The Devil’s Work

IlluminatiAs you may have noticed the tagline for this site is presently “Part of the Grand Materialist Conspiracy.” I changed it a few months ago from something along the lines of “Just another anti-creationist blog” after I noticed that people linked here during internet debates would often take one look at it and apparently assume that it was placed there by a previous reader as a note that anything I say can be simply dismissed.* The correct explanation, as I naively believed would be obvious to all, was that it was a somewhat self-deprecating modification of the default wordpress tagline, “Just another WordPress.com site.” The new version was written in the hope that even the likes of forum creationists would realise that it is not meant to be taken seriously, but today’s Days of Praise devotional by Henry Morris III, Satan’s Strategic Plan, reminds me that this may be an unreasonable assumption.

Satan’s “plan,” according to this Morris, is to stop people believing in God’s Word (specifically, what he says is God’s Word): if creationists are willing to believe that then the aforementioned “grand conspiracy” doesn’t sound as obviously far-fetched as it once did. Morris provides more detail on this strategy, basing his ideas off of the actions of the serpent in the garden.

First, Satan always attempts to make us doubt the Word of God (Genesis 3:1). If we question the accuracy, the meaning, the authenticity, the historicity, or any other shade of “all scripture” (2 Timothy 3:16), then we begin edging onto a slippery slope that will only lead to the next stage.

At least publicly, young Earth creationists do not claim that a failure to agree with them on all points does not constitute a forfeiture of salvation – hence why this can only be the first step.

Second, Satan always confronts the doubter with a denial of the Word of God (Genesis 3:4). When one begins to deny the authority, the capability, or the will of God to carry out His Word, the slide into the final phase is inevitable.

For those that ascribe to this belief this is presumably where we come in. If you’re one of these doubters, and this is somehow your first encounter with the other side… Well, Morris says you’re already screwed, so pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable. Don’t forget to say hi!

Third, Satan ultimately heaps denigration on the Person of God Himself (Genesis 3:5). Once one embraces the thought that the Word of God is not trustworthy and that God either will not or cannot do what He says, it absolutely follows that God is either a liar, a hypocrite, or a capricious and whimsical ogre.

That’s a new one, I have to say. Of course, those are Morris’ words, and the slippery slope that brought us here is of his own making. For he forgot the zeroth stage, the one where the devil was allowed to write the rules of the game. When you tell people that doubt about matters only tangential to their faith leads inevitably to a rejection of that faith altogether, then once they start to doubt they will end up a non-Christian and “unsaved,” and not simply a non-fundamentalist. And in the real world, the one where the words of a demon cannot be blamed for the actions of real people, it’s all the fault of little articles like this one by Morris III.

*Others apparently don’t even make it that far, dismissing the site simply on the grounds that it is a “blog.” I am beginning to see where Jerry Coyne is coming from.

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2 thoughts on “The Devil’s Work

  1. The new version was written in the hope that even the likes of forum creationists would realise that it is not meant to be taken seriously

    Never underestimate the humorlessness of creationists.

    the slippery slope that brought us here is of his own making

    That is the sad history of Fundamentalism. Originally a reaction to “Higher Criticism” of the Bible, which used the original Hebrew and Greek to delve into the actual intent of the text (which is why you get people claiming the King James version is the only correct one), it did not at first reject evolution, though it was considered suspect. They expected that further scientific work would show the hand of God at work. When that didn’t happen, their insistence on the literal truth of the Bible hardened, instead of adapting to the new science (as most “mainstream” Christians did), and they went further and further into insisting on the most “literal” and wooden interpretation possible.

    As the evidence against that “literal” interpretation piled up against it, they clung tighter and tighter to it like a lifeboat in a storm. You can even see the arc of this. At least two of the writers of the essays that became “The Fundamentals” (from which came the movements’ name) were open to evolution. William Jennings Bryan was against evolution mostly for sociological reasons, believing it fueled the deprecations of Germany in WWI. He was an old-Earth creationist himself.

    Then came the space race and the government push to teach science, that ended ‘benign neglect’ of evolution in American public schools. That’s when YEC, until then mostly a Seventh Day Adventist position, spread throughout the evangelical community.

    The creationists like to talk about the “historic Christian faith” that they are defending but, in fact, it is less than 125 years or so that any Christians have been so insistent on this interpretation of the Bible.

    They staked their entire belief system on something demonstrably wrong. If people stop believing in their version of Christianity, it’s their own damn fault.

  2. I see that John Pieret has already said what I was about to post (about the inability of creationists to appreciate irony).

    Others apparently don’t even make it that far, dismissing the site simply on the grounds that it is a “blog.”

    Once upon a time, there was usenet. It still exists, but is a small shadow of its former self. Some of the newsgroups had really interesting discussions.

    Many of the contributors to the “talk.origins” group are now blogging. For example, John Pieret posted there as “catshark”. That re-invention of the discussion as blogging is one of the reasons that I am blogging.

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