This morning a person who I believe to be an intelligent man warned that a smart person could offer well-reasoned nonsense. Yeah, I know. The first thing that comes to mind is religion for me, too. But this man is a Christian and he was making the point against science.
There is a belief among many Christians right now that science and education in general are the enemy. I’m not sure how this is going to work out for them long-term. I experience this movement on a regular basis through my husband’s family, who are very big supporters of creation science. They bought us a subscription to Ken Ham’s magazine Answers In Genesis, and when they speak about lack of faith the words are practically torn from its pages.
There are two main problems I find with their thinking (besides the obvious). One, this movement has no actual clue about why people lose faith in god. And two, they don’t seem to understand that other ideas are recognized in higher education because a large percentage of our population agrees with other ideas.
Science is often used to defend each side of the god argument, but clearly people find it easy to bend scientific beliefs to fit in with their religious beliefs. Ask your average Christian about science and faith and the answers may not even make sense. It’s too complicated for most.
I didn’t lose faith because I trusted science more than god. I lost faith because of Christian theology. I lost faith in man’s ability to figure it all out. I lost the Christian god first, and from there the god concept easily unraveled altogether.
Science was irrelevant.
I suppose only exposing your children to Christian beliefs and nothing else would be an effective way to keep them believing in god. Sending them to a Christian college with like-minded professors would have to be the only option for higher education. You would also have to teach them that TV and internet are of the devil and to never associate with secular heathens. Okay. That might work. But you’ve got to really scare them if you want it to stick.
If you create a strong enough bubble then yes, maybe it isn’t important for your children to ever learn about outside ideas and the other people they share a planet with. Why would someone want that for their children? To ensure that they go to heaven, of course! Because if they learn any ideas outside of Christianity they might stop believing. Is that a flaw in their religion? You decide.
I heard today that college campuses are filled with strange people and even stranger professors who are teaching unusual ideas. I would ask for a better definition of “strange” but it came from the same man who thinks homosexuality is a thing that can be cured with Jesus. So I’m afraid of the answer. I have to assume from his statement that colleges must be meeting the needs of its students. I imagine most of us would fall somewhere within his category of “strange” so why should his “normality” hold a monopoly on higher education?
There is so much concern for the young Christian going off to college. Are these kids really so stupid? If they go out into the world for the first time and come home with a few ideas their parents do not approve of, is it really someone else’s fault? At what point are they capable of forming their own opinions? I mean, if this new information was no match for a lifetime of indoctrination one has to wonder what makes it so compelling. Is it just peer pressure? Surely his or her parents did not raise them without enough faith to withstand peer pressure?
Creationists believe that if Christians don’t take the book of Genesis literally it’s an easy path to not believing the rest of the bible, either. So they focus on giving Christians reasons to believe, as well as reasons to reject outside knowledge. Because you can’t have one without the other.
It’s based on the lie that secular education and faith in science are causing people to turn their backs on god. And yet, as a Christian I could easily make those things fit into my Christianity. Everyone does it. Information is easier to come by these days, but you have to want to seek it out. Will outside influences challenge you to think critically and ask why you believe what you believe? Yes, I hope so.
And when you rise to meet that challenge as a Christian, are you going to be so taken with a scientific idea that you immediately discard your god….or are you going to dig deeper in an effort to defend him?
I wanted to prove that Christianity had more authority than other beliefs and found out the evidence didn’t support my case the way I thought it did. The deeper I dug the worse it got. I hear the same story over and over again from other ex-Christians. That’s the education Christians are afraid of, but they don’t even know it. They are still too immersed in their well-reasoned nonsense.