In Which I Call Creationism Demonic

From “Thinking SciFi”

“O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.” (Psalm 139:1)

Perhaps the most frightening attribute of God is that He knows everything about us. Everything! He has “searched” (literally “penetrated”) us and “known” (“understood”) us. . . Furthermore, He is everywhere around each one of us (vv. 7-10), wherever we are or could be. He fills all space, and there is no escape.

Go ahead, ask me where I found that quote.  Or even better, how ’bout I up the fun quotient and give you some options. Was it:

a. A site promoting atheism

b. A humor site skewering religion 

c. A devotional piece from the Days of Praise blog put out by a Creationist advocacy group

I’ll give you a moment to figure it out. . . Oh wait – did I give it away?  Yep, this “be afraid, Be very afraid” moment has been brought to you by none other than The Institute for Creation Research; a highly profitable venerable institution promoting creation “science”.  The very same people whom a federal judge recently said  are “entirely unable to file a complaint which is not overly verbose, disjointed, incoherent, maundering and full of irrelevant information.” Good to see our tax dollars hard at work there, eh?

This upsets me.  My opinions about the theological viability of creationist interpretations aren’t something I’m shy about.  I truly believe that it’s demonic.  Whether you understand that to be a metaphor for our ability to create and perpetuate evil or as satan whispering in your ear, the answer is the same; it is demonic.  It feeds on lies.  It depends on (and obviously encourages) fear.  It is driven by profit posing as prophet. These organizations (and just like corporations aren’t actually people, neither are organizations) are shrieking banshees in the marketplace sent by our enemies to deform and discredit us.  I am sorry if you have bought into these creationist teachings.  I know that people who simply want to be sure they are following God can be vulnerable to being taken in by anything that says “if you don’t believe this, your salvation could be at stake.”  Or even “your relationships with people in the church who you love and depend on could be at stake.”  (Which is a whole other set of issues for another day!)

I could spend the next 3 hours wrestling with words to create some pithy, compelling description of how creation science warps our theology, keeps us from knowing God as he actually is rather than as we imagine him to be and is a terrible, awful witness to the world.  It is a particularly horrendous witness to those men and women who are spending their entire life studying God’s creation for whom this issue and not Christ that is a stumbling block. But I can offer no better proof than the words of Henry Morris, Ph.D. as evidence that creationism teaches a God of fear, not about a God who is our beloved.  Perhaps Dr. “Be afraid!” should have read a little further down in his psalter:

 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. . . How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. . . Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:14, 17-18, 23-24

Perfect Love casts out fear.

32 thoughts on “In Which I Call Creationism Demonic

  1. In its simplest form creationism is merely the belief that God is the necessary and sufficient cause for all that exists. Unless you are a Christian pantheist, then you must accept in some form that God created all which exists. Further, if God created all that exist then there should be signs (or evidence) that reflect this reality. The study of this reality would be called the science of creation, or creation science. If Christianity is true, then it should be seen in the created order. If the universe is finite and did not always exist, then there should be scientific and philosophical reasons for thinking so. This is not demonic, but common sense. If there are no philosophical or scientific reasons for creation, then Christianity is false; there is no creation as there is no Creation, just an indifferent universe.

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    • You are of course, correct. I’m afraid I was using the term coloquially to refer to a sort of creationism based on a particular, narrow reading of the stories of the bible. I would say literalist creationists or biblical creationists. But I have things I am very literal about and a very high regard for scripture, so that seems misleading. Perhaps some other clever person can come up with an accurate, non-insulting-but-true label for this rather common American version of creationism. But thank you for giving me the chance to make it perfectly clear that it is not the teaching of a living, uncreated God as first cause that I am referring to.

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      • Maybe it would be easier to target specifically the young-earth creationists?

        Although that does miss out a few other sects…

        Even so, from what I have seen it is a rare sight to find a person who labels themselves as a creationist, who only believe in God having a hand in creating the universe (e.g. starting the big bang). More or less all of the ones I’ve talked to advocate complete creation and consistently discredit evolution.

        The closest I’ve come so far is talking to someone who said evolution did exist, but for everything else. Humans he said were created.

