One of the heartening things about the race for the Republican presidential nomination is that a majority of the candidates are publicly professing Christians. In contrast to the secular humanists vying for the Democratic nomination, several of the Republicans display a genuine devotion to the Christian faith and speak regularly of their dependence on the God of the Bible during their campaigning. I believe the election of one of these candidates is vital if we are to begin the restoration of our once civil society.
Christians are commanded to speak of their faith and to bring the truth of Christianity to all those who are in need of it. We are to do this with the gifts and position God has granted us. There are no people more gifted and with greater opportunity to be effective Christian ambassadors than these candidates for president.
This does not mean that we are electing the American Pope. We are not in need of a weekly sermon from the Oval Office. However, we need to elect a leader that clearly radiates the same unshakable faith that our founders drew upon in establishing this great nation. We need a president that will live out the truth that the Bible prescribes and serve as an example of righteous living.
Being a Christian in a position to reach so many people as these candidates are is both a great blessing and a great burden. It’s a blessing because God is using them and has provided them with a tremendous opportunity to bring truth and light to those that have so little of either. However, it’s also a tremendous burden because what they say and do will receive deep scrutiny by secular opponents looking for any opportunity to disparage both the candidate and Christianity as well.
Therefore, when any of the Republican candidates speak of theological issues they must be very careful about the veracity and accuracy of their comments. The last thing we want is to plant doubt or confusion in the minds of those who may be seeking. Nor do we want to provide unwarranted ammunition to those that are focused on eradicating the Christian faith.
Unfortunately, Ben Carson has hurt the case for Christianity through his comments about the great Egyptian pyramids being built to store grain and not as tombs for various pharaohs as archeological data clearly shows. Carson originally made comments supporting this view in 1998 during a commencement speech at Andrews University in Michigan. Opposition research dug up the video of his speech last week and CBS News asked Carson if he still held to the belief. Carson affirmed that he still believed that Joseph of the Bible built the great pyramids for the purpose of storing grain for a coming famine.
There are several problems with this assertion. First, science confirms that the pyramids were built well before Joseph was sold into slavery and taken to Egypt. In addition, according to the Bible Joseph had seven years to prepare for the famine. Therefore, he would have had to undertake the monumental task of building the pyramids that would have involved tens of thousands of workers. It’s hard to believe that such a huge undertaking would not have had some mention in the scriptures but there is none.
The best historical data that we have is that it would actually take using the techniques and abilities present in Egypt of that day about twenty years to build the pyramids, not the seven years that would be required by the Biblical account. Carson can say that doing it in seven years was possible through God’s miraculous help. However, if God were performing a miracle here would not the Bible have recorded it as such? Miracles are a critical part of Christian theology. I doubt such an important one like this would not be documented.
Further, the Bible itself points away from Carson’s contention of grain storage in the great pyramids. In Genesis Chapter 41, Joseph’s methodology for storing the grain is made pretty clear: “Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the CITIES. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it.”
So it looks like Joseph did what you would expect him to do. Grain was being grown in many places in Egypt and he stored it near the various places it was being grown. There was no need to transport it to a central point and then redistribute it back again during the famine.
Carson is a Bible believing Christian, so why doesn’t he believe this?
What Carson is doing is what we as Christians cannot do. We cannot promote unsubstantiated theories in the face of clear scientific and scriptural facts. Christians have the burden of understanding our Scripture and the facts and reasons that support its truth.
We can’t ignore certain evidence because it doesn’t fit with what we want the Bible to say. We can’t insist on a 6000 year old earth or that there was no Big Bang when clearly the evidence that God has provided us clearly shows us something different. The scientific and Biblical narratives mesh very well despite what secularists want you to think. Christians need to understand this evidence and be able to articulate it to others. Christianity is for thinking men and women, not mind-numbed drones.
Image: Courtesy of Gage Skidmore via https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/8570164791/