Is “Belief in a Young Earth the Only Way to Salvation”?

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The New York Times on November 25, published an article on the modern biblical creation movement. The Creation Museum/Answers in Genesis received a few mentions in the article. However, I wanted to deal with one statement in the article that had the writer done just a little bit of homework, she would have found it not to be true!

The writer, Hanna Rosin, stated concerning the Creation Museum:

“The museum sends the message that belief in a young earth is the only way to salvation. The failure to understand Genesis is literally ‘undermining the entire word of God,’ Ken Ham, the founder of Answers in Genesis, says in a video. The collapse of Christianity believed to result from that failure is drawn out in a series of exhibits: school shootings, gay marriage, drugs, porn and pregnant teens. At the same time, it presents biblical literalism as perfectly defensible science.”

Note particularly the statement: “belief in a young earth is the only way to salvation.” Even if a Christian believes in an old earth (and even theistic evolution), they would know that such a statement is absolutely false. The Bible makes it clear that, concerning Jesus Christ, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). When the Philippians jailer in Acts 16:30 asked: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas (in verse 31) replied “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

In Ephesians 2:8–9 we are clearly told: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” And Jesus Christ stated: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”

As one walks through the Creation Museum, no where does it even suggest that “belief in a young earth is the only way to salvation.” In fact, in the theatre where the climax of the 7 C’s walk-through occurs, people watch a program called The Last Adam. This is one of the most powerful presentations of the gospel I have ever seen. This program clearly sets out the way of salvation—and it has nothing to do with believing in a young earth.

As I often tell people in my lectures, Romans 10:9 states: “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” By confessing “Jesus is Lord,” one is confessing that Christ is to be Lord of one’s life—which means repenting of sin and acknowledging who Christ is. The Bible DOES NOT state, “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead—AND BELIEVE IN A YOUNG EARTH—you will be saved”!

So, it should be obvious to anyone, even our opponents, that this statement in the New York Times is absolutely false. Sadly, I have seen similar statements in other press articles—and it seems no matter what we write in website articles, or how often we answer this outlandish accusation, the many in the press continue to disseminate this false accusation, and one has to wonder if it is a deliberate attempt to alienate AiG from the mainstream church!!

I believe that one of the reasons writers such as Hanna Rosin make such statements is because AiG is very bold in presenting authoritatively what the Bible clearly states. People sometimes misconstrue such authority in the way Hanna Rosin has. It is also interesting that people who don’t agree with us often get very emotional about how authoritatively we present the biblical creation view—they dogmatically insist we can’t be so dogmatic in what we present!! It’s okay for them to be dogmatic about what they believe, and dogmatic about what we shouldn’t believe, but we can’t be!!!

In my lectures, I explain to people that believing in an old earth won’t keep someone out of heaven if they are truly “born again” as the Bible defines “born again.” Then I’m asked, “Then why does AiG make an issue of the age of the earth—particularly a young age?” The answer is that our emphasis is on the authority of Scripture. The idea of millions of years does NOT come from the Bible; it comes from man’s fallible, assumption-based dating methods. If one uses such fallible dating methods to reinterpret Genesis (e.g., the days of creation ), the one is “unlocking a door,” so to speak, to teach others that they don’t have to take the Bible as written (e.g., Genesis is historical narrative) at the beginning—so why should one take it as written elsewhere (e.g., the bodily resurrection of Christ). If one has to accept what secular scientists say about the age of the earth, evolution, etc., then why not reinterpret the resurrection of Christ—after all, no secular scientist accepts that a human being can be raised from the dead, so maybe the resurrection should be reinterpreted to mean just “spiritual resurrection.”

The point is, believing in a young earth won’t ultimately affect one’s salvation, but it sure does affect what those that person influences believe concerning how to approach Scripture. Such compromise in the church with millions of years and Darwinian evolution etc., we believe has greatly contributed to the loss of the Christian foundation in the culture.

AiG’s Mark Looy has written a web article on this New York Times piece which I encourage you all to read. Mark’s article also references a couple of other recent secular media reports on AiG/Creation Museum.

Well, despite such false accusations as in this Hanna Rosin New York Times article, the Creation Museum continues to receive great press around the world.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying.

Ken

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