Revisiting the FALLOUT!

There is good news when dealing with the key excuses people use to reject Christ

by and 

Published: 21 May 2019 (GMT+10)
Empty-classroom

We are all too familiar with the oft-repeated statistics: Two-thirds of youth raised in Christian homes eventually reject Christianity in today’s culture. CMI speakers minister in over 1,000 churches worldwide annually to create awareness of this problem, so we are all accustomed to parents approaching us to share the reality of the exodus, reporting “That’s my son you’re talking about!”, or “That’s my granddaughter! She was active in our church’s youth group too! What did we do wrong?” It’s an epidemic!

There are many theories about the causes of this flight. And there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ answer. But there is a major intellectual disconnect being experienced today by those being raised with a church background.

Information saturation

In Darwin’s time and for decades after, the prevailing paradigm was a belief in God being the Creator. Some reading this today (with a little grey in their hair) could vouch that at school there was not the rampant hostility to the Bible that there is now. And today this even starts at elementary school.

Darwinism is now taught as an accepted fact of science, and with easy access to information via the Internet, YouTube, and TV etc., the church’s teaching is ridiculed as merely Bible ‘stories’ that have no relation to how the world actually came into being. And it’s not just our youth. Many of us have struggled at some time to try and ‘make the Bible fit’ the science of the world. But we often do not realize that the ‘scientific’ paradigm of naturalistic evolution really means an unguided process without God. So, without being taught how to properly interpret what we are being taught in secular education, and that the real, observable evidence around us actually supports the biblical account, many young people eventually reject the Bible’s message. It’s a slippery slope to unbelief.

Sadly, many think that it only applies to other families, and that it won’t happen to their children who are enjoying the experience of their thriving church. But it’s two-thirds of someone’s family! So today, what are the key intellectual reasons that young people report as the reasons they reject Christianity?

An interesting survey

You might recall our FALLOUT! DVD documentary where we interviewed students on campuses as to their reasons for ditching their church involvement. Every single student who said they were raised in the church, but no longer attends church, said they now believed evolution to be a scientific fact. We then asked them what they thought were the best evidences for evolution. The main arguments raised were apes to humans, the fossil record, and the study of genetics, etc.

Other creation-focused ministries have done similar surveys. One by a good friend of CMI asked this exact same question and got similar results. This survey indicated that out of the top ten best evidences for evolution given by students, the top four categories amounted to 72% of the total responses. These were human evolution (24.8%), evolution theory proper (21.3%), fossils and transitional forms (15.1%) and science as an authority (11.1%).1 So, should we make these four ‘evidence’ points a priority target on our evolutionary hit list? You might be surprised that our answer is ‘no’, well…kind of, no.

The stronghold of deep time

In these surveys (including our own), students hardly mentioned millions of years (MOYs) as a best evidence for evolution. Was this really because the students felt this area was not a major conflict with the Bible? We think not, and it’s because they’ve already accepted deep time. For example:

  1. The fossil record in the rock layers (which allegedly took MOYs to lay down) is interpreted as evidence of creatures slowly transforming into higher organisms.
  2. Apes to human evolution is assumed to have occurred over MOYs due to the finds of fragmentary, alleged transitional fossils (‘ape-men fossils’ in the same rock layers).
  3. When we questioned the students and they mentioned genetics, they were referring to human-chimp DNA comparisons. Mutations over the assumed MOYs are said to account for this.

The major categories reported by the students are linked via one key factor that does not appear in these surveys. It’s the millions of years of deep time! Every ‘evidence’ raised by students needs MOYs for these processes to take place; it’s the ‘glue’ that holds the evolutionary story together.

MOYs was not mentioned because it was just assumed to be true.

The millions of years is the major reason for belief in evolution

For over 40 years, CMI has been involved in the origins debate. In churches, our speakers have experienced firsthand that although many believers did not believe in evolution, we constantly get challenged by Christians who are struggling with the idea of MOYs. We hear all sorts of compromise views such as ‘day-age theory’ or ‘gap theory’ or the ‘progressive creation’ view (Hugh Ross et al.). They are all attempts to fit MOYs into the Bible. Why? Sadly, it’s because many churches capitulated to the ‘deep time’ dogma not long after Darwin, and it continues today. Or at best, the topic is just avoided in our churches due to doubts by leaders on how to deal with the issue. Thus, deep time is already assumed to be true, that is, a ‘scientific fact’. At one time this was true for both authors of this article and the majority of CMI scientists.

