anyone else out to be Bible illiterate that believes differently.

    Thank you Gary W for this comment:

    How much better it would have been if these teachers had simply said something to the effect that, “This is what we believe about creation, this is why we believe it, others disagree, but in the end, it just doesn’t matter. All that really matters is Jesus.”

    Yes, Yes, Yes.
    I wish it had been discussed this way.

    Like

  99. Born4Battle
    JULY 11, 2013 @ 3:39 PM
    Eric, if you can’t tells why you declare that, should you be making that false assertion? They are similar in principle, if you know your church history.

    No, they’re not even similar in principle, HeWhoIsTooCowardlyToUseHisRealNameOnHisOwnBlog. You know that, but you’re still trying to deceive people with your fundamentalist lies. You don’t care one bit about people, all you care about is forcing people to agree with your hateful self-righteousness.

    You’re not fooling anyone here with your tripe, especially not me, so just go crawl back under your rock, troll.

    Like

  100. B4B states, “the tenets drawn up by the fundamentalist movement in America are not unlike the formulation of creeds by the early church councils.” What, the fundamentalists has elevated their opinions to the status of the Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, Athanasian Creed, and so on? What overweening arrogance, what hubris! With thanks to Eric Fry, what a blatant lie!!

    No wonder it isn’t possible to have a conversation with a fundamentalist. Everything is either right or wrong, good or evil, black or white, my way or the highway; and the Gospel itself hinges on the fundamentalists’ opinions regarding every secondary and insignificant question. It would be frustrating if it weren’t so outrageously funny.

    Still, I think maybe I’m seeing something useful. It seems to me that spiritual and other abusers tend to be guilty of black and white, binary thinking. Stand clear of anybody who thinks they are always right on any given question, that their way is the one true way! Their self-proclaimed “rightness” will justify every hateful practice in the promotion of their cause.

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  101. A correction: I observed that the fundamentalists can be outrageously funny. However, there is nothing funny about the soul-destroying pain they inflict on people’s minds, hearts, emotions, spirits and even bodies, including especially the bodies of their very own children through excessive corporal discipline.

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  102. Apparently there are some literacy issues going on here. All I tried to say is that there is a similarity between the development of the tenets of fundamentalism and the development of creeds in the early church. Both were formulated due to perceived error creeping into the church. The creeds of the early church and the tenets of fundamentalism were formulated to express what were considered basic b beliefs/tenets of our faith. I say that because of having done quite a bit of research. Then I just get called a liar by a couple of individuals who haven’t the intellectual fortitude to explain themselves. I’m a fundamentalist who expresses idea generated because of intensive research and study and you have the unmitigated gall to call me a liar without explanation and say you can’t have a conversation with fundamentalists? Give the intelligent people in the room a break.

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  103. So B4B, what do you think about the circular citations issue raised by Hannah in the article?

    Like

  104. Gary W & Eric Fry- B4B triggers me something terrible. Thank You for standing up to his bully tactics. It was folks like him that broke me. And my daughters. And I suspect he wont do much for JA’s daughter Hannah either, other than confirm that the likes of him is why so many run from the gospel. No love, no mercy, no humility. ugh.

    Like

  105. Scary
    You said:
    “If your daughter abandoned her faith in Jesus Christ over carbon-14 dating citations in a book, then it wasn’t there to start with.Don’t blame Ken Ham or marusha for your daughters lack of faith. Praying for your daughter.”

    1) From what I see, Julie Anne didn’t accuse Marusha of causing her daughter to lose her faith at any point. Am I missing something?

    2) I think Hannah was bothered by the fact that the people pushing Young Earth Creationism in the book she was reading were trying to make less-than-credible sources seem legitimate/deliberately not adhering to the high level of scholarship one would expect of Ph.Ds, despite their claims to be good Christians who adhere to high ethical standards.

    In other words her primary concern pertained to an integrity issue rather than an intellectual issue.

