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Biblical authority, Creation/Evolution

Censorship, Character Attacks, and Christianity – OH MY!

2013-10-21-webcensorship

If you have been following the comments section of my most recent posts you will notice a lot of accusations of censorship.  A commentor who goes by several different pen-names began posting walls of text in several comments that I would have had no chance of responding to.  I advised him several times to keep his comments to a specific topic and concise.  He did not.  I ended up having to change my comment policy back to pre-moderation for everyone – unfortunately my blog settings only allow all or nothing.  This commentor saw this as censorship and began to email me and many of his friends/followers of my un-Christian like behavior.   I saw his commenting history as a disrespectful way of trying to hijack my blog through his many words.  I try to keep my posts concise, simplified for new readers, and to one point.  It is so easy with our topics to jump all over the place – but that normally loses a reader.  He believed that since my posts were general and simplified that he simply needed to educate me on the topics.

I did take the time to respond in full to one of his email letters, and wanted to post the exchange here as an example of how passionate our opponents can get.  He literally wrote several posts this long over 1-2 days time.  He identifies as a fellow Christian, but you will see the character attacks in the email.  I also provide this exchange as an example of how to respond.  The one response took me two hours to complete!

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I will respond to this personal email and show you why I have no way of responding to large comments like these.  It has nothing to do with censorship, only the time involved to respond.  Your comments are in italics, my responses in bold.

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Tim blocks my short posts just as much as the longer ones.

That is because your short posts are normally responses to the longer ones that I haven’t posted.  That would make no sense to post shorter follow-ups (and/or rants about censorship) without the original post.

But why should it matter?  How does MORE information harm anyone?  ANSWER:  Evidence from God’s creation and from God’s Bible is something Young Earth Creationist’s can’t tolerate if their cherished traditions are to be preserved. 

I have no problem with one single piece of evidence in the Bible or in the world.

Tim, I looked at your ministry websites and noticed your music and your videos.  You are clearly an energetic and sincere disciples of Jesus Christ—-yet you have given in to some major carnal impulses

Carnal impulses?  If I am guilty of anything it is simply wanting my Bible to be pure and trustworthy from the first verse.  I am a defender of God’s word (Exodus 20:11), not man’s.  I would say the person defending man’s word more than God’s word would be the carnal one.  Why do you spend so much time defending the ever-changing opinions of man?

 

 …which have led you to promoting ridiculous propaganda and so many things which detract from the Gospel.  

If anything can be accused accurately of me it is not focusing on the gospel enough.  But I understand that today’s culture is more like Peter’s Greek culture than Paul’s Jewish culture.  Paul needed only to speak Christ and the gospel to win converts.  60 years ago in the US we were able to follow that evangelical model.  Today, things are different.  We live in more of a Greek society.  The culture does not understand why they need a savior in the first place.  If we are the result of millions of years of mutational accidents, then if there is a God – then he is to blame!  We need to follow Peter’s lead and take them back through creation, the fall, the flood, and the rest of history to show why a savior is needed.  If the events of Genesis did not happen as recorded – the gospel message is unnecessary.

 

(The photo of the abandoned stadium and the silly taunt about evolution—or was it abiogenesis—should embarrass you.  Why doesn’t it?  Because you have given away common sense, logic, and your own sense of shame to defend the claims of false teachers.)

Yes, the abandoned stadium pic is more of a taunt towards abiogenesis than evolution.  Thank you for those attacks on my character.  We’ll count that as one.  Have I ever attacked your character?  Seems strange for a fellow Christian to do.


I was a science professor before I became seminary professor.  Occasionally I was informed by several faculty members that a particular student should not have been admitted into the program.  He simply lacked the basic prerequisite to understand what he was studying. That didn’t mean the student was lazy or a bad person.  Some simply didn’t have the background and thinking processes to succeed at the college level requirements of his major.

I believe you are in insinuating that I do not even possess basic science knowledge based on how you see me explain certain scientific principles.  Although you may have some sort of a point here (because it is not my major) – I don’t think that makes a difference.  I don’t believe this is a scientific issue.  This is so much more about history, philosophy, and theology than science.  When an event is outside of direct observation or replication – it is no longer scientific.  Therefore origins science is just simply not science.  It is much more about faith than anything else.  I understand enough about mutation, natural selection, and genetics to know that there is no known mechanism that can increase the genetic information necessary to get a simple-celled creature into a human being – even over billions of years.  Without that mechanism the theory is dead in the water. 

 

You obviously have many talents and the fact that you are in counselling suggests that your strongest capabilities are in dealing with people, not science.  Frankly, you have no business trying to talk science with anyone.  

I’d call this the second character attack.  No one should be talked out of exploring scientific thought.  That is exactly HOW we learn new things… asking questions that have never been asked before.  Even I know that.

 

I’ve watched you handle simple information that you couldn’t think through in a rational way.  The reason why I wrote so detailed and at length is because I was trying to make things very simple for you.