Some personal experiences

I (Scott) can readily vouch from experience in hundreds of churches where I have spoken that most people, even Christians, already accept MOYs. And that was my own experience as well. Before joining CMI, I was on the teaching team at my church in California. However, I assumed that the ‘science’ of millions of years could not be wrong. As many do, I thought “in six days” had to be some sort of symbolic story, not the true history of the cosmos. This, in turn, led me to imagine God must have created in some other way than what Scripture clearly tells us.

As a young Christian in Australia, I (Gary) was very excited about my new-found faith in Jesus. I even recall poring through my Bible looking for passages that could tell me how God created using a process of evolution. Then I heard a creation speaker do a presentation on the Mt St Helens volcanic eruption in Washington State in 1980. I was shown how geologic layers were laid down in hours and not MOYs. Looking back, once the MOYs was demolished, my belief in evolution also came tumbling down because the fossil record could not have taken MOYs to form, and so there was no time for these transitional forms to evolve, and so on. The Bible had another explanation for them—Noah’s Flood!

Deep time is the slippery slope to unbelief

So, perhaps a better first question would be “What is the age of the cosmos?” We suspect that the overwhelming majority would say millions/billions of years, without a second thought. Subsequently, ask them what evidence they think supports evolution and millions of years, because, again from our experience, most people have no idea why they think the earth is billions of years old. It’s just assumed because that’s all they hear. Deep time is the foundation for all evolutionary thinking that must be demolished first. Yet, many churches and pastors think that the ‘time’ issue is irrelevant. “So what if God took millions of years to create? What does it matter?”, is often heard by our Events Managers when trying to book ministry for our speakers.

However, if you undermine the ‘science’ of millions of years, all the other alleged evidences come tumbling down because there is no time for them to occur. Furthermore, it is deep time that so thoroughly undermines the Gospel, putting death and disease in the world before Adam’s Fall put the cosmos “in bondage to corruption” (Romans 8:21). Therefore, we ask all our speakers to deal with the alleged geologic evidence for MOYs as part of any initial creation presentation. It is a great catalyst to opening the doors to then start dealing with the other matters.

How to stop the fallout

Note that we are not saying these intellectual rejections are the only reasons for abandoning the faith. We empathize with families who have trained their children and dealt with these arguments, yet their offspring have still left the church. Of course, there are issues of morality, wrong relationships, etc. that can cause our young ones to stray, but in our survey the academic reasons as to why students thought the Bible was wrong is the focus of our ministry’s mandate.

No MOYs—no evolution!

There is good news! If we are willing to first recognize the number one basic problem, and take action, then we believe Christian families will be better immunized against the strongholds of MOYs and evolution.

This is why CMI focuses on churches

Where does one find believers meeting together? In churches of course. While special conferences are great, the likely attendees are going to be those, like you, who are already convinced. To reach the culture, we need to reach doubting believers who have never heard an effective presentation on the origins issue, and the best place to do that is … in the main service in churches. With God’s enabling, training our churches and our own families, we can obediently follow this command from the Apostle Paul to his disciple, Timothy:

“Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’” (1 Timothy 6:20).

What you can do

What about your church? Or other churches in your community where believers need to hear the truth? You could make a big difference, simply by introducing the idea of hosting a CMI event in your community. Our events coordinators make it easy for you to be a conduit of truth. Please take the time right now to contact our Events Department here: creation.com/events-123.

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References and notes

  1. genesisapologetics.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/592/2016/08/Strategic-Creation-Ministry-Breaking-Down-the-Specific-Topics-that-Make-up-Evolutionary-Strongholds-Website.pdf Return to text.