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  2. I think I’m having a hard time understanding the ultimate thrust of your post. It’s odd that you made it today as I’ve been having an ongoing discussion with an acquaintance about this very issue. Would you mind telling us what you do believe? I get that you’re frustrated with the creation science movement, but I’m not able to derive much else from your post.

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    • It’s based on lie which I won’t even waste my time trying to refute any more. It’s the same reason I stopped trying to take part in online conversations; you end up refuting the same things over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Not to mention that each point is disposable once it’s been addressed. It’s just, “I get that but . . . ” and move on the the next point to go through the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over. I’m now of the opinion that anyone with an interest can do what I did and do some research themselves. I’m not wasting time trying to discuss such matters with people who, whether they realize it or not, have been taken in by a pov which is based on lies, misrepresentation. It’s a very cult like mentality surrounding the whole thing – both ideas and people who oppose it are viewed with suspicion at best. And no, I’m not going to give a bunch of examples for someone to try their hand at explaining away. I was a homeschool mom for 9 years. I’ve been talking with people about this for well over a decade. If you have a different experience, well, strange and wonderful things happen all the time.

      My point in writing this is as Christians, we are supposed to honor God. A certain unfortunately large segment of the American Christian church has made this this topic a touchstone for Christian belief. They are loud, obnoxious, completely dishonest (see the peep in Dover who retro-fitted a creationist text to remove explicit reference to God and tried to pass it off as a science text. Perhaps they figured no one would actually do the research and discovered their deception because they themselves have never read a book or engaged in actual researchy?). For a lot of people, especially those working in the sciences this is the face of Christ. It is a face which is not only full of things which anyone who has a decent handle on science knows are false, it is a face of Christ which has no problem declaring scientists who are spending their whole life studying creation as being the enemy. I have seen homeschool texts – including one used by the local mega-church which explicitely teach kids that scientists hate God and are lie in order to make us think God isn’t real. Evil, demonic, from the pit of hell, evil. Period. Amen. If you don’t believe me, ask God if it’s OK to tell little Suzy that her dad the scientist is on Satan’s payroll. I’m sure he’d be cool with it – her eternal salvation is at stake after all.

      The third reason I am speaking out because of what Creationsism does to our theology. Look at that quote above put out by a 40 year old creationist outfit with almost 10 million in assets as well as an 8-9 million dollar yearly budget. That’s not small. That’s not me cherry picking to find the bad actors. This is what millions of people are taught and teach – in churches, private schools, and around kitchen tables.

      “Perhaps the most frightening attribute of God is that He knows everything about us. . . There’s no escape”!?!?! And frankly, this is something which a lot of people believe -that it is scary that God would get so close to us and see what filthy, ugly, wretched beings we are. Because instead of being taught about this wonderful spirit who created all things – the way light particles behave differently when they know they are being watched. When they are being watched they fall into four fuzzy bands. If they can be tricked into not knowing they are being watched, they spread out, not evenly but in bands, some fatter and some thinner. Does that sound at all familliar? Like, human behavior? Is there something there we Christians should be thinking about? Well, sure, but too many of them think that science is a tool of the devil and will never freaking know it (please considered that last sentence to be all caps. I was yelling. But all caps is rude.)

      I have sat up at night and been in the car driving in tears crying out “God, where are you? Why won’t you talk to me? Do you even see me?” like some less well paid modern day psalmist. I want God to know everything about me. I want God to remind me that he made me, fearfully and wonderfully, and that I cannot go anywhere He is not. What kind of God needs to scare people so badly that they will be blind to what they can see with their own eyes – out of fear of falling out of favor. That is oppression. And tooo many Christians are living under it. They are unable to live out their faith fully because they have been taught to fear those who are rebelling against God (not Christians who meet with their approval – ie believe the right things), lest they too be drawn back. And then once you’re good and afraid and uncomfortable, go out there and love ‘em! That is how we get human beings like Mark Driscoll. He is just trying to do what he has been taught to do by the church. And quitting is not an option.

