After a lecture, a young man approached me—“What you said … it’s suddenly like a light bulb lighting up in my head!” A young lady standing nearby stated, “I realized today that my understanding of Christianity was like starting in the middle of a movie—you took me back to the beginning—now I understand what it is all about.” A middle-aged man approached, “This information is like a key. It not only unlocks the reason as to why we have problems in society today—it’s the key to knowing how to be much more effective in witnessing for Jesus Christ. … Thank you.”
These are challenging days. On the whole, society is becoming more anti-Christian. We are seeing steady increases in homosexuality, support for abortion on demand, unwillingness to obey authorities, unwillingness to work, marriage being abandoned, clothing being abandoned, an increase in pornography, and an increase in lawlessness, to name but a few areas. Christians are fighting for their freedom even in so-called “Christian” nations.
What has happened in society to bring about these changes? Why is it that many people are cynical when you talk about Christ and seem to be closed to the gospel? There must be some foundational reason for this change. In this book we will discover the basic reasons why modern society has turned away from Christ. More importantly, a biblical (and hence, successful) way to reclaim lives for our Saviour will be outlined for you.
Years ago, our society was based on Christian absolutes. People knew what was right and what was wrong. Behaviors such as sexual deviancy, easy divorce, public lawlessness, abortion on demand, pornography, and public nudity were considered to be wrong. Varying punishments for offenders were meted out by society. Value judgments were basically built on biblical principles (for example, the Ten Commandments). Most people accepted or respected a belief in God.
Recently more and more people have rejected the God of the Bible. As belief in God has been abandoned, people have questioned the basis of the society in which they live. For instance, if there is no God, then why should they obey the Ten Commandments? Why should anyone say that homosexuality is wrong? Why should women be barred from having abortions whenever they desire? Once people eliminated God from their consciences, they set about to change any laws based on Christian absolutes that held God as Creator (and thus owner) of everything.
Christian absolutes have been diluted or removed as the basis of society and replaced with a world view that says, “We do not have to accept that the Christian way of doing things (basing our world and life view on biblical principles) is the only way; we must tolerate all religious beliefs and ways of life.” However, this “tolerance” really means an intolerance of the absolutes of Christianity. This false idea of tolerance has subtly undermined Christianity, and most Christians have not recognized what was really happening. Many Christians have been deceived into believing they have no right to impose their views on society. We are told, for instance, that anti-abortionists have no business impressing their particular bias on society. Have you ever heard anyone say this about the pro-abortion groups? The result is one bias being imposed on society by the pro-abortionists—legalized abortion on demand! No matter what you do, you cannot avoid the fact that a view is being imposed on someone by someone. There is no such thing as neutrality, although many Christians become ensnared in the trap of believing there is.
It is like the many theological and Bible colleges that say, “We do not take a dogmatic stand on Genesis. We tolerate all views.” But what happens when someone comes along and says, “Will you allow the view that says you must take Genesis literally?” “Oh, no!” they say, “We cannot allow that view because we tolerate all views!” In reality, they have taken a dogmatic stand to teach a dogmatic view to their students—a view that you do not have to take Genesis literally if you do not want to do so.
At one lecture I gave, a person said in an angry tone, “This is not fair. You are insisting that we take Genesis literally, that God actually took six days, that evolution is not true, and that there really was a worldwide flood. You are being intolerant of other people’s views. You must show tolerance for people such as I who believe God used evolution and that Genesis is only symbolic.”
I then asked, “Well, what do you want me to do?”
The person replied, “You must allow other views and be tolerant of opinions different to yours.”
“Well,” I said, “My view is that the literal interpretation of Genesis is the right view. All other views concerning Genesis are wrong. Will you tolerate my view?”
The person looked shocked, and he hesitated. I could almost hear him thinking, If I say yes, then I’ve allowed him to say you can’t have another view such as mine; if I say no, then I’ve obviously been intolerant of his view—what do I do? He then looked at me and said, “That’s semantics!” What he really meant was that he had lost the argument and did not want to admit his intolerance of my position. The fact is, he had taken a dogmatic, closed-minded position.
Occasionally people are upset when dogmatic statements are made. They say, “You cannot be dogmatic like that.” This in itself is a dogmatic statement. Many think that some people are dogmatic and others are not. It is not a matter of whether you are dogmatic or not, but of which dogma is the best dogma with which to be dogmatized!
At one time, a group called “Toleration” began. They were insisting on a tolerance of all religious ways, beliefs, and customs. They said that we had to stop intolerance in society. In their promotional leaflet explaining their viewpoint, it was interesting that they listed all the things they were against. And most of the things of which they were intolerant were related to Christianity. What they really meant was that they wanted a tolerance of anything in society, except Christianity!
The idea of open-mindedness comes from the notion that there is no such thing as absolute truth, or that truth cannot be absolutely known. Some say, “There are no absolutes.” Ironically, this premise has become their one absolute. Such ideas are derived from an anti-biblical philosophy which holds that everything is relative.
