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Originally published in Creation 6(2):18, November 1983
Most people have the wrong idea of what the creation/evolution question is all about. They don’t understand the real issues involved and think that evolution is a scientific theory.
Evolution, however, is not a scientific theory; it is a belief system about the past. We don’t have the past; we only have the present! All the fossils, all the living animals and plants, the world, the universe -everything exists in the present. We cannot test the past using the scientific method (which involves repeating things and watching them happen), since all evidence we have is in the present. Evolution is a belief about the past which describes the way some people think the evidence came to be here in its present state.
It is important to understand that by definition, creation is also a belief about the past which describes the way in which the evidence in the present came to be. The difference is that we base our understanding of creation upon a book which claims to be the Word of One who knows everything there is to know about everything-who was there and who is able to tell us what happened. On the other hand, evolution comes from the words of men who were not there. This whole issue revolves around whether we believe the words of God who was there, or the words of men (no matter how qualified) who were not there.
Many think of scientists as people in white lab coats objectively searching for the truth. But scientists come in two basic forms, male and female, and they are just like you and me-they have beliefs and biases. Bias determines what you do with the evidence; the way in which you think certain evidence is more relevant or important than other evidence. Scientists, then, cannot be objectively searching for the truth in this matter. They are therefore not neutral. They all start with beliefs which determine what they do with the evidence.
As we look around the world today, we see things happening which are disturbing and alarming to Christians, because they are largely unable to understand why they are happening. We see more and more marriages breaking up, people not bothering about marriage, an increase in homosexuality and lesbianism, families not functioning in the way they used to, children not coming or not being sent to Sunday School like they used to. There is a great increase in disrespect for authority, and lawlessness is ever on the rise.
Things occur which were unheard of a generation ago-e.g. a school in Australia featured a display of ‘good art’ by the students, which consisted of the carcasses of two dead cats stuck inside a frame, as well as some dead, rotting seagulls hanging by their necks from the ceiling as a mobile!
The Church is not as effective as it once was. With few exceptions, it is either just maintaining itself or, in many instances, running down. People find it hard to evangelise. Evangelists don’t get the response of previous years. Why not?
To begin to understand this, we must first of all consider the relevance of Creation from Genesis. In John 5:46-47, we read of Jesus Christ’s words, ‘For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?’ Then in Luke 16, Jesus quotes Abraham as saying (v.31), ‘If they don’t believe the writings of Moses, they are not going to be persuaded even if one rose from the dead.’ Both references underline the paramount importance placed on the writings of Moses, beginning with Genesis. In Acts 28:23, we read that Paul in Rome preached unto them Jesus from Moses and the prophets. These are all references to the writings of Moses, and in particular there is one book of Moses which is referred to more often in the rest of the Bible than any other book. The book of Genesis is referred to, or quoted from, in the rest of the Scriptures more than any other. But in Theological and Bible Colleges, in Christian and non-Christian circles, which book of the Bible is the most attacked, mocked, scoffed at, kicked, stood on, thrown out, allegorised and mythologized? It’s Genesis! The book that is quoted from more than any other is the one that is most attacked, disbelieved, or ignored. Why is that so?
If you want to destroy Christianity, destroy the foundations which are established in the book of Genesis.Psalm 11:3 states, ‘If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ If you destroy the foundations of anything, the structure will collapse. If you want to destroy any building, the best way is to destroy the foundations. Likewise, if you want to destroy Christianity, destroy the foundations which are established in the book of Genesis. Is it any wonder that Satan is attacking Genesis more than any other book?
The Biblical doctrine of origins, as contained in the book of Genesis, is foundation to all other doctrines of Scripture. Refute or undermine in any way the Biblical doctrine of origins, and the rest of the Bible is undermined. Every single Biblical doctrine of theology, directly or indirectly, ultimately has its basis in the book of Genesis. Therefore, if you do not have a believing understanding of that book (not just believing it is true, but believing and understanding what it says), you cannot hope to attain full understanding of what Christianity is all about. You are fooling yourself if you think you understand what Christianity is all about if you don’t understand the book of Genesis. Why do I make such statements? Well, the meaning of anything is tied up with its origins. If you want to understand the meaning of anything, you must understand its origins -its basis. Genesis is the only book that provides an account of the origin of all the basic entities of life and the universe-the origin of life, of man, of government, of marriage, of culture, of nations, of death, the chosen people, of sin and clothes: so it goes on and on. The meaning of all these things is dependent on their origin. In the same way, the meaning and purpose of the Christian gospel depends on the origin of the problem for which the Savior’s death was and is the solution, as we shall see later.
