The Foundation under Attack
Updated: Aug 8, 2020
Through my early years of serving the Lord, I had struggled with many questions that I often had a hard time getting straight answers to, and have received many responses that don't seem to match what I read. These often flawed responses had left me doubting what I believed on some fundamental issues in the Bible. These are not issues that I believe would keep a person out of heaven since our salvation is based upon God's grace received through faith in Jesus Christ alone. But they are issues that cause a person to question the authority of God's holy word, and that can be a big problem for new Christians, who did not grow up in a church environment or attend a Christian school.
The issue that I want to write about today is something that I had struggled to understand for many years as a young Christian, and something many still struggle with. It is not written about in a lot of devotional books, and many preachers seem to avoid the topic for some reason, but this is something we need to be more firm on. I grew up in a worldly lifestyle and schooled in the public system, which pushed the belief in an old-earth theory and evolution over millions of years. When I was saved at the age of eighteen, I started to ask many questions. I also wanted to study so that I could be equipped to understand and have a strong faith that would carry me in my new Christian life. I talked to one Pastor about a certain Bible school I had considered joining so that I could learn more about doctrine and apologetics, to which he responded, "you don't need to go to that school, they'll just make you a missionary and send you overseas to live in some third world country." Well... nevermind.
I began to study on my own and with the help of several friends who are still a great help to my learning and my ministry today. Over time, God helped me to understand many things, but I still felt unsettled on some topics that commentaries and Study Bibles could never seem to agree on. During this coronavirus quarantine, I have been able to dig deeper than ever before about some of the issues facing the current church. I have also registered in an online Master Class on Creation Apologetics. I have been wanting to do this for a while, but have not had the time to give to it properly. It is a two-year course, and I have just skimmed the surface in the past few months, but I have already gleaned so much from it, and it has completely changed my way of thinking about our biblical history, the creation of the world, and our need to share the foundation of the Gospel, as written in an often overlooked section of our very important history - Genesis, chapter one. I hope this helps someone else who has had questions or doubts in your faith.
I hadn't been a Christian for long when I began to ask questions about creation vs. evolution, bringing up what I had always been taught in the public school system. I was not trying to be cynical but wanted to learn. It is sad to say that the answers I received were less than satisfactory and often left me with more questions.
"Well, we don't really know how much time passed between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, maybe there was a gap of time we are unaware of where a pre-adamite world existed."
"Just because the Bible says that the world was created in six days, doesn't mean that they were literal twenty-four hour days."
These and answers just like them seemed to be very common, not from Christians in the pew, but from educated and learned Pastors. It was discouraging, to say the least, that I had so many questions about the very first book in the Bible that they could not answer, but they would continue to tell me to trust their words about every other verse from which they preached. It is amazing to me that we can be so firm on certain parts of our doctrine, but not the foundation that is the beginning of all doctrine. They could preach hard on things that aren't named in the Bible, but avoid parts of the Bible itself because they didn't understand it? It causes too many to not ask questions but allows for the development of cynicism. This isn't good either. For the sake of time, let me just focus on the one topic for this discussion - the beginning.
The Bible tells me that 'All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.' - 2 Timothy 3:16. God is not about trying to confuse us, but He desires that we search His word for the answers to life, and in Genesis, everything we need is there to understand our beginnings. All biblical doctrines, including the gospel, have their foundation in Genesis. Genesis shows how God specifically created everything in heaven and earth and how He uniquely created man in His own image. He stated that marriage would consist of one man and one woman for life - in Genesis. It shows how the first man and woman brought sin into the world, but how God made a plan, from the beginning, to send us a Messiah to save us from the curse of sin. Death and suffering came because of sin, and God instituted His standards for right and wrong in Genesis. He showed us in the examples of Noah, Abraham, and others that the ultimate purpose of life is to walk with God. During the time of Babbel, he also told us that we are all from one race - the human race. Genesis even tells us why we wear clothes, why all human life is sacred, and why bloodshed was essential to cover the sins of man; it is the foundation on which all biblical doctrine stands!
If we can so easily question or discredit this vital book and history, then the whole Bible can be brought into question. And that is where we are today in the church. If we can't clearly explain the beginning, then the world can discredit the virgin birth, the resurrection, the miracles: everything in the Bible that has to do with the supernatural!
It is easy to see how Christianity in the west is struggling as young people search for answers they are not getting, and the church is being influenced by humanism and atheism. Psalm 11:3 says, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" It is the foundation that is under attack, while we fight and argue about symptoms. Often I've said that many things we deal with within the church are symptoms of deeper issues. They are like a 'check engine' light that comes on in a vehicle. The 'engine' light is not the problem; it is just there to tell you that something deeper is going on, and you need further diagnostics. When we look at the world, we see symptoms too, and evangelicals are fighting many symptoms rather than competing at a foundational level. Symptoms such as gay marriage, transgenderism, abortion, racial wars, and many others that I could list are what we believe we are at war against, which is true, but these 'symptoms' come from a wrong foundation or worldview. We preach against the symptoms through the political arena, through voicing our opinions from the pulpit and writing books, and blogs. But when it comes to the foundation that answers all of these questions in the first chapters of Genesis, we tell young people that that part of the Bible is left up to interpretation. Isn't everything left up to interpretation? I mean, we all have the same facts and evidence throughout history. An evolutionist doesn't have any more evidence than we do; he just sees it from his presupposed worldview of naturalism.
