Monday, October 1, 2012

02 - What A Believer Should Believe About Creation

There are certain things that believers should believe about the creation of the world. Although the belief of a young earth and a literal creation isn't necessary as a prerequisite for salvation; once a believer learns what the Bible says about this topic, it requires their faith. Not knowing what the Bible says may be excusable, but knowing it and choosing not to believe it is not!

We Believe The Bible
The Bible is the inerrant, infallible, unchanging Word of the God Who cannot lie. Everything it says is truth, from the first verse of Genesis to the last verse of Revelation. In it, God's character is revealed and His acts are made known. Every believer should have complete faith in it's trustworthiness - after all, it is this very Word that brings salvation!

Sadly, instead letting God speak for Himself on the topic of creation, too many believers are taking outside ideas and reading them into the Bible. Whenever these compromising Christians see a contradiction between the secular interpretation of the natural world and what the Bible says - they feel free to butcher the plain reading of the Bible to preserve the integrity of fallen man's opinion. What audacity! It's simple, is God's Word true or isn't it? If it is, then it's completely true - there is no gray area here!

As believers, we have the responsibility to start with the Bible and line up our world view with what it teaches. This is true of the Old Testament as well as the New. We cannot embrace the spiritual concepts of the New Testament without first accepting the natural concepts of the Old. Jesus (God in the flesh) believed in a literal Genesis and a young earth, as did Paul. Peter wrote about an actual global flood, and Jude wrote of a real person named Enoch. Can you see that a historical Genesis was a major part of what the New Testament writers believed.

So it is important to know that when we are forming our worldview, we must start from the Word of God. When someones interpretation of evidence disagrees with the Bible, we as believers don't get a choice in what to believe!

Later on, we will see that no scientific evidence by itself disagrees with the the Bible - only a person's interpretation of that evidence. For example, the rock layers themselves do not disagree with the Bible, only the interpretation that those rock layers are millions of years. We, as Christians, don't deny the evidence of science - we simply have a different interpretation of that evidence!

When we start from God's Word, we can see that we won't have any problems with the real science - and this is true from the Bible's very first verse.

We Believe In God At The Very Beginning
Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning, God..."

The Bible never tries to explain God's existence, it simply asserts that He is. He always has been. There has never been a time when He hasn't existed - in fact, He was the one who started the clock of time!

Genesis 21:33 "Then Abraham...called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God."

Psalm 90:2 "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God."

God was. God is. God will always be. It's just that simple!


Werner Gitt and the Law of Information
A German engineer (and a young-earth creationist) named Werner Gitt developed a scientific law known as the law of information. Simply put, this law states that information - any kind of information - can only come from an intelligent source. When you think about it, this is a very simple concept. This law is the reason we can see the difference between an arrowhead and a pebble. It's the reason we appreciate a fine sculpture and not wind-eroded boulders. We understand and recognize when intelligent effort is used.

The law of information is seen in every part of our world. Think about this:
The earth is exactly the right distance from the sun; not too far, not too close.
It spins at the precise speed necessary.
Its atmosphere is the perfect balance of elements needed to support life
The moon is at exactly the right distance from the earth to control the tides
Of all the planets we've seen, the earth is the only one known to have water - vital to our survival.
Earth is truly a masterpiece of engineering!

But even the life on earth is wonderfully complex. Life's simplest building blocks are the cells. But, as simple as these structures seem - they are incredibly complex and organized! The simplest single cell is easily as complex as any one of our major cities. They each have hundreds of systems working together in complete harmony and precise order. As if that weren't enough, each cell works together with other cells to form the intricate organs, bones, muscles and tissues of every plant and animal species - as well as our own bodies. Each of us is made from 60 trillion of these complicated structures!

The center of each cell holds something even more amazing - DNA. DNA is like the program of the body. Each strand is capable of holding massive amounts of information. Amazingly, this information is coded, written in its own language! For decades, scientists have been working to understand our own DNA, but they are still far from being able to read what is written on it.

