Well, how are you all faring during this war? Yes, it has been a 6,000-year war that will rage until Jesus comes.
The Bible uses a lot of military language (such as Paul describing us as soldiers) in teaching us about the spiritual battle Christians are in. For example, Ephesians 6:13 says,
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Just as God took David and made him a soldier (as David states in Psalm 144:1), so God provides us with spiritual armor to fight against spiritual enemies. He tells us how to put armor on and gives us boldness to fight the enemies:
Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle. (Psalm 144:1)
Now, having said that, we have an enormous problem in dealing with this battle. I’ll share two recent, sad examples that illustrate this problem that is rampant in the church. It’s a much more destructive pandemic than one caused by a virus. To me, 1 Corinthians 14:8 sums up the problem:
And if the bugle [trumpet] gives an indistinct [uncertain] sound, who will get ready for battle?
The trumpet was by far the most frequently used instrument in the Bible. The Jews and many nations made use of musical instruments, particularly the trumpet, to gather the soldiers together to engage in battle. The ram’s horn trumpet used by ancient Jews is called a shofar. The shofar was used in war so the soldiers would know when a battle would begin. Because the shofar had a distinct sound, a person would use this on top of a hill so the soldiers could hear the very distinct, clear sound. (We had someone blow on a shofar for the opening ceremony of the Ark Encounter.)
The allusion in 1 Corinthians 14:8 is that Christians are soldiers in this spiritual battle raging around us. We need to be giving forth a clear, distinct sound, so people hear the message being broadcast. And that message for us is to go to war using the “sword of the spirit” (Ephesians 6:17), which is the truth of God’s Word and its message of the saving gospel.
That’s why we’ve always positioned Answers in Genesis as an evangelistic biblical authority ministry. We are zealous for standing uncompromisingly on the Word of God.
That’s why we’ve always positioned Answers in Genesis as an evangelistic biblical authority ministry. We are zealous for standing uncompromisingly on the Word of God. Our ministry emphasis has never been to make it a priority to proclaim a young earth. We proclaim the truth of God’s Word. Now, as a consequence of our stand on biblical authority, we certainly stand for a young earth. Christians who believe in millions of years and other evolutionary ideas are taking man’s beliefs about the past and using them to reinterpret the Word of God to try to accommodate them into the Bible.
We get passionate about battling such compromise because it undermines the authority of God’s Word. Sadly, such compromise is rampant in the church in the West, and therefore the church has been sending an uncertain (indistinct) sound to people, particularly the younger generations. This has been a major reason as to why so many of the younger generations have left the church and been indoctrinated in a secular worldview. This has had a major detrimental impact on the culture, as we now see a secularized worldview of moral relativism dominating the West.
This is why Answers in Genesis has always had a major emphasis on calling the church back to the authority of God’s Word in Genesis. So many (not all, of course) church leaders (including many Christian academics at most college, seminaries, etc.) have compromised God’s Word in Genesis with millions of years and evolution (geological, biological, anthropological, and astronomical).
The more the younger generations were taught to take man’s ideas from outside the Bible and reinterpret God’s clear Word in Genesis to accommodate them, the more they started doing this with man’s ideas about sexuality, gender, abortion, etc. Now we see many in the church being soft on the LGBTQ movement and other issues that fly in the face of clear biblical teaching. This has become a real pandemic in the church, which is now being reflected in the ugly state of the culture.
I want to give you specific, recent examples so you can understand the extent of this pandemic of compromise and accommodation that is undermining God’s Word. These examples reveal why the church in the West is in big trouble. Of course, the gates of hell will not prevail against God’s true church. But the institutional church in the West is in big trouble with the loss of the younger generations, declining church attendance, and being looked on by much of the culture as increasingly irrelevant (or “non-essential” as we saw in recent times). I hope the following examples shock all of us into realizing we must deal with this pandemic.
William Lane Craig of Reasonable Faith is a well-known apologist for the Christian faith and looked up to by many in the church. He is Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology (a seminary associated with Biola University in California) and Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University. In a recent online video called “What Degree of Evolution Do You Allow for Given the Genesis Account,” Craig was asked a question about evolution and Genesis. Here is how he answered:
William Lane Craig: “I think that the creation of Eve out of Adam’s rib is almost undeniably figurative language, rather than describing an actual surgery that took place with this rib floating in the air and then being formed into a woman.”
I think that it’s perfectly possible scientifically that Adam and Eve were de novo creations out of inanimate materials rather than out of preexisting hominins. But given that we’re dealing here with a mytho-history, I’m not at all confident that that’s true, in fact, quite the opposite. I think that the creation of Eve out of Adam’s rib is almost undeniably figurative language, rather than describing an actual surgery that took place with this rib floating in the air and then being formed into a woman, and even God’s creating Adam out of dirt and then blowing into his nose again seems to be very, very, anthropomorphic and figurative.
