The following article is an opinion piece and reflects the views of only the author and not those of AllOnGeorgia. It has been provided as part of a partnership with AllOnGeorgia and Creation Ministries International.
By Lita Costner
Some liberal Christians argue that insisting on doctrines like a six-day creation, the virginal conception of Christ, and the physical resurrection of the dead will deter young people who learn in college that these beliefs are untenable. To keep young people in the faith, they argue we must embrace evolution and naturalism and water down Christian doctrines that impose ‘outdated’ and ‘unloving’ concepts. Sadly, there is not much left to exhort youth to have faith in once one accepts this eviscerated brand of Christianity. And it doesn’t even accomplish what it seeks to do.
Tony Campolo (a professor emeritus at American Baptist-affiliated Eastern University in St. Davids, PA) and his son Bart Campolo are a good illustration of this. Tony Campolo is well known in evangelical Christian circles, but has called for acceptance of same-sex marriage and holds other unbiblical views that put him solidly in ‘mainline’ Christianity and outside evangelicalism. His son, Bart, is a humanist chaplain who has rejected Christianity. In a podcast Bart described his journey out of the faith.
“I passed through every stage of heresy. It starts out with sovereignty goes, then biblical authority goes, then I’m a universalist, now I’m marrying gay people. Pretty soon I don’t actually believe Jesus actually rose from the dead in a bodily way.”1
So an initial compromise intended to solve a theological problem just led to more compromise until there was no faith left.
“In his view, the process of abandoning Christian doctrines is almost addictive. Once you start, you don’t know where to stop. It might begin with ‘dialing down’ your view of God’s sovereignty, but it could easily end with unbelief”.1
We see this in the area of creation. When evolution is taught as an unquestionable fact and youth have no way to counter it, their faith suffers. Our groundbreaking youth survey DVD, Fallout!, exactly illustrates this problem and what our experience has been over decades: children who receive solid grounding in regard to biblical creation tend to remain Christian, while those who aren’t given good teaching in this area fall prey to evolutionary teaching and tend to leave the faith. And there is absolutely no reason for the latter because we have so much evidence to support biblical creation. The problem is that most don’t get to hear it!
Don’t fall for the trap of compromising the faith in order to save its integrity! You can’t maintain a solid faith on a shaky foundation, and even what looks like a thriving faith childhood church involvement can become very unstable if it is unsupported by a strong worldview. In contrast, taking the time to teach and maintain a biblical worldview regarding creation helps us to confidently defend biblical truth in all sorts of areas.
References and notes
- Hailes, S., Bart Campolo says progressive Christians turn into atheists. Maybe he’s right, Premierchristianity.com, 25 September 2017. Return to text.