Many Christians would say, "Trust in Jesus and the Bible, except maybe for that first part." No wonder young people are confused. No wonder that statistics say two-thirds of our children will walk away from the church by the time they reach college age. Instead of the church influencing the culture, the culture has invaded the church. The church was never called to look like, act like, or be like the surrounding culture. We are to be set-apart!
In his book, 'The Audacity of Hope,' former President Barack Obama made the statement, "whatever we once were, we are no longer." He said, "we are no longer a Christian nation; we are a Muslim nation, a Jewish nation, a Hindu nation, a nation of non-believers." He prided himself in advocating for the LGBT community more than any other President before. However, if our ideals and values don't come from an absolute authority, but rather from whoever is in power, our nation has already begun the downward trend to apostasy. And that is right where we are! There are only two religions in the world - God's and man's.
But... Science! The word science, at its root, means knowledge. We should not follow the knowledge (science) that is easiest to accept because the majority approves it, but we should study to find out for ourselves the TRUTH! Our education system has caused many in the church to take the pagan religion of this age and, with it, contaminate God's word. I read recently in my studying that, 'religion has not been taken out of public schools, it has only been replaced by atheism and naturalism.' Science does not support evolution because the presupposed 'glasses' through which naturalists or atheist view the world are flawed. The only way to know our true history is if someone were there to tell us. I happen to know someone who was there, He gave us a record, and it is impossible for Him to lie.
When we mix evolution or old-earth theories, such as the GAP theory, theistic evolution, the framework hypothesis, and others, we undermine the history foundational to all doctrine. We also undermine the word of God itself. It is not an issue of salvation, but it is an issue of the authority of God's word. When we undermine Genesis, we lose faith in the whole word. And instead of giving people in the world, or young Christians like I was, the answers they need, churches have watered down the word to make the church more like the world.
The cultural symptoms we see today are the result of the destruction of our foundation. It is creation vs. evolution, NOT creation vs. science, as the world would tell you. You cannot even have knowledge (science) without a knowledge giver. You cannot have Christian values without the Bible, and you cannot have the Bible without its foundation, the book of Genesis. A literal Genesis account, not an evolutionary history, explains our need for a savior! In the account of Genesis, we have a man who lived named Adam. Adam had the freedom to choose, but he chose to sin. There is no way to introduce sin before this and stay true to God's word. You can make the seven days of creation longer. You can make up a pre-adamite theory, but you cannot introduce death, disease, thorns, even carnivorous activity before Adam's choice to sin and be in agreement with God's word. Therefore all of these theories fall short. We can only trust in the accurate word of God, which true science supports. Adam sinned, and sin required a sacrifice. The sacrifice had to be spotless, and God told of a Messiah who would be Emmanuel, God with us! He is Jesus Christ! Promised in Genesis, revealed in the New Testament, and living today to make intercession for you and I. He is ELOHIM (God is supreme), ELOLAM (God is everlasting), and ELOHIM EMET (God is true). His word is truth, and Jesus is the Word manifested in the flesh!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
It is an issue of biblical authority! Many talk about unity in the church and how we need to be a unified people. Christ talked about unity as well when he prayed in John 17:21, "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." The foundation of unity is TRUTH. It is not tolerance of differing views as the populace sees fit. True unity would not undermine the authority behind the gospel. Sinners only come to Jesus through His word; therefore, that word must be true! True unity in the church would not degrade Christ's supremacy, who is the Creator of all things, and the revealer of TRUTH. He does not desire unity based on consensus but asked that His church be kept in the truth. When Paul faced Epicurean philosophers in Acts chapter seventeen, who held an atheistic, evolutionary philosophy, he had to rewrite their history before they could understand who Christ was and why He needed to die on a cross. Many young people need the same thing today. They need a rewrite at the foundational level!
We have more resources than ever before in the western church. We have no excuse for allowing those with false worldviews to corrupt our doctrine. Many in the past have asked me to explain what I believe without the Bible because they just don't believe in God's word, and we have catered to that too much in the church. We've allowed our kids to learn history from naturalists in public schools but told them to just 'trust Jesus' for the future. We cannot leave the Bible out of our argument, and we cannot leave Genesis out of the Bible. We have evidence all around us of our history. The world would look at the evidence and see the basis of evolution. We should look at the evidence and see the truth of God's word. No one is neutral. We all see the evidence. It is the presuppositions we bring to the table that determine what we believe. Our beliefs in the present determine how we interpret the facts, or evidence, of the past. My presuppositions had to change to understand why Christ had to die for me on the cross, but I am so thankful for a God of mercy and grace, who offered that free salvation, and then didn't leave me alone, but gave me the knowledge I would need to serve Him.
It is the foundation that is under attack by the world. They have introduced an alternate history, full of inconsistencies, to destroy the foundation that is the true word of God, written in perfection. They have to borrow from the Bible to even have the laws of nature, morality, knowledge, and consistency in the universe, all while telling us the Bible is not true. Ultimately, God's word convicts, and it is conviction that they hate. But God promised that His word would not return unto Him void and that He will build His church! If you are part of that church today, rejoice! You have an omniscient God who cares about every question you will ever have and has the answers for your life. He Has called you to 'go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.' Preach the word! Fight for our foundation!