Just how much information does our DNA hold? If you were collect a single tablespoon of DNA, that tablespoon could hold enough information to fill 15 trillion CDs! That's 1.2 quadrillion (the number after trillion) megabytes of coded information - on a spoon! Even more amazing is the fact that the very code that is needed to read the information, is also written on the DNA! Without that one code, all of the rest would just be gibberish!

So who wrote all of this? This is a major issue with the theory of evolution. According to the law of information, the complex genetic code had to come from an intelligent source. Coding like this cannot write itself, just ask any one of the thousands of programmers we hire to write our computer codes. And yet we have something vastly more complex written on every part of our bodies! Someone had to write it!

As believers, we have no problem with this - because we believe, "In the beginning, God.."

We Believe That Creation Was Accomplished in Six Actual Days
Whether you simply read through the creation account in Genesis 1 or you study every word of it in depth - you would always get the impression of literal, 24-hour days. You would never develop the day-age theory when the Bible is your starting point. Sadly, this theory isn't an interpretation of God's Word, but an attempt to harmonize the secular theory of millions of years and the biblical account of creation.

Let's briefly examine again what the day-age theory proposes. In an attempt to make the Bible agree with the secular idea that the rock layers have recorded extremely long ages of time, a geologist named Arnold Guyot formed this theory. His taught that each day of creation wasn’t actually a 24-hour day, but a different “epoch in time.”

2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

Day-age theorists base their theory on this verse - claiming that this could mean that the creation week was actually six different ages of creation. They also bring out the fact that the Hebrew word for day (yom) doesn’t always apply to a 24-hour period of time. These two Biblical truths (the Hebrew word for day and 2 Peter 3:8), combine with a secular interpretation of the rock layers to form the pillars of the Day-Age Theory.

So What's Wrong With The Day-Age Theory?

We've already established that believers should always start from the Bible, and use what the Bible says to form their worldview. However, let's be clear about this - the very foundation of the Day-Age Theory (i.e. the idea that millions of years can be seen in the rock layers) is fundamentally flawed to begin with! When you see large fossils such as trees, whales, and others that are buried in several different rock layers - it's obvious that those layers could not have formed over millions of years. In fact, the very existence of a fossil implies a rapid, watery burial - covering the creature before it could decompose and decay.

It's obvious, then, that the supposed scientific argument for the Day-Age theory is unnecessary. But what about the Biblical arguments? It is true that 2 Peter 3:8 tells us that with God "one day is as a thousand years." Does this mean that the creation week was actually several long periods of time? Not at all! This verse has absolutely nothing to do with creation! Whatever ground they could have taken with the first phrase, is lost with the second: "...and a thousand years as one day." The point of this verse is that God doesn't see time same way we do - that's all!

It's also true that the Hebrew word "yom" doesn't always apply to a literal, 24-hour day. Sometimes it can mean an indeterminate amount of time. But, the Bible is always clear when it means a true day and when it means a period of time. If there is a number attached to the day ("the fourteenth day of the month" or "the spies searched the land for forty days") it is always talking about a real, 24-hour day. So when you look at Genesis 1 and see:
"the first day"
"the second day"
"the third day"
"the fourth day"
"the fifth day"
"the sixth day"
You don't have to wonder if they were real days! Using this law of interpreting "yom" we can see that these were simply "days."

But God makes this fact even more clear in Genesis chapter 1. A second rule for interpreting "yom" can also be seen in the scriptures. Any time this word is used with a time of day or a time of night - the word always carries the meaning of a 24-hour period of time. Look at these verses for example:
Exodus 18:13 "And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening."
Judges 20:26 "They sat there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening."
1 Samuel 30:17 "Then David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day."
When we see a time of day in each of these verses, we can be sure that the word "yom" is referring to an actual day and not a period of time.