Christian absolutes—those truths and standards of Scripture which cannot be altered—are becoming less and less tolerated in society. Eventually this must result in the outlawing of Christianity. When Christian absolutes were the basis of society, immoral activities such as homosexual or lesbian lifestyles and pornography were outlawed. There has been a fundamental shift. Our society is now based on a relative morality: that is, a person can do what he likes and is answerable to no one but himself as long as the majority of people can be persuaded that their interests are not being threatened. This results in society’s being told that no one can say anything against those who choose to be sexual deviants, go naked publicly, or do whatever they want (within the limits of the law, which is also changing to become more “tolerant” of people’s actions).
God’s absolutes dictate that there are rules by which we must abide. Christianity cannot co-exist in a world community with relative morality as its basis. One or the other will yield. There are two world views with two totally different belief systems clashing in our society. The real war being waged is a great spiritual war. Sadly, today many Christians fail to win the war because they fail to recognize the nature of the battle.
It is my contention that this spiritual conflict is rooted in the issue of origins (creation/evolution). Although the thought may sound strange or new to the reader, biblically and logically this issue is central in the battle for men’s souls.
Most people have the wrong idea about what the creation/evolution question involves. Instead of perceiving the real issue, they have been deceived into believing that evolution is science. It is not a science at all (refer to chapter 2). It is a belief system about the past. We do not have access to the past. We only have the present. All the fossils, all the living animals and plants, our planet, the universe—everything exists in the present. We cannot directly test the past using the scientific method (which involves repeating things and watching them happen) since all evidence that we have is in the present.
It is important to understand that special creation, by definition, is also a belief about the past. The difference is that creationists base their understanding of creation upon a book which claims to be the Word of the One who was there, who knows everything there is to know about everything, and who tells us what happened. Evolution comes from the words of men who were not there and who do not claim to be omniscient. This whole issue revolves around whether we believe the words of God who was there, or the words of fallible humans (no matter how qualified) who were not there.
It is astonishing in this so-called “scientific age” that so few people know what science really is or how it works. Many think of scientists as unbiased people in white laboratory coats objectively searching for the truth. However, scientists come in two basic forms, male and female, and they are just like you and me. They have beliefs and biases. A bias determines what you do with the evidence, especially the way in which you decide that certain evidence is more relevant or important than other evidence. Scientists are not objective truth seekers; they are not neutral.
Many people misunderstand bias, thinking that some individuals are biased and some are not. Consider an atheist, for example. Such a person believes there is no God. Can atheists entertain the question, “Did God create?” The answer is, “No.” As soon as they even allow it as a question, they are no longer atheists. So, to an atheist scientist looking at the fossils and the world around him, it would not matter what evidence he were to find. It could have nothing to do with biblical events, such as Noah’s flood. Even if he found a big boat on the top of Mount Ararat he could never allow that evidence to support the claims of the Bible regarding Noah’s ark. As soon as he did, he would have abandoned his atheistic religious framework. An atheist is one hundred percent biased. This should be kept in mind whenever one reads a textbook or sees a television program produced by an atheist.
I have seen many examples of bias exhibited in various ways. I was on a talk-back radio show in Denver, Colorado, and the radio announcer said I had seven minutes to give the evidence for creation. He would just sit back and listen. So I went into detail about what the Bible says concerning Noah’s flood, the Tower of Babel, and other related topics. I explained how evidence from various cultures and from the fossil record supported what the Bible said. Various other aspects of creation were explored to demonstrate the truth of the Bible. At the end of the seven minutes the announcer made this comment on the air, “Well, I didn’t hear any evidence for creation at all; so much for that!” Of course, what he meant was that he was not prepared to accept the evidence that I had given him because he wanted to hold on to his own bias—agnosticism. An agnostic is one hundred percent biased. He believes one cannot know anything for sure, so, no matter how much evidence he hears, he can still say, “I do not know.” As soon as he knows, he has stopped being an agnostic. From a biblical perspective, Romans 1 teaches that the evidence for creation is all around us and, therefore, anyone who does not believe in the Creator and Saviour is condemned. It is also important to recognize that one does not have to see the Creator to recognize the fact of special creation. Just because one cannot see the architect and builder who designed and constructed a house does not mean that there was not an intelligent designer behind it.
But what about a revelationist, that is, a person who believes that the God of history has revealed the truth about himself by means of a book? (A book which claims over three thousand times to be the Word of God.) Can such a person consider the opposite question, that God did not create? No! Because he starts with the premise that God is Creator and His word is true.
Atheists, agnostics and revelationists (and theists) hold to religious positions; and what they do with the evidence will again be determined by the assumptions (beliefs) of their religious positions. It is not a matter of whether one is biased or not. It is really a question of which bias is the best bias with which to be biased.
