Pope Francis is not the first religious leader who has endorsed evolution and the big bang, but he is certainly one of the most influential.
Following in the tradition of other recent popes, Pope Francis has compromised biblical authority in favor of man’s ideas in the area of origins. He said, “The Big Bang, that today is considered to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the creative intervention of God; on the contrary, it requires it. Evolution in nature is not in contrast with the notion of [divine] creation because evolution requires the creation of the beings that evolve.”
About the account of creation in Genesis, the pope stated, "When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so . . . God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life . . . Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” Additionally, Pope Francis said that “God is not afraid of new things.”
Now, of course God is not a “magician.” Nothing in Scripture ever hints that He is—especially not in the creation account. Scripture portrays God as the all-powerful Creator who is capable of making anything, whether that’s creating the universe out of nothing, parting the Red Sea, saving people from a fiery furnace, walking on water, or raising the dead! God even says the following:
Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? (Jeremiah 32:27)Because God created nature and natural laws, He alone has power over them. The God of Scripture who can do anything* (Job 42:2; Matthew 19:26) is absolutely able to create out of nothing, just as He said He did: “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). And most importantly, God does not change (James 1:17).
In this instance, Pope Francis, like so many other religious leaders, is putting man’s word above God’s Word. And not only that, he’s also going so far as to say that only a magician with “a magic wand” could create the way that God said He created in Genesis! Frankly, this shows a lack of understanding of who Scripture claims God is—the all-powerful Creator (Isaiah 44:24) who is capable of doing what is impossible to man (Matthew 19:26). Sadly, this view of God is rapidly spreading even throughout the Protestant church.
A statement made by the pope earlier this month at a conference about homosexuality and divorce further shows how this leader views God and His Word: “God is not afraid of new things.” What the pope and many other religious leaders are saying is that God—and His Word—is open to change as society’s opinions change. But is this what God’s Word teaches? Absolutely not. In His Word, God says, “I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6) and “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19). Of Scripture, God says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35) and “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
God and His Word are not open to arbitrary change simply because society changes as it is influenced by false religions.** God’s Word “endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25) and is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16) regardless of the generation.
Think about it: if God and His Word are open to change, then God’s Word is not an authority on anything—man becomes the authority because he gets to decide when and how God’s Word applies. This is simply a recycling of the same old lie from the Garden of Eden, “Has God really said . . . ?” (Genesis 3:1, NIV). Sadly, religious leaders all around the world are falling for this lie and choosing to reinterpret God’s Word based on man’s fallible ideas. By and large, God is not the authority anymore—sinful man is. But it is God’s Word—not man’s word—that is truth (John 17:17).
I encourage you to pray that church leaders like these will realize that they are placing man’s opinions above God’s Word and that they will repent and trust God’s Word, beginning in Genesis.
Also, please read these articles that discuss the problems with trying to harmonize the Bible with the supposed big bang and evolution: “Does the Big Bang Fit with the Bible?” and “Couldn’t God Have Used Evolution?”
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
* God can do all things in accord with His holy will. In other words, God cannot deny His own nature, for example.
** The religion that affects the church the most today is the religion of secular humanism which teaches the big bang, billions of years, and evolution. Sadly, many Christians today take these tenets of another religion and try to add it to their Christianity.