Does It Really Matter What You Believe About Creation?

The scientific world has long been embroiled over the question of origins. How did it all start? What event put this universe and all its vastness and complexity into existence? Where did we come from? How did we get here?

There are really only two explanations. One is that the whole universe in all its amazing complexity gives ample evidence of “Intelligent Design” in every aspect of its creation, from astronomy to the structure of the living cell. The other is that this universe is the product of mere time and chance in which all matter and space as we know it came into being. It theorizes that life came from non-life, with random, non-directed chance mutations evolving into the infinite, beautiful and complex arrangement of living things that we see around us today. This theory is, of course commonly called “Darwinian Evolution”.

It is easy to see that there is no middle ground between the two views, and historically, Christian churches have held to the biblical record of special creation by an all-wise God. He designed and then created “all things [out] of nothing, by the word of His power, in the space of six days, and all very good” (to use the words of our Reformed Baptist Shorter Catechism).

But sadly, many evangelical churches and church leaders have compromised on this matter where there is no need to do so[1], and where compromise is nothing less than a deadly attack on both the gospel and Jesus Christ.[2]

Churches that take the view that God “used evolution” to create life (and man particularly), often still maintain in their faith statements that “God created man in His image”, but then accept and teach “progressive-creation” or “theistic-evolution”. In other words, they willingly deny the historicity of Genesis, which means that they really do not believe what the Bible teaches on this subject!

Now, while a secular scientist, or any other non-Christian, is free to hold such a position, it is wrong for any Christian, and deceitful for a church or church leader to do so. One local evangelical church board was challenged by one of their members (who since left), on why they held to this compromised view and the response was that if they held to the biblical view they would lose people! They were trying to reach the university and college crowd, and felt they couldn’t do that if they upheld the Bible’s teaching on creation.

Is that right? Is that how a Christian church should operate? Should any church set their standards of what they believe and teach as God’s truth by the standards of how many people will attend or leave their congregations? Preposterous!

So then, back to our question. Does it really matter what we believe about the Genesis record of creation?  I remind you that for Christians, the Bible is to be “the final authority in all matter of faith (what we believe), and practice (how we live).”[3]

Let’s consider what the apostle John says in 1 John 5:9,10.

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of His Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

And what is that record that God gave of His Son? The next two verses say:

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

You can only have eternal life through Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

The Lord Jesus Himself puts it like this in John 14:6

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

So salvation from our sins, going to heaven and spending eternity with God can only come through Jesus Christ. It is of supreme importance therefore to know Him. And the only way we can, is through the record that God gave of His Son – in the pages of Scripture. It is in the pages of Scripture we find out who Jesus is.

This fact was so important to the apostles and gospel writers that under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they put into writing the essential truths about Jesus Christ so that we could know Him and put our trust in Him. It would be to our eternal detriment to believe in the ‘wrong’ Jesus. We must believe in the Christ of the Bible if we would be saved.

Now when John ends His gospel record he makes an amazing statement.

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:30,31)

The Gospel of John is the gospel that is most often given and used in soul-winning evangelism. John says it was written with the purpose that those who read it “might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God,” and that in believing they would have eternal life “through His name”. John’s gospel gives us many details about Jesus Christ. But, he says, there were many other things about Jesus that he left out of the account. John is not implying that those “missing details” weren’t important, but rather that he was limiting himself to writing down those things about the Lord that were necessary for us to know in order to believe in the Christ of God and have eternal life!

But how did John start his gospel record about the Lord?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3)

John makes it abundantly clear that, (a) Jesus Christ is God, and (b) that He made (created) all things! In other words, when a person is convicted of being a sinner; when the Spirit of God has impressed upon them that they are guilty of breaking the law of God, (which is the very definition of sin), and therefore they stand condemned by that law and the penalty of eternal punishment in hell; and then they hear about a Saviour who died as a Substitute in the place of sinners, whom the Bible tells us was none other than Jesus Christ, the same Spirit of God works faith and repentance within them and they repent of their sins and turn to God, believing that Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient for them.

But the Jesus who died for sinners is also the Creator who made all things. It is highly inconsistent to willfully deny what the Bible says about Jesus Christ as Creator but choose to accept what it records about Him as Saviour! To do so is to put your faith in a false Christ; a Christ that is not revealed in the record that God gave of His Son. And that, John says, is to “make God a liar”.

My friend, if you cannot trust the Bible to speak the truth about creation, how can you trust it to tell you the truth about salvation? If your church leaders are not willing to tell you the truth about the Christ who created you, what other lies about Jesus Christ may they be giving you? To press the point further, how can you be sure that they are not preaching “another Christ” and “another gospel”? You can’t. And that’s the issue that is at stake here.

Paul warned the Corinthian church of those who would preach “another Jesus” contrary to the Jesus of revealed truth, and “another gospel”, which was not the saving gospel of God.  This is not a side-issue of non-importance. It is crucial, so very crucial to knowing God and believing that what He wrote was true – absolutely true.

Truth always comes at a price. Proverbs 23:23 says, “Buy the truth and sell it not”. You have a decision to make. And that decision will cost you. It may cost you friends, esteem in the eyes of others, and the church you attend. But you cannot choose to not decide. If you are in a church that denies the biblical record of creation, or if you hold to a non-biblical view of origins you must make a decision. Will you continue to accept the constantly changing teachings of men, or will you humble yourself to receive the Bible as those early Christians at Thessalonica did?  They

received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God. (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

I believe the Bible is God’s record of truth. I also hold to the London Baptist Confession of Faith, which really is just the historic position of Christianity, (not just Baptists – the Westminster Confession and others state the same). We believe, in the words of our confession, that, in the beginning it pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, to create or make the world, and all things therein, whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days, and all very good.[4]

So, does it really matter what you believe about creation? Let me ask the question slightly differently. Do you think it really matters what you believe about Jesus Christ, whom the Bible says created everything?

My prayer for all who read this is that God will give you the gift of faith, and the grace to come humbly before the mighty Lord and believe Him, worship Him and glorify Him who created you, sustains you and is able to save you.

As always, questions and comments are welcome.

[1] There are thousands of scientists who believe the world as we see it is best explained in the context of the biblical account of creation and a universal flood.

[2] Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me” (Matt 12:30). There is no compromise concerning Him or His word.

[3] Included in the Statement of Faith of many churches.

[4] London Baptist Confession (1689)

(Note: This article first published Dec 3, 2013)