Church censors biblical creation
The Melbourne Anglican requests an article from CMI and then refuses to publish it.
Published: 13 October 2009 (GMT+10)
The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne publishes The Melbourne Anglican (TMA) monthly. An editor contacted Dr Don Batten of CMI (Australia), asking for an opinion piece on creation/evolution. Dr Don Batten wrote this, painstakingly tailoring it to the strict 800 word limit given, and emailed it to the editor on 26 May 2009, ahead of the requested deadline. The piece did not appear in the June or July issues and Dr Batten asked what had happened. Editor Roland Ashby said that he could not find anyone to write a countering article and he was not willing to publish CMI’s short essay without such a counter piece to accompany it (never mind that TMA had already published several one-sided pieces against biblical creation). When the editor requested the piece he said that there was no hard and fast guarantee that TMA would publish it, which is understandable as an article could contain unacceptable ad hominem, etc. However, at no stage did he tell Dr Batten that publication depended on the editor obtaining an effective counter piece. Clearly the whole exercise was a “set-up” along the lines of: “Here is the case for biblical creation ‘from the horse’s mouth’, so to speak. Now here is a counter to it that shows it has no sound biblical or logical basis—end of story; chapter closed.” It appears that TMA is not going to publish Dr Batten’s article—apparently no one was able to effectively refute it!
However, with the Internet, it is not so easy now for church authorities to stifle the dissemination of Biblical truth. So here is the essay for the benefit of the many thousands of people who visit creation.com daily and many thousands more who will find out about it by CMI’s web visitors sharing it with their friends.
Why do we lose our young people?
A youth worker in an Anglican church in Melbourne wrote:
“I used to beat my head against a wall wondering why we lost all our young people at about age 16. I’ve realized that age 16 is when they teach evolution in depth in science. Some of the teachers actually identify the Christian students and make a special point of explaining the differences and difficulties in reconciling Genesis and the ‘facts’ of evolution. It’s no wonder we lost them. I come near tears just thinking about it.”
This is not some side issue. This is the greatest excuse for unbelief in our day. Cosmic evolution (the universe made itself and we are the fluke product of stardust) gives people a rationale for unbelief. Allegorizing the Bible to try to accommodate it just confirms the non-Christian’s unbelief.
Furthermore, this is a huge cause of doubt for Christians. “Is what I believe just myths and fairytales?” Many an atheist testifies that they lost childhood faith when exposed to evolution.
Professor William Provine: “Belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.”
Evolution entails death and struggle for survival for eons before man appeared. This is inconsistent with the goodness of God. After He finished creating, God pronounced everything “very good” (Gen. 1:31). He did not create an evolutionary world.
Evolution demands that the Fall (Gen. 3) be mythologized, and that destroys the Bible’s teaching about mankind’s rebellion and salvation. If “God used evolution”, then the creation did not become corrupted when Adam and Eve sinned (Gen. 3:14–20, Rom. 8:19–23); it was corrupt from the beginning. And if Adam was not a real person, or Adam’s death was only ‘spiritual’, what of the death of the Last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45)? How could His physical death on the cross, remembered in the Eucharist, remove the curse of death from us, as we look forward to our resurrection bodies (Heb. 2:9, Rom. 5:9–19, 1 Cor. 15, Gal. 3:13)?
If God ‘created’ over billions of years He seriously misled us in inspiring “six days”, with evenings and mornings! Ex. 20:8–11 defines the days; the basis of our 7-day week.
Evolution is inconsistent with the nature of God and the original very good creation, the nature and gravity of the Fall, the death of Jesus and the promise of resurrection, the gravity of sin and the justice of God’s judgment, and the necessity for a new heavens and the new earth (Rev. 22). What is left?
Evolution is not only bad religion; it’s bad science.
