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Counseling, Creation/Evolution

Hope in a Hopeless world

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I don’t think I’ve ever really done a reaction post before.  Usually after very disturbing events like the one that just occurred at the mass shooting in Oregon, I find many people asking how such a thing could happen.  A family member of mine actually said: “What is that gives people the idea that they have the right to take a person’s life?  Honestly, it makes me sick to my stomach.”  I normally don’t like the idea of taking such a horrible event and using it to promote my worldview, but at this cry out for answers I simply couldn’t hold back.  I responded: “Teach people they are nothing but animals and you reap what you sow”.

I fervently believe with my experience as a mental health counselor I find two main emotional reasons lead to depression:  a lack of love and a lack or purpose.  The most unfortunate part of the equation is that every single person in this world is loved and has a purpose whether they know it or not.  I believe in creation apologetics because it teaches us that we are unique, not just another animal.  We are created in the image of God and deeply loved with a divine purpose.

Another family member of mine (an evolutionist) responded that they disagree with my premise.  They think teaching people they are animals should lead to a better respect of their fellow animals.  I responded with a quote from a masterpiece – ‘The Lion King’.  Mufasa is telling his young son that we need to respect all the animals.  Young Simba asks ‘but don’t we eat the antelope?’.  Yes, that’s the circle of life.  So… respecting the other animals is killing and eating them!  So, I disagreed with her counterpoint.

At this point, unfortunately another family member chimed in with “and you council people?? online masters, ha!”  This one hit me deeply for some reason.  I took a moment to breathe and responded with the following:

“Let me tell you one thing I learned in my in-ept online education… those who resort to ad hominem attacks have no actual intelligent responses to the topic at hand. They feel threatened and give a knee-jerk reaction while the educated person takes time to formulate an actual logical response. Thank you for demonstrating this action.


Yes I council people. I tell them they are loved, and special, set apart as a unique creation made in the image of God. I do not tell them they are rearranged pond scum with no purpose. That line of thought is a leading factor for depression… and depression leads to awful things like what we saw happen today.

I wish online discussion could go better than this one.  Some people can talk about issues they disagree with without getting too over emotional.  But there are all types of people out there, and that is why online discussions often fall apart.  I felt my response was strong, but not attacking.  I feel that Jesus was often firm in his responses.  I actually do believe I can still love people and treat people with dignity that disagree with me.  Unfortunatly, I all too often find it is those who promote tolerance who are the least tolerant of other views.

What I didn’t say to him, but what I will say here is that I am very proud of my online education through Liberty University.  The majority of it was distance learning, but I did have to attend classes in person for 120 hours plus a 1000 hour practicum/internship.  For those that are not aware, online classes are becoming the norm.  Even for traditional schools, the majority of their coursework is online now.

Liberty University is the largest Christian school in the world with an annual enrollment of over 115,000 students.  It is the largest private university, the largest university in Virginia, and the 7th largest 4-year school.  Liberty’s athletics are Division 1 NCAA.  Among traditional college degrees, Liberty also bolsters a world class cinematic arts division, law school, and school of aeronautics.  Liberty’s weekly student convocations feature popular speakers from all walks of life including Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Kirk Cameron, Dave Ramsey, and much more!

LU is commonly lampooned because of its conservative values and for teaching young earth creation alongside evolution in its biology classes.  The most wild thing to me was that I wasn’t even aware it was a ‘young-earth’ school until after I was all signed up.  And I signed up right around the time that my passion towards creation apologetics was just starting.  I felt that was a wonderful sign from God that I was in the right place at the right time.

Young-earth creation apologetics is the only answer for death and suffering that does not make God out to be an awful, contradictory maniac.  If evolution is true, then God used death and suffering for millions of years to bring forth man…and then blamed death and suffering on man’s actions.   Either death brought man (evolution) or man brought death (creation).  Many people in this world wrongly blame God for ‘creating’ suffering.  Creation offers the only theologically acceptable answer: man is to blame.  That doesn’t solve the problem… Jesus’s salvation does.

Of course there are multiple scientific arguments against evolution as well that this site has spent years going into, but coming back to our orignal premise… when you spend decades teaching people they are nothing but another member of the animal kingdom – we should not be surprised when they act as all the other animals do.  That’s natural selection.  That’s survival of the fittest.  They are only acting internally consistent with the worldview that has been instilled in them.  I applaud schools, organizations, and parents who are willing to go against the grain and build up a worldview that gives hope in a hopeless world!

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About Tim

http://www.gracewithsalt.com

Discussion

5 thoughts on “Hope in a Hopeless world

  1. Great article and well said. There is not much tolerance from the pagan worldview side. Public schools unfortunately are indoctrinating our youth with that viewpoint and they wonder why they act like they do.

    Posted by Lee | October 5, 2015, 1:36 am
  2. If there really were the association between people being taught they’re animals and acting like them; one would expect to see a correlation between these two factors. Increased acceptance of evolution should lead to higher rates of violence.

    Yet this simply isn’t the case. One only has to look slightly to your north to prove it. Canada has about half the number of creationists as the USA; yet 1/4 the homicide rate.

