Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Evolution Of Christianity

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

Does it matter if our churches take a stand on the Bible's account of a literal 6-day Creation? If churches don't take a stand, or instead adopt the Theory of Evolution, what does that do to the church's doctrine and the congregation's faith in God and trust in the Bible? Can Evolution make Christianity literally evolve into something else?

Dr. Jobe MartinGetting to the heart of why some churches avoid the subjects of Creation and Bible prophecy like the plague while encouraging them to take a stand for the Bible is Dr. Jobe Martin, former dentist, professor and Evolutionist. Having clearly seen God's eternal power and divine nature from what has been made (Rom. 1:20), Dr. Martin came to faith in Jesus Christ and a trust in the biblical account of the six days of Creation. He and his wife Jenna Dee have since formed Biblical Discipleship Ministries based in Rockwall, Texas to teach on campuses, classrooms and churches that we can trust the Bible's account of the Creation and Jesus as Savior.


Does it really matter whether you believe in Evolution or Creation?

Well, yes, it does. I think it comes down to who determines what is true — man or God.

If you look at what is going on in the churches, they won't take a position. Most churches just won't take a position on Bible prophecy or on the Creation issue. What does that do? It leads to wishy-washy Christians. How do you get off track with prophecy? It is because you are off track back here in Genesis when you say this could just be symbolical, or allegorical, or poetry. So, you spiritualize it when you say, "Well, we don't know what the words mean exactly, but we think they mean this." Then, you get over into Bible prophecy — the say the same thing, "We really don't what this means."

It is important to believe the Creation account is true because the Bible says Jesus is the Creator (Jn 1, Col. 1, Heb. 1). The Creator Himself has given us His Word. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (Jn 1:1). The Word is the word of Jesus. If the Bible is not true in Genesis, if we can't trust it, then we can't trust Jesus to be the Creator and the Redeemer, because only the Creator would have the right and the authority to be the Redeemer. So, the rest of the Bible all hinges on our view of Genesis.

The authority and integrity of the Bible is at stake here. If we can take it literally, let's take it literally. Let's not just try and decide that man will determine what's true here.

Most people believe the Bible is inspired only in those areas where they agree with it, and that's what I think is going on right here with these two sections of the Bible.


Do you see the spiritualizing of the Creation account and Bible prophecy as causing the terrible collapse in doctrine that we are seeing today?

I think so. Yes, there is no doubt about that.

For instance, look at what Jesus calls himself in His letter to the church at Laodicea in Revelation 3. I think this is a picture of the Church in the last days. Jesus says in Revelation 3:14, "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God." He is speaking to that Church, but in the last days, what is going to be the characteristic of the church? Jesus calls Himself "the Amen." And so, this is the last church before the Rapture.

In the last days there will be faithful and true witness, but people overall are not going to believe the Bible. They are not going to teach the whole Bible. But, Jesus says He is "the faithful and true witness" of His own Word.

There is a big Bible church in Dallas, Texas where some of their folks went to their pastor and asked, "Can we have a course on prophecy and Creation?" They were told, "No, it is too divisive and confusing."

And then there are the 11,000 pastors who signed the Clergy Letter Project, a petition by pastors to start teaching Evolution in the school system. I mean, pastors totally abandoning the biblical account!

Jesus knew in His letter to the Laodiceans that in the last days the Church is going to depart from His Word. They are going to depart from the Creation, and so He calls Himself those two names in verse 14 — "faithful and true witness" and "the beginning of the creation of God." I think it is fascinating!

We can trust the Bible from the very beginning. As a matter of fact, people say, "Oh, yeah, that is just poetry in Genesis." No, Hebrew poetry has the structure of "subject, verb, object," like "God created the Heavens." Well, that is how it sounds in English. "God created the fish." But, in the Hebrew it is written "verb, subject, object," which means that Genesis is straight forward Hebrew historical narrative. And so, what we have is not poetry, it is not allegory, it is not symbol, it is straight forward Hebrew narrative. God told us what He did, the order in which He did it, and He expects us to believe it that way.

A support that Genesis is not speaking in poetry is the record of the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20. In verse 11 it says, "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day." And, go back to verse 9. God says to the people, "Six days you shall labor and do all your work." Well, we know what those days are, right - the 6 days of Creation. Nobody goes out and works 6 billion years. Some will say in verse 9 God is speaking literally, but when He gets to verse 11 He is speaking figuratively. But, what's God truly saying here? He is saying that He wants us to know that in a 6 day week that is made up of the same kind of days you work, He worked. And, within that 6 day week that is made up of the same kind of days you work, He made everything that He made. God is saying, "I made Heaven, I made the Earth, I made the sea and everything in them."


A few years back the Institute of Creation Research sent out a poll to 649 Christian colleges trying to find out if they teach the literal 6-day Creation. Of the results that came back only 224 responded, and out of those 224 only a 188 said that they teach the literal 6 days of Creation. These are Christian colleges and universities! What is your thoughts on that?

In my experience, a lot of these colleges because they know who their donors are will will not teach a literal 6-day Creation. You then get professors in the classroom who feel they can't teach that. I've gotten more flack from Christian colleges than with secular colleges because of that very thing.