    I do think that suddenly finding out that the Christian adults you looked up to were behaving badly/hoodwinking you is an understandable reason for starting to question one’s faith. The alternative to seeking to know the truth in the face of deceit, rather than just parroting what others have told you to believe, is sticking one’s head in the sand.

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  106. As my mother said, I have a full-time job and was only just now able to read all the comments and respond. Here it goes!

    **
    Dee – July 11, 2013 @ 6:10
    “Many, many people point to the indoctrination into YEC as their beginning point to leaving the faith. One of the latest YEC talking points is “they do not leave over YEC, its something else.”(unrepentant sin, lack of humility, etc.). The reason for this latest defense is the increasing evidence that young people, when confronted with the reality of thoughtful science, believe that they have been lied to. Once they know they have been lied to in this area, they extrapolate to other statements of faith. Before you know it, Christianity is thrown on the trash heap along with Ken Ham.”

    Dee, thank you so much for your kind words. You hit the nail on the head. You put it more succintly than I ever could.

    Eric Fry -July 11, 2013 @6:18
    “None of those things I listed are markers of true faith, they’re just the pet projects of some people. If they could be simply accepted as such, there wouldn’t be much of a problem, but they’re being used as tools of oppression to drive people to follow the vision of various people, rather than the vision of Christ. Christ gave us a few simple things to do for Him, things that are a light burden for a loving heart. By claiming that these lesser doctrines define “real Christians”, all that happens is heavy burdens are being thrown needlessly into people who shouldn’t have to carry such a load in the name of Christ.”

    This is a key point. I applaud my mother for having the courage to start asking the “is this a salvic issue” questions. Growing up, my father was the spiritual leader, he was the one who taught us, my mother kept quiet about her thoughts (and I’m guessing her questions that she’s now able to voice on this blog). So I was raised with a very “it’s this way or hell” sort of mentality. Calvinism, YEC, Pro-Life, Anti-Homosexual – everything was stacked onto each other in this one big pyramid as all being crucial tenets to have. Any waivering on them signalled depravity and that one may be “of the world”.

    Born4Battle -July 11, 2013@8:19
    …”To more specifically get to the reason(s) why some youth depart from their faith, it’s a ‘grounding’ issue. They weren’t well grounded in the faith they professed. That would probably mean a lack of individual Bible reading and /or study, teaching from parents, or in a group venue of whatever sort you can name. At the root, however is still the issue of saving faith v. non-saving faith and God’s power to ‘keep’ whom he saves.”

    I in no way want or think I’m able to respond to each of your comments, but I can tell you, that for 21 years of my life, there wasn’t anyone in my life who doubted my sincere Christian faith. I read my Bible every day (and not just for 5 minutes a day) I was at church more often than not, went to countless conventions and events where a very fundamentalist view of the Bible was taught. My dad is a staunch Calvinist (I suspect you are too), and all of us kids were continually quizzed on tenets of the faith, taught apologetics, and even regularly evangelized (not to mention the overseas missions trips). My dad was shocked when I came to him with my questions since he was confident that I had the faith I professed.

    BeenThereDoneThat July 11, 2013 @9:09
    Hannah,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. We need to hear these stories. I am still shocked that some today are making YEC a litmus test of whether or not anyone can be considered a Christian. My father, a devout Southern Baptist, has believed in an old Earth his entire life. It was central to his career as a geophysicist. I can’t imagine someone telling him with a straight face that he is not really a Christian.
    When we left our former church I boxed up (and stuck in the storage shed) hundreds of dollars worth of curricula that we were required to purchase from them. These last few posts on YEC have piqued my interest. I dug out the Creation book which is authored by Duane Gish. It’s written for kids, but still no references. Same with The Fossil Book by Gary and Mary Parker, and The Geology Book by Dr. John Morris. Very interesting. A year and a half ago I would have taught this to my kids without a second thought. Not exactly critical thinking, is it?

