According to a poll conducted by USA Today and released late last month, nearly four in ten Americans believe that God didn’t use or need evolution to create the world – a finding that might surprise many given how often and readily Christians are mocked or marginalized for their embrace of the biblical account in Genesis.
Dr. Del Tackett, a former senior vice president at Focus on the Family and founder and creator of The Truth Project and The Engagement Project, recently told me of attending a conference where he publicly shared his view of six-day creation. Following his presentation, a woman turned to him and with a seeming straight face and general bewilderment asked, “Do you also believe the earth is flat?”
The poll, which was commissioned by Suffolk University, sliced and diced the data in numerous ways.
Republicans are more likely than Democrats to believe in God’s role in the beginning of the world. Older Americans are also more inclined than younger ones to acknowledge God’s hand in creation. And if you have a graduate degree or get your news from NPR or PBS, there’s also a better chance you think the world just spontaneously happened absent the Divine.
The demographic distinctions notwithstanding, the poll is a good reminder that however culturally unpopular traditional biblical beliefs may appear to be, our beliefs and convictions are not that rare after all.
Think about it – with a population of 331 million Americans, the USA Today poll means that more than 130 million people believe God spoke the universe and everything else into being.
We’re not alone, and not by a lot.
It’s true that nearly all the centers of power in America are controlled by secular forces, so it’s no wonder we’re often left with the false impression we’re a shriveling or shrinking minority. Yes, there are fewer convictional Christians than a generation ago, but like Mark Twain once said of the music of Richard Wagner, “It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds.”
Christian Creation theology is strong. Just don’t expect to read about it in The New York Times or hear it supported on National Public Radio.
Make no mistake: The clash of worldviews is real and escalating. The battleground is the statehouse, the classroom, the media, Hollywood and the arts, and sometimes even the church itself. It’s important we know what we believe – know how to articulate and relay God’s truth to a confused and often hostile world.
Ken Ham, CEO and founder of “Answers in Genesis,” and who runs the incredible “Ark Encounter,” a Christian young Earth creationist theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, summed up the challenge for Christians well:
“God’s people need to unashamedly and uncompromisingly stand on the Bible,” he says. “We need to unashamedly proclaim a Christian worldview and the gospel, all the while giving answers for the hope we have.”
The very good news is that many American Christians are comfortable doing just that.
Image from Shutterstock.