Readers speak: Creationists = Mordor, theistic evolutionists lonely on Sunday

King Theoden bespelled.

I got a supportive email yesterday that I have to post. The individual who sent it gave me permission, but asked not to be identified because, well, the message is pretty self-explanatory. Still, I thought the “Lord of the Rings” reference was too awesome not to share.

Tyler,

It’s good to see other theistic evolutionists joining the fight for faith and reason. I love BioLogos, and have been donating to them for a long time, but it’s good to see others speaking out as well and them not being the “only soldiers on the line,” so to speak.

I’m a member of a small, Protestant, nondenominational church known as the Church of Christ. It’s been infiltrated and infected by religious right propaganda almost as badly as Mordor possessed the King of Rohan in “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” It’s that bad. I would say 99 percent of the members are creationists. Theistic evolutionists like me are lonely on Sunday. My entire family are creationists too, so it’s especially polarizing.

Have a great day.

“Theistic evolutionists like me are lonely on Sunday.” Sad. I only wish I could be more specific about the church, so its members would know what they’re doing to some of their brothers and sisters, but I understand the sender’s wish to remain anonymous. And, I applaud them for staying at the church with the goal of reforming it within 20 years (they told me that in a follow-up email), rather than leaving, as many across the country have felt forced to do over the years.

Sigh. Where is Gandalf the White when you need him, anyway?

Readers, do you have a story like the person who sent this message? If so, and you don’t mind sharing, email them to me for consideration on our Testimonies page. The American church needs to hear from you.

ā€” Tyler Francke

  • I belong to the Church of Christ too and like him my enttire family are Young Earth Creationist

    • I, too, can relate with that. I know it must be hard. I believe this reader was saying that he attends an independent church called the “Church of Christ,” unaffiliated with the United Church of Christ denomination. Is that what you meant as well?

  • Anonymous Woman

    Same here. I just sat through a video presentation last night that made me wish I was on antidepressants because then I wouldn’t care so much. I also voted Democrat and believe in gun control. No one knows this but my spouse. It is incredibly lonely. But I realize that it is a cultural issue, rather than a religious one, and making a fuss about it will hurt people more than it will help them. Still, I fantasize about moving to a large city where there will be others like us. I have no problems with our actual doctrine. But I can’t believe that all of this other stuff is what God wants from us.

    • I’m sorry to hear that, but I can empathize. I’ve felt the same way before. I agree a lot of the political and social positions the “moral majority” upholds are based more on their surrounding culture than anything from scripture or the ideals of the Christian faith. I believe that only the things of God endure forever, so that gives me hope that these little disagreements will pass.

  • Mickey

    I’m sorry, but Mordor did not possess Theoden. Saruman did. I’m a big Tolkien nerd.

    • I’m ashamed (for not catching that). You are right, of course. Thank you, my friend šŸ™‚

  • Dylan

    It is hard. I am going to this new church with a young lady I rather like. But she, like seemingly everyone else is a YEC, while I am an evolutionary creationist. It is rather difficult. And I don’t want to talk to my lady friend about what I consider her false theology because I don’t want to get her upset.

  • I have just found your awesome blog and am slowly going through the posts. I hope it is not too late to chime in on posts that are over a year old.

    I was part of a small house church where YEC beliefs were a given. Not knowing too much about YEC at the time, I just went along. And, after all, the issue didn’t come up too often. I tried to follow the YEC party line and the peripheral issues that go along with it – home schooling, among other things. We’ve since left that church.

    Interestingly, it was through home schooling that I studied the YEC position more and realised how shaky it really is! I participated on home schooling forums where I learned about Theistic Evolution, Old Earth Creationism, etc.

    It can be lonely being a theistic evolutionist. When anti-evolution comments come up, one has to bite one’s tongue or risk losing friends.

    Some scattered thoughts:
    * At one church, one guy was shocked (!) to learn that I am not YEC. He assured me it is not a salvation issue, but continued to email me YEC propoganda, each of which I (tried to) patiently counter. He finally said, “It is a salvation issue.”

    * Visiting one church, and having coffee afterwards, I shared that I homeschool. The person said how wonderful it is that my children aren’t learning all that ‘evolution nonsense’ in school.

