What might be the spiritual origins of YEC?

I don’t mean that subject line (now edited by the forum moderators, understandably) to be a flippant remark made in the heat of an argument (although it was also that). It is a considered question that I’m asking because I cannot discount the possibility the affirmative is true.

Unfortunately circumstances force me to confront YEC. I am a very non-confrontational person in general, and quite happy to let people be wrong in peace.

But, this YEC just keeps getting thrown in my face (yes in the real world, media / social media withdrawal will not fix it) and I look at how they don’t just hold that wrong opinion, they set up enterprises like creation.com to spread it, and I really do wonder whether Satan is at work there.

After all, YEC is a lie. Its proponents know they are not qualified to speak on the matters they speak on. Yet they do it anyway. That’s lying. And it’s a lie that absolutely harms the commandment to evangelism.

And John 8:44 identifies the devil as the father of lies.

I ask myself and I ask God, how should I approach this?

The Pauline epistles lay out how to walk in Christ. Paul only rarely notes the agency of Satan in his adversaries within the brethren. But he does go there, and it’s pretty withering, so, at least in my mind I am allowed to be grumpy rn.

Might be a better conversation by private message, if anyone has the patience :slightly_smiling_face:.

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They go together. Ignore them both as you would any conspiracy theorist. Just smile and nod and resonate where you can. Confrontation feeds those trolls.

A typically cryptic reply from you. Spell it out dude.

Well, they’re both woodenly literal. Do not engage in any way as confrontation forces those who believe such primitive stories to double down. And it gets you down. You cannot win. Ever. You lose. It’s devilishly distracting, damning, depressing. If God grounds infinite being from eternity, He DOESN’T ground a dualistic demiurge fallen from eternity. Or even a Sol local created angel gone to the bad (what happens in all the other infinite world star systems?). The only answer is to legislate for education, is to tax privilege, especially churches and private schools and media empires. Thank God political and religious advertizing is illegal in the UK.

YEC and the Devil are the work of the passions apart from the passion for reason. In faith.

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Hey Russell, I am this is a this is an important question which anyone who has come to Christianity with a passion for mainstream science or moved away from YEC has probably wrestled with at least once. However, I have changed your thread title to make it a little less (unintentionally) inflammatory.

I hope that’s ok :slight_smile:

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Dear all.

This is a sensitive topic, please bear in mind the following from the Forum Guidelines when replying:

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Given the topic at hand, it is likely that posts will be moderated more closely.

Thanks for your understanding.

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Russell2, I have asked myself something similar. I think the answer is “no”, the idea itself is not really of the devil. And as wrong as they are, I think most YECs are sincere and believe that they are promoting truth. However, the devil is certainly happy to use these things to create division and to decieve people into believing that belief in God and the Gospel are tied to YEC.
Anyone who teaches “Gospel +” (the Gospel plus some other thing are required for salvation) is a false teacher. And THAT certianly is of the devil.
Jesus announced the Gospel to some of the most base, unlearned people of his time. People who barely knew of Jehovah, much less any view of creation. They were saved the very same way the rest of us are, through faith in Jesus, the Son of God, and King of kings.
No dinosaurs necessary.

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I’ve wondered that myself from time to time, but to be fair, I don’t think that we should be too hasty to draw too many conclusions here. A lot of YECs are honest and sincere people who merely lack the knowledge and understanding to fact-check what they are being told. Bear in mind that some of them are the kind of people who think that “qwerty” is a secure password and then wonder why their Facebook accounts keep getting hacked.

Having said that, there are some YECs who are quite clearly approaching it in bad faith. I see this, for example, when I get accused of taking Deuteronomy 25:13-16 out of context by applying its demands for accurate and honest weights and measures to science. Such an accusation is tantamount to demanding the right to tell lies, and it strongly suggests that the people making it know full well that they aren’t telling the truth. Very often, these are the same people who denounce anyone who dares to question YEC with accusations of “compromise” or “speaking with the voice of the serpent” or even outright atheism.

If you read Matthew 23 and Galatians, you’ll see that both Jesus and in the early Church had to contend with popular teachings that made the same kind of errors as YEC. The Pharisees’ devotion to the minutiae of petty rules and regulations, and the insistence of some people that Gentile Christians should be circumcised, both claimed to be more faithful and uncompromising in their approach to Scripture than anyone else, yet both got into the same kind of wooden literalism that completely missed the point, and both also made something other than Christ the foundation of their faith.

In Galatians 3:1, Paul describes such people as being “bewitched.”

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Of course! I thought about inviting mods to delete this post… Didn’t go there but go ahead.

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Thank you, sister :pray:

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Mmm hmm, this is the passage that set me on the this line of thought.

It doesn’t seem to be a comfortable observation, for anyone involved. But I thank you and praise God for the insight.

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It’s not a satanic Angel whispering in their ears. It’s just plain
dummies being dumb. It’s the living stereotype of the loud and uneducated annoying people. They sincerely don’t understand science very well and they sincerely believe they are right and you are wrong and they think they know more than younand so they take pleasure in their “defeats”.

Young earth creationism , nor atheism, is caused by Satan. It’s just the conclusions people have came to.