Just a word of advice: I think making the point more concise actually makes it simpler.  The longer the more confusing.  My psychology books use a lot of big words and explanation to explain very simple concepts.  They talk about “cognitions” instead of thoughts.  It’s the same thing.  The bigger word just makes you sound smarter.  I wonder if you were just trying to sound smarter by talking more in detail. 

For example, when I say it is uniformitarianism vs. catastrophism I realize that mainstream scientists recognize certain catastrophic events – but I am talking in general that is the basic point – that the present is the key to the past.  It has to be… we don’t have anything else to work with (in their viewpoint).  So, no – you don’t need to correct me about uniform vs. catastrophic.  I understand that.  I didn’t leave it out to be deceptive.  I left it out because it doesn’t make a difference.  They acknowledge some catastrophic events while not acknowledging others.  So what?  

 

But you are so sure that even other Christians who disagree with you are part of a world-wide plot to spread evil and false information.  

Character attack three.  No, I don’t.  I have never said anything close to that.  I believe your personal bias against YECs may be showing here.  You may have heard that from some others, but not me.  Personally I believe evolution and old-ages for the earth make sense given their starting assumptions – I just disagree with their starting assumptions.


I feel for you because I was once a devoted YEC activist, even doing public debates. I falsely believed that Dr. Whitcomb (who used to be just down the road from you at Grace Theological Seminary in Warsaw, Indiana) had done his homework and knew what he was talking about.  Because we held to the same believes, I assumed that I should agree with whatever he believed. And because he seemed to be a godly man, I assumed that God wouldn’t allow him to be wrong.  Yes, I was a very naive, young in years, and gullible Christian. I don’t consider John a liar, just very very brainwashed by his own myopia. 

I am sorry you decided to follow a man.  I would not suggest anyone follow any one man.  Yes, I was exposed to YEC through the Creation Museum – but that only got me thinking for myself.  As I read up on it and studied it more – it made sense.  I don’t buy hook, line, and sinker into everything AiG teaches.  There are some things I differ with them on.  Also, I’ve learned most of the scientific arguments outside AiG.


There is so much I could share with you but I know you don’t read long comments.  I just hate to see a sincere, talented, and best-intentioned Christ-follower make himself look foolish by deciding to be loyal to the wrong people.

Again, I am not loyal to any people.

 

You probably think the same as I used to think: That I couldn’t be misled by false teachers because I knew what I was talking about and I’d done my homework.  I was very wrong.  I first realized it when I saw the many contradictions that YEC claims created in the Bible itself. Then I studied the Hebrew text and saw that 1611 KJV renderings were misunderstood in modern English.  But what disturbed me most was the lying I discovered in Dr. Gish and Dr. Morris.  I confronted them and was very disappointed in their justifications.  (Dr. Whitcomb was more “neutral” because he simply didn’t understand the science…..but relied on Dr. Morris to cover the science side. So even though he taught those scientific claims, he took them from Dr. Morris by faith.)

Perhaps Dr. Whitcomb’s strength was the theological and Dr. Morris the scientific – and they relied on each other’s knowledge base to fill out their positions.  I see no problem there.  Sounds very honest to me actually.  That’s like me citing research in any of my research papers for school.  I am no expert in those areas so I go to who I consider to be the expert just as it sounds Whitcomb did.


When I saw your stadium photo post, I regretted offering to debate you (although I’m still very willing to do so.)  Why?  Because I don’t think you have the basic logic skills and freedom to think for yourself to realize just how ridiculously inane is that post.  

I believe this is character attack four from a fellow Christian.

 

It is similar to what we are dealing with when someone watches a Ray Comfort video like “Evolution vs. God” and thinks that Comfort is a brilliant man.  It is doubtful that I can help someone who confuses stupidity, dishonesty, and childishness with brilliance. 

Although you didn’t accuse me of this – I was very skeptical of Comfort doing an evolution movie.  I love his ministry and he has a lot of strengths but I don’t believe evolution is one of them.  He needs a little more scientific training, but I still believe the video accomplished what he intended for it to do.  


Please don’t convince the public that Christians must be inane in order to believe the Bible and accept the Gospel message.  

I won’t.  I don’t.  In fact what I am doing is the opposite.  My ministry is to make the Bible even more reliable – and thus making the gospel message more crucial.

 

We are to be fools for Christ in terms of THE CROSS, not by acting and thinking foolishly.

Character attack five.


I exhort you to pursue your other minstry talents. You don’t have a talent for science nor for logical thinking.

How are you in a position to judge my logical or scientific thinking?  Based on a few blog posts where I simplify my positions?  I won’t count this as another attack since you are just repeating yourself now.  

 

Perhaps that will change with time….but don’t make the mistake I did in wasting my energy years ago and misleading a lot of people simply because I thought my “creation science” heroes knew their stuff. They didn’t.  (And if I knew as much about them then as I know now, I would have renounced them immediately.)

Yes – you have a good point here.  I should do everything in my might to be sure I am not following any one person or organization.  That I am thinking for myself and relaying everything back to scripture. 


If I can ever help you in any way, you can always email me.  Don’t confuse one sect’s beliefs about Genesis with the message of the Gospel.  Jesus didn’t preach Genesis.