If you are not a Christian, consider these questions. ‘Are you married? Why? Do you believe it is a man, for a woman for life? Why not six wives? Or six husbands? What happens if your son comes home and says, ‘Dad, I am going to marry Bill tomorrow’? Would you say, ‘You can’t do that, son! It’s not the done thing!’? ‘Yes it is, Dad. There are even Churches that will marry us.’ If you are not a Christian, what will you say to your son?
Consider why you wear clothes. Is it to keep warm? What then if you live in the tropics? Is it to look nice? If these are your only reasons, why wear clothes? Why not take them off if you want to, where you want to? Does it really matter if you go nude publicly? Ultimately, the only reason for insisting that clothes must be worn is if there is a moral reason. If there is a moral reason, it must have a basis somewhere, and therefore there must be standards connected to the moral reason. What then are the standards? Many girls in our culture (including Christians) just accept the fashions of the day, (e.g. show off their bodies and breasts). Parents, what about the training of your children? What do you say to them about clothes?
Consider another area. What do you tell your children about laws? Perhaps you tell them some things are right and some are wrong, but do you ever explain to them where right and wrong came from? Would you say we have right and wrong because God has given us laws? If so, why is that? Why does He have a right to say what is right and what is wrong?
Or, suppose someone came up to you and said, ‘You Christians are saying that we need Jesus Christ, that we need to confess our sins. What is sin? Why do we need Him anyway? Besides, God can’t be who He says He is. If He is, like you say, a God of love, look at all the death and suffering in the world. How can that be?’ What would you say? Sadly, the average Christian could not answer any of the above questions in defense of his faith. Because Christians cannot answer these questions adequately, they cannot pass that information on to their children who in turn cannot pass it on to the next generation. The net result is generations of wishy-washy Christians who believe in many things but are not sure why. They have beliefs in marriage, in wearing clothes, a belief that some things are right and others wrong, and a belief in Jesus to save them from their sin-but ask them why and they don’t really know. Yet, the Lord commands us in 1 Peter 3:15, ‘… be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you …’ Let us consider these point by point.
When Jesus was asked concerning divorce in Matthew 19, He immediately referred to the origin of the basis of marriage. He said, ‘Haven’t you read that He that made them in the beginning made them male and female?’ and then said, ‘For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.’ Where did He quote from? Genesis. In fact, He quoted from Genesis, chapters 1 and 2 in the same verse-for those who wrongly say Genesis 1 and 2 are two different accounts of Creation! What He was saying was this: ‘Don’t you understand- the reason for marriage is that there is a historical basis.’ If we didn’t have this historical basis, we wouldn’t have marriage. This is why, if you are not a Christian and you believe in marriage, you are being totally inconsistent because you have no basis for it. The only basis is in the Scriptures. You can say it is convenient for you, but you can’t tell your son he can’t marry Bill. You would have no justification. Now if we go back to Genesis, we read how God took dust and made a man. From the man’s side He made a woman. They were one flesh. Adam’s first recorded words were, ‘She is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh.’ They were one flesh. That is why, when you get married, you become one, because it has this historical basis. If it didn’t it couldn’t be so. Also you are to cleave to one another just as if you had no parents. Just like Adam and Eve who had no parents. We know it is to be a heterosexual relationship. Why? Because God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Bruce. He made a man and a woman. That is the only basis for marriage, and that’s why we know that homosexual behaviour and desire is evil, a perverse and unnatural deviancy. It is time the Church stood up against the increasing acceptance of homosexuality as somehow natural or normal or as an ‘acceptable alternative.’ Paul couldn’t write about homosexuality in the way he does in Romans if he didn’t have that historical basis.
