Jerry Bergman and Creation Ministries International caught fibbing

It's OK if you're lying for Jesus, right? (Photo by Angelii-D, via Deviant Art.)

My friend, Jerry Bergman, has a very interesting article about C.S. Lewis over at the website of Creation Ministries International (CMI).

CMI, if you’ve never heard of it, is an international nonprofit organization with close historical ties to my even better friends at Answers in Genesis.

In this particular article, Bergman and CMI attempt to argue that the Christian author and apologist C.S. Lewis was opposed to evolution (which, of course, he wasn’t). But that little bit of truth-twisting is only the beginning.

As evidence in support of their position, they say this: “Lewis stressed that the doctrine of evolution is ‘certainly a hypothesis,’ adding that he has concluded ‘the doctrine of Evolution as held by practicing biologists is … a less satisfactory hypothesis than was hoped fifty years ago.'”

I’ve also taken some screenshots, just in case Bergman and CMI decide to get creative with this article. If they did, it would not be the first time a createvangelist organization blatantly altered the words of a respected Christian figure, then backtracked after being found out.

C S Lewis   creation.com

With the ellipsis, the quote is technically accurate, as far as it goes (though they did change Lewis’ spelling of the word “practicing”). But what the ellipsis omits is very important. Here’s what Lewis actually said, in his essay, “The Funeral of a Great Myth” (omitted portions in bold): “I do not mean that the doctrine of Evolution as held by practising biologists is a Myth. It may be shown, by later biologists, to be a less satisfactory hypothesis than was hoped fifty years ago. But that does not amount to being a Myth. It is a genuine scientific hypothesis.

So, in other words, Bergman and CMI, which claims to be a ministry dedicated to spreading the truth of Christ, have ripped a quote out of context, and used a strategically placed ellipsis to make it seem as though Lewis is saying exactly the opposite of what he actually said. It would be like me saying, “I am completely not in favor of euthanizing senior citizens,” and Jerry Bergman quoting me as having said, “I am completely … in favor of euthanizing senior citizens.”

This is also known as lying, but I guess they figure it’s OK if they’re lying for Jesus.

It’s not.

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.” — Colossians 3:9

Tyler Francke is the founder of God of Evolution and author of Reoriented. He can be reached here.

  • LorenHaas
    • “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” — Ecclesiastes 1:9

      • LorenHaas

        12 What are worthless and wicked people like?
        They are constant liars,
        13 signaling their deceit with a wink of the eye,
        a nudge of the foot, or the wiggle of fingers.
        Prov. 6:12,13

  • Chris Mason

    Awesome! Thanks for posting this. I’ll be sharing it to my facebook page.

  • Unfortunately the comments are closed on that site, or else I would have cited this excellent article, debunking it.

    • Chris Mason

      Unfortunately, even if they weren’t closed, you probably wouldn’t have been able to cite this article. I’ve commented there before (I used to be a YEC) and they moderate all submitted comments.

      • Freedom of Speech for all except for those who disagree with them? Oh, well. It’s good to know that for future reference.

        • AiG doesn’t care about freedom of speech. The only form of communication they like is one-way.

          • I believe that you are right in this. Many of their videos are even marked as “private” on YouTube. I saw one once of these 2 girls talking about the reliability of Scripture. It was so bizarre that there was no doubt why it was marked as “private.” I wouldn’t want people thinking that these young women represented my movement, either.

  • Alan S

    Mr. Bergman clearly would not pass Ray Comfort’s “Are you a good person?” test. “Have you ever told a lie?” “Errr…”

  • Toby Macphee

    I don’t think even Comfort himself would pass that since he used the same quote mining techniques in his famous pseudoscience showcase “Evolution vs. God” as attested by PZ Myers.

    • Chris Mason

      And in other videos, as well. For example, in his John Lennon “documentary,” he quote-mined Lennon’s words from an interview with this: “I don’t believe in the evolution of fish to monkeys to men. Why aren’t monkeys changing into men now? It’s absolute garbage.” The quote is accurate, but the sentence before and the sentence after are both omitted. Here’s the full quote: “Nor do I think we came from monkeys, by the way… that’s another piece of garbage. What the hell’s it based on? We couldn’t’ve come from anything–fish, maybe, but not monkeys. I don’t believe in the evolution of fish to monkeys to men. Why aren’t monkeys changing into men now? It’s absolute garbage. It’s absolutely irrational garbage, as mad as the ones who believe the world was made only four thousand years ago, the fundamentalists.” [1]

      So, as you can see, he failed to mention him accepting the idea that we came from fish or his criticism of young-earth creationism and fundamentalism.

      [1] http://books.google.com/books?id=HL7X-YyrINUC&pg=PA112&dq=%22nor+do+i+think+we+came+from+monkeys%22&hl=en&ei=ob0STqL7H8T_sQKnjtjUDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22nor%20do%20i%20think%20we%20came%20from%20monkeys%22&f=false

      • Despicable. I’ve also seen a video that showed how Comfort recorded two guys answering a moral question, then voiced over a different question in the editing, to make it look like the guys (who were not Christians) seem a lot worse than they really were.

        • Chris Mason

          Would that be this video?:

          • That’s the one. Thanks! I did a quick Google search, but I couldn’t find it.

    • And the other scientists who were interviewed in that video as well. Comfort opened his line of questioning by asking them for evidence for evolution. All four gave long lists of the evidence, almost all of which Comfort cut, so it appeared like they had no evidence to offer. This is, presumably, the main reason Comfort has refused to release the unedited footage.

  • Lindsay Stafford

    I must admit that whenever I see ellipses in any creationist quote I naturally assume that the words omitted will negate the impression that is being forwarded. This procedure was being used before Ken left Australia (by the way you can keep him, we don’t want him back)

  • Pencil Case

    I’d agree that Lewis was tentatively an evolutionist.. However, he also believed in purgatory and praying for the dead, so why is his opinion so important?

    • Matthew Funke

      A lot of Christians — particularly Evangelicals — who hold to the idea unquestioningly that Lewis was a great modern Christian thinker might be unnerved to find out that he didn’t really understand the Bible the same way they do.

      Pointing out evolution, purgatory, or any number of other discrepancies with the way they like to think might be the impetus they need to start thinking for themselves, and start them on the road to spiritual maturity. It’s not so much that his opinion was important as that people should think through things they might agree or disagree with him about, and why.

    • Because he was one of the most brilliant apologists of our generation? I’m not saying you have to agree with everything he says, but you asked why his opinion is important. I would certainly listen to Lewis’ views on purgatory and praying for the dead before I would listen to Ken Ham or Ray Comfort’s opinion on, well, pretty much anything.