General Christian Discussion
CHURCH DECLINE: CAUSE and REMEDY “So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16 “That evolution is true is approximately as well established as the earth is round” was a line from Dr. Richard Dawkins in response to my question about evidence for Darwinian evolution. What a marvellous (attempted) putdown. It carried within it the meaning – ‘put your trust in those of us who are qualified and know what we’re talking about and don’t listen to those who think and say differently.’ There is nothing ‘lukewarm’ about Richard Dawkins and in our subsequent exchanges he argued very strongly for his belief in Darwinism. The lyrics to a popular song aptly describe his efforts to keep atheists ‘on board’: “For I would walk five hundred miles and I would walk five hundred more……” Personally, I have to say I like Richard. He is very straightforward with a great line in sarcasm and is committed to his cause in which he leaves no rocks un-thrown and which he quite mistakenly believes to be true. Richard has been most successful in causing many people to examine the evidence for Darwinism and who, when they find it has no basis in real science, go further and become Bible believing Christians. So it is hard not to like someone who leads others to Jesus Christ. But the mainstream Church in Britain is in serious decline. For every effect there is a cause. Perhaps Richard Dawkins has, unwittingly, identified that cause when in his TV diatribe against theistic religion called The root of all evil? (broadcast on Channel 4, 16 January 2006), he said: “Oh but of course the story of Adam and Eve was only ever symbolic, wasn’t it? Symbolic?! So Jesus had himself tortured and executed for a symbolic sin by a non-existent individual? Nobody not brought up in the faith could reach any verdict other than barking mad!” ( https://creation.com/dawkins-on-compromising-churchians ) Do the mainstream clergy in the UK share the same zeal to keep Christians ‘on board’ as Richard Dawkins does to keep atheists ‘on board’? Will the clergy walk that ‘five hundred miles to keep a Christian on board and to win new souls for Christ? How far will the clergy walk? Inquiry and method To get an answer to the question about what the clergy would do I contacted a total of 519 Churches in the following locations: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Dundee, Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow, Leicester, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford, and Torquay. The core of my message to the clergy, in which anonymity was guaranteed unless they gave permission to reveal their identity, is that belief in Darwinian evolution has undermined Genesis with the consequence that the entire Bible has been undermined and many people in all walks of life simply do not recognize it as the authoritative revelation of God to man. Having identified perhaps the major cause, of decline in faith, my letter to the clergy suggested the obvious remedy. No ‘Deep Time’ – No Darwinism Darwinists have convinced themselves that the bottom to top model of life rests securely on three very solid legs: ‘natural selection and mutation’ as the mechanism for change from one kind of creature into a different kind; the fossil record; and ‘deep time’ i.e. billions of years. However, the ‘killer’ argument against Darwinism which even its adherents recognize would bring the House of Darwin crashing to the ground is that of ‘deep time.’ When it is shown that the argument for billions of years necessary for evolution to occur is false and based on a preconceived notion and certain highly flawed assumptions the entire Darwinian house of cards crashes to the ground. Philosophical naturalism and the age of the earth: are they related? by Terry Mortenson This paper was published in The Master’s Seminary Journal (TMSJ) 15 (1):71–92, Spring 2004. I included this article in its entirety in my communication. And included extracts from ‘Rocks Aren’t Clocks’ by John K. Reed Ph.D. Geology University of South Carolina. The contents of those documents effectively destroy the notion of ‘deep time’ which is found to have no basis in real science and which wreck Darwinism. Survey Results Out of 519 ‘Church Decline: Cause and Remedy’ and follow-up survey messages sent only 43 responded. Of those 43 responses 22 were ‘Auto-responses’ indicating they would get back to me shortly. They never did. Of the remaining 21 who replied only 3 responded positively although only 1 person gave permission for his details to be disclosed, Robin Brace who as a Bible believing young earth creationist and Editor of the monthly newsletter UK Apologetics www.ukapologetics.net is outside of the mainstream. Robin agreed entirely with the contents of my message. The two others who responded positively are mainstream clergymen. This is what clergyman1 had to say about dispelling the unscientific notion of ‘deep time’: “It would certainly take away an argument of unbelief.” “I have always held to a six day creation a few thousand years ago.” “I always preach against evolution etc and have no difficulty finding material to justify my position.” Clergyman2: “I have no comment other than to say I wish you well in highlighting the faithful reliability of scripture’s historical account of creation. In Christ” Yours etc. ‘Negatives’ Clergyman3: “Dear Sir, none of the leadership of this church are currently men. I’m sorry but we have not had time to read your article. Please remove our address from you mailing list. Thank you.” Clergyman4: [Extract]: “I confess to finding unsolicited approaches such as yours unwelcome – they are presumptuous. They also are insensitive to the realities that many of us face, and the follow up email simply feels like pressure. Please don’t send me any more emails.” Clergyman5: “Is there a continuing decline in the church, to which church do you refer, what do you mean by decline and what has any of that to do with your email content? Please do not contact me in future.” It seems appropriate, given that the article and extracts from ‘Rocks Aren’t Clocks’ totally undermine the science behind ‘deep time,’ to save the best for last: Clergyman6: “I would be grateful if you did not communicate with me again and remove me from your mailing lists. I believe that your limited views expressed, in far too many words, will only be of use to those who no longer wish to use the gift of reason which our Divine Creator most generously blesses us in this life as we sojourn to the next where God’s Glory and Purpose will be most fully revealed.” [my added emphasis] Clergyman7: “Sorry, but I have no great interest in these issues, at least not as you frame them. God is the creative spirit behind all that exists. (God the Father) How that came about is for the scientists. [my added emphasis] The same God is equally the spirit of salvation (God the Son, eternal, but also incarnate in Jesus) The same God is alive and active among us (The Holy Spirit)” The other clergy who responded did so to say they wanted to be removed from my list. Conclusion Very sadly but unsurprisingly the results of this survey show that the huge majority of the clergy in the UK are quite simply ‘Not Interested.’ And someone who is not interested is not going to even trouble himself to challenge his worldview and to educate himself about the hard facts and evidence that could bring about positive change. Even more sad is the fact that a sizeable percentage of the clergy, if not quite hostile, are at least ‘negative’ about the Genesis account of creation and a young earth of thousands of years of age as the literal historical truth. When the clergy do not know their subject, do not believe the Bible, do not know or want to know the truth about ‘deep time’ they cannot possibly persuade unbelievers to take seriously the reality that God exists and that the Scriptures give a reliable and true account of our origins and where we are headed. And consequently they lack the motivation to go not “five hundred miles” but not even go one mile. “…..when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the Earth?” Luke 18 verse 8.