Attempting to respond to hostility with grace

I get called all sorts of names by some of my young-Earth brothers and sisters in Christ: Liar, Compromiser, Rabid Theistic Evolutionist, So-Called Christian. I am accused of listening to the hissing of the serpent, of following Baal rather than Yahweh, and of denying the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am sorry that my old-Earth beliefs bring up such anger. I am seeking to do my best to understand God’s Word and God’s world, and to communicate in love. I am certain that I fall short in all three of these efforts.

Here’s an applicable article from The Gospel Coalition: “10 Reasons to Be Humble Toward Opponents.” I will highlight a few items:

1. Because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Pet. 5:5). — May I not be more zealous for my agenda than for God’s glory and the building up of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

2. Because we are sinners too. — I am certainly a sinner, and at times love the argument more than I love my brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with me.

6. You aren’t the issue; God’s glory is. — I don’t have to win. I don’t have to defend myself. I do have to submit to God and love my neighbor.

7. A humble response to attacks will motivate church members to join you. — I could bulldoze the typical young-Earth creationist who comments on the Facebook pages of young-Earth organizations. What will be accomplished if I do so?

8. Your enemies may be right… about something. — There are young-Earth arguments that I do not fully know how to answer. There are old-Earth arguments that I might get wrong. My young-Earth brothers and sisters have valid insights into the Scriptures. I might be getting some things wrong about what the Bible says about God’s creation.

9. Humility will adorn the gospel for outsiders to see. — I try to make it clear that I consider myself to be on the same side as my young-Earth brothers and sisters in Christ. I find myself defending people like Ken Ham from charges of heresy (Ken Ham is not a heretic). The unity we have in Christ far outweighs those things that divide us.

I am sure there are things from numbers 3, 4, 5, and 10 in the Gospel  Coalition article that would also apply to me as I interact with those who disagree with me.

Grace and Peace

4 thoughts on “Attempting to respond to hostility with grace

  1. charles doherty

    I love your posts, every time after reading one I find myself saying “well said!”. I like to refer to myself as a “believer” not a “knower”, after all, salvation comes through believing, not knowing. I’m absolutely OK with YEC’s believing the earth is young, but I do feel they hurt their own core belief of Jesus being Lord when they go to the extremes they often do of saying that the earth has to be young for the bible to be true. Personally, I would rather someone be wrong about how old the earth is and right about who Jesus is than the other way around, and this line of thinking that the earth must be young puts many, many people into a corner unnecessarily of having to accept a young earth to accept the ever more important Jesus is Lord. I look forward to your next post.

    Stay Faithful,
    Charles Doherty


  2. Charlie

    I am an old earth supporter, I too have all kinds of debates with my nephew, he’s a YEC supporter and can we find common ground..?.
    To him the bible is literal, the earth is 6000yrs old. He is one who has been suckered in by Ham and Morris. I’ve even revaluate my position, my be I’m wrong…
    But the more I try J just can’t see it their way.
    What is funny, my nephew openly claims he has the holy spirit and he’s on the sainthood path. Given all that I must be wrong if god is telling him all this.
    Guess I’m doomed


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