Don't Fear the Labels

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

During a discussion with the pastor about having a Question Evolution Day event in his church, he was concerned about being "labeled". Don't misunderstand, this pastor is not a fearful man. That is a natural reaction because (as I have pointed out many times), he seems to know that people often "think" with their emotions. Hanging a label on someone is a way to provoke an emotional reaction. Anti-creationists will use this fact to their advantage. I got to cogitating on this, saddled up and set out at full gallop.

People are afraid to be labeled as biblical creationists
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What Kind of Labels?
There are many kinds of labels riding the open prairie today, and the most accurate definitions are often left behind in favor of the ones most commonly used. Being labeled is one thing, but the connotations associated with many labels are often inflammatory. I reckon that hanging a negative label on someone is supposed to negate the truth of what someone says.

"Racist" is bandied about so often that it has lost its meaning, and has become a reflexive way of name-calling someone who disagrees with a person of a different skin color (people have been called racists solely because they disagree with certain American politicians of African ancestry). Those of us who say that the Bible forbids homosexual relationships are called "homophobes", a word that is worthless except for its provocative value. I have been called stupid because I use the monicker of "cowboy", which has some negative meanings depending on who is using the word and how it is used.

Biblical Christians consider theistic evolutionists to be liberal and compromising. Conversely, there are militant atheists who consider theistic evolutionists to be "moderate" Christians because their lack of commitment. Indeed, there are TEs that have higher esteem for atheists than for biblical Christians! For that matter, the label of "evangelical" is almost meaningless due to compromise.

Creationism, Anti-Creation and Labels
People who oppose biblical creation use labels for their opponents instead of actually dealing with the issues. Some are childish, such as calling Ken Ham "Ken Sham" or saying "Devious Dr. Sarfati" (ad hominem and poisoning the well). Those of us who believe in a recent six-day creation of literal 24-hour days are frequently called "fundies". Another label is based on the bait-and-switch fallacy of equivocation: Evolution is "science". We deny prokaryrote-to-pony evolution. Therefore, we are "science deniers", which is ridiculous — just ask the creationists who are credentialed scientists, for starters. Some of the names we've been called are obscene and unworthy of a response.

Evil Thinkers Gonna Think Evil
I learned long ago that if someone is going to think or say something evil about you or your worldview, there is nothing you can do to stop it. If you are in Satan's way, he is going to stir up his people to attack you. Some of them do not seem to have the ability or the desire to deal with topics, so they resort to labels to stir up people against you. Meanwhile, they try to discredit creation because it means God is the Creator and, ultimately, our Judge.

When the pastor I mentioned earlier was starting his church, he did not want the word "church" in the title because of its connotations of boring and traditional, and opted instead for the word "fellowship". EDIT: Correction, they took that word to connect with people who are turned off by "church", and I certainly have been myself. I think I was pretty close in my assessment, though. I pointed out that using that word can prompt people to think "cult". For that matter, some people equate the title of "Baptist" with "Fundamentalist" (or "fundie"), but they are ignorant of the varieties of Baptist denominations, some of which are liberal. (I reject the label of "Fundamentalist" for myself, as I explained in "Fundamentalist and Literalist".) While using labels can help you relate to someone so you know where they're coming from, especially when people self-identify with certain ones, labels can also be ways to pigeonhole people, which can hinder communication. I freely identify myself as a Bible-believing Christian and creationist, your connotations are up to you.

Plausible Negativity
Some labels or accusations can have a superficial appearance of plausibility. One of these comes from liberal Christians and Old-Earth Creationists who say, "Creation science is divisive". That is not the case, see "But It's Divisive", here, and also "Does the Creation/Evolution Debate Hurt the Gospel?", here. There are many testimonies where people respect those of us who stand on the authority of God's Word and do not compromise, and who are prompted to seriously consider our side of the issue.

But I Believe It
Some people don't talk about how they believe the Genesis account of creation, and are content to say "I believe it. Let's move on". That can be very harmful.

