We want to make Christians aware of the destructive effects that evolutionary ideas and a belief in millions of years have on the gospel, the church, and scriptural authority.
Every so often, I think it’s important to remind people of what the core message is at Answers in Genesis. In fact, our message can be found in a book I wrote 25 years ago and recently updated and revised, titled The Lie: Evolution/Millions of Years.
At AiG, we want to make Christians aware of the destructive effects that evolutionary ideas and a belief in millions of years have on the gospel, the church, and scriptural authority in the culture as a whole. Now, the “lie” is more than evolution or millions of years. It speaks to a deeper issue—one that has plagued humanity since Adam and Eve took that first bite of the forbidden fruit. It begins with the question, “Did God really say … ?” (Genesis 3:1). I like to call this the “Genesis 3 attack” of our age—one that causes people to question what God has revealed to us. We are warned in 2 Corinthians 11:3 that Satan will use this same Genesis 3 attack on us as he did to Eve—to make us disbelieve the Word of God.
When sinful human beings believe the lie that God’s Word is not authoritative, we put ourselves in a position of authority over God, disregarding and even rewriting His Word. Our culture is answering the question “Did God really say … ?” with a resounding “No!” Those who question His Word are denying the full authority and accuracy of the Bible from its very first verse. This has had devastating effects on our culture.
The dismissal of Genesis as a literal account of Creation and the Flood hurts church doctrine. Every major doctrine of Scripture is ultimately (directly or indirectly) found in Genesis, so when believers dismiss Genesis 1–11 as myth or as unreliable, on what foundation can biblical doctrines stand? We are left with human opinions, which at the root are just man’s ideas lifted up as an authoritative standard over God’s Word. Thus, humans can make doctrines mean whatever they want them to mean.
It is clear that the lie of evolution and millions of years, which permeates the entire world, is the foremost Genesis 3 attack of our day. When a Christian accepts the secular belief of millions of years, he is really blaming God for death, suffering, bloodshed, and disease. Why? The idea of millions of years came out of naturalism—a belief system to explain the fossil record. Secularists claim the fossil layers over the earth were laid down slowly over millions of years before man appeared on earth. The fossil record is one of death, disease (e.g., brain tumors, cancer, and arthritis are found in fossil bones), and suffering—all supposedly before humans existed. However, the Bible tells us that after man was created, God called everything “very good.” God would certainly not call brain cancer very good!
Also, the Bible is clear in Genesis 3:18 that thorns came into existence as a result of the Curse. Yet in the fossil record there are many examples of fossilized thorns. So how could such fossils have existed before the Curse?
One of the most devastating effects of believing the lie of evolution and millions of years is that both of them teach our children that the Bible cannot be trusted as it is written. As we discovered in the research for my coauthored book Already Gone, two-thirds of young people are walking away from the church by the time they reach college age. The majority of these young people do not believe that Genesis 1–11 is accurate or reliable, or they have at least been led to doubt the history in Genesis in some way. In fact, many church leaders compromise on Genesis by mixing evolution and/or millions of years with Scripture. When they do this, they are essentially teaching our children that the Word of God is fallible and that man’s word is infallible. Our children suffer the most from the results of such thinking.
As I have stated many times, believing in evolution and millions of years is not a salvation issue. But it is an authority issue. We have seen a generational loss of regard for biblical authority in our culture. The result is that the dominant worldview is changing from a primarily Christian worldview to a secular worldview with its moral relativism. This is really a fault of church leaders for not standing on biblical authority, thereby losing the coming generations to the world.
Actually, the evolutionary worldview with its millions of years are the secularists’ way of explaining life without God, so it is no wonder that these anti-God ideas are some of the biggest barriers to people being receptive to the gospel of Jesus Christ. To remove these barriers, we must present the Bible as God’s authoritative Word, from beginning to end. We need to show people that they can trust God’s Word on creation and salvation—giving them answers (apologetics) to the Genesis 3 attacks of the day. Answers in Genesis is an apologetics organization raised up in this day and age to equip Christians with answers to the secular attacks on God’s Word, particularly in regard to the book of Genesis, and to challenge non-Christians concerning the truth of God’s Word and the gospel.
Genesis is foundational to the gospel. Many children in this culture grow up learning about the lies of evolution and millions of years, so they never gain a proper foundational understanding of Christianity. This is one reason why it is important to present the gospel from the very beginning of Scripture, especially for those who have a naturalistic worldview.
For such people, they need to comprehend why they are sinners. They need to understand the origin of sin in Genesis. To understand why they need to be saved, they first must know they are lost—as the history in Genesis reveals. To know why Jesus died on the Cross for them, they need to understand that death is the penalty for sin—as recorded in Genesis. We need to use what we call “creation evangelism.” This type of evangelism involves presenting the gospel as God does in the Bible: by starting at the beginning, and also by providing answers to the secular attacks of our day on the history in Genesis. As a result of using this type of evangelism, many people have had their eyes opened to the truth of God’s Word and responded to the gospel.
Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul treated Genesis 1–11 as literal (Matthew 19:3–6; Romans 5:12–17; 1 Corinthians 15:45–49). They even affirmed that death entered the world through Adam’s sin. So were they lying or misinformed? Of course not! But if Christians believe the lie that Genesis cannot be trusted, they are paving the way for a questioning of the trustworthiness of the gospel message, and the barriers people have to the gospel will remain firmly in place.
As I was revising The Lie (first published 25 years ago), I said to myself (a number of times): “Wow. I’m using the same arguments from the Bible today as I was back in 1987 to counter the arguments of people in the church who compromise evolution/millions of years with the Bible.”
I put the book down and wondered why. But the answer quickly became clear. The Bible’s teachings haven’t changed. God’s Word remains the same today as it was yesterday. So, yes, if you stick with Scripture, the arguments against compromise don’t change!
Our theme at Answers in Genesis for the next two years is “Standing Our Ground, Rescuing Our Kids.” We need to do our best to rescue them from this evil age (Galatians 1:4). As Christians, if we want to leave a legacy of faith to our children and grandchildren, we must rescue them from the faith-destroying compromise happening all around us. To do this, we must restore the right foundation to the gospel—the authority of God’s Word from the very first verse—and stand our ground in defending the truth of the entire Bible. That’s the heart of the message at Answers in Genesis.
For related information about the core message at Answers in Genesis, I would recommend reading these articles:
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.