Now, there are times when the word "yom" does mean a indefinite period of time. Phrases like "the day of judges" and "the day of trouble" are not talking about literal days. How do we know? Because there is no number attached to "yom" - and there is no time of day used in connection. There is no excuse for confusion on this issue, the Bible is always clear about what definition of "yom" is being used.

So what about Genesis 1? In addition to the six specific numbers that are attached to the days, there is always a time of day connected as well!
"There was evening and morning, the first day"
"There was evening and morning, the second day"
"There was evening and morning, the third day"
Every one of the six days of creation have a number and two times of day attached to them. So there are three times in each day that God made a point to show us that they were real days! How much clearer could He have been?

Let's use a little bit of common sense. If each of these days were actually long amounts of time - hundreds of millions of years - why would God make plants on day three, the sun on day four, and pollinating insects on day five? How long was this period of that the plants had to exist without the sun? And then, did they have to wait another long period of time before they had insects to pollinate them?

We Believe That The Beginning Was Around 6,000 Years Ago
Do you remember what every believer's starting point should be? The Bible! You see, the Bible isn't vague about when creation happened. There are strings of dates and lifespans that stretch from the fall of Jerusalem all the way back to the very first day of the world. We know that Jerusalem fell in 588 BC - so from there we can simply count up the years backwards to arrive at a creation date around 6,000 years ago. No matter what the secular world holds to be true, we believe the Bible!

What about the Gap Theory?
Genesis 1:1,2 "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."

We've seen that the Gap Theory has tried to force millions of years between these two verses. Their claim that God never makes anything formless and void has led them to invent an entire mythology. A world that existed before the creation week was inhabited by, a pre-adamite race of beings. These beings were ruled by Lucifer himself for eons of time. When he got puffed up with pride, he led a rebellion from earth to Heaven to fight against God. In response, God kicked Lucifer from heaven and sent a global flood to judge the world. This, they say, accounts for Satan's fall, demons (the disembodied souls of the pre-adamite beings), and the water-covered world of Genesis 1:2.

Many preachers and well-meaning Christians hold to this view of creation. It's taught in Bible colleges around the world. But very few believers know that its founder (Thomas Chalmers) developed it as a compromise with Charles Lyell's godless theory of an extremely old earth. The Gap Theory is not based on the Bible, but on a secular interpretation of the earth's rock layers. One well-known theologian said this after promoting the theory, "Let the rocks say what they may." In other words, "let's interpret the Bible so that it doesn't agree with the secular idea of millions of years."

There are two major arguments that Gap Theorists use to promote their theory:
1. "God never makes anything formless and void; therefore, something had to happen to cause it to be that way. The only other time the world was covered in water was when God judged the world in Noah's day. So the water-covered world could have been the result of judgement."
2. "God told Adam and Eve to 'replenish' the earth - meaning to fill it again. This means that the world was populated before Adam. This race of beings was probably wiped out by the flood of Genesis 1:2"
These arguments can sound convincing, but a closer look shows their flaws.

First, the state of the earth had nothing to do with judgement. The earth was formless because God hadn't formed it yet! It was void (or empty) because He hadn't filled it yet! Genesis 1:2 is not talking about a judged earth, it's talking about an unfinished earth - there's a huge difference!

Secondly, God never told Adam and Eve to "refill" the earth! The King James translated the Hebrew word "male" (mal-ay) as "replenish." But this is a poor translation of "male" - this word simply means to fill! In the Hebrew, there is absolutely no indication of mankind populating the earth again! They were simply told to fill the earth and bring it under their control.

There are actually much stronger arguments against the Gap Theory than for it.

For the first argument, look at what Ezekiel 28:13 says about Lucifer: "You were in Eden, the Garden of God..." Before he fell, Lucifer had been in the Garden of Eden. This means that he couldn't have fallen between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, because God created the Garden in Genesis 2 - on day six!

