If even one piece of your understanding of God gets shifted, will everything else you know about Him crumble down?
That’s a House of Cards faith, and I think it’s pretty common.
When I was a student in private, Christian schools, it was briefly mentioned that some (poor, misguided) Christians believe the earth is millions of years old–but I don’t recall being told why anyone would think that way.
I got the impression that any Christian trying to rationalize an Old Earth has “compromised” his/her faith by choosing “secular” scientific theories over the “clear and authoritative” Word of God.
The disagreement was presented as if Real, Serious Christians were squared against the Godless Heathens… and there were a few spineless religious people, straddling the fence and causing God to want to spew them out of His mouth.
So, I was fairly convinced that the wrong interpretations of Genesis–or any other part of the Bible–would bring everything else down with it.
Today I found a comment on Facebook which perfectly explained where that idea comes from. Please take a deep breath before you dive into this rabbit hole:
“Why is the issue of death and disease as a result of sin so important?
I would propose that the whole foundation of what it means to be saved is found in the first chapters of Genesis. If you believe the first chapters are literal, then you believe that God literally created a world that was truly good. A world without death, disease, destruction and pain. God also created a literal Adam and Eve and these individuals literally sinned. That literally brought the curse of sin upon this earth. An earth that was created “good” was marred, and the death, disease, destruction and pain came as a result of man’s literal sin. God made a promise to this literal Adam and Eve that He would send the seed of the woman to overcome the destruction that had been caused by that sin and that through the seed of the woman the world could be saved. That is essentially the Gospel message found in the first chapters of Genesis.
Now look at what happens when someone decides…that the earth is actually millions of years old: You then believe that God did not create a good world. He created a world in which there was millions of years of death, disease, destruction and pain. He did it that way on purpose. It was his intent to do so. It was not the result of man’s sin who had not even been formed yet. It was simply the way God wanted to design His creation. In fact, there was no real Adam and Eve, so there was no real first sin in this world. God sent His Son. Why (in this set of beliefs) is a little hard to explain. He did not come to redeem His creation from the curse of sin though. Because there was no real curse. It was all part of His design from the beginning.
Do you see the major downfall to not taking the first few chapters of Genesis as literal? It is truly the foundation for the entire Bible and the Gospel message; the foundation of Christianity itself.
Please, please think about this.”
So, there you have it.
If you believe that plants and animals died for millions of years before Adam and Eve came on the scene, then everything else in Christianity is doubtful.
I mean, I don’t have a problem with asking how that can be reconciled, but I didn’t actually get to hear the argument from Old Earth creationists themselves until well into adulthood…
…and, as the Bible says, “The first to present his case seems right, until another comes forward to question him.”
Can you even think of a scientist who talks about the Bible, other than Ken Ham?
Oops, trick question! Ken Ham isn’t a scientist. 🙂
But, what I mean is–can you think of an organization, other than “Answers in Genesis,” which deals with the science of the Bible?
If you can’t think of a Christian who disagrees with Ham’s conclusions, I think that’s a red flag. We ought to be able to articulate the argument of our critics, and we can’t do that if we can’t even name them!
So, for anyone who needs a non-profit, staffed by brilliant scientists who love Jesus, in order to look into this topic from a new direction, I present Reasons to Believe, found at Reasons.org…
The website is run by:
Dr. Hugh Ross
Dr. Fazale Rana
Kenneth R. Samples, M.A.
Dr. Anjeanette Roberts
Dr. Jeff Zweerink
and dozens of “Guest Writers” from Universities all over the globe. (Yes, I’m sorry, Flat Earthers, but the world is “a globe”…even though you think I’m compromising Scripture by saying so.)
I firmly believe that God is bigger than our questions, and I am terribly skeptical of anyone who argues that every, single piece of their Theology is necessary, or else you will lose the essence of God Himself.
My faith will not be shaken the slightest bit, if God took his time allowing the earth to evolve for years before breathing souls into a couple of bipedal beasts we call The First Humans.
Christianity is bigger than my interpretation of a few verses in Genesis–and that book is NOT the only place I go to find “answers.”
I’m deeply concerned by some of the comments I’ve read today, including: “The Bible is all the evidence you need” and “Ken Ham isn’t MAKING AN INTERPRETATION–he’s LETTING THE BIBLE SPEAK FOR ITSELF.” The truth is, Ken has written hundreds of posts and books to help people learn how to read the Bible. He’s not simply “letting it speak.”
But I’ll deal with that later, I guess.
For now, check out Dr. Gerald Schroeder’s books, or read this article. Listen to Dr. Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project (and Old Earth Creationist). Or let William Lane Craig explain we read things into the Bible that it doesn’t actually say. (Example: the Bible doesn’t say that plants/animals die as a result of Adam’s sin.)
If you are letting non-believers think that they can destroy all of Christianity by removing a single chapter in the Bible, your faith is too small and flimsy.
Invite questions and search for Truth.
Regardless of the age of the earth, God can handle it.