Experimental science, which investigates how today’s world operates, has greatly benefitted mankind. It uses experiment and observation in the present. Evolution is a hypothesis about history, on which you can’t do experiments (time machine, anyone?). It is story telling driven by the prevailing worldview, which is naturalism (nature is all there is; God does not exist). Acceptable stories have to fit this prevailing worldview.
Christianity birthed science, as historians of science recognize. The founders were devout Christians. Real science and the Bible are compatible.
Evolution is a blinkered view that impedes science. The assertion that living things came purely from natural processes—no intelligence allowed!—is philosophical dogma that science cannot prove. And almost every discovery of modern molecular biology contradicts it. As Professor Paul Davies said, “Most of the workings of the cell are best described, not in terms of material stuff—hardware—but as information, or software” and that, “there is no known law of physics able to create information from nothing”. The insistence that no intelligence was involved in inventing the encyclopaedic quantities of information in organisms blinds scientists to not expect sophistication in living things. “Junk DNA” illustrates the point; evolutionary notions created the idea. The junk DNA turns out to be functional. The evolutionary ‘junk’ science impeded that discovery.
Living things are full of sophisticated nano-machines; rotary and linear motors, upon which life depends. Not even one of the many protein components needed to make one of those motors could ever come into existence by pure chemistry, even if every atom in the universe were an experiment with all the correct amino acids present for every microsecond of its supposed age.
Mutations and natural selection operate in today’s fallen world, but they will not create the billions of “letters” of information needed to change a microbe into Mozart.
Evolution is materialistic dogma pretending to be science.
“But so many experts can’t be wrong”? They have been many times in the past. Didn’t Jesus say, “Broad is the way that leads to destruction”? Jesus believed Genesis was history (e.g., Mark 10:6); so do I.
Creation Ministries International
You have shown that when the light is presented, darkness retreats. The fact that you can write such a concise article that nails so many points is a credit to you and your God-given gifts.
Thanks also, as you were the person who removed my “blinkers”, as I once tried to reconcile the Bible and evolution. Now I just see this flimsy theory as “evil”ution.
Thanks again and be strong knowing you are succeeding in your “mission from God”.
I have read Creation(.com) and other creationist literature for many years now and I must say that this piece is one of hardest hitting compact pieces I have ever read on the topic. No wonder TMA could not find any one to write a rebuttal!
Thanks for publishing the letter and for your ministry.
A brilliant article Don. Obviously the Melbourne Anglicans found it too difficult to argue against the truth!
Excellent summary and exposition. If the Melbourne Anglican editors can’t appreciate the value in this essay let’s remember there is pattern in Anglican doctrine of not being able to appreciate the value in the Bible. There are many that do appreciate it. Let those of us who remain lift up the standard (Isa. 59:19). God bless your ministry.
I just wanted to say that I thought the article you wrote for the Anglican magazine was superb. Really well written at a good level.
I just wanted to say that the above article was brilliant! If TMA refused to publish it, it was obviously meant for a much wider audience—I’m not surprised nobody could refute it!
I think it is sad and sinister that the leadership of such a large denomination stifles the publication of an article which is pointing Christians back to reading and believing the bible. What is there to fear? The reality of the imminence of God. Parishioners thinking for themselves ... I’m glad I was introduced to creation ministries as a teenager. Anglican youth today ought to have that opportunity. This issue aches my heart. (St Marks Anglican Church, Berowra)
Great summary of the issue! It reminds me of most of the material in Richard Fangrad’s Genesis and the Gospel Connection presentation, yet you distilled into a few minutes reading.
Thankyou—it’s good to have these type of conversations.
Although my comment is that this article doesn’t present the 6-day creationist perspective in the best light and may actually detract from it.
The author makes more assertions than real arguments backed with evidence. Certainly it is very difficult to make a comprehensive case for a certain position in 800 words. But a reasonable evidential argument can be put forward with minimal assertions in a small space of words. For example the writer from CMI could have spend less words quoting that youth worker from Melbourne (that added nothing convincing to the overall 6-day creationist argument but appears to be there for emotional impact not rational impact). He could have also reduced the whole “bad science” section and focused more on the biblical and theological arguments rather than making theological assertions/conclusions with no real convincing evidence (esp. given it was for a church magazine and not a science journal).
