by Ken Hamrick
As we approach 2014, Christianity is under attack as never before in this country. These are troubling times. The evangelical Church has always been in the minority, and the world has always been opposed to the Church; but, here in America, at least, the world seemed to tolerate the Church… until recently. While sinners disagreed with our faith, they had in general a certain grudging respect for the strength of our worldview—not that they admired it, but that they could not disprove it. The large numbers of those who attended a Christian church of some kind, together with the possibility that the Book on which our worldview is based might actually be true, served as a kind of collective conscience of our society. But something changed that. The collective conscience is being seared. The respect is gone, and the world’s tolerance for the true Christian faith is disappearing.
What happened? More is at work here than merely the continuous, gradual moral decline of the sinful world. We are embassadors for Christ, sharing the Good News and imploring men, “Be reconciled to God;” but we are more than that—we are also soldiers for Christ, engaged in the cosmic spiritual battle between God and the evil one. Thinking that the Church is losing this battle due to a poor “marketing strategy” misses the mark entirely. Being salt and light in the world is not a marketing endeavor but a military one—and one that is met not with a benign response in accordance with how well the message is “targeted” to a “demographic;” but rather, it is met with the malignant response of a coordinated, strategic, military resistance by the devil and his minions.
We have lost the high ground in this battle. The devil found a way to put a “bushel basket” over our light and now the dark world is trampling the good salt under foot. We lost the high ground when the truth claims of Christianity were delegitimized. Prior to losing this high ground, the hatred for Christianity was hampered by a lack of legitimacy—there was no foothold in reason strong enough for a legitimate claim that the Bible was not true and divinely authoritative. Oh, the claim has always been there, but the legitimacy was lacking as long as there remained a foothold in reason strong enough for the legitimate claim that the Bible is true and divinely authoritative. The world could deny the Bible is true, but they could not prove the Bible is not true. This was the level ground of reason, to which was added the conscience, by which God pricks the hearts of men with the knowledge that He does exist, the Bible is true, and they are sinners. Together, reason and conscience served as the high ground of the Church in her battle to be a witness to the world.
The truth claims of Christianity—the authority of an inerrant and inspired Bible—were delegitimized (in the eyes of the world) as the world accepted as legitimate the truth claims of evolutionary science. The truth claims of evolution, including the billions-of-years chronology, gained legitimacy in the eyes of the world only gradually. But the sinful anti-supernatural bias of secular scientists fueled the over-confidence by which they dressed their claims in such an overwhelming certainty. That deceptive certainty made Biblical creationism ever more worthy of scorn and disgust. Many in the Church failed to notice the faulty anti-supernatural ground on which the evolutionists’ truth claims are based, and unintentionally helped give over the high ground to the enemy by engineering a compromise by which the irrefutable claims of science could be read into the text of the first chapter of Genesis. Hoping to preserve the truth claims of Christianity, they actually assisted in delegitimizing them—because in the face of these compromises, the world smiles and winks, knowing full well that the authority of Scripture has been undermined and the anti-Christian worldview has gained a new legitimacy.
When it comes to origins, the Bible and secular science are irreconcilable. The approach used by science is only legitimate if God did not in fact recently create the earth in a supernatural way—and such a biased anti-supernatural approach is incapable of arriving at a knowledge of the truth if God did in fact create supernaturally and recently. Therefore, the nature of the question of origins is determined by what actually happened. The nature of the question is not determined by one’s chosen approach to the question. If what actually happened was in some way a natural process, then the nature of the question is scientific and scientific evidence carries due weight. However, if what actually happened was a supernatural event (immediate creation out of nothing), then science has no place in the matter and scientific evidence carries no weight, as the nature of the question is religious. You see, the question is not as the scientist insists, “How old can we prove this rock to be?” but rather, “How ‘old’ was this rock when God created it?” This illustrates the faulty anti-supernatural ground on which the world’s truth claims are now based.
The ultimate, most pervasive human bias is the bias against the truths of God and His Word. That is where the battle is engaged… and we are losing. This is not only about origins. If the Bible cannot be trusted in the first chapter, it cannot be trusted in any other—and if its text can be creatively reinterpreted in the first chapter to suit the world’s truth claims, then the same can be applied to any other chapter. If we allow ourselves to be bowled over by supposed evidence that contradicts a literal six-day, supernatural creation, then we unknowingly surrender to the “irrefutable evidence” against any man physically rising from the dead after three days. The way that we are losing the current battle over the right of the Church to view homosexual behavior as sinful results from the delegitimization of our truth claims. By losing our reasonable ground of legitimacy, we lose all moral high ground, and the nation loses its collective conscience. What hampered hatred and persecution of Christianity is disappearing.
What is desperately needed is for the evangelical Church to take a firm, uncompromising stand on the truth of a recent supernatural creation, and to dramatically increase the teaching of apologetics in our congregations and in our evangelizing. To regain the legitimacy of our truth claims in the eyes of the world, we must show them that the anti-supernatural assumption on which their science is based is unproven and fails as a supposed high ground of reason against our “blind faith.” And further, we must point out to them that if God really does exist, then He is not only capable of recent supernatural creation, but He is also capable of revealing the truth of His inspired word with utter certainty to those who are willing to embrace Him and His truth.
Ken Hamrick, 2013