By now, you are likely aware that two nights ago, Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and Bill Nye “The Science Guy” participated in a live debate, tackling the issue “is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” Three hours later, at its conclusion, viewers were left with a mountain of information to sort through. Both gentlemen provided solid reasons for their positions, they both prepared and performed well, and despite the intense difference of opinion and interpretation of facts, they were gracious with each other. Perhaps they can offer lessons to future politicians in how to disagree without attacking.
I enjoyed the parts of the debate I was able to see (while navigating dinner preparation and youngster management/containment). During the debate, most of the information presented by both sides I have heard before. Nothing presented by either side really shocked me – they said what I thought they might say. But, what I found most interesting is what happened after the debate.
Blogs and tweets following the debate were as predictable as the debate itself. Young earth creationists said Ham had the better performance, Darwinian evolutionists said Nye did. Read enough blogs and the comments that accompany them though, and the gracious tone that was evident in the debate did not carry through to the interwebs. Regrettably, both sides are guilty of such boorish behavior. I am a young earth creationist, and people who share that worldview were frequent targets of derision afterwards. No offense taken though – again, that was predictable. To be fair, it was just as predictable that a few young earth creationists would launch character attacks at their “opponents”, because, well…I think I understand what motivated them, but I don’t understand why they thought it would be effective. (So, take a hint – stop it.)
Many of the negative comments towards young earth creationism took this angle – If you are a young earth creationist, you believe there is a God who started all of this, you are probably religious, religion is for the weak minded, you are using religion as a crutch. Many followers of Christ have heard this (or something akin to it) and get wrapped around the axle about it. To those who assert that Christianity is a crutch, and to the Christians who have heard such a charge, allow me to be perfectly clear: That is absolutely correct.
Let’s think about actual crutches. Who uses them? For what reason? I can’t think of a single instance in my life when I saw somebody on crutches and thought (much less, said out loud) “you big pansy.” Almost universally (I have to account for scheming, sympathy seeking shysters), when people are on crutches it is because their leg is broken. Something is physically wrong with them, being ambulatory has proven difficult, so they brought in some assistance. As Christians, we acknowledge the problem is much worse than just something being wrong with us, and the solution is far better than just assistance. Christians affirm they are in need of help. Christians believe that their problem is a sin problem, that sin will receive the fullness of God’s penalty, that there is nothing they themselves can do about their sin, and so look to Jesus Christ who willingly died in their place to take that penalty.
So, am I using Jesus as a crutch? Absolutely. A crutch, a wheelchair, an ambulance. But He is more than that. He is the Great Physician who knows my heart and future and can mend both with a simple act of faith. In a way, I’m grateful for the assessment that Jesus is a crutch. It reminds me of how He has met my deepest needs and the price He paid as an act of sacrificial love.
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. – John 5:24 (ESV)
But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ – 1 Corinthians 15:57 (ESV)