What about the rest of the teaching on marriage? There is another aspect which has to do with the family and it is the reason many Christian families go to pieces or the kids go astray. In the majority of Christian homes today it is usually the mother who teaches the children spiritually. What a shameful thing it is that the fathers have not taken on their God-given responsibility! When you look at the biblical roles given to fathers and mothers, it is the fathers who are given the responsibility of providing for their children, providing the family’s spiritual and physical needs (Isaiah 38:19). Mothers are just as much to blame for taking it on themselves. One of the things that happens as a result of this role reversal is that the sons often stop coming to Church, though the daughters may keep coming. Then the Christian girls have no Christian boys to marry, and so end up disobeying the Lord by marrying non-Christians.
Many girls go to the mission field, but not many males. A major reason why there are so many problems in Christian families today is that fathers have not taken on the responsibility of being priests in their household as they are commanded. A father is to be a priest to his wife and children. It is not however a boss relationship where men despotically lord it over women. Women’s liberationists think the Bible teaches that in marriage, the idea of a woman having to be in subjection to her husband, means that he is boss in a tyrannical sense. Unfortunately, many Christians think like this also. However, it doesn’t mean that at all. Anyone who uses these Biblical role-absolutes to justify one person seeking power over another has somehow missed the whole message of Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:21, Jn. 13:5). If you do not adopt the God-given roles set out in Scripture, you will find that your family will not work.
If you are not a Christian and you believe in marriage, just remember you have no basis for it. You are being totally inconsistent and you could never justify to your daughter why she should marry a man nor to your son why he should marry a woman.
Why do we wear clothes? If there is a moral basis, you have a reason. If there is no moral basis, there is no reason except perhaps convenience. But there is a moral basis if you go back to the Scriptures. We read in Genesis that when God made Adam and Eve they were naked. But sin came into the world, and sin distorts anything. Sin distorts nakedness. Immediately Adam and Eve knew they were naked, and they tried to make a pair of pants out of fig leaves. They still saw their nakedness. God came and killed animals and gave them coats. This was the first blood sacrifice. It was a covering for their sin. The same word for these animal-skin coats is used of the priest’s coat. It means a complete covering or ‘atonement.’
Now, let’s be realistic on these issues. Men are very easily aroused sexually. That is why semi-naked women are used in T.V. advertisements, etc. Parents need to explain to their daughters how easily a man is aroused sexually by a woman’s body. They need to know, because many of them do not understand what happens to a man, and you need to tell them.
The New Testament says that if a man lusts after a woman in his heart, he commits adultery in his heart. (Sin distorts nakedness). Many Christian girls go bra-less and wear clingy T-shirts or wear clingy clothes to show off their breasts or sexual parts. You can see the boys’ eyes follow them around. But what is happening? Many of those fellows are committing fornication or adultery in their hearts for which they and the girls will have to answer.
What we should say is this—there is a moral basis for wearing clothes, because of what sin does to nakedness. We must understand how men are created, that they were designed to be easily aroused sexually and respond to one woman this wife, and this was and is necessary for procreation in marriage. Therefore, clothing should minimise to the greatest extent any stumbling block laid in a man’s way. But a man is no less guilty if he succumbs to the ‘second look.’ Don’t simply accept the fashions of today. There is a moral basis for clothing. Therefore, there are standards. Knowing what men are like and knowing what sin does to nakedness, you thus have a basis for understanding what the standards should be.
In many Christian homes the parents have certain beliefs about marriage and clothing. They say to their teenagers, ‘You can’t wear that.’ The teenagers reply, ‘But why not?’, ‘Because it is not the Christian thing’, answer the parents. ‘Why not?’ ask the teenagers again. ‘Because Christians don’t wear that,’ the parents insist. ‘Why not?’ the reply comes. And so comes a real imposed legalism. What a difference it makes when the parents use Genesis as a basis to explain to their children why they must do this or that with regard to marriage, clothing, etc., rather than parents saying, ‘This is what you will do,’ and imposing it on their children with no basis.
