9 of 10, if not 10 YCC/YEC cosmology models that have been floating around are wrong, yet I learned a youth pastor recently told a 15-year-old Christian student that Old Earth views are of the Devil! The young man relates the account in the video linked below.
I’ve followed the YEC/YCC cosmologies laid out by various YECs. There are about 10 of them and counting. As a matter of principle, 9 of the 10 must be wrong as a matter of principle since they all can’t be right! Maybe all 10 that are on the table are dead wrong.
Despite this (I say this as a card-carrying YEC/YCC) it was deeply troubling to hear the account given by a high school student of his pastor telling him belief in an Old Earth is like a Satanic cult.
I was at ICC 2018, the International Conference on Creationism that meets about every 5 years. ICC was organized by Paul Nelson’s dad, Dave Nelson, who is the son of theologian Byron Nelson. Byron Nelson himself suggested humanity could even be 100,000 years old! Over the past 3 decades at the ICC, there have been competing and often contentious arguments over what YEC/YCC cosmological model is correct. Some say Einstein’s GR is immutable, others don’t. Myself, I’m a neo-Lorentzian relativist/quasi agnostic on the issue of speed of light until we have more data. I actually reconstructed one of Flinder’s Professor Reginald Cahill’s interferometer that purports to validate neo-Lorentzian relativity, but I got inconclusive results. Cahill is NOT a creationist, btw.
In any case, I find it repugnant that when a pastor can’t defend his claims about science, he goes around saying people’s ideas are of the devil. That’s a good example of one reason I think the youth leave the church. When a reasonable issue is raised, rather than answer questions with facts, they answer with ad hominems and call people servants of Satan. That the sort of behavior says to the everyone, “I don’t have the facts to back my assertions, so I’ll demonize people.” The church ends up emptying itself of critical thinkers, students of science, and retain people who can be manipulated. The result is a church does not become equipped to be a witness to 21st century culture.
The proper way to settle issues is to provide evidence or say, “we don’t know, God hasn’t given us the data, we just have our beliefs right now in absence of hard data.” I teach creationism at a 13,000 member mega church which even Donald Trump visited. I, and the apologetics ministry staff would feel deeply uncomfortable for any youth pastor to talk our church’s youth in that manner.
I mean, if every time someone makes a mistake, is that of the Devil? If every time a mistake is taught in the church is that of the Devil? There are disputes in the church over infant baptism, gifts of the spirit, predestination, eschatology, etc. etc. As a matter of principle, not all views can be right, so are the wrong views of the Devil? Do we excommunicate believers over this issue and demonize them as agents of Satan? I think not, and we should not do this over the age of the Earth.
I hold reformed theological views, and regret to highlight John Calvin making demonizing pronouncements over people like Copernicus and Galileo:
John Calvin, “Sermon on 1 Corinthians 10:19-24”, Calvini Opera Selecta, Corpus Refomatorum, Vol 49, 677, trans. by Robert White in " Calvin and Copernicus: the Problem Reconsidered ", Calvin Theological Journal 15 (1980), p233-243, at 236-237
[The Christian is not to compromise so as to obscure the distinction between good and evil, and is to avoid the errors of] "those dreamers who have a spirit of bitterness and contradiction, who reprove everything and prevent the order of nature. We will see some who are so deranged, not only in religion but who in all things reveal their monstrous nature, that they will say that the sun does not move, and that it is the earth which shifts and turns. When we see such minds we must indeed confess that the devil posses them, and that God sets them before us as mirrors, in order to keep us in his fear.
Anyway, the young man in question approached Paul Price who works for Creation Ministries International and wanted to talk via electronic conference. [Paul is speaking for himself, in this video, not CMI.] Paul approached me to join the conversation, and the young man gave us permission to post the exchange on youtube. The interesting part is in the first 3 minutes. The rest of the video goes into theological topics, with me occasionally weighing in on the problematic science that YEC/YCC must deal with.
Here is the video link: