Birds fly, fish swim, ants make complex little networks of tunnels underground, and young-earth creationists host conferences (and, less frequently, open museums). This is just the way of the world.
Atheists, secularists, scientists and educators might occasionally make a fuss about such routine happenings, but they have a vested interest in the YEC movement (namely, the interest being that unscientific nonsense not be taught as unchallenged scientific fact). Most folks just ignore such events, and get on with their everyday lives.
So why have I and a small but amazing group of people banded together to put on what might be the first organized, Christian demonstration against a young-earth creationism conference? Good question.
First of all, this is not about “hating” young-earth creationists. We love our brothers and sisters in Christ, even if we disagree over their views of science, the book of Genesis, effective models of evangelism and what the church’s witness to the outside world should look like.
Neither is this about the freedom of speech or religious belief. I’m a journalist, and a huge supporter of the First Amendment. I’ll be the first to defend the Northwest Creation Conference organizers’ rights to believe whatever they want, and to share those beliefs with others.
Our concern is that conferences like this, and creation museums, and debates like the one last month, and well, just about everything else associated with the young-earth creationism movement, put the message out there that you must reject a select few, very mainstream scientific ideas in order to be a ‘real Christian,’ and that’s simply not true.
To teach otherwise is to put a barrier before the gospel, a barrier that is very real and has, consequently, contributed to the mass exodus of many young people from a church that they believe is antagonistic toward science (and with good reason).
The basis of the Christian faith is, and has always been, nothing more nor less than the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the son of God. The question of how old the earth might be is not a salvation issue; theologically, it’s not even a particularly important issue. It is somewhere way out on the extreme outer limits of the foundational concepts of the Christian faith — if it even enters the picture at all.
So, obviously, we disagree with the Northwest Creation Conference, which thinks the age of the earth is so important that Christians should spend a whole weekend talking about it exclusively, and being trained on how to share their new-found “knowledge” with others. We disagree peacefully, lovingly, graciously — but very, very strongly, and we want as many people as possible to know about it.
To that end, please join our protest, if you can. If you can’t, that’s OK, but please pray for us. And please show your support for what we’re doing on the event page or in the comments below. If you feel so inclined, you could also share information about the event with any interested parties, either using social media, or any of the free, downloadable documents below.