3. Instilling Fear
One of the things that I feel YECists instill in its followers is Fear. Fear and Doubt of anything that contradicts a 100% literal, factual interpretation of the Bible. Some may even say a KJV Bible, but that is a topic for another day.
A common idea that is taught among YECists is: “You either believe the Bible as a whole, as 100% true in each and every word, or you can’t place any faith in it whatsoever.” I see a HUGE problem with this. YEC aims to build believers up, by affirming to them that they CAN trust the whole Bible to be true, but it does the complete opposite, in my opinion. Whether YECists realise it or not, this idea actually sets up YEC believers to fall away from the faith altogether when they are faced with evidence which suggests that not everything in the Bible can fit a literal interpretation. The YEC response to this is actually quite interesting.
YECists know full well that mainstream science does not agree with YEC teaching. To combat this, they produce their own magazines (some of which rival National Geographic in terms of style and look), websites, and other media to get their Message out there. Seminars, DVDs, books, etc, etc. I have noticed a common thread running through them.
First off, the main aim of the YECers it to debunk evolution. I’ve heard statements like “It’s only a theory” when referring to the Theory of Evolution, implying that scientists themselves doubt its veracity. Another tactic is to point out all the mistakes that scientists have made over the years, bringing one to the ‘logical’ conclusion that in time, evolution will also be proven to be a mistake. I will address Creationist Claims later.
Another technique YECists like to use is to prove how certain phenomenon that we observe in the world today could have occured over a short period of time. This is to show that it is not necessary for ‘millions of years’ for these things to take place.
So, presented with these two main ideas – the problems with evolution and how Creation has an ‘answer’ – the seeker is ‘forced’ to accept Young Earth Creationism…and disconnect with mainstream science.
(1) Several homeschooling mums I know in real life have expressed more than once of their fear (yes, that is the word they used) of teaching science. This fear is not due to feelings of incompetence in teaching the subject matter, but rather not being to find ‘good, Christian, Young Earth Creationist’ Science books. Conversely, those who have found science books from a YEC point of view have said that they are no longer afraid to teach science. I have to ask Where does this fear come from? I believe it is largely due to YEC teachings. Their message is that teaching your children science from an evolutionary point of view heightens their chances of them moving away from the faith later on. And many Christians believe that.
(2) On the homeschooling forums I am part of, most of the members are YECs. Not all, but most. This is not interesting. What is interesting to me, is that some of the YECs cannot understand how someone can be a Christian and NOT be YEC. (There is that assumption again: a Bible-believing Christian who is well-taught would come to the conclusion of a young earth.) What takes the cake, however, is that some people come on to the forums questioning Sonlight’s carrying secular science books that mention ‘millions of years ago’. Did they not read the Reasons NOT to Buy?? Never mind that the pages mentioning ‘millions of years ago’ are never scheduled; they are so upset at even having the book in their homes, that they are considering returning the whole package!
While I myself held similar beliefs, it was very uncomfortable seeing it displayed in others. In other words, I felt like I catching glimpses of myself in a mirror, and instead of smiling in recognition (“Hey, that’s me!), I was disturbed and appalled (“That’s what I look like?”)