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I Am Ashamed ...

by Dr. Terry Mortenson on January 1, 2007
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"I just finished watching “Millions of Years: Where Did the Idea Come From?” for the second time in as many days. Dr. Mortenson nearly brought us both [the wife, too] to tears..."

As a speaker and writer with AiG, I get all sorts of correspondence. This one arrived by email and was from a former pastor. He said:

I just finished watching “Millions of Years: Where Did the Idea Come From?” for the second time in as many days. Dr. Mortenson nearly brought us both [the wife, too] to tears.

Both of us are Christian college and seminary grads who NEVER had anyone but progressive creationist or theistic evolutionary professors. Your case for a biblically grounded hermeneutic with respect to Genesis was well made, cogently articulated, and more than a little scary.

Thank you for your EXCELLENT lecture. It kept gaining intensity from the truth you proclaimed as you went further into it!

In a follow-up email he went on to explain that: “Although raised to believe in a literal Genesis, my education in a leading Christian college and academically top-flight evangelical seminary convinced me that I would have to accept ‘millions of years’.” He then told me he was ashamed to admit that although he believed the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, he had for years told his church that the age of the earth doesn’t matter … as long as we affirm the literal creation of Adam and reject Darwinian evolution.

In the early 1990s, one of his laypeople persuaded him to have AiG President Ken Ham speak in his church. He testified that “while I found his biblical creationism engaging and strangely persuasive, the depth of my indoctrination into the ‘millions of years’ view kept me from doing any follow-up investigation on my own.”

So he just continued on in his compromised view that the age of the earth doesn’t matter. As the question of origins became more of a public debate, he found it more difficult to ignore the issue.

After hearing that two of his favorite theologians, Dr. Albert Mohler and Dr. R.C. Sproul Sr., advocated the young-earth view and then remembering how impressed he was with Ken’s talk years ago, he found his way to the AiG website and began purchasing materials to study. The truths he learned radically changed his view. We praise God that he is one of an ever-increasing number!

A few weeks ago after I had spoken in a church in Illinois, a lady in her 70s told the pastor: “I’m so ashamed that it took me this long to realize that the Bible is true.” Just before my seminar she had actually told the pastor’s wife: “You can’t really believe all the Bible.”

Such is the faith-shattering impact of the belief in millions of years. Hearing the truth of Scripture—and some of the scientific evidence that confirms that truth—liberated her.

The age of the earth is a vital doctrine. It’s important because acceptance of millions of years:

  • contradicts Genesis’ clear teaching about the age of the earth. (The days of creation were literal days because Genesis 1 defines them as such in verses 5 and 14, Genesis 1 numbers them and associates them with “evening and morning;” Genesis 5 and 11 teach that those days were only about 2,000 years before Abraham, who lived 2,000 BC);
  • undermines the Bible’s teaching that Adam’s sin brought death to the human race (and animals) with God’s curse on the whole creation;
  • undermines the gospel message that Christ came to die to solve the problem of sin and redeem the whole creation from the Curse;
  • assaults the character of God (the God described in the Bible could not use a creation process that involved millions of years of death, disease, and extinction of animals for no moral reason … and which He then called “very good”);
  • involves the acceptance of anti-biblical philosophical/religious assumptions that are at the root of this millions-of-years idea.

Our just-released New Answers Book has chapters dealing with the important subjects of radiometric dating, why Christians shouldn’t accept millions of years, and the fact that Jesus was a young-earth creationist.

May our Creator help each of us not to cave in to the cultural pressure to accept the false belief in millions of years. Let’s not be ashamed to believe His holy Word from the very first verse and to proclaim its truth with boldness and graciousness.

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