      The more uncomfortable you are, the more important it is for you to make yourself do it. Even if your audience is the choir, which it always is. I have been there. Hell, I once told my beautiful Catholic mother that she was going to hell if she didn’t accept Jesus as savior. Uncomfortable. (sorry, Mom!) It is oppression and it is enforced on those with the very best intentions by people like Henry Morris, Ph.D, who whether he knows it or not is being the mouth piece of something which I believe bears every is love and fruits of the spirit, it doesn’t matter how pretty or shiney of oh-so-cool it is. If hallmark of the demonic and not just normal human flaws. Look at the fruit. Jesus told us to. The measure fruit in abundance isn’t there, it’s an empty husk. Show me the love!

      I fear falling out of favor with God like I fear falling our of favor with my child or my parent or my spouse. Not like a subject falling out of favor with a tyrannical king who is going to use an irom maiden on him. The “father” which creationist groups are following is a bully and a tyrant with the character of Vlad the Impaler. Well, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me–” I know Jesus and, that ain’t my Shepard. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit around and not say anything when I hear someone talking about the one who saves me like that. This man is blaspheming. He is telling lies about my Daddy. That’s my point. And it’s a mighty fine point to make.

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      • That quotation from Henry Morris captures the reason Christopher Hitchens compared (Abrahamic) monotheistic religion to living in North Korea, except that one can escape North Korea by dying. One can’t escape the Christian God’s thought-monitoring so easily.

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  3. And with all due respect, I’m not going to get pulled into a precise parsing out of exactly who is or isn’t or might be or could be or should be included in DEMONIC CREATIONISM. Now there’s a useful moniker for ya! Haha, I kid. But really, I have put in my time straining out gnats. It can be a lot of fun. But I gave it up a while back. At some point you’re just amusing yourself.

    As I said above, I am using Creationist colloquially. It includes pretty much anyone whose theology includes a denial of basic laws of creation such as self-directed evolution. If you could take it or leave it, well, just don’t drink too much of the Koolaid. But for many people Creationism becomes very wrapped up in their theology.

    I believe in something like Christian evolutionism. I want to know what we’re learning about God from the fingerprints he left all over the real world. What are the theological implications of reading the creation stories as poetry not unlike The Song of Songs. They are clearly in the style of Hebrew poetry and poetic writing when read in the original languages – full of puns and rhymes and such. Obviously, the boring, nonsensicle and obviously not consistent with the world God so kindly created for us. I think that what we are learning needs to be allowed to inform our reading of scriptures. And even more, so much of what we are learning is very much in line with what scriptures has to say. Think that’s an accident?

    In light of what we are learning, reading scriptures now can be like reading a book as a kid and then reading it again as a young adult and seeing the whole thing differently. Only children refuse to admit when they are wrong. Only children resort to telling lies and ceaseless arguing in order to avoid having to admit reality. Creationism is a poorly behaved child demanding to be treated like an adult. Do you know how many poor people could have been helped with the money The Institute for Creation Research spent filing papers which were so poorly done that the judge felt the need to comment on it in his ruling? This is not the behavior or theology of any group which deserves to have the influence that it does.

    Soooooooo I don’t think parsing out what I mean by creationist or what exactly would put a form of creationism under the “demonic” rubric is really germaine to the issue at hand.

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  4. I need an editor. If all you people would just go buy a copy of my book right now, I could get one. and then you wouldn’t have to be subjected to the occassional random jibberish in the middle of a paragraph. Or sentences starting with lower-case letters. IJS.

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    • Brilliant comments!

      Couple of things I wanted to say:

      1) I was reminded by the ‘God is all around us thing’ about this: technically we are forever surrounded by the aftermath of the big bang, it is all around us (white noise) and if it could watch us, it would be forever watching us all the time.

      2) Thinking about it, Science and Religion has never had an easy relationship, but they way you put it. Creationists have really been the one to, firstly put religion in a bad view for scientists, but secondly did the opposite, gave science a bad name for religious people…

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  5. I’m going to share a secret with you; I find writers who insist on interacting with every person who comments on their blog off-putting. Go write something else that I want to read, don’t waste your time thanking me for noticing that you wrote something excellent or inspiring and then allowed me to read it for free. I mean, I love it when people leave comments. It’s a big confidence builder. And if someone is in need, I know how much it can mean to just share. And sometimes there’s nothing left to say. And this could be my mistake, but I’m a pretty infrequent commentor here at The Upside Down World.