Readers’ comments

Ian H.
Talking to a lot of people (the public) I find the vast Majority give lip service to Evolution but they have little conviction, particularly when I ask them if they believe the Evolutionary Story that they Evolved from Monkeys. Their reply to the last question ranges from NO!!!! to Hmmm....., Don't think So! Ideal ground to give them a back copy of the Magazine or one of the new Dinosaur leaflets. The Age of the earth is a difficult one, my best response is to Reference Halton Arp's research on anomalous Galaxies and Qausars. I have found that the most 'Wow' factor comes when I tell people of the Marine fossils on the top of Mount Everest (and most other high mountain chains) which leads to the Gobal Flood. Once people can 'See' the Global Flood then the Story of Genesis makes sense and 'Deep' time in no longer an issue. Road Cuts are a useful tool as once you tell people what a road cut is and the sedimentry layers are a result of a Global Flood then as they drive around they can see the evidence for themselves. If Christians do not engage with their Culture on this topic their Children, Grandchildren, Friends, Neighbours will consider them as fools. Over almost 20 years of being involved with CMI the most tragic question I have been asked is 'What have you got that I can show my children, grandchildren.......They used to come to Church with us but they Don't Want to Know Anymore, Help ME!
Scott Gillis
Ian, thank you for "talking to a lot of people" and sharing the truth. Regarding the tragic question of "What have you got that I can show my children, grandchildren?", our webstore is jam packed full of resources for all ages.
Bruce A.
You say in this article that millions of years is an impossibility, but is this fact only true (that it is impossible) if we believe in the the Word of God, the Bible? What I am really trying to ask is; is there proof outside the Word of God that MOY are impossible?
Gary Bates
Our starting assumption should always be that the Bible is true. But we don't believe the Bible in spite of the evidence. There is lots of evidence that the earth is much younger than evolutionary assumptions suggest. Most people do not know why secularists assume a billions of years age for the earth. I recommend searching this site, and the best article you could read that explains this, and also why compromise attempts to put millions of years into Scripture don't work, is Did God create over billions of years?
Mark L.
Yes, I can vouch for the vital importance of teaching the young folk a correct Biblical understanding of Genesis, and not standing inactive while their faith is totally eroded by evolutionary beliefs. I also have grey hair now, but when I was 15 years old my biology teacher (who studied at Cambridge under the teachings of the evolutionist James Crick) told me that "Genesis was a myth and evolution was a fact!" I believed this lie, and went on a godless path for over 10 years, until God opened my eyes to the Truth in Jesus. So praise God, I am now a Bible believing child of the Creator. CMI have played a big role in strengthening and growing my faith over the years. Please do not grow weary in doing good, in due season you will reap... Thank you!
Derek H.
For me it was the realisation that evolution could not explain how the first living cell was formed that was the decider. Followed closely by evolution’s dependence on mutations for change, because mutations are damage to dna! Also if evolution is true then there is no such thing as sin. Because there is no fall. We are all developing! Which does not fit with the revelation of God in the Bible. Then I had to tackle the problem of millions of years which I did not find easy. In my church most believe this and it is not allowed to say anything against it. It was when I did a detailed study of Genesis 1 & 2 that I realised that to understand it properly one has to accept that God created everything just as He tells us, and that it is totally miraculous. He said, and it was done, instantly. Again and again I find people find this hard to accept because of our modern materialistic mindset. It is materialistic thinking that is the hindrance to faith in God’s creative power. And it’s this mindset that is the cause for so many who try to imagine God using time to make things. Plants for example that “must have time to grow so cannot happen in 24 hours. Once one accepts the reality of God’s supernatural power in creation these problems disappear like shadows when the sunlight comes. Materialism of course is so much more comfortable than belief in the supernatural power of God who by His own will created all things. Even for Christians.
Frank B.
How true this article applies to my life during my teenage years! It was the time of my life when I called myself an "atheist" even though in my mind I knew God did exist, although I hated him. I was also a keen believer in evolution, and I had a collection of fossils as physical proof for Darwin's theory. However, in 1971, at age twenty, I was convicted of my sins and I was converted to Jesus Christ as Saviour. A few months later I felt the need to read at the very beginning of the Bible. By reading the first three chapters of Genesis with a believing heart led me to a kind of "second conversion". To this day I have found CMI to be a great source of information and an inspiration for my faith.
Phillip B.