That is why we have absolutes, why there are standards, and why there is right and wrong.Why is there right and wrong (e.g. The Ten Commandments)? Remember the story in Matthew 19 when the man came to Jesus and said to Him, ‘Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’ Jesus replied, ‘Why do you call me good? There is none good but one, that is God …’ How do you decide if something is right or wrong or good or bad? God, the only one who is good, created us and therefore owns us. Thus, we are obligated to Him and we must obey Him. He has a right to set the rules. He knows everything there is to know about everything (i.e. has absolute knowledge), and therefore we must obey. That is why we have absolutes, why there are standards, and why there is right and wrong.
Now, if you are not a Christian and you think some things are right and some are wrong—why do you think like that? You have no basis for such a decision. Where do you get your standards from? How do you decide what is good and bad? Most of the non-Christians who believe there is right and wrong are practicing the Christian ethic but they haven’t the basis for it.
The evolutionary philosophy says, ‘There is no God. All is the result of chance randomness. Death and struggle are the order of the day, not only now but indefinitely into the past and future.’ If this is true, there is no basis for right and wrong. In the book of Judges we read that when they had no king to tell them what to do, they all did what was right in their own eyes. When there is no absolute authority, you can do whatever is convenient to you. And if people start believing in a world view called evolution, they are going to say, ‘There is no God. Why should I obey authority? Why should there be rules against aberrant sexual behaviour? Why should there he rules against abortion? After all, evolution tells us we are all animals. So, killing babies by abortion is the same as chopping off the head of a fish or chicken.’
Missionaries were sent to New Guinea because there were many so-called pagan and primitive people there. Missionaries recount that in one tribe, which has since ceased to be cannibals, men would race into a village, grab a man by the hair, pull him back, tense his abdomen muscles, get a bamboo knife and slit open his abdomen, pull out his intestines, cut up his fingers, and while he was still alive, eat him until he finally died. People hear that and say, ‘Oh, what primitive savages!’ They were not primitive savages! Their ancestor was a man called Noah. The Indians’ ancestor was a man called Noah, the Eskimos’ ancestor was a man called Noah. Your ancestor was a man called Noah and Noah had the knowledge of God and could build ships. His descendants could make musical instruments, build a big tower, and practice agriculture. What happened to the New Guinea natives is that somewhere in their history, as Romans 1 tells us, they rejected the knowledge of God and they were turned over to foolish, perverse and degenerate things.
However, this same degeneracy can be seen in so-called civilised nations that cut people up alive all year long-one and a half million of them in the U.S.A. each year—and it is legalised. This is what abortion is -cutting people up alive and sucking out the bits and pieces. If you talk with people in Bible studies about abortion, they will often say, ‘What do you think?’ ‘What if my daughter was raped?’ or ‘What if the embryo was known to be deformed? What do you think? What is right in your eyes?’ That’s humanism. Christians who say this, don’t understand what the Bible is all about. It is not just a book which we add to our life and thinking. Our thinking must start with that book, the Bible.
Your bias determines the framework for your world view. That is why the Bible must be the basis for locking ourselves into the right framework. That is why you must start there. Because we have an absolute, i.e. One who knows everything, He can give us the basis for coming to the right conclusions about anything in this world. Christians should start with what our absolute tells us in order to understand these things. If we go to our absolute, we only have to read Psalm 51, Psalm 139, and Jeremiah 1, to find that at the point of conception we receive a God-consciousness and a sinful nature that distinguishes us from animals. At the point of conception we are human-thus abortion is murder and there are no other options. Do Christians make a stand on that? Why does Paul say, ‘Stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught …’ (2 Thess. 2:15)? Do we stand fast or do we waver? Do we think that we have no right to impose our views on society? What we are seeing in our society today as a result of the evolutionary philosophy, is an outward expression, in more and more of its naked ferocity, of the rejection of God and His absolutes. Thus the increasing popularity of abortion.
