Attending a church

John,

How do you know that Eddie started this? I am just curious.

I guess he is saying that bel6363 is Eddie.

Is there some significance to that? John must have mentioned it for a reason.

I’m not advocating calling people liars simply for disagreeing with you. You should certainly cut some slack for people with no scientific background. Chances are they don’t even realise that there are standards that evidence has to meet in order to be considered scientific, and even if they did, it’s not a given that they’d understand how to apply them. Where it becomes dishonest – and where I draw the line – is when people who should know better present claims of scientific evidence that don’t meet these standards.

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I have a friend who is YEC. He’s not dishonest about his position.

I say it’s “easy” to call them liars because that sets up an “us vs. them” paradigm which prevents honest dialogue. It’s dishonest to call them liars carte blanche.

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Uh…of course. Having a dialogue with someone with whom disagree does not require you to change your position. Feelings are irrelevant.

I’m not sure I was quite clear enough about what exactly constitutes dishonesty here.

  • It is not dishonest merely to be a YEC.
  • It is not dishonest to believe that God created the earth recently with the appearance of age.
  • It is not dishonest to believe that there are radical new laws of science not yet discovered which will up-end our entire understanding of everything.
  • It is not dishonest to believe that science is fundamentally unreliable.

These claims may have their problems – bad theology, distrust in the scientific establishment, or unrealistic expectations – but dishonesty is not one of them.

I am talking specifically about people who:

  • are claiming that a young earth is supported by scientific evidence;
  • are citing arguments for a young earth that do not meet scientific standards;
  • should be reasonably expected to know that their arguments do not meet scientific standards, either through having a science degree or having had it explained to them in terms that they understand;
  • are persisting in citing those arguments as scientific evidence despite having been made aware that they are not.

I’m guessing, but the chances are that your friend does not fall into the above category.

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Thanks for letting me know. I do not believe I am getting into this one. Take care.

Oh, okay. Yeah, I wouldn’t say my friend is particularly scientifically-minded. As “ungracious” as it might be, I think I agree with you with the dishonesty claim.

Thanks for the perspective. Relationships can be so messy, especially in a church context where everyone is hoping for unity that may not exist on all issues. Not to misappropriate a metaphor, but I’m not fully “out” as a non-YEC person. Perhaps I’m underestimating the people at my church- maybe the folks that fill the pews are more tolerant of diversity on this issue than I’m giving them credit for. Only one way to find out…

Me neither. There was a good thread a while back about this if you are interested.

I hadn’t thought of YEC as a worldview before, but that helps explain why I seem to approach other issues (and not just the creation/evolution debate) differently than many of the people at my church. Before staying home with kids, I was a social scientist, so I have more experience with scientific methods (and more confidence in the scientific project) than most of the people I go to church with. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s helpful to hear that others feel like they don’t quite fit in sometimes- helps me have more realistic expectations.

Here’s two BioLogos articles that deal with YEC as a worldview:


In short, YEC is a worldview because its a posture as much as a position. It’s a way of seeing world that involves a universal scapegoat (evolution, evolutionism) and a universal cure (a literal reading of the Bible).

Maybe another way to say it is that YEC adherents exemplify a worldview found commonly among conservative Protestant Christians, but it’s not like the worldview is only found among YEC or started with the YEC movement.

What tips have been shared for these types of conversations? Or comments that did NOT go over as well as had been hoped? I’d love to learn how to be “a loving presence that shines a loving light without fomenting any rebellion or fostering condescension”. :smile:

What a difficult area to navigate. The church I attend is mainstream Baptist in central Texas, and has a fairly vocal contingent of YEC adherents, but interestingly when the subject of some of Ham’s projects was brought up in Sunday school class, the topic died quickly, as either most of the class either did not want to get involved in what could be a divisive subject, or perhaps they did not agree with those being more vocal.
We have attended there for 30 years, so many are more like family, and you just accept people warts and all. Still, there are uncomfortable times that you wish did not occur. I have been most open with my views with my pastor, who has young children and I think was interested to hear how kids of a fundamentalist bent had trouble when confronted with reality of differing views on evolution, vs. my kids who grew up on a steady diet of Nova on TV. (My daughters have remained strong and vibrant Chistians, though one recently changed churches at least partially because the pastor frequently preached YEC from the pulpit, so has confronted her own battles.)
I often wish I was a bit like C. S. Lewis, and I could retreat to the local pub and talk these things over late into the night with trusted friends over a pint of ale, but being Baptist…

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…I have to settle for caffeine-free Coke and the BioLogos forum.

I feel your pain, my friend.

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You adopted a phrase from former President Bill Clinton. Can you imitate him too? You are a real talent. :laughing:

Cigars and ale must have been quite the lubricants for discussion in those times, thinking of not only Lewis & friends but of Chesterton/G.B.Shaw and many others apparently. Just like the Baptists, my particular flavor of Mennonites has little use for those old habits (usually more on pragmatic objections than religious grounds, though). But at what cost socially? I’m curious what could happen if alcohol was added to your Sunday school dynamic. :smiley: Would people loosen up and laugh more? Maybe we could send a courtesy wine basket to the creation.com board rooms.

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That would cause seizures, I am sure. Though my pastor has said when he visits younger members, a majority of them have wine racks with wine on display in their homes, something that would be scandalous a generation ago, especially when dining with the pastor. Which to bring it back on topic, as difficult as it may be for us as members of a church community to accept evolution, it must be much harder for a pastor to lead his flock with the diversity of opinions. Of course what makes it harder is the attitude of some that casts doubt on the faith of others with a different perspective. My pastor is rather circumspect in sharing his personal position on creation issues, but at the same time tries to educate the congregation as to how to properly interpret scripture. Ultimately, I feel that approach of trying to lead people to draw their own conclusions may be more fruitful and less divisive.

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