Also, these Christian institutions want to be academically acceptable. Once you say that you are Young Earther and a Biblical Creationist, you're wiped out academically in the secular academic circles. And so, it is pride. I think it is pride. Pride has crept into the church, and we want the world to think we're smart. Secular academics think we are stupid if we say the Earth is a young earth. They love the approval of man more than the approval of God.


What advice or encouragement can you give pastors who are reluctant to teach on the Creation?

First of all, you have to love these guys. I mean, they have everything coming at them from every different side. They deal with every kind of problem and many of them don't have time to study on these things. But, I would encourage them if they don't have time to study up on it to invite someone knowledgeable to come into the church and do a seminar on the Creation/Evolution issue.

Again, I think the main thing is we just have to love those guys. Many of them I think are kind of mislead because the seminaries are misleading them. They are going to go through seminary and come out and not realize the spiritual impact that the true study of Bible prophecy and the Creation, Genesis to Revelation, can have on their congregation. Once they really believe that Jesus could come for them right now, it is a great motivation for godly living.

Plus, there is no way that anyone can truly develop a Christian worldview without an understanding of how it all began and why we are here. I mean, the purpose of why we are here and why we exist, it all goes back to Genesis, and it's got to be taught. And why isn't it taught? Well, I think fear, fear and as Proverbs 14:12 teaches, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

Evolution robs God of His glory. He says I won't share My glory (Isa. 48:11). So, we pull back from teaching things that maybe are a little bit divisive, but Jesus wasn't worried about that, was He? No, He came right in and said the truth, and it was divisive.


Resources

The Evolution of a CreationistThe Evolution of a Creationist Book by Dr. Jobe Martin:
This fascinating book describes Dr. Jobe Martin's personal journey from an evolution-trained scientist to a Bible-believing creationist. Dr. Martin examines many of the claims and theories of prominent evolutionists, comparing their often incredible, inconsistent, pseudo-scientific explanations of origins to the clear and simple description of the Creation as depicted in the Bible.

Creation ProclaimsCreation Proclaims Video by Dr. Jobe Martin:
Come face-to-face with some of the world's most fascinating creatures! You'll discover how Creation proclaims the character, majesty, power and, glory of our Creator God. In each creature feature, you'll learn how God is reaching out to mankind by making Himself known in unmistakable ways.

God of WondersGod of Wonders Video by Eternal Productions:
A feature-length Discovery-quality documentary without the evolutionary bias. Stunning nature footage, scientific insights and Scriptures combine to reveal the wonders of our Creator as observed throughout His creation.

6 comments:

hartdawg said...

you know, some people believe in the "day age" theory, i GUESS they can believe that and be a christian. a church can teach that and be a christian church cuz they still teach the Bible. tho i`d question their intellegence. the "gap" theory makes much more sense if you dont teach there was human or animal life. i wouldnt have a problem with that cuz they`d still be teaching the bible literally. the "young earth" however is the right answer. i`d consider the above 3 acceptable tho the young earth is accurate

hartdawg said...

BUT To teach theistic evolution or anything of that nature would be to go against the Bible and in my opinion would be a heretical church.

son of thunder said...

3118 [yowm /yome/] n m. Corresponding to 3117; TWOT 2767; GK 10317; 16 occurrences; AV translates as “day” 14 times, and “time” twice. 1) day. 2) day always refers to a twenty-four hour period when the word is modified by a definite or cardinal number.

Strong, James: The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible : Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order. electronic ed. Ontario : Woodside Bible Fellowship., 1996, S. H3118

There is no room for the "age-day" theory in Genesis. When the Book says, "And there was evening and morning, day 1" it literally means 24 hours.

hartdawg said...

well, unfortunately not everyone (including pastors) take the time to study the original greek, hebrew, aramaic or chaldean meaning which is why i say they still believe and teach the bible but i question their intellegence. for me the age of the earth is a secondary issue, but if they start teaching evolution then that directly goes against the Bible and for me becomes a primary issue

son of thunder said...

You're right, hart. Most preachers and teachers do not open their lexicons, dictionaries, and/or concordances to dig into what the words mean in the original languages and what they would have meant to the original readers. And that, in turn, affects what they teach to the people who are out in the crowd.

When it comes to this subject, the age of the earth (the entire created order, in fact) is central. If the earth is only 6,000 years old, then it fits perfectly into what the Bible teaches. If the earth is 6 billion years old, we have a problem. The Bible teaches that death came into the world through Adam's sin. If there was life before Adam, then that means God is a liar because there would have been death BEFORE Adam.

In my opinion, there are some things that are central to the Christian faith: 1)Jesus was born of a virgin; 2)Jesus lived a sinless life through the Law, thereby fulfilling the Law; 3)Jesus died and was resurrected because man can't keep the Law and is therefore condemned; 4)God made everything from nothing; 5)and He did it in 6 literal days.

VeniSheckChicolte said...

i agree with what your saying about preacher\teachers and their principles on things like end times, genesis, and how long Bible days were... I wish out pastor would talk about this stuff more often... I think it's REALLY important to understand that the days were twenty-four hour days because if the one day was really one billion years, then the earth really is SUPER OLD!
But at the same time... I see hartdawg's point about it not being the main priority... believing that the world is young is not going to help people if the rapture happens right now, but at the same time, you should know this stuff... hmm...