I don’t believe in the Loch Ness monster, Nessie. The most famous photograph of Nessie, which you can see above, is a fake. Unfortunately a publisher of Christian textbooks doesn’t feel the same way.
Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) produces curriculum for Christian education. One of their textbooks, Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc. has this to say about Scotland’s most famous sea monster:
Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ in Scotland? ‘Nessie’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.
ACE supports fundamentalist Christian beliefs like the young earth theory. Young earth theory purports a literal seven-day creation, which would mean the universe is 5,000-10,000 years old, as opposed to the 14.6 billion years old that science purports. If Nessie exists and really is a plesiosaur, a hold over from when dinosaurs walked the earth, then her existence would support the young earth theory and disprove evolution.
I love Jesus and I think that’s ridiculous.
I believe there are many different ways to understand the creation narratives found in Genesis 1 and 2. Since no one was there at the beginning, no one really knows how God he created the universe. He could have created an old looking universe or he could have created it all with a big bang. I really don’t know and I really don’t care. Genesis lets us know that God created the universe from nothing and that he is completely separate from creation, and therefore the only one worthy of our praise.
I may not care that much about how God created everything but I do care about how our culture views Christians. As Christians we should be willing to engage culture. We should also live and act in such a way that culture would want to engage with Christianity. Building a theory on a nonexistent creature pushes the culture away.
Obviously Christians shouldn’t conform to our culture’s standards and morals, but we also shouldn’t cling to blatantly ridiculous beliefs. I know people believe young earth creationism and that’s fine. But using the Loch Ness monster to support that belief is just dumb and, instead of making others want to engage with Christianity, it pushes them away.
Short of sinning, we should do whatever we can to make people want to engage with Christ and his church. Paul understood this when he said that he would become everything to everyone in order to win just one. I don’t need to be an evolutionary biologist to win an evolutionary biologist, but I definitely can’t fiercely support fairy tales either.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go support the virgin birth via the abominable snowman.
How can we invite our culture to better engage with Christianity?