    All of which is to say that it pains me to take over a comment section like this. But, Raw Christianity – your last question about evidence for God’s hand. You may not be aware of this, but scientists are currently at the point where there are two options for how there came to be us. Either the whole thing was designed in such as way as to make us – or at least evolving life – inevitable. Or our universe must be one of an infinite number of universes with completely random assortment of rules for each and we just happen to be put in the one which works just so. Those are the choices and neither can be proved. That is amazing.

    God told us that he created the universe and everything in it. He told us His fingerprints were all over it. But we didn’t trust him. Too many Christians were so confident in what they thought they already knew that rather than humbling themselves and waiting on better understanding, they stick their fingers in their ears and began screaming “nya nya nya – I can’t hear you” whenever the topic came up. The embrace of a human understanding of scriptures over the evidence of God’s own work was a sin. We did not believe that if we kept digging, evidence of God’s work would appear. But it is. So, did I have an answer 30 years ago that could hold water, kinda. Maybe. today? Well, between the multi-verse and God, I’ll pick God.

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  6. Rebecca, I have yet to find a better account of the way the world is than that which appears from a literal view of the scriptures. The generations from Adam to Christ are expressly delineated in the Gospels with which you can track time! See e.g the Hebrew Calendar which runs from Creation! Deny a young earth and deny the Gospels. Deny the literal seven day week, then deny the 4th Commandment. Deny the Gospels and deny Moses, then you may as well deny it all, Genesis to Revelation. A slippery slope indeed. Peace-Rolf
    P.S. Glad you can reconcile an old earth with faith in the sciptures, that I can not do.

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  7. “Deny a young earth and deny the Gospels. Deny the literal seven day week, then deny the 4th Commandment. Deny the Gospels and deny Moses, then you may as well deny it all, Genesis to Revelation.”

    This is a LIE. LIE. LIE. FILTHY EVIL, grown in the pits of hell LIE. I challenge you to go through my blog and read the things I have written and come back and repeat it. Because right now you may be simply ignorant of the fact that you are being used to spread a lie. But if you can look around here and repeat that, then you sir, will have made yourself a liar.

    This lie is the lie which keeps a lot of people away from Christ. By your fruits you shall know it. Go look up my post “Teaching your kid creationism or Intelligent Design? A recipe for putting your child’s faith at risk.” There are so many people who have lost their faith over this issue while followed around by people repeating the reductio ad absurdum lie presented here.

    I exist. All it takes is me to prove that your construct is false. Believe in an ancient earth, the big bang, the truth that God left with his own stamp on the world he created for us, and the gospel gets amplified. The truth of God is enriched with a million details all pointing back to Him. And you ask me to follow a god is so weak and pathetic that he can be threatened, his whole reason for existance can simply be wiped away if I believe the wrong thing. *Poof* Vanished. That’s my rock? That’s my strong tower? That’s my ever present help in times of danger? Threatened by radioactivecarbon dating? That may be your god, but it’s no God I would pay homage to.

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    • “FILTHY EVIL, grown in the pits of hell LIE”
      I’m an annihilationist but I agree with this statement. I probably take the Genesis account more literally but I definitely do not accept a YEC interpretation.

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    • I have. I think it’s a softer version of creationism than YEC, but I think it’s still very misleading and dishonest in its claims and criticisms of science. And what science has and is uncovering is astounding. You know how snowflakes get their shapes because of the shape of frozen water molecules? That sort of seemingly impossible quirk seems to be somewhat similar to how the molecules of life begin. The science is just so compelling. Unless you have either been raised with some sort of strong creationism or have gotten the issue tied up in your whole theology of Christianity (see comment above), both the scientific and spiritual arguments for creationism are like a bic lighter next to the sun.

      You know, the ancient Hebrews used to teach that meditation was holding two seeminly incompatible ideas in your head together until their connections and inter-dependence began to reveal itself. This is the sort of issue which is perfect for that. I’ve used lots of words explaining things, but frankly, words and arguments only take you so far. I would recommend to anyone struggling with the issue to ask God to simply allow you to see truth when you come across it. Be open to the idea that perhaps you and your church and all the yelling people don’t actually know as much as they think they do. And that’s OK. We’re supposed to be able to offer a reason for believing what we believe, but that doesn’t mean it’s our job to have answers for everything. Ask God. He’ll show you.

