Consider this…

Thoughts from Steven: Errors in a Comic, Part 2

 

In the last post, I discussed the errors that were an easy spot in the Bizarro comic. Now I want to focus on the subtle errors.

Consider that, in the comic, God tells Adam that the dinosaurs “made me mad enough to kill them off.” Here is the error: God did not judge Adam’s sin out of anger, He judged him out of judgment. Now, the comic does not directly tie making God mad to Adam’s sin, but I think it is implied. After all, if God will “see how well you guys do,” there is the implication that just as the dinosaurs were “tested” so would humans.

The reason I say that God did not curse Adam out of anger is because He explicitly told Adam what the consequences would be if he sinned. Consider Genesis 2:17 again. It says, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” God did not get mad that Adam ate the fruit, slapped him across the face, and cursed him with death. The punishment was deliberate and calculated: it was a judgment.

Why is the distinction between judgment and anger important? We do not serve an angry God. Yes, God does get angry. Jesus looked on the Pharisees with anger (Mark 3:5) and God expresses wrath to those who harden their hearts against Him (Romans 2:5). However, God’s wrath is always tempered with sorrow (Mark 3:5) and peace for those who do good (Romans 2:10). God’s long-suffering tempers His anger so that punishment is meted out by judgment rather than by hasty anger. God instructs us to also be slow to wrath (James 1:19), which is how He behaves. The point is, we do have to fear God and His anger, but that is only because we have sinned against Him (Romans 3:23) and earned that wrath. God would not wipe out His creation simply because they made him angry, but because they sinned against Him. This gives us hope in a consistent and forgiving God, one who paid the penalty for sin Himself so that we might be saved from His wrath.

The final error in the Bizarro comic has to do with equating Adam and the dinosaurs. The equation is subtle, but if the dinosaurs suffered God’s anger, and now He wants to see how man will do, then dinosaurs and humans are equal in the sense that they both had their time to please God and show Him whether they deserved to live or not.

There is no comparison between dinosaurs and humans. Yes, they are both creatures made by God, both made on the same day (day six of the Creation Week), but God clearly made man as the ruler of the earth (Gen. 1:28). Dinosaurs, as the rest of God’s creation on earth, were put under the dominion of man. To equate humans and dinosaurs is to elevate those under dominion or to belittle the one who has dominion. Remember that God cursed the earth for Adam’s sake (Genesis 3:17-19). God would not punish dinosaurs and then make man as a substitute or a second trial. His intent was always to make man and to have fellowship with man. Humans hold a special place in the universe and that special place is highlighted by the fact that God gave them dominion over the earth.

While these two errors are more subtle, they are no less significant. Changing God from one who punishes sin to one who acts out of anger changes God from one of judgment and forgiveness to one who is unpredictable. Drawing a direct comparison between dinosaurs and humans devalues humans as just one of the numerous cogs in nature making our existence no more significant than the dinosaurs’.

These subtle errors may actually be more dangerous than the obvious ones. They can be incidentally accepted because they do not appear to be an error while the obvious ones are readily recognized because they are so different from the truth. A creationist’s guard is up about the age of the earth so he is less likely to be “tricked” by it, but swapping out “judgment” with “mad” might seem trivial (God gets mad, right?) but it has far reaching implications on the nature of God.

To protect against all sorts of errors, both obvious and subtle, it is necessary for a creationist to be founded in God’s Word and bring every thought under the scrutiny of the Bible.

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