This article is of vital importance for both the Church and Christian parents alike. I have been a born again Christian now for 43 years and although my first daughter has become a truly dedicated Christian, the second is still battling with questions over the faith and its necessity in our lives; and societies general acceptance of evolution has been one of the stumbling blocks for her. For myself I believe that the bible is wholly and completely the word of God as stated and described in 2 Timothy 3:16 and the documentation of the creation and fall of Adam and Eve are not just factual but of vital importance to the message of the Gospel. I had a difficulty once with the concept of continental drift wondering how it could be achieved without a period of tens of thousands of years but a lecture by CREATION.com at our Church explained this phenomenon through the events of the flood. The only problem I have at the moment is in explaining the creation of or existence of the universe in anything but millions of years. I mean considering the distance of the stars from the earth and the speed of light being a constant, and the time that the light from the distant stars from the earth would take to be seen how can we explain the beginnings of the universe itself without millions of years. Is it not possible to take the first two verses of Genesis chapter 1 as being separate from the days of creation on earth and say that in Gen 1:1 when it says that " In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth", it can mean that in the beginning billions of years ago God created the heavens and the earth and then over the next week created all things on the earth. I'm not sure that this would compromise scriptural integrity or not ?? Thanking you for your great articles. Phil
Scott Gillis
Philip, thank you for your comment and questions. Indeed, I encourage you to diligently seek answers to all your questions, because, as you said, they are of "vital importance", not just to your faith, but for your children, their children, and all those with whom we are called to share the Gospel. The answers to your two 'problems', as well as many more topics, can readily be found on our website, CREATION.com, specifically here. We encourage everyone to use the search engine on our website to find the answers to all their questions. The first 'problem' you mention is what we refer to as "starlight and time". Please study this section here to find those answers. Your second issue mentioned, regarding the first two verses of Genesis, is what is referred to as the "Gap Theory", which is readily answered here.
Bill P.
Although they won't admit it this world is using the same tactic that Hitler, Stalin, and Mao used on their young ones in recent history. We learned from recent history what happened in Germany how their children even turned their parents in for speaking against The Nazi Govt. We know in China during The 1960's that Mao used the children to enforce his "Cultural Revolution" destroying the lives (it is est.) of some 60 million people, and Stalin smiling in photos that he had taken with the children of the USSR. Today gov'ts around the whole world are breaking families apart because the parents of these families had the nerve to teach their children right and wrong, and/or what is truth and what is a lie. I know there are other factors that have caused this problem like things that go on in some families and behind closed doors but those in power are now doing what they do teaching children that evil is good and good is evil and they are not ashamed now to do it in the open. Families who put their trust in The Lord God Creator of heaven and earth must do the best they can to raise their children in The Truth of God being motivated by their love for their children no matter what this world throws at them to try and stop them. At the least the parents must plant the seed, and pray that The Lord God will grant them the strength to water and care for those seeds that have been planted. This must be done so that maybe somewhere in that child's life as they grow an event will take place or a word will be spoken that would trigger a memory in their mind that would remind them of something a parent, grandparent, or friend might have taught them concerning The Truth of God's Word. Pray for His soon return so that Christ will put an end this evil brainwashing of the children.
King T.
The pastor at the church I attend believes the age of the earth is much greater than 6000 years based on his understanding of geological processes. He insists though, that he does not believe in evolution because of all the required information that needs to arise from purely material processes. This all seems innocent on the face of it.
