Skip to comments.“Do You Have to be a Creationist to be Christian?” A Tactical Question that Avoids the Real Issue.
Posted on 10/28/2023 1:23:39 AM PDT by spirited irish
This question often comes up, particularly during QA sessions at ministry events. In my experience, the type of person that usually asks this question is not, what we would call, a biblical creationist, and has subscribed to some sort of view that adds millions of years or some evolutionary process to the opening chapters of Genesis.
For example, I was once invited to speak at a Christian high school as part of an origins series. Those with differing views were invited to share opinions on the creation/evolution debate. The teacher leading the meeting said that the purpose of exposing students to different views was to allow students to make up their own minds on the subject. However, this approach is already problematic, as it obviously suggests to students that Genesis can possibly mean many things, rather than what it clearly says. During the lectures, I recall that the leader (only) interjected during my talk on several occasions with one question; “Does that mean you have to be a creationist to be a Christian?’
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What is literal and what is metaphor? The Bible contains a lot of both. Is it a test of our faith that we interpret everything as literal, or does faith allow metaphor to explain things through a more spiritual perspective? Again, I think it’s a combination of both. Deciding which is which another thing. Is it a test? I don’t know.
So just what is evolution, as it pertains to an origin account, and from there to evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology?
First of all, it is not a recent scientific discovery by great men of science. Darwin, for instance, received his theory from his pagan grandfather.
Evolutionary thinking is ancient. As an origin account it stretches back to the plains of Shinar and Egypt where it is associated with teachings of the sun gods who claim to have created themselves out of an already existing primordial substance. Egypts Ra calls this substance Nu--primordial waters.
Given its ancient pagan antecedents, what does Darwinism represent today? In the final analysis, it is the spirit of our age, the “striving human will” ( see Yuval Harari' Homo Deus) seeking desperately to launch itself,
“…into minor godhood in an evolving cosmos through the mechanisms of directed spiritual evolution, spiritualized science and spirit contact.” The ‘new’ spirituality now presents itself as the “rightful replacement for the Revealed Word (and) proclaims its spiritual liberation from the worldview that informs Christianity and its freedom from(the) personal and wholly other God. But this new way of self-salvation (is) little more than the refurbishing of an ancient spiritual mistake.” (The Making of the New Spirituality: the Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition, James A. Herrick, p. 279)
If we are Christian there ought not be any bickering over evolution. It is an abomination taught by ancient gods that has no place in the Word of God.
It has been said, no more so than keeping God’s moral law. The 4th commandment directly addresses God as Creator, and keeping “His” Seventh-day-Sabbath holy is commemorative of that fact. Anything less is tantamount to open rebellion. God is worthy of our worship BECAUSE He is our Creator.
Exodus 20:8 REMEMBER the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it
The materialistic view of origins creates its own ongoing set of wait a minute questions. It is not a more solid foundation than the divine origin view.
It has always been a curiosity that the same people who embrace the resurrection end up choking on Let There Be Light.
In the end it doesn't matter HOW God created the cosmos. Only that He DID it at all.
Our pastor did a long series on church doctrine. Five(?) of the things were not up for debate. God is Creator and sovereign. Jesus was crucified for our sins and raised in victory from the dead. Jesus is God (and the Holy Spirit - Trinity), we are all sinners. (I think I forgot one!)
He did a sermon on creation. He said that while it is NOT up for debate that God is the Creator, one may have varying opinions on how He created things. He gave various examples of different ways that God may have created the earth - ranging from six 24 hour days, a longer time period of 6 major eras, evolution, etc.
He said that his personal thinking at the moment (subject to change) was that it was 6 major eras, an old earth, and God using natural processes but guiding them at certain critical instances. Much like He could control the wind on the sea. (I have a similar belief).
Although he said “While I think that geology points to an old earth - God created Adam as an adult man - who is to say that God didn’t create the earth as an “adult”?
He said at this level of doctrine, while it can vary among Christians, one should be able to articulate what it is that they believe and why they believe it. And to discuss with other Christians in order to grow in your knowledge of God, and of course even change your beliefs regarding creation and other types of topics.
An interesting thing about that part of the book is that Daniel was appalled by the visions God gave him, and yet accepted them as truth nevertheless. God doesn’t pull any punches in that regard. And once you know the truth, you see how ugly the world really is.
I guess that qualifies as what is called "intelligent design" today.
“And there was light”. If you could slow down time into frames of Planck seconds, would there be any interesting details involved between that and Him saying “Let there be light”? We weren’t specifically told.
“Denying evolution” has nothing to do with the rest of your screed. BTW evolution, for obvious reasons, is still a Theory.
Your pastor is wise. This is not an easy question and it’s complicated by people who want to divide up everyone into two neat camps and then quickly dismiss the other camp without actually dealing with the complexity of the arguments.
There exegetical problems embedded right in the text—ancient ones that way predate Darwin. Like what is a day without the sun? Does God saying “Let the waters produce...” indicate some kind of mediation?
St. Augustine knew nothing of Darwinism, but he looked at this text and was very deferential to it...not understanding a lot of it and not wanting to solidly commit to an interpretation that he may have been wrong about. He was humble and modest enough to realize he didn’t know everything.
We should all do the same, whatever our stance.
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
What exactly do you mean by “evolutionary thinking”? Are you referring to the origin of life? Or to one species changing into another? Or are you rejecting the whole philosophical concept, and saying nothing can ever evolve—like Latin into Italian for instance?
The Five Solas are five Latin phrases that summarize the Reformers’ basic theological beliefs in opposition to certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. They are:
Sola Scriptura (scripture alone): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
Sola Fide (faith alone): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
Sola Gratia (grace alone): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
Solus Christus (Christ alone): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
Soli Deo Gloria (to the glory of God alone): We live for the glory of God alone.
Gravity and Evolution is a ridiculous comparison.
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