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An AiG volunteer based in California (he conducts video conferences for AiG in his area) came across a church in the region where AiG speaker Mike Riddle was visiting and speaking. This particular congregation had been holding special classes on “tough questions” for Christians to ponder.
In the church’s newsletter, two attendees in these classes provided answers to questions posed by the newsletter editor. Their answers are a reflection (and sad commentary) on the class itself and how churches in general are not equipping their congregations to have solid, reasonable answers for their faith.
Newsletter editor: “What was the most interesting thing you learned?”
First church member: “The most interesting lecture so far for me was the one about evolution and creation taught by Associate Pastor H. Though most people want the issue to be black and white, some Christians don’t look at it that way. Some believe that evolutionary theory and creation can actually complement each other. They feel God might have chosen this way to create. I think tolerance and respect goes a long way to keep an open dialog with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, who believe in Darwin and God.”
Newsletter editor: “What was the toughest question during the teaching lectures?”
Second church member: “A really tough question lectured by Pastor F. was ‘why does God allow suffering’? Suffering comes in many forms but it is really hard to watch innocent children suffer. That is really difficult to digest. This question is probably one of the most prevalent and may be one of the reasons many people have a hard time believing in God. In the end, there are no really good answers. In talking to our friends who are nonbelievers, we CAN say: ‘I can’t give you an answer but I can give you God.’”
Of course, AiG would declare that the Bible provides solid, satisfying answers to both of these two questions. First, there is absolutely no room for Darwinian evolution in the Bible and Christians should not allow such a “slippery slope” compromise to occur in the church. And the book of Genesis certainly provides the answers as to why we have so much death and suffering in this world.
In an ironic situation, the editor of this church newsletter had printed the verse 2 Timothy 3:16—“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” Yet the church’s associate pastor and the others teaching these classes on “tough questions” have not really been using the Word of God but are primarily expressing the opinions of men—their own opinions. What was sad, too, is that the newsletter indicated that about 300 adults attended these classes, each of whom did not receive biblical answers to some of the toughest questions posed about the Christian faith. In this day and age, we thankfully have apologetics resources—such as this website—to provide tools to truly equip Christians to have confidence in their faith, and to share it more effectively with others.