    Thanks for your kind words BTDT. Now looking back, I wish I was raised in a home where I could question what my dad taught and not be felt like I was stupid for even thinking of such a question. I’m chuckling because I’m pretty sure that if my mother looked hard enough, the Duane Gish book might be found somewhere on her shelves… I recognized the author’s name once you wrote it out. 🙂

    JoeJoe -July 11, 2013@9:53
    “I think a better thing to say in regards to this is that they allowed in their mind for these things to be elevated so highly that they end up forgetting that Christianity is about Christ, nothing else. They focus on periphery issues and ignore Christ.”
    Standing and applauding!

    Scary -July 11, 2013 10:59
    “If your daughter abandoned her faith in Jesus Christ over carbon-14 dating citations in a book, then it wasn’t there to start with.
    Don’t blame Ken Ham or marusha for your daughters lack of faith. Praying for your daughter.”

    Please don’t pray for me. Pray for yourself. You need it more. My mother wasn’t blaming Ken or Marusha. Don’t think you’re going to avoid me noticing that you went far around the topic just to be argumentative. “Logic, why don’t they teach logic in the schools?!” – Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis

    **
    Thanks for the comments and discussion everyone. I enjoy the exchanges and freedom of discussion (even if some of the comments make me wince). Just to summarize, YEC-doubts were Not the only reason that I left, but it was the beginning of a trickle-down effect. Honestly, my father’s reaction to my YEC doubts were more influential in my “abandonment of the faith”, but even that wasn’t the entire reason. There was a multitude of contributing factors. Prior to the occasion I described before, I had no doubts that I was a Christian and my life and actions reflected someone who was preparing to become a missionary. I think it’s so easy to get sucked into “living a Christian-life” – one can easily spend all their time and energy into becoming “more Christian” and then nit-picking at all the things they do and say and believe to prove to themselves and everyone around them that they are going to make it to heaven. I was taught I had to believe YEC because the Bible taught it, and if we doubted that one aspect, we’d have to doubt the entire faith. That’s what happened to me. It was a pivotal cornerstone that probably should never have been placed as a cornerstone by those that were my spiritual leaders. I may not be where I am today if they hadn’t stressed its vital significance as much as they did.

    Like

  107. Gail and Janna – awesome comments. 🙂

    Gail, you’re right. I couldn’t care less about B4B. Luckily for him, I don’t have the patience to debate with people who are so set in their ways. Nothing I say will allow him to see my view. I don’t care, I like where I am at and enjoy discussing these things with people who can see and appreciate other viewpoints.

    Janna, great catch (we say that at work for noticing something not caught by others). It was an integrity issue for me. They could be intellectual all they wanted (they went through enough years at school to be thought of as smart), but if you’re a professing Christian, integrity is valued way more than intelligence. I would have thought they they would have wanted to be as above-board as possible to show how carefully they investigated and wrote about YEC to all us young-impressionable folks! I also liked your last paragraph. 🙂 Thanks for the kind words!

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  108. Hannah- You would love my wayward daughters, and they would love you! There is more grace & acceptance in the world than there is in some Christian circles.

    I get why you and my daughters went AWOL, it make a lot of sense.

    Not worried in the least about where my kids will eventually land. I’m not running the show, Jesus is, and His mercy’s are new every morning & great is His faithfulness.

    Take care, thank-you for sharing with us, I hope when the time is right I can share your post with my girls who are women now!

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  109. B4B,
    Saving faith is a Calvinist doctrine, and non-Calvinists do not subscribe to the saving faith doctrine. You misquoted Jesus when you put the parenthesis around his quote, making it the quote of Jesus, when it was not his quote to begin with. You put SPIN into it.