What is the gospel message? When God made man, He made him perfect. He made the first two people, Adam and Eve, and placed them in the Garden of Eden where they had a special, very beautiful relationship with God. When He made them, He gave them a free will—they could choose—and they chose to rebel against God. This rebellion is called sin. All sin comes under the banner of rebellion against God and His will. As a result of that rebellion in Eden, a number of things happened. First, man was cut off from God. That separation is called spiritual death. On its own, the final effect of this would have been living forever in our sinful bodies, eternally separated from God. Imagine living with Hitler and Stalin forever! Imagine living in a horrible sinful state forever. But something else happened. Romans 5:12 tells us that as a result of man’s actions came sin, and as a result of sin came death; but not just spiritual death, as some theologians claim. To confirm this, you only have to go to 1 Cor. 15:20 where Paul talks about the physical death of the first Adam and the physical death of Christ, the last Adam. Or Genesis 3, where God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden so that they would not eat of the tree of life and live forever. Physical death as well as spiritual death resulted from their sin.
Why did God send death? Three aspects of death should be considered carefully:
1. God, as a righteous judge, who cannot look upon sin, had to judge sin. He had warned Adam that, ‘dying, thou shalt die.’ The curse of death placed upon the world was and is a just and righteous judgement from God who is the judge.
2. One of the aspects of man’s rebellion was separation from God. The loss of a loved one through death shows the sadness of the separation between those left behind and the one who has departed this world. This parting should remind us of what sin did and how great a gulf has occurred between God and man as a result of sin. When we consider how sad it is when a loved one dies, it should remind us of the terrible consequences of sin which separated Adam from the perfect relationship he had with God. This separation was passed on to all of mankind.
3. Another aspect of death which many people miss is that God sent death because He loved us so much. God is love, and, strange as it may sound, we should really praise Him for that curse He placed on us! God did not want man to be cut off from Him for eternity because of his rebellion. Imagine living in a sinful state for eternity, separated from God! But He loved us too much for that so He did a very wonderful thing. In placing on us the curse of physical death, He provided a way to redeem man back to Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, who suffered that curse on the cross for us. ‘He tasted death for every man,’ (Heb. 2:9). By becoming the perfect sacrifice for our sin of rebellion, He conquered death. He took the penalty which should rightly have been ours at the hands of a righteous judge, and bore it in His own body on the cross.
All who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour are received back to God to spend eternity with Him. Isn’t that a wonderful message? THAT IS THE MESSAGE OF CHRISTIANITY. Man forfeited his special position through sin, and as a result God placed upon him the curse of death so he could be redeemed back to God. What a wonderful thing God did! On Good Friday, we remember Jesus being nailed to the cross, thus saying ‘No’ to what Adam did. On Easter Sunday, we remember His rising from the grave, which says ‘yes’ to mankind.
The evolutionary process is one of death and struggle, cruelty, brutality and ruthlessness.But evolution destroys the very basis of this message of love. The evolutionary process is one of death and struggle, cruelty, brutality and ruthlessness. It is a ghastly fighting for survival, elimination of the weak, and of the deformed. This is what evolution is all about—death and struggle bringing man into existence: death over millions of years. It is an onward, upward ‘progression’ leading to man. Yet, what does the Bible say in Romans 5:12? ‘Man’s actions led to sin, which led to death.’
In other words, evolutionists would say death and struggle led to man’s existence. The Bible says man’s rebellious actions led to death. These statements cannot both be true. One denies the other-they are diametrically opposed. That is why the compromisers who claim to hold both positions at the same time (e.g. theistic evolutionists) are destroying the basis of the gospel. If life formed in an onward ‘progression,’ how was man to fall upward? What is sin? Sin then becomes an inherited animal characteristic, and is not due to the fall of man through disobedience. The many Christians who accept the belief of evolution and add God to it, destroy the very foundation of the Gospel message they are professing to believe.
Even the atheists realise this, as seen in the quote from the article by G. Richard Bozarth entitled, ‘The Meaning of Evolution.’ from ‘The American Atheist,’ September 1978, page 19: ‘… Christianity is-must be -totally committed to the special creation as described in Genesis, and Christianity must fight with all its full might, fair or foul, against the theory of evolution … It becomes clear now that the whole justification of Jesus’ life and death is predicated on the existence of Adam and the forbidden fruit he and Eve ate. Without the original sin, who needs to be redeemed? Without Adam’s fall into a life of constant sin terminated by death, what purpose is there to Christianity? None.’
