Re: YEC in the "Three Views" book

Blaine D. McArthur (bjmcarth@pacbell.net)
Mon, 22 Feb 1999 22:46:40 -0800

pnelson2@ix.netcom.com wrote:

> (_NCSE Reports_, 18 [1998]: pp. 24-25) So I don't think Reynolds and
> I were that far off the mark. No, we didn't write the chapter that
> Kent Hovind or Ken Ham would have written, but then Rudy Raff or
> Scott Gilbert would not have written the same essay about the state of
>
> evolutionary theory that Richard Dawkins or Daniel Dennett would have
> written. YECs are hardly uniform in their opinions.
>
> Paul Nelson

I think maybe the point Allan may have had in mind is what the average
layman in the average evangelical church thinks of when he thinks
creation. I have not read the book in question yet, and do not know the
arguments put forth in favor of a young earth. I do know what most
people in my church believe - the basic ICR line, and all the usual
arguments against radiometric dating, the evolution of bombardier
beetles etc. Most of them are not aware of the miscellaneous
varieties of Young Earth Creationism.

I have hesitated to bring the following issue to the list, but the
conflict between the YEC position and the Old earth position has
affected me in a very personal way. I would like to share something
that happened to me and my wife VERY recently regarding this same issue.

I mentioned in a previous post (christian scientists vs Christian
Science) that we have been part of a ministry to international
students. We were actually one of the founding couples of the
ministry. This ministry is not a part of our local church, it is a
ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in our area. The ministry
is alive and very dynamic. It has seen a number of international
students come a saving knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Some of these people have been baptized in my church.

The leaders of this ministry know my position on scientific issues -
probably closer to Howard's views than the Intelligent Design model.
The ministry has not made an issue of the particulars of "How and When"
when discussing Genesis one and two: "God is the creator." Some of the
other volunteers, members of my church, hold to strict YEC position and
have let me know that they disagree with my position, but the IVCF
leadership has had no problem with my involvement in the ministry.

My wife and I have withdrawn from the IVCF ministry for the time being,
and have been desirous of becoming involved as a couple in some
ministry at our local church. One of the things our church has done
recently is start a Sunday School class for these same international
students. The class was overseen by the "College/Career Ministries"
pastor. We participated in the first meeting of this class, my wife
working with the team teaching the women, and myself as part of the
men's team. We found it a great joy to be doing this ministry in our
own church. We decided we would like to be permanent members of this
Sunday School Class. This is when the problem began.

I spoke to the pastor in charge of "College/Career Ministries.". I
mentioned that my wife and I wanted to be a part of this ministry. He
is aware of my position on science. He told me that they were beginning
a series on Genesis and that they were going to be presenting the
"literal six twenty-four hour days" interpretation of Genesis one, and
that my presence would be divisive, and that they would prefer that we
not be involved. I told him I can understand his concern about
"confusing the students", but that I am not the only person who does not
accept the YEC position. I told him many christians accept that the
earth and universe are billions of years old. His response was "well
that may be true, but the 'official position' of our church was the YEC
position." I told him that was not true. I have spoken to the senior
pastor about this, and he advised me that the church had NO official
position on this issue. (He himself is an old time "Gap Theory"
advocate.) The College/Career pastor sputtered a bit and said, well
its true that it is not written down anywhere, but ........

At any rate, my wife and I are not a part of the ministry in our church
to the international students we so dearly love. The pastor in charge
of the ministry has lost a considerable amount of credibility in my
eyes. My wife and I are seriously disappointed, maybe even discouraged
by the way this turned out. We are convinced that God has us at this
church for a reason - we ae not going to leave over this. But we are
not sure of our position in the church.

I know my story is not a unique one. I am sure it has happened to other
christians in other churches.

I am just wondering if the creationsists who follow this list would
agree with the the YEC contingent treated my wife and I.

Blaine D. McArthur