However, because he knows the implications of his belief, namely death before Adam sinned, he has been persuaded to alter Genesis 1 to no longer be a purely historic account of creation but rather a polemic against the religions of other people in the vicinity of the Israelites. He quickly and glibly quotes the usual "a thousand years is like a day" verse without delving into the context and how it relates to his belief. it is therefore very ironic when he preaches that we should reject anyone's testimony or preaching that differs from what we read in the bible. On more than one occasion I had a very strong urge to point out to him that he himself is guilty of exactly that. To crown it all, during his sermon he invites people to come up to him and tell him if he should transgress in that manner! I believe that if he is struggling with that problem of death before sin ( he admitted to such in an apologetics lecture ) he should keep it strictly to himself and not twist the bible to say things that support his erroneous viewpoint because he then becomes a false teacher who leads others astray. This kind of behavior reminds me of those former pastors who turned atheists and insist on remaining in their paid positions whilst espousing their newly found atheistic beliefs instead of teaching only from the bible. One can see from this example just how insidious that MOYs belief system is.
Scott Gillis
King, if the 'urge' to speak to your Pastor becomes a conviction to do so, remember to do so with "gentleness and respect" (1 Pt 3:15). You could certainly use a booklet like 15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History as a tool for discussion, as well as many other resources available on our website.
John S.
From my MANY experiences, such people WANT to believe MOY. When they are given the evidence against MOY and have no science to support their many claims, they resort to changing the subject. Humbleness is not in their nature.
Scott Gillis
Agreed, which is why, when we are equipped with the evidence, we should use an attitude of "gentleness and respect" (1 Pt 3:15) in sharing the truth with them.
Dan M.
The main reason people don't hear about the evidences against evolution that supports special creation is, a biased, censored, antagonistic media and education system. That is how all the fascist leaders of the twentieth century controlled their populations. In a word, censorship. The truth can't get out if you don't let the other guy speak and constantly bombard the public with misinformation. it is an age old tactic of satin. Did the LORD really say. Sow doubt in their minds with a lie and the bigger the lie, the better. We can't let this stop us from our appointed duty to serve GOD by sharing His gospel. The more they censor us the louder we get!
Scott Gillis
But, again, let us do so as commanded, with "... gentleness and respect." (1 Pt 3:15).
Joel L.
What I always find incredible is how ready some believers are to label YEC as ‘fundamentalist’ or extreme, even while explicitly acknowledging that death entered with the sin of Adam. I’ve seen this very thing asserted to me by an Orthodox apologist, which churches’ doctrine of the incarnation could not possibly be more explicit about the connection! The ‘plain sufficiency’ of natural selection and deep time to explain the complexity of life and the cosmos has got to be one of the strongest delusions ever adopted.
Thomas G.
A good foil for MOY is the Gastric Brooding Frog which was described by the professor studying it, as an example of Instantaneous Evolution. He was emphatic that it did NOT imply change over a few short generations, but that it had to happen in an instant or not at all!!! Most evolutionists I have mentioned this to become strangely silent.
Scott Gillis
We have an article about such a frog here here, though our website is filled with myriads of baffling examples.
Edie S.
As a new Christian, I read the bible completely through, did studies on bible history, searched for answers in the bible to hard questions, because of this I saw that the bible was one complete complex story about Creation, Fall, curse, promise of the Christ, preparations for his coming, His death, burial and resurrection and the restoration of man to God, with one author. Also the bible contains information that could only have come from supernatural source. This early study gave me confidence in the Bible, yet I still may have turned away or become a wishy-washy Christian when confronted by family member, who read Dawkins, about what I really believed about Genesis chapters 1-11. I could not give reasonably answers, just repeated poor theories, even to me. This is because I was taught the Gap theory, fixity of species, and several other scientifically unsupportable theories in order to put billions of years in Bible. I don't blame those who taught me; this what the Bible colleges taught them. After Darwin the Churches were groping in the dark. There is no way to reconcile billions of years and the bible, so I struggled, because I knew I must take Genesis as history, a six day Creation. I did a four year search for answers, after Being confronted about Genesis. I found help in many Creation books, starting with Starlight by Humphrey, finally on to CMI and Answers in Genesis. I searched because of my science background told me evolution was false, as well as Big Bang. Those years between getting answers were difficult when trouble came into my life, because of Genesis I didn't have complete trust in Word of God, I just thought I did. I am forever grateful to my family member who challenged me. He unintentionally strengthened my faith.
Johan S.
To answer Bruce A's question, I believe the findings of the RATE project qualifies as extra-Biblical evidence against MOY. Search for some articles here.
Scott Gillis
Yes, a search for the RATE project on nour website results in many articles, including this one, though there are countless articles about MOY, especially Did God Create over billions of years?

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