Are you sure?  In the four gospels there are 39 references to Genesis 1-11.   (http://creation.com/genesis-new-testament#NTreferences).  The New Testament has 103 references to the book of Genesis.

 

He preached the Gospel message of the Cross.

Uh… what?  How’s that even possible?  He didn’t preach the cross – his disciples did AFTER the cross happened. J

 

As the Apostle Paul said, “If I preach any other Gospel, let me be accursed.”

You have many talents and you obviously care about people (based on what I read of you and your wife’s ministries.) Focus on those talents.  Don’t be diverted into the foolishness of false teachers.  

Young earth creationism has only come up maybe two or three times in my counseling ministry and it’s only been when someone has specifically asked me about it OR in the case of grief from death.  YEC offers a much more biblically accurate picture of death which can take the focus from blaming God for death just being a natural part of the world to a reminder of our broken world and the need for a savior.

 

And the best way to innoculate yourself against lies is to investigate the science from ACTUAL SCIENTISTS, not those buffoons are not just contrarians among scientists, they are contrarians among the Bible Believing CHRISTIANS of the science academy.  You have to realize that Ray Comfort and Ken Ham continually embarrass us all by their pride, dishonesty, and foolishness.  They have made millions preying upon the gullible people who believe them.  (Their 501c3 declaration papers are online.  You can see where the money goes, including in the case of Ray Comfort, all of his young children on the payroll.)  

It’s not my job to defend them.  This is a distraction from the actual arguments being presented.  


I don’t want you to have the regrets that I have.  I no longer wrestle with a Bible and a creation which are at odds.

Neither do I.


I no longer worship the puny, bumbling deity of Young Earth Creationism.  The God of the Bible is far more powerful and wise than that.

That’s right.  In your worldview He needed billions of years of accidents, death, struggle, cancer, suffering, harmful mutations, etc – to create his crowning glory man – then call all those horrible things “very good”.  Are you sure it’s my view of God that makes him puny and bumbling?

 

He didn’t fill his creation with false information to mislead us.  

I agree.  There is no false information in the world, only false interpretations.

 

(Read what you write.  You want people to think that the universe is crazy:  filled with information that lies to us.  

The evidence says nothing.  It does not speak for itself.  Perhaps the ones that speak for it are wrong?

 

And denying uniformitarian science is also denying all of the evidence for a young earth YEC ministries promote. Surely you see the hypocrisy and contradiction. God made ONE CREATION, not new creations where he keeps changing the physical constants and processes.

No one claims that he keeps changing the physical constants.  We claim that at three distinct times that He told us about – specific things may have changed which would affect the interpretation of that evidence if we leave those details out.  Perhaps there is a reason He told us about those events, so that we wouldn’t be in the dark when we studied the past.

 

NONE OF THOSE CLAIMS OF “EMBEDDED AGE” AND “APPEARANCE OF AGE” COME FROM THE BIBLE.  

Why are you yelling?  Are you angry? 

 

Those are traditions created to try and solve the CONTRADICTIONS their YEC beliefs created.)

Okay, this is weakest of your arguments.  If Adam was created on the sixth literal day as the Bible is describing, are you suggesting that he was created as an infant?  Who cared for him?  He was created as a full grown human capable of naming the animals.  He was an adult who was literally only 1 day old.  That’s embedded age right there.  Also the plants and trees would need to be fully mature to maintain life.  That’s apparent age right there.

 

Not everybody has a talent for science and logical thinking. Some acquire it later in life with much study.  As it is, your writing makes little sense.  

Character attack six.

 

Don’t confuse the Gospel message by mixing it with foolishness and lies from those who are making millions off of the gullible.

Thank you again for your concern, and I know your motivation is coming from the right place – but it is littered with character attacks and useless rants.  For all the accusations you throw at me, I could simply throw them back – that you are a result of buying into the mainstream scientific community where they make millions off their agenda.  But that argument is fruitless and a distraction from the real topic.    

I would much rather discuss specific science, theology, or history elements that you believe are incompatible with YEC.  But based on your previous comments I believe that conversation would not go anywhere.  I have a sense that you are overly emotionally involved in an attack on YECs.  Also many of your comments are this long!  I simply do not have time to respond to 2-3 of these size comments every single day.  As an example, this took me two hours to respond to.  I will approve further comments if they are void of character attacks, stay on one topic, and are concise.   I wish you the best and God bless you friend!

 

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About Tim

http://www.gracewithsalt.com

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Censorship, Character Attacks, and Christianity – OH MY!

  1. People use the term “censorship” as an emotive buzzword, and seem to think that they can say whatever, wherever, whenever they like or YOU are wicked. They do not understand that there is no such thing as totally free speech, nor do people have to put up with abuse and what Matt Slick referred to as “verbal carpet bombing” (a form of the fallacy of elephant hurling) that certain sock puppets are fond of using. I wrote an article on this here, and I linked to an excellent article by Dr. Georgia Purdom on the subject.

    Posted by Bob Sorensen (Cowboy Bob) | July 24, 2014, 7:39 pm

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