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!