So, I think that the narratives of Genesis 1, given their genre, leave it open as to how God created Adam and Eve, and that makes it a scientific question, and when I look at the question scientifically, I think that the similarities that human beings exhibit genetically to chimpanzees, particularly broken genes that we and chimpanzees both seem to have inherited from the last common ancestors that have no function anymore, suggests that we do share an evolutionary origin with human beings and that God used a preexisting hominin who was non-human and merely animal, not in the image of God, as the stuff as it were out of which then he created the first human beings, and this probably involved some sort of regulatory genetic mutation induced by God in these hominins and the creation and infusion of a rational soul into them to make them truly human.
What’s wrong with many Christian leaders and much of the church? The above quote is what is wrong. Sadly, this very influential leader in Christendom has told people they can take man’s pagan religion of evolution (and that’s exactly what it is) and reinterpret God’s Word to merge it into the Bible. Now when I get passionate about challenging Craig’s worldview (and others like him who compromise God’s Word), some people in the church get upset with me and say we are questioning their salvation and attacking them personally. They say he does great work defending the faith against atheists, for example. But I’m not questioning his Christian faith or saying he hasn’t challenged atheists.
What I am doing is challenging people like Craig—no matter how qualified they are from this world’s perspective—that they are undermining the authority of the Word of God. And in the long run, for all the good that he does, this undermining is destructive. This kind of compromise is what has greatly weakened the church in the West over the past 200+ years and resulted in a primarily lukewarm church (with exceptions, of course). This is a church leader giving that uncertain sound 1 Corinthians 14:8 is talking about that has resulted in people not preparing for battle but rather surrendering to the secularists.
Another recent sad example comes from a video and podcast from VeggieTales creator, Phil Vischer. Vischer states (as a photo of me and the Creation Museum appear on the video):
Hey, old currents of fundamentalism are resurgent. The desire to declare war on our enemies, the rejection of mainstream science, the belief that the world is out to get us, the longing for an idealized past while downplaying, or entirely ignoring, racial injustice. (https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=395172145032962)
Now by “rejection of mainstream science,” he is particularly referring to our stand on a young universe and rejection of millions of years. I challenged Vischer about this on social media, and so he followed up with a podcast with himself and three cohosts. Here is what was discussed at one stage during the podcast titled “Ham on Phil”:
Male Host: You know, I think what messes people up is probably . . . not the thought of a more longer timeline for creation . . . I think what messes people up is, if you’re right, or if Ken Ham is wrong, then the world suddenly becomes more complicated . . . Then the way to fix the problems in the world becomes more complicated.
Female Host: Yes!
Male Host: Then raising children becomes more complicated.
Female Host: It does!!
Male Host: Then being a Christian becomes more complicated and there’s a lot of people out there who just want things simple, and what Ken Ham is really selling people is not a theological interpretation of Genesis, what he’s selling them is simplicity.
Female Host: Yes!!!!
Male Host: Selling them a very simple way of understanding everything wrong in the world, and how to keep yourself safe and your family in the midst of it. And in that regard, this is gonna get me in trouble, I would argue that’s a false gospel.
Female Host and 2nd Male Host: Oooohhh!!!!! 2nd Male Host: Why would you say that?
Male Host: Because the good news is not that God created the world in seven days, 6,000 years ago. The good news is that he came and dwelt among us as his son took away our sins on the cross, rose from the dead, and we put our trust in him as a person not in one person’s interpretation of Genesis.
Female Host: Amen! Preach it brother!!!! Boy, he can sum it up so much better than I can!!!
The issue of the age of the universe is an emotional one for them, as they don’t want to be seen as going against what they call “mainstream science.” They look on what we teach at AiG as being “simple”—because it is! We take God’s Word as written in Genesis, and it really is quite “simple” or straightforward to understand. That is not a “false gospel.” But again, this whole battle is over the authority of the Word. Who is the authority: God or man? And once again, they are giving an “indistinct” (uncertain) sound that sadly is destructive to the church.
We’re unashamed of the stand we take on a young earth, the flood, biblical marriage, the sanctity of human life, and how we deal with moral issues (LGBTQ+).
I recently sounded a distinct call to the staff of Answers in Genesis. I underscored how the clear affirmations within our statement of faith are built on the authority of the Word of God. We’re unashamed of the stand we take on a young earth, the flood, biblical marriage, the sanctity of human life, and how we deal with moral issues (LGBTQ+). Because I think you’d be encouraged by this presentation, I invite you to view it at the following link: Answers.tv/stand
We decided this year our theme at AiG would be “Waking Up the Church.” Really, that’s been one of our themes for every year of our existence, but we are going to do even more than we’ve ever done to call compromisers in the church to account—and to call the church back to the authority of the Word of God.
Will you help us continue to create AiG resources, update the exhibits/teaching at the Ark and Creation Museum, and expand our marketing to reach more people? With your prayerful and financial help, we will not only continue to engage in the business of the King, but we’ll do our very best to engage even more than we ever have. Please help us to give that distinct and certain sound louder than ever!
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.