Am I a Coward?

by Dr. Georgia Purdom on September 6, 2012

A couple weeks ago, Bill Nye “The Science Guy” posted a video on YouTube entitled “Creationism is Not Appropriate for Children.” The video went viral, and as of today it has had over 4 million views. A few days after it was posted, Dr. David Menton and I posted a video rebuttal entitled, “Bill Nye, Creationism is Highly Appropriate for our Children.” I’m excited that it has received over 120,000 views! You can read more about the video in this extensive article and blog post by Ken Ham.

The day after our video was posted, I went to my Facebook page as I always do in the morning and saw I had over 160 comments about our video rebuttal. The sheer number of comments that contained vile and crude language was shocking (I know I probably shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was). Most of the comments were ad hominem attacks rather than respectful and thoughtful arguments concerning what I had said in the video.

On several occasions people posted that I was being a coward for disabling comments on the YouTube video and for deleting comments and banning them from my Facebook page. One person said, “Disabling the ratings and comments on your video on Youtube, while Nye left his open to discussion and debate, shows a lamentable degree of moral cowardice on your part.”

Am I a “moral coward?” First of all, if the person who posted this is an atheist then he has no ultimate foundation for morality and is being inconsistent with his worldview by trying to judge me according to his moral standards (see my article on this for more information). So am I a “coward?” A coward is defined as, “a person who lacks the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things.”

The position I take as a Christian and as a scientist on the authority of the Word of God should be sufficient to show I don’t shy away from doing “unpleasant things”! People in the secular world and many in the Christian world (those who compromise on the authority of the Bible) want me to deny biblical authority, and they have essentially shunned me because I won’t. I’ve “ruined” my professional scientific career in the eyes of the world because of my stand. I’ve become accustomed to doing what the world considers “unpleasant things.” Suffice it to say, I’m no coward.

I want my Facebook page to be a place that equips and encourages fellow believers.  There are plenty of other places on the Internet where people can debate these issues. I don’t “delete and ban” capriciously but have biblically based criteria to help me determine the wisest course of action.

If a comment has vile or crude language, it is deleted and the person is banned. Ephesians 4:29 states, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Obviously vile and crude words are not edifying or imparting grace.

If a comment is an ad hominem attack, it is deleted and the person is banned. Proverbs 10:18 states, “Whoever hides hatred has lying lips,
 and whoever spreads slander is a fool.” (Ad hominem attacks are equivalent to slander). Ad hominems attack the person rather than the arguments. For example, several people commented that I had not published articles in science journals related to my PhD. On the contrary, I have three papers published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research and the Journal of Leukocyte Biology that can easily be found through a Google search. These types of attacks are usually false and don’t address the arguments.

If a comment is related to the argument but is worded in such a way to make it obvious that person is being facetious and not truly wanting to learn, then again it is deleted and the person banned. I want to have good stewardship of my time and effort. I want to respond to people who truly want to learn. In Matthew 10:11–15 Jesus sent out the twelve disciples and gave them these instructions:

Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
Clearly Jesus wanted the twelve disciples to invest in people who were truly seeking Him and not waste time on those who would deny Him. One atheist contacted me and was very respectful in asking me for further clarification on a statement I made. I gladly answered him! Our website has a wealth of information, and it was easy to respond to him with a link to a relevant article on our website.

My mother-in-law Sylvia sent me an email after the Facebook “attack.” She wrote,

Remember that these people want to deny God so that they can make themselves the center of the universe and by standing for the truth you represent God to them. It's not really you they hate; it's the idea that there is an all-knowing, all-powerful God who will at some point in time judge what they have done, and as long as they continue in their present ways, it's not going to come out well. I think while they deny God, there is undoubtedly a bit of fear in the back of their mind; "What if He does exist?” Wouldn't it be scary to live life that way?
How true! As Romans 1:18 says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (emphasis mine). I told my daughter Elizabeth that the people weren’t really mad at me; they were mad at God. As Christians we shouldn’t be shocked or surprised when things like this happen because Jesus told us they would! In the verses following Jesus sending out the twelve He stated,
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. (Matthew 10:16–18)

Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:21–22)

We must endure to the end because our greatest reward waits in heaven where we will live with God for eternity! Be in prayer for those that have rejected Christ that their eyes will be opened to the truth before it is too late.

Keep fighting the good fight of the faith!

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