In the August 2014 "Prayer News Update" from Creation Ministries International, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati wrote in "Evolution makes atheists out of people":
Sometimes pastors and parents see no need for CMI ministry in their churches: "We believe all this; why would we need your ministry?" Yes, you may believe it, but can you defend it? And do your children believe it?
Children do not learn important things by osmosis or because their parents believe. Also, we are called upon to defend the faith (1 Peter 3.15, 2 Cor. 10.3-5, Jude 1.3, Prov. 24.11-12). It seems that we are bombarded with "evolution is true" statements at every turn. (My wife and I were watching a show about cats, and they had to throw in a comment that it evolved such and so trait, stated as fact.) Most people have their kids in government-run schools, and they are getting intensive indoctrination in secular humanism and evolutionary thinking. They are not being taught how to think critically (to examine the evidence logically). In addition, students are not being shown flaws in evolutionary thinking, but are told what to believe and thinkCreationists want them to learn how to think.

Atheists, anti-creationists and many hardcore evolutionists are on the prowl, looking to justify their rebellion against God (Rom. 1.18-23, 1 Cor. 1.20-25). Many have hate that you can practically feel from a distance. When you want to share the gospel with someone, these people are looking to slap leather (have a shootout) with a Christian, especially on the Web. Unfortunately, too many Christians don't have bullets in their intellectual chambers; "Well, I believe" is not sufficient when someone wants answers — especially if your kids come to you after an indoctrination session.

Blatant attacks on creation are happening in Britain, and academic freedom is under attack in Scotland. American readers should know that there are many instances of students losing their religious freedoms in schools, and that groups like the Freedom from Religion Foundation are attacking our rights (sometimes unsuccessfully). They may not even be able to say "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance anymore. Do you want to have the answers for questions that the indoctrinees ask? They're available. I strongly urge you to buy or read online a book about how we're losing our youth, it's entitled Already Gone.

Seedbed and Side Issue
Some people are not interested in creation because they consider it a "side issue". To many people, "side issue" means "unimportant". Yes, creation is a side issue in that belief in a recent creation is not essential to salvation, as I discussed here. However, it is very important. Genesis is the seedbed of all major Christian doctrines! Evolution undermines our basic doctrines. It takes eisegesis, a magisterial view of "science", compromise and/or scriptural ignorance to put evolutionary beliefs and "deep time" into the Bible.

Some people use Peter's preaching in Acts chapter 2 where 3,000 people were saved that day as a reference to evangelism. The religious and historical contexts are important here — Peter was preaching to monotheistic Jews who knew their Scriptures. If you go to Acts chapter 17, the context is different. Paul was preaching to pagan Greeks (evolution is actually an ancient pagan religion), so he began with creation. We are living in a culture that is essentially pagan. Starting in Genesis, we can show that God is the creator, that is where we learn about how sin originated, and the promised Redeemer. Seedbed, remember?

Cowboy Bob Sorensen, Question Evolution Day, The Question Evolution Project,, Science Denier, Christian, Biblical Creationist

Jesus told his followers to count the cost (Luke 14.26-33). Think about this: If you compromise on creation because "science says" the earth is ancient, evolution happened, whatever, then what? "Science says" that water cannot be changed into wine, a virgin cannot give birth, the dead are not raised... Keep compromising, and with that domino effect, you can lose it all. Our faith is not based on the ever-changing whims of man-made science philosophies and speculations, our faith is based on the Word of God. Are you afraid that mean people will seek to destroy you because you believe in and proclaim the truth of creation? Well, cowboy up! I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 1.16), nor am I ashamed of creation. EDIT: Go ahead and label me a Jesus Freak, ain't no disguising the truth. We do have evidence for creation science and for the Bible, but evidence supports our faith, it does not make it. We experience persecution, but in the Western world, it's nowhere near as bad as Christians who went before experienced, and those in other countries are experiencing. Yet.

I hope you will join us for Question Evolution Day, It's going to really take off again this year! Tell your pastor. Hey, send him this link, that would be great. Don't fear the people. Don't fear their logical fallacies. Don't fear the labels and name-calling. Don't fear the bullies. Fear God and proclaim the truth, since God's opinion is the only one that matters.
Question Evolution Day is February 12
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