YECs with no scientific training, perhaps. YECs with a background in the sciences … not so much.

The “my password is qwerty because I’m not Fort Knox” crowd can be excused as not understanding what they are talking about when they make bad arguments. Anyone who has a science degree or a career that demands a strong level of scientific literacy does not have the luxury of that excuse.

I’m just speaking in generalized terms about the person they mentioned. Someone bullying them online and in person with arguments like 6k year old earth and people walking with dinosaurs. Plus it’s a step up from being a satanic evil.

Thank you for this discussion. We need to understand the spiritual origins of YEC if we are ever going to free ourselves from its negative influence,

It began during the end of the 1800’s more than one hundred years ago, when the Bible was under real attack from scientists and thinkers who were mainly in Germany. At that time Germany was the leading scientific nation in the world.

To “protect” the Bible a new movement developed in the USA called Fundamentalism, which said that the Bible is true because it is the revealed Word of God, so it was imperious to any kind of criticism. This was well intentioned and would have been good if it were true, but it is not true, which makes it a lie.

How can I say it is a lie? Because John 1:1, that is the Bible itself, says it is a lie. Jesus Christ the Messiah, the Second Person of the Trinity is God’s Rational Word/Logos, not the Bible.

We do not need a conspiracy theory to explain YEC. The truth is plain enough. It is bad theology used in an effort to protect “the truth,” which is no God’s way.

What we need to do is confront the lie about the Bible with the Truth of the Bible found in John 1:1 If YEC believe the Bible as they say they do, they must agree that Jesus is God and the Bible is not.

This does not mean that this process is simple, but we need to have patience with others as long as they are willing to dialog with us.

The vast majority of people I know who believe YEC are in the not-in-a-scientific-field-just-misled-not-lying category. The ones saying that anyone who disagrees with them is an evil brainwashed idiot are not doing a great job of paying attention to concepts of loving one’s neighbor. The ones blatantly misrepresenting published research or ignoring giant error bars are lying.
Resources to further investigate the claims made in this article? had some discussion on a similar topic.

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Satan gets a really bad press. Blamed for all our evil. And his is nothing compared with the God of the OT and Revelation. I mean who did he actually kill apart from Job’s children and servants? God’s OT kill rate is myriads of times higher. His Revelation kill rate is hundreds of millions of times more. YEC only has evolutionary origins: we are not primarily rational creatures by a country mile.

Hi Russell,

You’re right that there’s a spiritual problem at the root of YECism. Part of it is the spirit of our age, the arrogance people are raised in that encourages them to think their opinions are as good as the considered findings of other people. Americans today hate to be told that they aren’t qualified to speak on any subject. So, I agree that YEC is a lie but I don’t agree that they “know they are not qualified to speak on the matters they speak on.” They think the article they read on some YEC web-site or the lecture they heard from Ken Ham gives them the qualifications and then they’ve been encouraged to assert their opinions and not listen to anyone else. Pride is at the root of it and you’re right that that is a satanic quality.

That attitude then leads to a hasty reading of scripture which causes them to be careless and jump to conclusions. They don’t notice that the initial creation is clearly at an undisclosed time before the six days and so they conclude the Bible teaches YECism. In this article I show that the Bible does not teach Young Earth Creationism because it doesn’t establish a dateable chain of events back to the original creation: "The Beginning of Days”, JBTS (beginning on slide 71, p. 153): https://jbtsonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/JBTS-6.1Part-2.pdf. Please use it to refute YECists claiming that they’re just believing the Bible.

The Lord Jesus calls scripture “the Word of God” (Mt. 15:6, John 10:35).

As a former YEC, I think it’s important to point out that not everyone whose beliefs fall under the YEC label is going to take a hardline stance on it. I take an EC view and my husband is more YEC, but not of the AIG variety that considers it something that the validity of the entire Christian faith hinges on, so we get along fine. For a lot of people it’s just part of their church culture and not a big deal.

As for those who do take a hardline stance on it, some are dishonest, sure (but that could be said of all kinds of church movements), but others sincerely believe that they are interpreting the Bible correctly and that if they don’t, the church could lose future generations due to a lack of taking the Bible seriously. I know that probably sounds weird to those of you who weren’t raised in that mindset, but to me it was a very real threat, and I was kind of raised to be in this “spiritual defense mode” that did not hesitate to “take a stand” against perceived enemies – I believed what I was told, which is that teaching evolution has contributed to racism, violence and a host of other social ills. And if you believed that, wouldn’t you try and combat it too?

Around the time I started college, I did become aware that, despite all I had “learned,” I was still pretty ignorant about science – at least, I didn’t understand enough to give a really thorough, technical defense of creationism, which is why I just kind of avoided any situation where I thought I’d have to do that.

I guess my point is, many people who take a hardline stance on YEC mean well and believe they’re doing something that others simply don’t have the courage to do, and that’s something we have to take into account. I know “good intentions” is not a hand-wave defense of anything, but it’s something to think about as we engage with people, even if they are perhaps not being honest. The best thing for me was to begin to realize that I didn’t need to have “all the answers” for everything – that my faith didn’t depend upon that. That’s something anyone can begin to learn if they’re willing to honestly evaluate what they’re placing their faith in.

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