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  10. I don’t really get this. I’m not sure how this promotes either fear, or is peculiar to creationists. They are just saying God is omniscient and immanent, which is pretty much standard theological Christian doctrine. The word choice is strong to emphasize it, and anyone who doesn’t get a little nervous at that “there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed” is a bit too comfortable with their life.

    if this is demonic, really so is any traditional Christianity. While I agree perfect love does cast out fear, and that believers shouldn’t live in fear over this, they aren’t actually wrong about it.

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    • Dave, I promise you, I’m pretty much the opposite of comfortable with my life. But I’ve spent a lot, a lot, a lot of time with God and there is nothing scary about him seeing and knowing me. That is the lie that original sin tells us: “be afraid! Hide! Be ashamed!” Meanwhile, the whole time God is telling us, “it’s OK, come to me. I can fix that. I can make you the way you were meant to be.” I know this God. I haven’t just read about him. He is the Living God. I have fallen into his hands. And I can say with absolute certainty that this “be afraid” approach to God is offensive to him. Just like the fear-mongering pf creationism that has lead so many people to lose all faith in God and instead follow a puny, lying demigod so that they can continue to believe their own interpretations of scripture. It’s the same dynamic, played out in different ways. I find the fruit of literal creationists with all their lies abhorent enough. But this sort of fear-based theology is worthy only of those who serve God’s adversary, not God himself. Thus the connection.

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  11. The Bible is simple in its literal telling of creation. 6 days. Science continues to show accuracy of those stories. Without the historical Adam & Eve and fall, then Jesus’s actions were pretty pointless. Creationism is not demonic or evil (even if you choose to not believe it) How is it demonic to point out how much God loves us and cares for us, that he carefully designed and created everything, not just left it random chance (of which, by the way, there is no proof)

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    • No offense, but have you read the bible? There are 2 different creation stories. There are waters, light, dark which are not clearly identified. God takes Adam to see if one of the animals would make a good mate for him! If you had not been indoctrinated to try and force the text into a literal reading, there is no way you would read the creation storieS and take them as history. Not even if you were coming from another planet. It’s like trying to read Song of Sings literally.

      The theory of evolution is as well supported by fact as the theory of gravity and the theory of the heliocentric solar system. Why would God create a world which by all evidence is many billions of years old and on which there is clear evidence of evolution? Is he trying to fool us – thus making himself a liar?

      And how on God’s green earth would the actions of Jesus be pretty pointless without a literal Adam and Eve??????? That makes NO sense. Obviously, we are sinful people and need redemption regardless of if there was one couple named Adam and Eve or if Adam and Eve were allegorical representations of humanity. If your gospel rests on anything other than Jesus – and that includes resting on a literal reading of scriptures – it’s a false gospel. Period.

      Jesus said judge by the fruit. The world is overrun with people who have lost their faith or been kept from taking it seriously because of the loud voices of creationists. I can tell you from my time homeschooling that the families who were teaching creationism were almost uniformly unpleasant, unfriendly and judgemental. There are dozens of groups like the one I write about above who waste both their donor’s and taxpayer’s money filing frivolous lawsuits. The materials used to teach creationism uniformly rely on deception, misrepresentation and lies to make their money, I mean support their lies, er teachings. There is NOTHING associated with creationist teachings which has brought anything good into the world or done anything to grow the Kingdom of God. By the evidence (fruit), it’s pretty easy to see that this is not a teaching which has it’s grounding in God. The fruit points to an entirely different author for this teaching. And I 100% stand by that claim.

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      • There are three different creation stories. Don’t leave out Job 38, which specifically talks about measuring and building and constructing, not creation ex nihilo by fiat. And to top it all off, all THREE are poems, have the distinct characteristics of Hebrew poetry (couplets with completing or contrasting lines, repeated refrains at the end of each section) so all three are poetic , figurative language.

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