As the atheist Jacques Monod (noted for his contributions to molecular biology and philosophy) said in an interview broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Commission on the 10th June, 1976 as a tribute to Monod and entitled ‘The Secret of Life’, ‘… selection is the blindest, and most cruel way of evolving new species, and more and more complex and refined organisms … the more cruel because it is a process of elimination, of destruction. The struggle for life and the elimination of the weakest is a horrible process, against which our whole modern ethic revolts. An ideal society is a non-selective society, it is one where the weak are protected; which is exactly the reverse of the so-called natural law. I AM SURPRISED THAT A CHRISTIAN WOULD DEFEND THE IDEA THAT THIS IS THE PROCESS WHICH GOD MORE OR LESS SET UP IN ORDER TO HAVE EVOLUTION’ (emphasis added).
Original sin, with death as a result, is the basis of the gospel. That is why Jesus Christ came and what the gospel is all about. If the first Adam is only an allegorical figure, then why not the second or the last Adam, Jesus Christ? If man didn‘t really fall into sin, there is no need for a Saviour. Evolution destroys the very foundations of Christianity because it says that ‘death is a part of life’. Now, if you lived in a skyscraper, and if there were people underneath that skyscraper with jackhammers hammering away at the foundations, would you say, ‘So what?’ That is what many Christians are doing. They are being bombarded with evolution through the media, the public school system, T.V., the papers, and yet they don’t even react. The foundations of the ‘skyscraper’ of Christianity are being eroded by the ‘jack-hammers’ of evolution. But, inside the skyscraper, what are many Christians doing? They are either sitting there doing nothing or they are throwing out jack-hammers and saying, ‘Here, have a few more! Go destroy our foundations!’ Worse still, theistic evolutionists (those who believe in evolution and the Bible) are actively helping undermine the basis of the gospel. As the Psalmist asked in Psalm 11:3, ‘if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ If the basis of the gospel is destroyed, then the structure built on that foundation (e.g.: the Christian Church) will collapse. If Christians wish to preserve the structure of Christianity, they must protect its foundation and therefore actively oppose evolution.
Evolution also destroys the teaching of the new heavens and the new Earth. What are we told about the new heavens and the new Earth? Acts 3:21 says there will be a restoration (restitution). That means things will be restored to at least what they were originally. We read about what it will be like. ‘… They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.’ There will be no violence! ‘The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them … and the lion shall eat straw like the ox’—i.e. vegetarian! (Isaiah 11:6-9).
In Genesis we find that man and the animals were told only to eat plants. They were vegetarians. Only after the flood was man told he could eat meat. So they were vegetarians and there was no violence before Adam sinned. Some people object to the claim that the first creatures were vegetarian by saying that lions have sharp teeth which were created to eat meat. Is that necessarily so? It is what you were taught in school! What we should say is that the lion’s sharp canine teeth are good for ripping. The same teeth that are now good for ripping up other animals could have been used for ripping up plants. According to God’s Word, lions were vegetarian before the Fall and will be once again in a future paradise. By the way, ‘meat-eating’ animals can still be vegetarians. Dogs and cats will survive quite well on a balanced diet of vegetables, so perhaps you are wasting your money feeding them meat. Also, the Bible does not exclude the possibility of direct action by God at the time of the Fall (and in the future restoration) having a direct biological effect on the creatures in relation to feeding habits, etc.
To believe in evolution is to deny a universal Paradise before Adam, because evolution necessarily implies that before Adam there was struggle, cruelty and brutality, animals eating animals, and death! Is the world going to be restored to that? If you believe in evolution, you must deny a universal Paradise before Adam and so also at the end of time. Thus evolution strikes at the heart, the foundation of Christianity. We should be out there doing something about it. Many of us have been hoodwinked into thinking that evolution has to do with science and that you need to be a scientist to do anything to combat it. But evolution is a belief system and you don’t need to be a scientist to combat it.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.