    “Umm…actually, I accept evolutionary theory,” I said. “Does this church have a stand on evolution?”
    “Well, I’ve never done a formal survey, but I’m sure most of the people here would consider evolution to be utter rubbish.”

    * A fellow home schooling mum said that it “boggles her mind” that I accept evolution.

    * I have been unfriended on Facebook and I know that at least one person has ‘blocked’ what she sees from me.

    So it is not only in church on Sundays, but also among the wider community where one experiences loneliness, especially if one is a home schooling mum.

    • So sorry you have had those experiences, Yewnique, but I appreciate your willingness to share. I’m glad you’ve found this community. I definitely support your stance, and applaud your willingness to stand up for reason and your principles rather than cave in to the majority rule.

  • DarkX Studios

    My whole family is anti- Evolution. I don’t know if my sister is an Old Earth Creationist or a young earth creationist. But my Dad and Stepdad are hardcore young earth creationists. It’s been so hard since I became an Evolutionary Creationist. My stepdad, a couple days ago, tried to talk me out of Believing Evolution. He was using a flawed literal interpretation of Genesis. the only place I feel like I can safely talk about this stuff is on a couple websites online (This website and Biologos are the main ones.) I do feel alienated at my Church, at Home, and even at my Christian school. No one else there except one guy, who doesn’t care about this stuff, are YEC. Sometimes it is hard to just sit in Science class or even Bible class and them teach about YEC or some anti Evolution stuff. Despite the “attacks” I’ve received, I still believe Evolution is the Method God used.

    • Matthew Funke

      I can relate. My entire family is deep into hardcore young-Earth creationism — and so was I, until a little over a decade ago. I’ve found a church where I don’t feel completely alienated for accepting evolution and an ancient Earth, but it hasn’t been easy or quick.

      Welcome! I see evolution as a reason to praise God, myself. I feel like I can almost imagine six thousand years’ worth of time, but a God Who works in timescales that dwarf my ability to visualize them is seriously praiseworthy. (I have to admit that I also find the history of life, as related by evolution, much more compelling than creationism. There’s so much more intrigue and drama in populations being shaped by their environments over countless generations, with groups being created and wiped out and separated and joined (through symbiosis), where the environment of each population is (in part) dictated by the presence of other populations… it’s so much better than thinking of things being poofed into existence, essentially in their present forms, through inscrutable magic. It also gives me hope that I can come to understand God through His creation, too, as details of evolution and its history are uncovered. It’s impossible for us to analyze miracles, because they subvert scientific inquiry.)

      • DarkX Studios

        Exactly! Same with me. i find that i am able to see God in Evolution more than Creationism. I feel like a God who will design the Universe so well that, with God’s guidence, the Universe from the Big Bang will develop on it’s own and even into Life which is designed to evolve. Evolution has really made me want to know God more. most ypung earth creationists say that Evolution leads people away from God, but for me it has brought me closer. Have you seen “The Big Story” from Biologos?

        • Matthew Funke

          Sadly, no, I haven’t read that. But I know just what you mean. My imagination is tickled by the idea that God amazed the angels with an unfolding universe.

          ANGELS: “Did you see that? A quick expansion creating space and time! That’s so weird! That’s pretty inventive, there, God!”

          GOD (grinning): “Just wait.”

          (several billion years pass)

          ANGELS: “That new star system just condensed out of the ruins of the old one! That’s pretty interesting, God!”

          GOD (grinning): “Just wait.”

          (several million years pass)

          ANGELS: “Is that… is that matter alive? That’s pretty fantastic, there, God!”

          GOD (grinning): “Just wait.”

          (several billion years pass)

          ANGELS: “Those apes… they know You exist, don’t they? I mean, they can praise You like we can, can’t they? They can actually get to know You. And they’re made out of matter! How amazing are You, God?!”

          GOD (grinning): “Just wait.”

          (several millennia pass)

          ANGELS: “Um… they… they’re pretty brutal, God. I mean, I know You love them. But they seem pretty hopeless. How could you save a race like that?”

          GOD (sadly smiling): “Just wait.”

          … and so on. šŸ™‚

          • DarkX Studios

            oh well the Video is amazing! It’s on youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-duuKK0GUg

            I love the little conversation you wrote there, I’m sure that is similar to what happened šŸ™‚

          • Matthew Funke

            That’s wonderful. And certainly a sentiment I can get on board with. šŸ™‚