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Brought Back to Christianity By Compromise?

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In a previous post, I responded to a claim that young-earth creationists are lying to children, and when our children realize they’ve been lied to for years, they will leave the Christian faith. Well, a recent blog from BioLogos (a theistic evolutionist group) hints at this argument, but also lumps old-earth creationists into the mix.

In this blog, Brad Kramer, the content editor for BioLogos, says that as a child he was full of questions about the Bible in the book of Genesis. Originally, he states he was given resources promoting young-earth creation from Answers in Genesis and others, but in response, his aunt, a biology teacher, introduced him to resources by Hugh Ross. Hugh Ross is a progressive creationist who, while denying biological evolution, compromises on the age of the earth and the global Flood, among other things. Kramer states, “The more I learned about creation and Genesis, the greater my dedication to the common cause of every creationist: defeating the evil empire of evolution.”

Kramer claims that in high school he realized that “actual evidence existed for evolution,” and as a result, he “stopped believing in the God who apparently had lied to me through his Word.” Eventually, people helped convince him that he could accept the Bible and evolution. He was introduced to the framework hypothesis (the idea that Genesis 1 is not historical narrative but poetry) at Tim Keller’s church, and he realized that he could accept the Bible and evolution. He then went to seminary and now works for BioLogos, an organization that espouses theistic evolution and denies a historical Adam and Eve, among other things.

Today, Kramer, as a theistic evolutionist, instead of critically examining the supposed evidence for evolution he was given in light of God’s Word, he chose instead to trust the fallible opinions of men over God’s Word. Now he spends his life telling people they can compromise the Bible with evolution.

Stopped Believing in God

So what was it that caused Kramer to basically stop believing what God tells us in Genesis? Of course, we don’t know the circumstances surrounding this man’s childhood. Was he taught to see the Bible as the authority in all areas? Did those around him teach him to test everything in light of God’s revelation and to be like the Bereans who “received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so”(Acts 17:11)? The fact that he was given Hugh Ross materials that compromise on the age of Earth and a global Flood suggests that the Bible was not seen as the ultimate authority in all areas for him. But, what we do know is that Kramer has now decided to place his trust in man’s fallible word over God’s perfect Word in the area of origins and Earth’s history.

This sad story reminds me of the national survey conducted by America’s Research Group (headed by respected market researcher and behaviorist Britt Beemer) in my coauthored book Already Gone. My book explains why two-thirds of young people are leaving the church by college age. It ultimately came down to biblical authority starting in Genesis. Today’s churches are not giving answers as to why we can believe the Bible, particularly in Genesis 1–11. Instead, churches are compromising with the fallible opinions of men over God’s infallible Word. If we cannot trust God’s clear words in Genesis (due to compromise teaching that many churches are promoting and/or not giving a defense for the hope that is within us), then why should we trust the gospels? That is the conclusion many young people are coming to—which is why we need to tell them why we can trust the Bible as our authority in every area.

Although some people who believe in evolution/millions of years will stay in the church, many do not—and those who do compromise as they stay in the church sadly are contributing to others having doubts about God’s Word and ultimately rejecting it.

Evolution, Millions of Years, and God's Word

Kramer was clearly struggling to believe in God’s Word due to evolution and millions of years. In his reconciliation of his faith and man’s ideas, this young man heard about this compromise position of accepting millions of years and evolution at Tim Keller’s church.

Tim Keller is a well-known pastor whose church is known for setting a high standard of participation in the community. He’s a very evangelistic Bible teacher who’s eager to reach others with the gospel. But, rather than stand solidly on the Bible from the beginning, Pastor Keller has chosen to accept man’s teaching over God’s clear words. I’ve written about Tim Keller’s beliefs about Genesis before, and you can read that here or at this Facebook post, and you can read Keller's own words on the issues as well.