    In fact, overall violence has been decreasing around the world in recent years. I’d highly recommend the book “better angels of our nature”; which goes into this topic in more detail. Wikipedia has a fairly nice article on the topic; if you can’t be bothered to read the book (which is a fairly hefty tome).

    Posted by Adam Benton | October 5, 2015, 12:07 pm
    • I don’t believe there is a correlation noticeable because you are right – the majority of people do not process evolution for what it really means. I do not believe there is any gain in living a moral life under evolution. It’s cut-throat.

      Posted by Tim | October 6, 2015, 12:56 pm
      • That just moves your idea towards being un-disprovable and thus psuedoscience. When violence happens, that’s people behaving like animals. When it doesn’t, that them ignoring the teaching their animals.

        Surely that counts as something of a double standard. So what would disprove your hypothesis?

        Posted by Adam Benton | October 6, 2015, 1:01 pm
      • As an educator (retired), I can’t help but comment on the outdated notion that there is something second-rate or deficient about online education or distance-learning in general.

        I spent a lot of years teaching at a wide range of institutions of higher learning, both public and private, both secular and Christian, and two very large taxpayer supported universities as well as some more modest-sized institutions. And even though the subject of this blog is origins topics, I’m very concerned that the general public has no idea what constitutes a good or poor education, and enormous sums of public funds (i.e., taxpayer funds) are poorly expended as a result. Even though I retired before online education became fully mainstream, I support it for so many reasons.

        I won’t even attempt to summarize the many advantages of online education, but I do want to emphasize one central idea: the traditional, lecture-model format of higher education is about 500 years out-of-date. While it has considerable POTENTIAL for quality education, I believe that it generally fails to meet that potential—especially at large taxpayer supported universities. The main reason we got in the habit of putting one scholar at the front of a lecture hall facing a group of students was because: (1) few books existed and students couldn’t afford them in any case, and (2) the scholar in the front of the room read aloud from the books the school was fortunate enough to own and the students wrote down what he said! Furthermore, the best scholars had good memories of books they had been fortunate enough to have read and could tell the students what was in those books.

        So the entire lecture model was developed to deal with a scarce resource: books and the knowledge in them. Once books and knowledge became more generally available, the lecture model continued to have value ONLY when (1) the knowledge was so new that it hadn’t yet been published in books or easily accessed, peer-reviewed academic journals, and/or (2) the lecture itself was de-emphasized and the teacher-student interaction focused on Socratic learning, aka The Socratic Method. In reality, #1 rarely occurs except in the most advanced post-graduate courses which most students never experience and, unfortunately, #2 is the exception more often than the rule, especially at large institutions and tax-payer funded institutions.

        In general, the Christian privately-funded institutions of higher learning have a broad mix of advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses—just as do large, taxpayer-funded universities. I have my share of differences with the faculty of Liberty University** (just as they have their differences with the Evangelical universities where I’ve worked) but they have many strong departments and programs there. They also have some weak programs, just as most schools do. I’ve also seen Liberty University grow tremendously in quality since its founding and the overall quality of their faculty and student body has steadily increased with that growth. (While the late Jerry Falwell, the politically-outspoken Founder of LU, had his share of outrageous rantings—and even Falwell himself eventually acknowledged some of the damage done by his political activism—judging the present-day academic programs of LU on the basis of the founder’s politics is just as irrelevant and inane as dismissing the scholarly prestige and achievements of Brigham Young University because of Brigham Young’s polygamy and considerable notoriety.)

        Furthermore, an online academic program is no more automatically deficient than is a traditional, on-campus program automatically superior. And it is time that anti-Christian nay-sayers stop recklessly spewing their knee-jerk assumptions that (1) Christian universities are automatically deficient in quality and prestige of faculty PhDs and that (2) student achievement, both incoming and as graduates, is somehow and necessarily subpar. Indeed, just last week I found it necessary to point out that Patrick Henry College (famous for focusing on home-schooled students including many Quiverful Movement families) does NOT have “faculty with nothing but unaccredited doctorates from no-name schools” and does have HIGHER SAT reading-exam scores for the middle half of incoming student percentiles versus a high-ranked, world-class university like New York University. (And by the way, while I don’t actively follow the competitive debate programs of LU and PHC, to my knowledge both schools continue to have some of the very highest scoring and debate team rankings in the nation, often defeating Ivy League opponents and many other prestigious schools in both the USA and UK.)

        I make these factual assertions because I care about EVIDENCE and despite the fact that I have my share of theological and ideological disagreements with Liberty University and even more with Patrick Henry College.** I am not personally familiar with the Masters in Counseling program at LU but I have no reason to assume it somehow professionally defective. (Frankly, I have had some strong reservations about some counseling programs at secular universities.)
        ___________________________
        ** FOOTNOTE: Obviously but worth mentioning in the name of fairness, I also have some very substantial disagreements with the secular universities where I’ve taught. And even though I’ve never been a member of the faculties of LU and PHC, I have been invited to guest lecture at both and my published scholarship continues to appear in syllabi and the libraries. So I am not implying an uncordial relationship with either institution or its faculty. In fact, some LU professors have been my classmates and/or students.

        Posted by Bible & Science Forum: Professor Tertius | October 13, 2015, 4:18 pm

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