Someone recently shared an article with me about the importance of creation evangelism in the world today. Apparently creation apologetics is the only hope for the future of Christianity: because if you don’t believe in a literal Genesis, why should you believe in the story of Christ?

Why, indeed.

The article went on to say that this solution also applies to churches in Christian communities who need to defend themselves against the evils of secular education. Christians are sending their children off to colleges that teach evolution and science over Christianity; and without a proper foundation in creation science they may turn from the faith. In fact, it is clear that the author believes this is why so many do turn from faith. Education is the enemy. Creation evangelism is the solution.

I’m sure you already know all about the growing hostility among Christians toward secular education. The answer for many parents is to simply home-school their children in an effort to keep as much outside information from getting in as possible. To these children, a secular world is talked about like some terrifying bedtime story. It’s a mysterious place filled with danger and demons. There will be no secular college in their future, but rather one of the many Christian colleges who will welcome them with open arms and stick to the plan their parents are comfortable with.

I doubt a secular school would have any impact on their faith anyway. Why? Because they have a firm foundation of belief. Some would call it brainwashing, but the outcome is the same. Virtually nothing can penetrate that god force field. Obviously with modern internet and television it is difficult for most parents to keep all those information holes plugged, and something from the outside world is bound to get through. The best strategy is to arm kids with the proper knowledge to know what is correct. And if that doesn’t work? Scare them.

The weird thing is, many still manage to grow up and doubt the reality of a Christian god. How can that be? I know why. Because loss of faith isn’t caused by secular information leaking in. Sometimes that evidence is present, but it is certainly not to blame. Doubt is most often found right inside that Christian womb of protection.

Science and evolution? Whether or not the creation story in Genesis should be taken literally? I have always held an opinion on these things, but they have made absolutely no difference when it comes to my belief in god. We can make these things fit into whatever we already believe. Everyone does it. So if a Christian truly thinks that Creation evangelism is the key to preventing doubt, they are going to be disappointed in the results.

I am sure many a young Christian man or woman goes off to college and takes offense at the ungodly things they encounter which conflict with their world belief. Some avoid danger and add these things to their prayer lists, while others want to debate and prove their side. The ones who want to defend their beliefs are the ones most at risk.

Every bit of doubt I possess comes from a desire to know god better and to be able to defend his truth. The more I learned about god, the less I believed. And I wanted to believe. If you had taught a girl like me more details of creation science back in high school, you know what would have happened? I would have needed to make some comparisons so that I could also defend creation to others. And I would have found holes in it. I just never thought about it too hard. Other smarter Christians seemed to have a pretty good handle on it and that was good enough for me.

When you are in a Christian information bubble, god questions are simpler. You are surrounded by believers who seldom throw out tough challenges that force you to defend god in a more complex way. And while it makes sense to conclude that young Christians need to be “armed for battle” before they are confronted with these questions, the truth is that many are under the assumption that the arguments for god are more solid. They may believe they can answer a skeptic’s questions effectively, only to find the opposition might be asking better questions than they previously thought. Teaching any serious Christian apologetics, especially creation apologetics, can actually do more harm than good.

Of course, these students will be the minority. The rest will remain comfortable in their beliefs and have no interest in being armed for battle at all. Apologetics from either side is wasted on them. Eventually every Christian is confronted with serious questions of faith and each will seek out answers according to their needs. But you cannot send kids out into the world to confront these questions and then blame the world for what was inevitable. Because yes, education does chip away at faith. Not secular education…. but Christian education. And if Christians would like to stir that pot a little earlier, I see no reason to stop them.

 

4 thoughts on “Is Creation Evangelism the Answer?

  1. I have noticed that often it is the most committed Christians that in the end leave the faith. And yes, it is in examining the faith itself that leads one away, not secular education. But in the end, I really do not understand hard core Evangelicals, never having been one. I understand more the mainline mentality, which is much more accepting of science and reason, and who do not see Genesis 1 as literal at all.

      1. Then I hope you can understand how I can remain a theist, even though I do agree with most of what you write. In the end for me, if one does not accept materialism as a philosophy, then there is something more than the material Cosmos. Since I see materialism as part of atheism, I therefore cannot be an atheist. That is where I stand.

        1. I do understand. When Christians lose faith it is not god they reject but rather the holes in Christianity itself. But Christianity, like every religion, is simply an attempt to fill in the blanks for what we do not know about god. Believing in god is something separate from our individual theology, but actively making this separation can feel devastating because we are not only feeling betrayed….we are left with the mystery again. This is why most atheists are also agnostic. When we take away the different religions, the divide between theist and atheist is very thin. We have everything in common again. And in this context it is easy to see why anyone would be a theist, and for a million different reasons.

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