This is a re-post for my new fans of my original series of essays on Creation – Evolution. I think it speaks for itself as to why I’m re-posting it.
Why I’m doing this… (Creation 101: Lesson 1)
There’s an interesting narrative in the book of 2nd Kings in the Bible. It happened during the reign of King Jehoram of the northern kingdom of Israel. The capital city of Israel, Samaria, was under siege by the Arameans. They were experiencing starvation so severe that there were acts of cannibalism occurring that repulsed even the evil king, who also went by the name of Joram. Elisha the prophet announced, however, that the siege would be lifted, so quickly that there would be large amounts of food available the next day.
Meanwhile, there were four lepers outside the city gates who finally decided they would be better off going over to the Arameans than to starve to death outside of Samaria. The enemy army could either feed them or kill them, but they were so desperate that they were willing to take the risk. Starting in 2 Kings 7, verse 5, the Scripture reads: 5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” 7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives. (2 Kings 7: 5 – 7)
A miraculous rescue, indeed! What the four lepers found were the abandoned tents full of food, drink, clothing, silver, and gold. They took what they could and hid it for themselves. Then, they realized that what they were doing wasn’t right – they needed to tell the people starving in Samaria what they had found. At first, the people didn’t believe them, thinking it was an ambush, but it wasn’t long before they discovered the truth of what the lepers had said.
And that’s really why I’m doing this. I’m standing up for Creation. I’m standing up for the Creator, and I want to tell you all why. Just like in the narrative from 2 Kings 7, I’m a leper who’s telling you all where I found food – where I found deliverance!
What I’m really tired of are the lies – the lies that are believed and perpetrated by those who don’t accept the truth of the Word of God. I know… I know… those of you who deny Creation and accept evolution as the explanation for how things got here don’t recognize the validity of the Bible. Hey, I completely understand. One of my goals is to show you that it is, indeed, the Truth.
And what I’m doing is completely logical, then, isn’t it. One of the primary spokespersons for atheistic evolutionists, Penn Teller, agrees with me. He has said that he has no problem with us evangelical Christian-Creationists trying to persuade others. He can speak for himself, but to paraphrase his position: if I really believe that there is a God and that He is the Creator, then I should, like the lepers of Samaria, be trying to persuade others. If I really believe what I believe is the Truth – which I do – then it is a SERIOUS obligation for me to tell everybody else. Nicht wahr?(For those who don’t speak German, that’s, “Isn’t that true?”)
So, here’s my main point: from my perspective, it’s the evolutionists who’ve been lied to; it’s YOU guys (my evolutionist/atheist friends) who’ve been indoctrinated, not we Creationists. And it’s my job to tell you that and to try and persuade you out of your unyielding orthodoxy into the freedom of Jesus.
I hear the sputtering – let me look at some stubborn things (which is what John Adams said about facts). I’ll use myself as a typical example. After all, as Senator Paine says to Jefferson Smith in “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” – “I was you.” I was brought up believing in evolution. I was indoctrinated into that position all the way through school. I went to American public schools, emerging from the Sputnik scare of the ‘50’s – a time when evolution was elevated to the status of a religion by its advocates. I then went to Catholic schools – and continued to be instructed in evolution. The Roman Catholic Church officially accepts and teaches theistic evolution – which is still evolution. In fact, I was a Bio Major in college at a University which takes a strong pro-evolution position. In that context, I specifically took a course in Physical Anthropology so I could learn the deep details of what was known about every aspect of human evolution. I graduated with my B.S. in Biology, still believing what I had been taught from the beginning of my life: evolution.
So, how was I indoctrinated into Creationism? I, as a college graduate in the modern American culture of the 1970’s, looked at Creation like my atheist/evolutionist friends do: a cute fairy tale with no ultimate validity. I believed in God, but I, at the age of 22 was firmly convinced that He used evolution to create. Genesis 1 was a myth, at best, an allegory, but not literal truth.
I still ask: where’s the indoctrination? Maybe I got it from PBS? Oh, no – they are firmly in the evolutionist camp. I’ll cut to the chase – every influence, every information outlet, all my education, pointed toward evolution as the ultimate truth. As for Creationism: I knew nobody who believed in a literal 6-day Creation or in a literal Noah’s Flood. Maybe some uneducated snake-handling hillbillies in the backwoods of West Virginia believed that, but certainly not a college-educated, sophisticated intellectual like ME!
Still waiting for the indoctrination moment…
OK, so what happened that made me go dumb (according to my erudite friends)? Simple – I met Him.
What! As Howard Cosell might react in outrage: “Do you mean to tell me that YOU – a college graduate… scientist… met God?” Did I, like, have a vision or something? Or maybe I was grabbed by some of those snake-handlers and, in a delirium brought on by my failed encounter with a copperhead, I had some kind of psychedelic dream?
None of the above. In fact, when I – as we say in evangelical Christian circles – got saved, I was completely alone (well, I wasn’t exactly alone, spiritually). I didn’t know a single other person who was saved, other than the people whose books I had read or who I had heard on the radio. Sometime during the second week of January, 1979, in my car, coming home from work… I met the Creator. I got saved. To be specific: I finally understood the truth of what I had been reading about and hearing about on Christian radio: the gospel truth. The gospel is not some esoteric secret – it’s right there in the best selling book in the history of the planet. It’s this: God loved the world – including me – so much that He Himself came to Earth as Jesus, the Messiah of Nazareth, and died a bloody death on the cross – the just for the unjust (me again) – so that, by simply believing that, I can have my sins forgiven so that I could spend eternity with Him. And to prove that what He said was true, He rose from the grave! That’s what I believed.
And, four months later, chucked my theistic evolution beliefs and embraced Creationism. In April of 1979, I still knew no other evangelical believers. I was desperate for more truth, so, along with reading the Scriptures, I was devouring every Christian book I could get my hands on. I had found a Christian book store – actually, I visited every Christian bookstore in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, but one particular store became my primary source. I polished off “Evidence That demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell, then picked up a new book that caught my eye: “The Troubled Waters of Evolution” by Henry Morris. Here’s a link if you want the highlights – or just get the book: http://booknotes.home.mindspring.com/troubled%20waters.htm
So, anyway, I read, for the first time, a book from the point of view of a scientist who actually believed in a literal 6-day special Creation, but also believed that Noah’s Flood was literal, too. I had been struggling with those concepts: if I believe the Bible, do I have to believe all of those things are true? Well, as I found out, yes.
So: there’s my indoctrination into Creationism – one book…
Oh, not exactly – TWO books… the Scriptures included.
But after a lifetime of being indoctrinated to something that I had WANTED to believe in – evolution – at the age of 22, with no friends who were creationists… I became a creationist.
How do you explain all that? It just made profoundly common sense. It was so clear – not simplistic, just sensible. Things just… fit. Like they didn’t fit the evolution paradigm I had wanted to believe earlier. The scientific evidence was, indeed, strongly on the side of the Creation paradigm.
I’m just a poor, hungry leper, telling you where I found food. If I keep it to myself, I really don’t believe it. Don’t be afraid – Jesus said, in Matthew 11: 28 – 30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
THAT is the absolute truth!