Did you know that pastors are human, and are susceptible to influences?
The world (e.g., the secular media) constantly screams to me as a pastor that the literal six-day creation is just a Bible story and that our teaching it does not fit with the facts. Secularists (and some compromising Christians) tell me the fossil record took millions of years to form and it proves that our view of origins is wrong.
Frankly, who likes to feel embarrassed, ashamed, out of date, and unscientific? Slowly many Christians (yes, including pastors) unconsciously soothe these uncomfortable feelings by adopting views contrary to the literal text; they end up accommodating the world’s views by reading them into the Bible. Some clergy accept the idea that God used “goo-to-you” evolution; others compromise by believing that God created in spurts over millions of years.
But what does this do to the gospel? In both of these compromises, the need for the Cross of Christ is severely undermined because both of these views accept that physical death existed before Adam sinned.
When a Christian’s view of history places death before Adam’s sin, they disregard the clear account in Genesis 1–3 that death was a consequence of Adam’s sin. In the old earth compromise view held today by many Christians (including so many of my fellow pastors), death and suffering existed before and preceded Adam’s sin.
But this redefines all that the New Testament teaches on the cause of death. The Scripture makes it clear in Romans 5:12 and in 1 Corinthians 15:20–22 that death—physical death—is the result of Adam’s sin.
The Bible says the work of Christ on the Cross was to remedy the effects of Adam’s sin. Jesus subjected himself to a torturous physical death, was placed in a physical tomb, and rose physically from the dead—showing His complete power and victory over the effects of Adam’s sin (1 Corinthians 15:3–4).
If death existed before Adam sinned, then the work of Christ on the Cross did not speak to the issue of physical death!
Please think about this very carefully. If death existed before Adam sinned, then the work of Christ on the Cross did not speak to the issue of physical death! The work of Christ is redefined, undermined, and robbed of its fullness and effect. If Adam’s sin only brought spiritual death and not physical death, did Christ’s Cross only remedy spiritual death? Most certainly not! If that were true, why would there even be a need for Christ’s physical death and resurrection? And is not Christ’s physical resurrection the very basis of our hope of a future physical resurrection?
If we say we are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Answers in Genesis’s theme for 2010), then to be consistent, we dare not be ashamed of what the Bible tells us about the necessity of the Son of God giving His life for us. And it is connected to the book of Genesis.
There was a real Adam who sinned, and physical and spiritual death were the consequences. Jesus came—praise Him—to remove this consequence. To accept and believe in a literal Adam is to chart a course to literally what Jesus did for us. Over the years, AiG has consistently taught that if there were not a real Adam, then why would there even be a need for a Savior?
When you identify this absolute link between the sin of Adam and the death of Christ on the Cross, you realize the subtleness of Satan’s work, too. For if he openly attacked the Cross, we pastors would be up in arms! But Satan came in the back door and attacked the credibility of the Genesis record, and through false science brought a view into the church that undermines the authority of Scripture. When Christian leaders question the accuracy of the text, a literal six-day creation, and a young earth, this indirectly undermines the Cross!
I am not ashamed of the gospel; as a pastor, neither can I be ashamed of what the Bible tells me really happened in the beginning.
As we have recently welcomed the one millionth visitor to come through the doors of our Creation Museum, I am greatly encouraged to know that so many people have been unashamed to visit this Bible-upholding and gospel-presenting Creation Museum. I only wish that more Christians—and pastors—would understand how critical it is to not be ashamed of anything God has told us in His Word!
(Editors’ note: see today’s blog post by Ken Ham for an example of a southern Baptist professor compromising the authority of God’s Word by accepting millions of years.)