Punching holes in Scripture

Apostate admits that abandoning basic doctrines can become addictive



Published: 14 June 2018 (GMT+10)

Originally published in a CMI newsletter, December 2017

Some liberal Christians argue that insisting on doctrines like a six-day creation, the virginal conception of Christ, and the physical resurrection of the dead will deter young people who learn in college that these beliefs are untenable. To keep young people in the faith, they argue we must embrace evolution and naturalism and water down Christian doctrines that impose ‘outdated’ and ‘unloving’ concepts. Sadly, there is not much left to exhort youth to have faith in once one accepts this eviscerated brand of Christianity. And it doesn’t even accomplish what it seeks to do.

Tony Campolo (a professor emeritus at American Baptist-affiliated Eastern University in St. Davids, PA) and his son Bart Campolo are a good illustration of this. Tony Campolo is well known in evangelical Christian circles, but has called for acceptance of same-sex marriage and holds other unbiblical views that put him solidly in ‘mainline’ Christianity and outside evangelicalism. His son, Bart, is a humanist chaplain who has rejected Christianity. In a podcast Bart described his journey out of the faith.

“I passed through every stage of heresy. It starts out with sovereignty goes, then biblical authority goes, then I’m a universalist, now I’m marrying gay people. Pretty soon I don’t actually believe Jesus actually rose from the dead in a bodily way.”1

So an initial compromise intended to solve a theological problem just led to more compromise until there was no faith left.

“In his view, the process of abandoning Christian doctrines is almost addictive. Once you start, you don’t know where to stop. It might begin with ‘dialing down’ your view of God’s sovereignty, but it could easily end with unbelief”.1

We see this in the area of creation. When evolution is taught as an unquestionable fact and youth have no way to counter it, their faith suffers. Our groundbreaking youth survey DVD, Fallout!, exactly illustrates this problem and what our experience has been over decades: children who receive solid grounding in regard to biblical creation tend to remain Christian, while those who aren’t given good teaching in this area fall prey to evolutionary teaching and tend to leave the faith. And there is absolutely no reason for the latter because we have so much evidence to support biblical creation. The problem is that most don’t get to hear it!

Don’t fall for the trap of compromising the faith in order to save its integrity! You can’t maintain a solid faith on a shaky foundation, and even what looks like a thriving faith childhood church involvement can become very unstable if it is unsupported by a strong worldview. In contrast, taking the time to teach and maintain a biblical worldview regarding creation helps us to confidently defend biblical truth in all sorts of areas.

References and notes

  1. Hailes, S., Bart Campolo says progressive Christians turn into atheists. Maybe he’s right, Premierchristianity.com, 25 September 2017. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

From Creation to Salvation
by Lita Cosner
US $14.00
Christianity for Skeptics
by Drs Steve Kumar, Jonathan D Sarfati
US $17.00

Readers’ comments

Tim L.
Would it be possible for you guys to do a more robust survey than Fallout? The video provides some strong anecdotal evidence of the fact that kids who are taught that God somehow used evolution to create the world are more likely to leave the faith when they become adults. However, a coworker of mine is a strong Christian who does not follow that pattern (the way he puts it, he thinks that Genesis 1 is poetry and the genealogies have gaps, but everything else happened literally the way the Bible describes), and I'd like to have more than anecdotal evidence to share with him.
Gary Bates
I think you may have not really understood our reasoning for doing Fallout! in the manner we did. It is because of the very fact there have been very detailed and robust surveys done over the years, and some of them, like Barna Research and the Southern Baptist surveys were even mentioned on the video. So, we actually mentioned a source that people could have sought out for themselves if they wanted more information. Answers in Genesis also produced a whole book on this called Already Gone. In short, despite these well documented surveys the message is not getting across because most Christians feel this applies to someone else’s children. The aim of the video format was to allow parents and leaders to hear the children say this for themselves. If is then leads them to more detailed sources, then good! We also know from the experience of past surveys and producing stats that regardless of whether one interviewed a thousand or ten thousand, someone seeking to criticize will simply say the survey pool was not enough. We have been doing this for almost 40 years, and at the risk of sounding arrogant, we believed and knew exactly what the results would be anyway. We hear it all the time and virtually every week from our speakers attending churches, where concerned parents and leaders tell us this is exactly their own experience. And at the end of the day FALLOUT! has been tremendously successful at getting the message out.
Alexander L.
Tony and Bart Campolo: after reading some of their beliefs I am left wondering why evangelical churches would allow them to darken their doors. Why do the Campolo's just admit that they are Atheist and be done with it.
Rom; 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
The said article made sad and disturbing reading, however it has alerted me to people I never knew existed and I have shared the same with others in my address book.
Guy '.
Given enough room to allow faith to grow for bone fide baby Christians; I am utterly convinced that much of the falling away of people from being Christians is that they only joined the Christian social set or were brought up on Bible Stories but never came to the rubicon of making a decision for Christ. Man can only be saved via a conviction of the Holy Spirit that he needs to be saved. Those who do this from the heart stay saved mostly. For evolutionary teaching to dislodge genuine faith in Christ should be next-to impossible because the saint in question has heard God for himself. Receiving Christ is not like being sold a vacuum cleaner - their is genuine conviction! Not only that but believers should not be water baptised until they believe with all their heart (Acts 8:37). Surely it must be easy for the devil to chisel people away from God's Word if they don't really believe it. I met a lady here on the Isle of Wight in England at the Whippingham Church which used to be attended by Queen Victoria and she said she was a scientist and believed in Darwin's Theory of Evolution. I challenged her and gave her the web address of CMI. Although she seems fixed in her double commitment, I pray she will move from being lukewarm (due to compromise) to hot and boiling over for Jesus.
Tim L.
Gary Bates, thanks for that information! It is extremely helpful in clarifying some things. Honestly, I knew of the books and surveys you referred to, but had forgotten about them when I was talking with my coworker.

Alexander L. I agree with everything you say. However, it should be clarified that Bart essentially has done exactly what you say. He calls himself a "secular humanist", which I don't think is much different from an atheist (though he doesn't seem as militant about it as some are).
Piet A.
This excellent formulated warning of Lita is consistent with the deplorable situation of Christianity in The Netherlands. In my country the large liberal churches and the Catholic churches lose year after year about 5 % of their members. Especially the young ones are leaving the chuch. Many liberal churchleaders openly recognize that this is a great problem. On the other hand small orthodox protestant churches that stick to the Gospel stay stable or have some growth. Lets hope and pray that the liberal leaders will change their views on the Bible and especially on the Biblical creation story.
John M.
Sometimes I think someone should do an article on Creation about what being infinite means. I feel like people either fail to grasp what being infinite means, or they just choose to forget that it describes all of God's attributes. I mean, if it was possible to take a pinhead amount of God, it would still be infinite and greater than the entire universe. I say this because I think people fail to remember this when topics like creating the universe in six days are brought up. To an infinite being, the universe is less than nothing to create instantaneously, let alone take six days to do. It is one of the things about God that causes me to have such a reverential fear of Him. I like to think I can grasp about anything, but His infinite being is truly intimidating and incomprehensible to me.
Lita Cosner
We do have Infinity through dark glasses. I hope this is something like what you were looking for.

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