Monday, September 24, 2007

Overly Dogmatic

People make a big deal out of orthodoxy, what someone's beliefs are. That's why there's some 35,000 different Protestant sects and each one will tell you their beliefs are the correct ones. Sadly, the difference are often very minor and yet lead to conflict and a spirit of noncooperation. An interesting article examines this issue, specifically relating to our origin and the conflict that has been built up between those who believe the world is 6000 years old and those who believe it is far older. The good old Religion vs. Science debate. The author, a believing Christian, writes that by being overly dogmatic on this issue, Christians are putting a "stumbling block" up for bringing in non-believers who do not accept the young Earth theory.

I am dedicated to standing strongly for Scripture in those areas that are essentials of the faith, regardless of what the “world” says. I can join Luther and say “here I stand”. But when we are talking about areas that are not essential, which are not “salvation issues”, and upon which sincere and dedicated Christians differ, dogmatism can be dangerous. And, I think one of the most serious examples of this danger today comes when Christians take a dogmatic position regarding their view of origins.

The reason why I engage in these discussions is very simple: I want to remove the stumbling block to the Gospel message that is being created by a dogmatic presentation of Creationism. Not the belief in a young earth and creation without evolution per se, but the “either/or” teaching that comes with it. I am not here to argue for an old earth or evolution, necessarily, but against the false dichotomy that so often comes along with Creationism. More and more people are being taught that an old earth/evolution and Christianity are wholly inconsistent and that if you believe one, you can not really believe the other. Such a blanket statement puts two very distinct groups in crisis and I am convinced that souls are being lost to the Kingdom as a result. This may sound a bit over-dramatic, but I have seen too many people distracted from the Gospel message by this issue.

I think a lot of Christians would do well to think about this.


-J- said...

unfortuneately, the new creationists, as is so often the case with the minority, are the loudest and most controversial, and thus given the most voice by a media that feeds on controversy.

Captain Noble said...

Very true. Everybody wants a fight, right?

It seems to me, though, based on my own reading that while the young earth believers are still not a majority, they have grown in numbers over the last few decades.