Archive for July, 2012

Yahoo ran a story on Thursday about the Creation Museum halting in their plans on building a replica of Noah’s Ark. Apparently they have wanted to do this for some time, but attendance at the museum has been dropping over the years and they credit the recession for reason that it has been so hard to raise funds.

            This article however, is not to talk about the Creation Museum’s struggles but rather the response to the article.

 

            The writer gives a pretty evenhanded review of the situation the museum is in, but it was the comments after the article that grabbed my attention.

            I read about thirty or forty comments and all but ONE were pointing out how stupid creationism was. Of course there was variance amongst the comments, from downright mean-spirited attacks to humorous downplaying of creationist beliefs. I’m okay with this, I really am, although I’m sure there are a few (like the Amazing Atheist) that would disagree, but those few (should we call them Fundamentalist Atheists?) who have so angrily latched onto their beliefs that they do not promote civilized discourse, I really don’t care about their opinion because it’s just based upon pure bias (and that goes for Fundamentalist Christians as well, this is an issue that is confined to one philosophy or way of thinking, but that subject is for another day).

            So my concern is not that people are speaking their mind, but as to what their mindset is. Again, I have no complaint with people thinking differently than me, for a society that allows only one way of thinking is truly not free, I am only concerned with what that line of thinking brings out in a person, and culminates as a society.

           

            Even though the study itself cited a Gallup poll that 49% of people still believe that God created the world without any evolution, is that really a number we as Christians should be proud of? The answer of course is no, but the percentage of people who thought creationism was dead wrong was in the high 90%. Now if I had gone through all the pages of comments I probably would have found a better ratio than the one I am currently talking about, but the percentages are not the point of this post, just the motivation to write this post.

            The fact is, Christianity has lost in the culture wars, and we are now playing, catch-up. I am not saying that it is bad that we are playing catch-up, we have to, otherwise any shred of Christianity will be swept away in the tide of Humanistic Materialism that pervades our society. But we need to realize the situation that we are in so that we may properly address it. What I mean by this is that we need to stress the Gospel and not the Creation Story.

            I am not taking anything away from what Kent Hovind, Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis, or the Creation Museum are doing, their work is necessary and is great for the edification of believers, but is it exactly the best for reaching out to the lost?

           

            I am also not saying that the Creation Story does not play an important role in the Gospel, it does, but it is not the Gospel. Jesus, when he give his first recorded sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, does not start out with the Creation Story, but actually with what moral conduct should be. The main reason for this is that his audience was Jewish and familiar with the Creation Story. However, when one looks at Jesus’ sermons or at the letters written to the New Testament Church, the Creation Story is not the main thrust of their argument, it is the Gospel.

            The only possible exception is the Gospel of John, which starts with the Creation Story: 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 anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shined in darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1-5)

            So we have a really basic Creation Story, but the whole point of telling us the story was so that we would realize the beginning of the Gospel; the good news that Jesus has redeemed a fallen world to himself.

            To have a proper understanding of the Gospel we need to know the Creation Story, but it is as C.S. Lewis said about understanding everything that causes our salvation; that we need not know how every single thing in Christ sacrifice redeemed us, we need only know and believe that it did redeem us, just as one who eats does not need to know how the food nourishes us for the food to nourish us. The best Bible verse that epitomizes this thinking, and hence the Gospel is Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

            The whole point of everything I said in this post was not to demean the importance of the Creation Story or those who teach about it, it is very important; I am merely trying to point out that it doesn’t matter how well we present, how well we word our speeches, how much we advertise or spend on the Creation Story; many people will not be able to wrap their head around a concept of a literal six-day creation, many will think it silly.

            It is a stumbling block, for good and for ill, especially in our evolution-centric society we live in. The victory then is not found in how many people believe in a creator who made the universe, but a savior who rescued them from the moral quagmire their soul was in.

            There will still be those who will laugh and mock and taunt no matter what we say, but if we have preached the Gospel to them, well the ball is in their court now and there is nothing we can force them to do. All we can do is preach the Gospel, and preach we must. People who are saved will accept the Creation Story, but people who accept creationism do not necessarily believe in a savior, as exemplified by the Gallup quoted earlier which said the 36% percent of those polled believed in a creator but that he used evolution to progress the universe’s existence.

            This is the battle we are fighting, a battle against a false but seductive philosophy, and we must fight it with facts, but only way to destroy its grip upon our country is to preach the gospel.

Fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12)