Other than the poor argument—the other reason I think it was a poor piece of writing was the tone. The tone seemed to be more emotive and confrontational rather than rational (e.g. the statement “this is the greatest excuse for unbelief in our day” is simply a massive overstatement). If he was measured in his assertions I think it would appeal to a broader readership. And I don’t think tone is dependent on word count.
I know of many 6 day creationists who, becuase of the points above, would not give this article out to their church members. Yes they may give a 5,000 word article with a more comprehesive argument—but as I said I believe a good/reasonable argument can be made in 800 words.
I have a lot of respect for my brothers who hold to a 6-day creationist view, for their passion for the scriptures and for truth. I also think these are important discussions to have—though I would disagree that it is the most important (the person and work of Jesus must always be prior). I can’t comment on all the full reasons behind TMA’s decision to can the article. But, like TMA I wouldn’t publish it in our church newsletter either (not b/c I do not want to debate the issue nor b/c I can’t find an alternative point of view to go alongside it) but simply becuase I do not believe this article presented the 6-day creationist perspective in the best light and may have even detracted from it.
Mike complains that I used an emotional argument (regarding the drop-out rate from youth group at the time young people get taught evolution at school) but then he uses an emotional argument that he did not like the tone of the article! Smile.
Contrary to Mike S, I believe the tone and content of the article to be entirely appropriate—especially given the eternal consequences of unbelief. The 800 words were well-used to highlight key areas warranting further investigation for those whose minds are not closed. For those who wish to call themselves Christian it ought to be enough that Jesus believed Genesis literally. For those who wonder about the science—a God who is real has indeed left us real evidence in space and time if we wish to see it. Don could have written a whole series on the subject for the paper had he been allowed. There was nothing but a “tone of seriousness and urgency”—quite appropriate and quite pointed as it should be.
Mike is dreaming. His measured, well mannered comment came to 420 words, so he couldn’t respond in 800 words to the issue. Well done Don. Mike has confused brevity and rudeness.
Hey Mike S:
It took you 417 words to say you wanted more theology and didn’t like the tone. You even claim the TMA had “full reasons” when they had already confessed to a lack of counter-argument. Where did you get such insight? “I believe a good/reasonable argument can be made in 800 words.” Perhaps you could write a better one—or find one for us all...Go for it!
An excellent article Don. God bless you and the CMI ministry.
An excellent article, if I may say so too. Of course, being a Chartered Engineer and having an MA from Trinity College Cambridge, perhaps my opinion may not count for very much. ;>}
Thank you for this wealth of information on this very important subject of creation! As I am preparing a few lectures on this subject I paged through some older articles and read “Church censors biblical creation”, 13 October 2009. One of the remarks in the article was that the Lord is good and therefore everything He made was also good! I absolutely agree with this, but an even stronger argument can be made on the fact that God is life. If I have missed a previous article/remark in this regard, please pardon the repeat of this remark. How can this attribute of God be reconciled with death (before sin)? My point here is that God is life, which is a discrepancy if one believes that death was part of creation!
Thank you Don for that very informative article. I find it strengthens my faith in Christ. The unbelief of TMA is reminiscent of that of the pharisees of Christ’s day. As Jesus asked: “...but when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith in the earth?” Makes me think His coming must be near.
I encountered ‘evolution’ in my youth during zoology lessons in school. This concept was a very big stumbling block to my belief in the BIBLE literally but I had faith during my search for GOD after my parents' death compelled me and my siblings to bow to idolatory practises of the Taoist faith, which I deemed unfit to be passed down from ancesters to decendants.
I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour at 47 and I am very grateful to CMI in Perth who opened my mind to the discrepancies between evolution (which I accepted as fact) and the SIX Days of Creation described in Genesis.
Thank you again, CMI.