Avoiding Identity Fraud
by James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. *
Identities matter. I recently lost my credit card, triggering a host of worries and questions: Where and when did I last use the card? Did I leave it in my pants pocket? Is it on the floor of my car? Should I slowly look through every part of my wallet for the ninth time?
After exhausting my mental checklist of where it could be, I called the credit card company to report a “lost or stolen” card and cancel the account. Once I convinced the person on the phone that I was the true cardholder, I asked about the card’s latest transactions to see if it was being fraudulently used. The last use was at a Texas steakhouse the night before. Whew! Abandoning the request to cancel the card with an optimistic prayer, I called the restaurant—and yes, they had my credit card stowed away in their safe.
Only time will tell if my card’s information was stolen and kept for future fraudulent purchases. It is reassuring to know that God is providentially controlling the details of our lives, so whatever trials we encounter were approved by Him before they reach us (1 Corinthians 10:13; Romans 8:28; Genesis 50:20).
Misplacing a credit card is no trivial concern—identity fraud is a terrible crime and a messy problem to fix. And when one’s personal identity as a special creation is counterfeited, it produces another kind of “identity fraud” that is even scarier, with much graver problems.
How Can Your Family History Suffer Evolutionary “Identity Fraud”?
When I attended public school as a child, my personal identity was compromised when I was taught that Earth is billions of years old and that my family descended from subhuman “cave men,” alleged precursors to Homo sapiens (true “man”). In short, I was taught that the family history reported in Genesis was unhistorical and unreliable. If my teachers and textbooks were correct, the biblical account of my family history was not true.
So, what was my real family history?
If the evolutionary tale were true, I am not the human creature described in the Bible. If Darwin’s “natural selection” hypothesis were true, the Bible’s teaching about the origin of animal kinds and humans is untrustworthy.
Answers that I sometimes received in church—for example, the Bible is only “inspired” when it teaches “spiritual” truth but not on details about “non-spiritual” matters —further confounded the problem. But every spiritual aspect of Scripture is inextricably contextualized by “non-spiritual” details. Jesus came as a Jew, not a Mede or Persian (Galatians 3:16). Jesus was born in Bethlehem (as prophesied in Micah 5:2), not in Damascus or Dallas. The resurrection of Christ is a spiritually crucial fact, but what about the three days (instead of two or four) He was in the grave? Was it spiritually crucial that Christ be physically resurrected? One clergyman told me that it was only important to believe Christ “lives again” in the lives of His followers as they follow His teachings. But that spiritualizing interpretation obviously clashes with the comprehensive explanation Paul gave us on the risen Christ (1 Corinthians 15).
How Can You Recover Your “Missing” Family History?
As a college freshman, I wrestled with these big-picture family history questions, not realizing how much “identity fraud” I had already experienced. But God soon provided answers to these questions and clarified the truth about my actual family history, disproving those Genesis-contradicting misrepresentations.
It was like the helpful credit card company employee who provided clues to where I had been in the past so I could restore what was missing. Several of God’s servants helped me in my critically important college years, applying 1 Peter 3:15 and Jude 1:3 to real-world apologetics. Only two will be mentioned here to illustrate how real answers can be given to real questions.
My first major hurdle was recognizing that the Genesis record conflicts and is unresolvable with the evolutionary depiction of human origins.1 Despite strained attempts by theistic evolutionist harmonizers to blend Scripture and Darwinism, the bottom line is Genesis and evolutionary theory cannot both be true.1 Chaplain Bob Webel, my college pastor, clarified that fundamental fact for me by explaining the authoritative relevance of Romans 5:12-21—the Bible teaches that our redemption through Christ depends upon the Genesis history being literally true.2 That meant that the evolutionist explanation of life was not even close to being true.
But what about the fossil “evidence” for evolution? Webel provided a quick solution to that problem in a thought-provoking tract, Have You Been Brainwashed?, written by Dr. Duane Gish of the Institute for Creation Research.3 Although I didn’t appreciate the scientific details then, it was immediately clear that the biblical creationists had a lot to say, and they obviously had scholarly reasons for their beliefs (1 Peter 3:15).
Dr. Gish raised challenges that embarrassed the evolutionary accident scenario, such as how did an imagined primordial “soup” accidently and unerringly form all left-handed amino acids to make life eons ago when the statistical odds for forming each amino acid as either right-handed or left-handed was always 50-50?4
Then Webel loaned me Dr. Gish’s book Evolution: The Fossils Say No! Next, he told me to read The Genesis Flood by Drs. John C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris. Webel also encouraged me to sign up for a free subscription to Acts & Facts.
As the ICR materials gave me a worldview “housecleaning” by showing how the evolutionary scenario was illogical, unscientific, and unreliable, Webel guided me and my friends through the Scriptures. There, I discovered my true family history, including my own personal identity as a human creature redeemed by Christ my Creator. This dismantled earlier identity fraud confusion.
Pass It On
What are you doing to help people escape the identity fraud they may have suffered from evolutionary teachings—from schools, television, movies, textbooks, secular museums, and even churches?
Like Bob Webel and Dr. Gish, who provided real answers, we all can provide help to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see the truth. ICR stands ready to help. Please use our resources to help solve identity fraud problems. Although many refuse the truth about Christ’s creation, some will gladly learn and love the truth when it arrives:
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power [literally “authority”] to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:10-12).
- “One of the most common misunderstandings among Christians is that the biblical account of creation can be allegorized or harmonized with the evolutionary system of science.” Morris III, H. 2013. Willingly Ignorant. Acts & Facts. 42 (3): 5-7.
- Yugoslavian immigrant and WWII refugee Bob Webel became a pastor who taught biblical apologetics to teenagers and college students. See Johnson, J. J. S. 2013. Volksdeutsche by the Dozen, Part One: Jakob and Katarina Agreed to Marry Before They Ever Spoke to Each Other (A True Example of Love at First Sight…and First Sound). Journal of the German-Texan Heritage Society. 35 (1): 25-32.
- Dr. Duane Gish’s fruitful ministry with ICR, promoting biblical creation apologetics as a speaker, writer, debater, and teacher, concluded with his heavenly homegoing earlier this year. See Remembering Dr. Duane T. Gish, Creation’s “Bulldog.” Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org March 6, 2013, accessed May 17, 2013.
- McCombs, C. 2004. Evolution Hopes You Don’t Know Chemistry: The Problem of Chirality. Acts & Facts. 33(5)
* Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Johnson, J. J. S. 2013. Avoiding Identity Fraud. Acts & Facts. 42 (7): 18-19.