Men will believe everything as long as it is not in the Bible (G. K. Chesterton)
You may think that there are enough problems in the Christian church today, without someone wanting to persuade Christians to believe in a literal Creation as described in the book of Genesis. What does it matter if Christians accept the theory of evolution. Just pop God in somewhere, preferably at the start. Let Him have a dabble every-now-and-then (perhaps to make man?) and there you are; problem solved. Unfortunately, the theory of evolution is not just fodder for interesting science debates; it runs contrary with the whole tenure of Scripture.
Evolution in brief
Now the evolution theory is based on a series of non-intelligent events occurring over many years. The term evolution is used here in the sense of ‘events’ which took place billions of years ago sparking off random processes, leading to what is evident today. Very briefly, in terms of the Universe, Professor Stephen Hawking says it was originally no bigger than a pea, which existed for a fraction of a second before the ‘big bang’ explosion. This brought into being, space, time and all matter. In terms of ‘life’, this just began from whatever chemicals were around at the time, and without any intelligent design slowly changed by random processes into more and more complex forms.
What the Bible says
The Bible says that God created the heavens, the Earth, and all living things in 6 real days. When He was finished He saw that it was good. In fact it was more than this; it was ‘very good’. A universe that needed billions of years to evolve, and an evolutionary struggle involving countless deaths whilst life forms were slowly being ‘improved’, is hardly the system that anyone would describe as ‘very good’. What was the problem? Couldn’t God get things right first time?
But the fundamental flaw with this theory is the introduction of death as a part of the whole process. When God had finished His work, He said it was very good, because it was perfect! There was no death. Death is the event that has escaped logical explanation by scientists and philosophers for countless hundreds of years. Why? Because we all know deep down that death shouldn’t happen! Yet only the Bible gives the reason why death came into being. The first man Adam rebelled against God. He sinned, and the consequence of that sin was the curse of all life – death. This event is sometimes called by Christians – ‘the Fall’. This historical event altered the whole of God’s creation. All of it is under a curse, death being the worst part and it spread to everyone. Thankfully God granted us some retained beauty to enjoy, and enable all men to see His handiwork
If, then, God had arranged evolution, with billions of years of struggle and death, then our separation from God is not the result of man’s sin, but purely as a result of a biological process started by accident aeons ago. This is completely contrary to the Gospel, which clearly states that because of one man’s sin (Adam) the whole of mankind after that was under the curse of death. Often referred to as ‘Original sin’; it effects all of us without exception.
The Work of Christ
The Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ died on a cross to save those who would believe from the ‘wages of sin’ which is death, and the punishment for sin which is an everlasting internment in Hell. He died in our place and bore our sins as he shed His blood at Calvary. If death always was, and just a part of the process of evolution, then why did Christ have to die? Why did He need to ‘set us free from the law of sin and death’ as the Bible puts it? Evolutionary teaching portrays man as a q.v. “risen ape and not a fallen image”.
Christ was involved in the two most important events in history to date. First, His work of redemption provided the means by which men, by God’s grace, can be saved. Secondly, it is worth reminding ourselves that “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and in-visible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the pre-eminence” (Colossians 1:15-18)
As Christians we talk of believing in Jesus as Lord and Saviour, but do we realise that He is also Creator. The Bible isn’t a science book but the reader should by now be coming to terms with the importance of believing the Bible’s account of Creation, Bear in mind that Jesus fully endorsed all Scripture. Tough isn’t it? It means going against mainstream man-made beliefs, and possibly facing ridicule.
Compromise is not an option
Many Christians believe that a compromise can be reached between science (when conflict occurs) and Scripture. The writer does not hold that view, although it is a tempting one! No, we are called upon to have faith in God and His Word and when in doubt trust Scripture first and foremost! Is the implication here that Christians who do not believe in a literal Genesis are not really Christians? Not at all! This article seeks to remind any of God’s people who read it, to take seriously the issues raised, and be challenged by them.
Seekers wanted (scoffers need not apply!) – see 2 Peter 3, 5-6
If needs be, ask God to give you the increase in faith to believe His word on this subject, rather than the world’s. God loves a genuine seeker; He will increase their faith and reveal things to them through the Holy Spirit. Neither does God leave His people without any help to defend their beliefs. Today there is a very quiet revolution happening in the world of science, which is beginning to challenge very effectively the foundations of evolutionary teaching. Some of the scientists who challenge evolutionary theory are Creationists themselves, but a few are eminent scientists, non-creationists, who simply challenged the validity of the science. Whether the largely, non-believing world of science will be swayed by this, time will tell. However, one-day believers will see a new and perfect heaven and earth and see for themselves what God meant when He said, “It is very good”.
Graham E. Swift
(Formerly of Crich Baptist Church – now at Ryedale Evangelical Church, in Pickering)