I actually was, at one time, grasping at straws to find evidence to convince my mind that Christianity was true. I attended Kent Hovind's Young Earth seminars, had copies of his videos, and spoke to him both in person and on the phone. He introduced me to Mokele-mbembe years ago. Mr. Hovind was a nice guy and quite passionate about what he believed, though I see he now that he is misguided and, worse, leading others astray.
Mr. Hovind's teaching is that the way to be a Christian is to believe his interpretation of the Bible, not believe anything that goes contrary to that interpretation, refuse to pay taxes, drop out of citizenship completely (breaking many of the laws of the land in the process), and teach others to do the same.
Unfortunately, for him, he is wrong on all of these issues.
His interpretation of the Bible is that the Genesis creation story is literal, in direct contrast to the teaching of the early church, which the evidence shows believed it to be non-literal and meant to teach spiritual things about God.
Also, he points toward the Bible being literal, as his mantra, neither saying the things recorded in scripture as the Gospel Jesus spoke (he said the scriptures pointed to him, not vice-versa) or is it the Gospel of his disciples. (See what they actually said, in The Acts of the Apostles, for yourself.)
In the Bible that Mr. Hovind says that he believes, Jesus told those who directly and purposefully asked him about the subject to pay their taxes. He made it clear that they were to stop worrying so much about their money, and be concerned with reconciling men to God, as Isreal had been appointed by God to do.
Paul did not renounce his Roman citizenship, but rather used it to appeal to Ceasar. Moreover, the disciples clearly taught to obey the law of the land.
I agree that disciples are to practice heavenly citizenship. We do that by finding out the commands and practices of Christ and by giving ourselves daily to walk in obedience to, and in imitation of, Jesus and his apostles.
We do that by walking in love and unity together, showing the glory of God, who is Love, in the earth, not by arguing about the mechanics of the creation. The love and unity produced by God is the fruit he desires and uses to distinguish his spiritual work from works of the flesh of men, not vain, divisive arguments.
What glorifies God more, people whose lives are changed by actually following God daily and obeying his instructions to love him and people, or trying to convince people that the earth is less than 6000 years old?
The truth is that without the living testimony of the church, really living in love and unity, it is really hard to believe the Gospel, and people can end up giving up or grasping at straws. Thank God, through Jesus Christ, he is raising up his real church in places around the world, with truly committed disciples, who people can see and believe, so we no longer have to be left to grasp at straws.
Really seeing people show what their heavenly Father is really like in their giving up their lives to serve one another as a local, gathered, extended family that forms a real likeness of Christ in the earth, because they are full of his life is the real good news. The "gospel of proving the scriptures intellectually" leads to people sitting around arguing, until they decide to get up, break off from the people with whom they disagree and start another local, "church" which, to be a part of, you have to agree with their, "correct," interpretation. Look around. It produces individual "Christianity" with an intellectual basis, rather than the evidence of a life that is so caught up in loving God and neighbors, that paying taxes and other money issues only matter much as they honor God and serve others.
I liked Kent Hovind when I met him and don't doubt that I would like him, if I met him today. God loves him, and since he has not likely ever seen anything that looks like the original churches, that God has a lot of mercy for him, if he can get beyond his pride and false model of individual, intellectual Christianity, repent, and receive it.
All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version and updated for language and grammar.
Copyright © 2009-2016 Paul F. Pavao. All rights reserved.