    Ed

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  110. B4B,
    A GROUNDING issue? Are you kidding? Young people are leaving the faith due to a GROUNDING ISSUE? Please, B4B, get real. They are leaving because they are not being taught SOUND “interpretations” of scripture. They are being fed SPIN, and that spin is proven to be false in the secular academics, not atheist scientists attempting to debunk Christianity, but from secular academics, which does indeed run circles around the young earth spin. Your religious spin is why young people are leaving the faith, not because of grounding issue. Your religion is making this topic a salvation issue. When people accept Jesus, there isn’t a young earth quiz that goes with it.

    Ed

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  111. Gail wrote @ 6:01 PM
    Gary W & Eric Fry- B4B triggers me something terrible. Thank You for standing up to his bully tactics. It was folks like him that broke me. And my daughters.

    Let me tell you something, Gail, they trigger the daylights out of me, too. Bullies like BeforeBee want to break people’s spirits, but sometimes things backfire severely. I was a tall, skinny “choir geek” in high school, and picked on by people just like him, fine upstanding Christian boys. I got out of school, spent 2 weeks in ICU after a car wreck, then gained over a hundred pounds of muscle during my rehab. I got meaner than a bobcat with his hind end hung on a barbed wire fence, and had a few “come to Jesus” meetings with some of the old HS guys. Even now, pushing 50, I still like to dust up my knuckles every once in a while, and guys like him get on my last nerve. That’s what bullies make of people like me; mean, nasty guys that just don’t care sometimes.

    Anytime you need to, feel free to just step behind me and point, dearie.

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  112. Hannah,

    Maybe I said something like this on a previous occasion, but I am sure I see the real Jesus in you, and shining through you. It’s nothing I can explain. It’s just how it is. I know that I am not alone in wishing you the best.

    Like

  113. Scary,
    You had said:
    “If your daughter abandoned her faith in Jesus Christ over carbon-14 dating citations in a book, then it wasn’t there to start with.

    Don’t blame Ken Ham or marusha for your daughters lack of faith. Praying for your daughter.”

    You have got to be kidding? Ken Ham’s SPIN is not GROUNDED in truth, and the secular academics can run circles around Ken and Marusha’s claims of a young earth.

    The conclusion is, that lies are being taught by the religious spin, and those lies are verifiable. Since that is a lie, proven, then what else is a lie? That is the whole point of young people leaving the faith. Everything being taught by those religious leaders is all based on a lie. That lie is the religious leaders OWN interpretation of the Genesis account, rather than the TRUE Genesis account.

    Not only that, they are making it a salvation issue, therefore, it is a sin to question the validity of their claims.

    Ed

    Like

  114. Marusha,

    Thank you!! That means a lot to me. I am glad that we both got some rest last night afterwards, and have our cool heads back on straight. Thank you much!!

    Ed

    Like

  115. Eric Fry July 11, 2013 @ 7:34 PM “Anytime you need to, feel free to just step behind me and point, dearie.”
    Thank-You! It just floors me that there are a few good/safe/ spirit filled men here who have the heart, soul & bravery to speak boldly. I still shake in my boots when I encounter a know it all. Blessings, I appreciate being heard & protected.

    Like

  116. Marusha,
    You had said:
    “Nope, I didn’t make YEC a salvation issue. I said that belief in Scripture is a salvation issue.”

    Well, you believe that the teaching of YEC is scripture, correct? Can we put 2 and 2 together here, and conclude that those who do not believe in YEC is a disbelief in scripture, therefore, concluding that YEC is indeed a salvation issue?

    Ed

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  117. B4B,
    I think that you study the creeds more than the Bible. All of the creeds are the “We Believe” statements. Well, I don’t necessarily believe what those dead people believed. The “We” are dead. Jesus lives. I am alive. Jesus and I have that in common. My “We” is Jesus and me, a relationship, having nothing to do with the creeds of old.

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  118. B4b. I drove 3-1/2 hrs today and enjoyed a meeting/dinner for 5 hrs and was approving your comments throughout that time without really reading them until now and so I’m tired. See this statement of yours?

    Give the intelligent people in the room a break.

    That’s condescending. It’s getting old for me. Please knock it off.

    Like

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