Thursday, 7 November 2013

From home-schooled young earth creationist to unbeliever. Why YEC is bad for Christianity

I am opposed to YEC for two reasons. One is that it is wrong. The other is that it is one of the best ways to create unbelievers, and as someone who cares deeply about the Christadelphian community, the presence of this infection in our body greatly concerns me, as it is one of the quickest ways to deconvert the intellectually honest members of our community.

Jeri Lofland is an atheist who in her youth was a home-schooled YEC. An enthusiastic one. Then she discovered reality. From a recent post on her blog comes yet another example of how YEC is one of the best ways to create atheism:
For years, I read Ham’s books, got his newsletter, sent him my money and my prayer requests. I was excited about the progress of the creation museum as they overcame the opposition of the community to build a temple to unchanging Truth.

Then, I had kids of my own. Before I knew it, they started to gravitate toward picture books about dinosaurs and stars at the library. My parents had always rejected books that mentioned “millions of years” or talked too much about biological “adaptations”. I didn’t want to discourage my kids with unnecessary censorship, and I didn’t want them to grow up feeling as uneasy around science as I was. So I started researching. As a homeschooling mom, it was important to me to be able to teach them accurately about dinosaurs and astronomy and geology. And as a Christian, I looked for trustworthy sources who shared my belief in the inspired truth of the Bible.

But what I learned shocked me, and sparked new questions.

The next time I visited my parents’ house, I pored over the latest book from AiG, studying their answers. And I felt lied to. AiG isn’t about the data, or the scientific method. AiG doesn’t offer scientific responses to questions about the rock strata or the age of the earth or fossils of whales with hips. They can’t offer plausible explanations for day and night and light and vegetation on Earth before the Sun appeared on the fourth day of creation. Most of their “answers” can be summarized as “Well, a global flood could have caused…” And they pretend there is no contradiction in the two Genesis creation accounts.
AiG is about one specific religious agenda — a fundamentalist approach to Biblical doctrine that assigns everyone who is “wrong” to hell.

Suddenly Ken Ham, my former idol, looked more like a bully.
Jeri pulls no punches as to why she left Christianity:
Once upon a time, my meager tithe checks helped build Ken’s creation museum. Today I am one of his “atheist friends”, taking my kids to see dinosaur footprints and ancient rocks. Ham’s cartoons (the red “Abortion” balloons flown from the castle founded on Evolution) and his jokes (“God didn’t make Adam and Steve”, “fossils don’t come with labels!”) led directly to my atheism.
To every Christadelphian out there who thinks making evolution a doctrine to be rejected is a good idea, all I can say is read and learn.