Glaring examples of bias can be seen in public education in response to the creation ministry. The following conversation, which is rather typical of students in the public school system, shows what bias is all about. After a presentation on creation, one student stated, “There is no way Noah’s ark could be true—he couldn’t have fitted all the animals on board.” I then asked the student, “How many animals would he have needed to have put on board?” He gave the usual reply: “I don’t know, but it certainly couldn’t have happened.” I then asked him “how big was the ark?” Again he answered, “I don’t know, but he couldn’t have fitted the animals on board.” In other words, here is a student who did not know how big Noah’s ark was, or how many animals God would have needed to put on board, but he has already decided it is a fairy tale that could not have happened.
At one town a keen supporter of creation ministries told how he had spoken to fellow academics at a local university concerning Noah’s flood. They, of course, mocked and scoffed at the idea. He then mentioned that someday someone may find Noah’s ark on Mount Ararat. One fellow academic turned to him and said that even if they found a big boat that looked like Noah’s ark on the top of Mount Ararat and dragged it to the main street of the city, he would still refuse to believe it. His bias was showing.
There have been many occasions where I have been able to give a convincing and logical presentation to the students. Many of them then looked to their teachers to try to make some point that could demonstrate where I was wrong. It is easy to read the expressions on the students’ faces. They are saying that this all sounds convincing but surely there must be something wrong with it because they really do not want to believe that the Bible is true. A teacher may respond by asking a question that sounds to the student as if the teacher has proven me wrong. In the students’ eyes there is no way that I would be able to answer the question. Often students spontaneously break into applause (their way of rejoicing over what they think is my demise). However, it is interesting to watch their faces and see their jaws drop when I am able to give a reasonable answer to the question—they are back where they started. It is sad to see that, for many of them, they have already made up their minds and decided they really do not want to believe the Bible.
I am often asked how people change their biases. This is a good question. As a Christian, the only way I can answer is to say that in this area it has to be a work of the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that we either walk in the light or in darkness (Acts 26:18), gather or scatter, are for Christ or against Him (Matt. 12:30). The Bible clearly declares that no person is neutral and that each one does have a bias. Since it is the Holy Spirit who convicts and convinces people of the truth, it is only through the work of the Holy Spirit that our biases can change. As Christians, our job is to bring the Word of God to people in a clear and gracious way, and pray that the Spirit might use our words to open hearts and minds to Christ. I believe Christians understand bias better than others. All Christians were once lost sinners biased against God. They have seen how Jesus Christ can change their bias as He transforms their lives through the power of His Spirit.
|Atheism||No god exists||Can’t consider creation||100%|
|Must exclude definite role of God
|Theism||God deduced||No absolutes||100%|
|Revealed||God revealed to man||Absolute reference points||100%|
One of the reasons why creationists have such difficulty in talking to certain evolutionists is because of the way bias has affected the way they hear what we are saying. They already have preconceived ideas about what we do and do not believe. They have prejudices about what they want to understand in regard to our scientific qualifications, and so on.
There are many examples of evolutionists who have totally misunderstood or misinterpreted what creationists are saying. They hear us through their “evolutionary ears,” not comprehending in the slightest the perspective from which we are coming. As creationists, we understand that God created a perfect world, man fell into sin, the world was cursed, God sent Noah’s flood as judgment, and Jesus Christ came to die and be raised from the dead to restore all things. In other words, our message is one of creation, Fall, and redemption. However, because evolutionists are used to thinking in “uniformitarian” terms (i.e., basically the world we see today—the world of death and struggle—has gone on for millions of years), they do not understand this creationist perspective of history.
An interesting example came when Dr. Gary Parker was debating a professor from LaTrobe University in Victoria, Australia. One of the evolutionist’s “refutations” of creation centered around his assertion that there were too many imperfections in the world to have been made by a Creator. This particular evolutionist would not understand, even after it was clearly presented, that the world we are looking at today is not the same world that God created because of the effects of the Fall and flood. To understand the creation/evolution issue correctly, one must have a complete understanding of the beliefs adhered to by both creationists and evolutionists.
In another example, an evolutionist biologist said that if God made all the animals during the fifth and sixth days of creation, why don’t we find parakeets and mice in the Cambrian strata alongside trilobites? Dr. Parker then explained that parakeets and mice do not live in the same environment as the trilobites. Dr. Parker explained to this scientist that the fossil record should be seen in terms of the sorting action of a worldwide flood. Because animals and plants live in different areas, they would have been trapped in sediments representative of their particular environment. Again, we see bias causing a misunderstanding that so many have of the creationist position.
The reader needs to be aware that, when we discuss creation/evolution, in both instances we are talking about beliefs, that is, religion. The controversy is not religion versus science, as the evolutionists try to make it out. It is religion versus religion, the science of one religion versus the science of the other.
Evolution is a religious position that makes human opinion supreme. As we shall see, its fruits (because of rejection of the Creator and Lawgiver) are lawlessness, immorality, impurity, abortion, racism, and a mocking of God. Creation is a religious position based on the Word of God, and its fruits (through God’s Spirit) are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The creation/evolution issue (is God Creator?) is the crux of the problems in our society today. It is the fundamental issue with which Christians must come to grips. The creation/evolution issue is where the battle really rages.