Instead of giving Kramer answers from God’s Word as to why we can trust the Bible in Genesis, Keller and his church have been teaching that you can accept man’s ideas about origins, even when those beliefs clearly contradict Genesis, thus leading people to reinterpret Genesis in light of man’s ideas. While Kramer’s becoming a professing Christian is certainly worthy of rejoicing, he is now spreading the lie of evolution and millions of years to others. As I will explain, Kramer’s belief in millions of years and evolution is inconsistent with and contradictory to God’s Word, and that teaching—which is being promoted by so many churches—is a main reason for the erosion of biblical principles in America.

The Problem of Compromise

Now it is important to note that it is ultimately the Holy Spirit who saves, not arguments or apologetics. But if we teach that you can accept man’s fallible ideas over God’s Word in Genesis, then what is to stop people from accepting man’s faulty opinions on the rest of the Bible? In fact, compromising Genesis actually undermines the gospel of Jesus Christ! Yes, a Christian can believe in the lie of evolution and millions of years, but that Christian is replacing the foundation of the gospel as taught in Genesis with a lie.

But you see, the Bible’s account of history is plain and clear. It is only because of a desire to harmonize man’s ideas with God’s Word that anyone “sees” (or, rather, adds!) millions of years in the text. Now, just because the Bible’s account of origins is true doesn’t mean that every person who is exposed to it will accept it. Some young people who have been taught the Bible’s account of history are still going to choose to accept man’s views over God’s. This is a sad reality in our sin-cursed world. Satan is very clever at baiting people to doubt God’s Word with “Did God really say…?” (Genesis 3:1) and many people are deceived by his lies. So, some people, even within the church, choosing to disregard part of God’s truth isn’t wholly unexpected. But for those who do chose to reject the Bible’s account of origins, there are thousands and thousands who decide to stand boldly on God’s Word and reject man’s fallible ideas about the past. We praise God for these bold Christians and pray for those Christians who have been deceived by the attractive lies of the world.

But, if biblical creation is wrong and we are lying to children—as so many old-earthers claim—then it is not we who are lying, but God. This is the point we have emphasized over and over again. If you can’t trust God’s clear words in Genesis, then how can you trust God’s clear words in the gospels? Two-thirds of our young people—a huge majority—are leaving the church, and one of the major reasons is because they doubt God’s Word. We are seeing a dramatic shift in our culture’s thinking as it openly embraces anti-biblical behaviors such as abortion,  homosexual behavior, and other flagrant immorality.

As one young lady told me, “I was a new Christian, and the pastor of the church I started attending preached a message stating that we can reinterpret Genesis to fit in evolution and millions of years. I went up to him after his sermon and asked him when in God’s Word did God start telling the truth!”

Christians who refuse to stand on Gods Word in Genesis, like those at Tim Keller’s church who taught Brad Kramer to accept both evolution and the Bible, are (probably without meaning to) helping to erode any trace of a biblical foundation in our culture. They are sadly doing great damage to our society and it will hurt people. Now, this doesn’t mean that Christians who compromise on Genesis will never be able to accomplish anything for God or won’t be able to lead people to faith in Christ. They can and do. But looking at the big picture, by refusing to stand on the authority of God’s Word at the beginning, they are opening up a door that is only being pushed wider each day, to reject the rest of God’s Word. If God can’t be trusted when He was crystal clear in Genesis, then how can we trust Him when He’s crystal clear about the sanctity of life or marriage? Our culture doesn’t agree with the Bible in these areas, so should we just reinterpret God’s Word to fit our culture’s popular ideas? Sadly, many Christians are actually advocating this kind of an approach to the Scriptures as more and more of the church rejects God’s Word in various areas.

While we do not question Kramer’s salvation, we would like to point out the inconsistency of accepting man’s views of origins that completely contradict the Bible and force you to reinterpret it and put it through interpretive gymnastics, and yet accept the gospel message as written found in the same Book. If you can’t trust one part, why can you trust other parts?

But we can trust God’s Word in Genesis—from the very first verse. What we see in nature—such as animals reproducing according to their kinds, billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth, genetic evidence that there’s only one race, and so on—confirms what the the Bible teaches about Creation, the Flood, and the Tower of Babel. We can trust the gospel, because we can trust Genesis.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken

 

This blog was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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