Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Interaction: YEC and the problem of double-standards

In the debate over the issue of origins, it has been really illuminating how twisted the debate has become. It has become such that those who seek to impose YEC as orthodoxy are considered to be using it as a shibboleth and are attacked, while evidently those who seek to denigrate YEC as anti-intellectual foolishness (a la Mark Noll) are lauded. The same action, but the difference in target makes all the difference between an "acceptable" and "unacceptable" action.

This just came in my twitter feed:

For a few, a ~7000 year old earth extrapolated from a literalistic interpretation of the creation narrative is their party's shibboleth.

— Aaron (@TearsInMyBeard) November 10, 2014

We see here a blatant attack on YEC and those who insisted on the orthodoxy of YEC. According to Aaron, evolution is fact, therefore while he tolerates YEC, he thinks of them as anti-intellectual simpletons. That is made clear in his attack on YEC as being a "literalistic interpretation" of the "creation narrative." He then states categorically that those who insist on YEC as definitive of Christian orthodoxy are using it as a shibboleth. In other words, YECs can be tolerated according to him, although *everyone* knows they are wrong due to "science." But then when those "anti-intellectual fools" have the audacity to impose their views as definitive of Christian orthodoxy, then they must be resisted as using their view as a "shibboleth" against others who do not hold to YEC.

Now I am not just picking on Aaron, as this attitude is endemic on much of what calls itself "Evangelicalism" as well. My twitter exchange with Aaron shows his blindness to what he is doing, as he claims blamelessness and being "dumbfounded," as follows:

@puritanreformed I'm literally siting here laughing. I am completely dumbfounded. Please someone read this convo and tell me I'm not insane!

— Aaron (@TearsInMyBeard) November 11, 2014

This state of affairs is sadly endemic in much of visible Christianity, so let's break it down easily to see the hypocrisy of such an approach. This is what the non-YECs are saying:

(1) Evolution, Old Earth, and/or Non-literal interpretation of the creation account is FACT
(2) The opposite view is holding to a "literalistic" (and thus wrong) interpretation of the creation narrative.
(3) Those who try to claim that YEC is the orthodox view are trying to impose shibboleths on the church.

Or to put it another way, you're wrong, we're always saying that you are wrong, and we WILL make sure that our views are tolerated in the church, and oh, by the way, if you dare try to oppose us, you're imposing shibboleths. Or even clearer:

  • You impose toleration of non-literal views of the creation account and promote its superiority and intellectual vigor = A good thing.
  • YECs impose orthodoxy of plain view of the creation account = shibboleth.

Now, I don't have any problems intellectually with people claiming their views are superior. We can then have a debate over the issue as to who is right and who is wrong. But what I detest is when people engage in deceptive tactics to posture their position as the only reasonable position one should take, which Aaron is doing, and not just him only. The duplicity in claiming that one side is imposing shibboleths while the other side is not even when it does the SAME THING is un-Christian. It is in my opinion a sin that needs to be repented of. Yes, I admit YECs wants to impose the traditional view as the orthodox view, but just stop the deception and just admit that the other side is trying to do the same in imposing the non-traditonal views as the view people should embrace. Man up and admit the obvious! It is fine for you to push your view of the creation account, but to push it while denying it and attacking the opposing side for pushing their views is the tactic used by all deceptive groups like the LGBTQIA agenda.

As someone who accepts the OPC Creation report, I am to expect that there are a variety of views that ministers might hold to. Holding to a contrary view is fine in this sense, but if one tries to impose one's views, one does not have the moral stance to oppose another who does the same. Attack YEC as wrong if you wish, but don't you dare say that they are imposing Shibboleths when you do the very same thing!

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. (Rom. 2:1)

PS: This sums up the issue:

A person with strong YEC convictions believes that YEC is the only orthodox option. Similarly, strong Framework proponents like Lee Irons and MG Kline believe that Framework is the orthodox option, with YEC being in error. So to claim that those promoting YEC as the only orthodox option is to make it into a shibboleth is an insult to all who strongly hold to YEC, in the same way as to state that those who promote Framework as the orthodox position are promoting Shibboleths is an insult to them. Not to mention, has anyone attacked Lee Irons ad MG Kline for strongly promoting Framework? I don't see any, and there shouldn't be any. Whatever our differences, I respect that they are consistent with their positions and are willing to defend them. So tell me: why is attacking YECs always acceptable? The problem was never about the issue of origins per se, but the double-standards held up to with regards to YECs, and others. YECs cannot promote their views because "that is to make it shibboleths," but those promoting Framework, Analogical etc, they are not promoting Shibboleths? And then, when their double-standards are called out, to be mocked? Really, so I guess one side can call the other side's actions as error while allowing their side to do the same thing. But no, we cannot expect both sides to play by the same rules? Do you see me mocking those who promote Framework? No, I believe they are wrong, and I will prove them wrong, but they are not trying to "promote Shibboleths." But it seems YEC is always in season for mockery.

PPS: Aaron just twitted about "not feeding the trolls." I guess there goes biblical accountability. One can say ANYTHING one likes online, but one doesn't have to answer for the words one speaks, or should I say tweet.


@puritanreformed @starnmyuniverse grow up. I haven't read your blog. I'm not bothering to defend or reply to anything. Finished with this BS

— Aaron (@TearsInMyBeard) November 14, 2014

Sadly, Aaron decided that the way to go is to resort to ad-hominem. It is sad that he has descended to such a level, especially for someone naming the name of Christ. May the Holy Spirit grant him repentance for his attacks on YEC and mockery of the issues.

1 comment:

Jenson Lim said...

There are more important things in the ministry that you should be focussing on. Don't tarnish your testimony. Give it a rest OK?