by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
Published 21 April 2014; Edited 7 February 2016
I receive many emails from people, mostly young earth, who criticize me for attacking YEC believers. They don't understand how a Christian can seemingly argue against people who are honestly working for the cause of Christ through creation science. I am prayed for by a lot of these people (thank you), and I am called to repentance by many of them, with some even saying I'm going to hell for my words. And, not too often, I've been threatened. So, why do I do what I do?
We are living in the 21st century. We have more understanding of our world and universe through scientific discoveries than our ancestors had. It is clear from this scientific evidence that the world is 4.5 billion years old, and the universe is about 13.7 billion years old. The science behind these claims is solid, and non-scientific people in today's world are learning this through various means, such as school, books, and television documentaries. On the other hand, these same people look at the people in the church, who claim that the earth is only 6,000 years old. What are they to make of this claim? In their minds there are only two options...accept scientific fact, or reject it and accept the Bible. Most people choose the first option, and ignore the claims of the church. Religion becomes to them as the equvilent of folly...fools blindly ignoring scientific facts in favor of a book, which they now believe to be nothing more than a collection of fairy tales.
However, it need not be this way. When members of society think about the church, most of them think about the YEC beliefs in the church, thanks in large part to the outspokenness of YEC ministries, and the publicity they have received, especially Answers in Genesis, with their Creation Museum and upcoming Ark Encounter. They are not aware that there is another option, that allows them to beleive in the Bible, and in modern science. Millions in the church believe in an old universe, and they believe in God (with or without evolution), and they don't see any conflict between science and faith in God. However, us old earth believers don't get the publicity that young earth creationists get. The media, which is by and large secular, focuses on the YEC camp and their way-out beliefs, in part because they wish to push society further away from the church. We need to find a way to counter this, and get the old earth creationist message out to the people of the world.
It is unfortunate that young earth creationists have hijacked our churches today, and YEC is what secular people see when they look at the church. Because this is true, YEC has become a 'stumbling block' to belief in Jesus and the Bible. While a person can believe in YEC and be a fruitful Christian, their belief in YEC can also hinder people from coming to Christ. What are Christians supposed to do when they find stumbling blocks? What did the Apostles do?
In Acts 15, we read that some believers were requiring Gentile converts to
Acts 15: 1-28
Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 And when Paul and Barnabas had [a]great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue. 3 Therefore, being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all the brethren. 4 When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. 5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.”
6 The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter. 7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; 9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”
12 All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.
13 After they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, “Brethren, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name. 15 With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written,
I will return,
19 Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, 20 but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. 21 For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas—Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, 23 and they sent this letter by them,
“The apostles and the brethren who are elders, to the brethren in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia who are from the Gentiles, greetings.
24 “Since we have heard that some of our number to whom we gave no instruction have disturbed you with their words, unsettling your souls, 25 it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 “Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials: 29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.”
Old Earth Ministries mission is to confront those who are pushing the non-essential side issue of creation science, and remove it as a stumbling block, so that secular people may see that they can believe in an old earth and be saved.
Modern science has revealed the age of the earth and universe, and it is indisputedly old. Where do scientists obtain these ages? From studying the earth and universe...in other words, they come directly from scientific observations of what God has created. If God's own creation testifies that it is billions of years old, then these ages should be accepted. There is no logical reason to twist scientific facts to fit an outdated interpretation of the book of Genesis, and in the process place a stumbling block to belief in front of billions of people worldwide. We should not have to abandon one part of God's testimony (His creation) in favor of some people's YEC interpretation of His Word. Old earth creationists have shown that Genesis can be interpreted to support billions of years, without harming the message of the Bible. We need to find ways to get that message to the public.
Why are YEC's so insistent that their view is correct? As YEC's are fond of saying about science...we both have the same scientific data. The same goes for the Bible. At OEC, we agree with YECs...we use the same Bible, and it is the inerrant, infallible Word of God. However, just as YEC's interpret science differently, old earth creationists interpret the Bible differently. Here's the problem: interpretations are man-made, and are subject to human error. In the case of YEC, they raise their man-made interpretation to the level of inerrancy, and claim that they are 100% right. They are guilty of elevating their man-made interpretation to the same level as God's infallible Word...in essence they consider their interpretation to be equal to God's Word itself! This is a very dangerous position, bordering on blasphemy. My prayer is that they would step back, and look at what they are doing.
Unfortunately, the young earth movement has probably done more damage to the church, by driving people away, than most Christians realize. Ken Ham wrote a book a few years back, called Already Gone. In it he reveals how young people are leaving the church. He understands that when these youth reach college, and are exposed to science, many reject YEC and the church. In their minds...either the Bible is right, or the science is right, but not both...that's the way YEC's are raised to think. His answer...more YEC! He is blind to the fact that YEC is the reason they leave. YEC ministries, and their workers such as Ham, are directly responsible for this exodus...but they are blinded by their devotion (brainwashing) to the YEC cause. However, if they had been taught of another option...old earth creationism, the exodus of many from the church could have been avoided.
Some have said to me that YEC's like Ken Ham don't insist on a young earth, saying you can be a Christian and believe in an old earth. This is true, Ham has said that. Unfortunately, he turns right around, and says old earth belief is not a tenable position, since it undermines the Gospel...so he speaks out of both sides of his mouth at once. And in my experience dealing with many YEC's over the years, quite a few have said I'm not a Christian. Clearly YEC ministries have a ways to go with helping their followers accept old earth creationists as fellow Christians.
So, why does this website oppose young earth creationism? This website is here to:
1) tear down the YEC stumbling block by revealing the bad science of young earth ministries, and the tactics they use to trick people into believing YEC,
2) show that YEC is nothing but a man-made interpretation of God's Word, and thus it is fallible, and
3) show how one can believe in the Bible and long ages.
I wonder how Paul and Peter would react to what young earth ministries are doing to the church today? My suspision is that they would not be too happy.
Comments? Please leave responses on our Facebook page.
If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth. Click here for more.
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.
Comments? Please leave responses on our Facebook page.
To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
Feel free to check out more of this website. Our goal is to provide rebuttals to the bad science behind young earth creationism, and honor God by properly presenting His creation.