Now look at Jesus' own words in Matthew 19:4 - "And He answered and said to them, 'Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female?'" Jesus, quoting from Genesis 1, said that the creation of Adam and Eve was "at the beginning." This is easily understood if the creation of mankind occurred on day 6. But if Adam and Eve were created at the end of a long age of time (as the Gap Theory states) or during the final era of creation (as the Day-Age Theory states), then this statement doesn't make sense. Clearly, Jesus believed in a straight-forward reading of Genesis, with Adam and Eve created at the beginning of the world.

What About Radiometric Dating?
Too many Christians are easily swayed by the so-called "dating methods" used by secular scientists. They seem to under the impression that these dates are literally stamped on the rocks and are indisputable. The fact is, every radiometric dating method is fallible and riddled with assumptions

In simple terms, radiometric dating measures how quickly a unstable radioisotope (like carbon-14, potassium-40 and uranium 238) decays into its daughter element (nitrogen-14, argon 40, and lead 206 respectively). The theory is this; since this radioactive decay occurs at a consistent pace, we can look at how much of the daughter element is left in a rock and calculate backwards to find out when it first formed.

Think of it this way: Someone walks into a room and finds a candle already burning. At the time he entered the room it was three inches tall. After studying it for an hour, the burning candle was two inches tall - thus he determines that this candle burns at a speed of one inch-per-hour. He then uses this data to determine how long ago the candle was lit.

The problem is, the scientist only knows two parts to a four-part equation: 1 - How much of the daughter element (lead-206 for example) is present in the rock? [Or how tall is the candle right now?) This is one of the factors that scientists know, as it can be easily observed in the laboratory. 2 - What is the present speed that the radioisotope (uranium-238) decays into the daughter element (lead-206)? [Or how fast does the candle burn down?] Again, this is easily observable and testable; it’s the second part of the equation that scientists know for sure. 3 - Has the speed of decay been constant in the past? [Or has this candle always burned at one inch-per-hour?] Scientist can’t know this for sure. Has there been an environmental shift that caused the decay speed to slow down or speed up? Could more of the radioisotope or the daughter element have been added to the rock at some point in the past? Both of these factors could give a completely wrong date! 4 - How much of the daughter element was present to begin with? [How tall was that candle before it was lit?] This is a very important factor in this equation. Two different assumptions about how much lead-206, for example, was originally in a rock could bring two dramatically different dates for formation!

Because of these unknown factors, no scientist just sends the rock into a laboratory to be dated. They also send additional information to help “aim” the dating process - information like what layer of rock it was found in and what fossils were around it. If a T-rex fossil was found in the same layer of rock, then the laboratory will already assume that the rock “must be” 67-65 million years old. Fossils that help with the dating process are called “index fossils.” Because their age is known (supposedly), they can help to date the different rock layers. You see, radiometric dating (supposed “proof” of the GTE and an incredibly old earth) is based on their already-formed assumptions on the age of a particular fossil.

Simply put, the evolutionist’s “silver bullet” of radiometric dating doesn’t hold up to simple scientific scrutiny. So why in the world would Christians feel the need to compromise the perfect word of God to agree with it?

The Biggest Problem Of Old-Earth Compromises
Do you believe that God calls suffering and pain good?
Do you believe that He thinks diseases like arthritis and cancer are good?
Did God call predation, bloodshed and natural cruelty good?

Not at all! In fact 1 Corinthians 15:26 calls death an enemy that is going to be destroyed. God hates death because He is life! The God of life couldn't look on the world as it is today and call it "very good."

And yet, this is exactly what every old-earth compromiser is saying when they try place the formation of fossils before Adam's sin. In the fossil record, there is evidence of death, diseases, widespread violence and predation.  Romans 5:12 tells us that these things entered the world through one man's (Adam) sin. As believers, we cannot have death before sin...not if we are starting from God's Word!

Not only was there no death in the world when God called it "very good" - there was no devil yet either! Look closely at Genesis 1:31 "And God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good." Everything means everything. Lucifer was made by God - logically, this means that he was still good on day six of creation. The fall of Satan had to occur after mankind was created. We'll find out later that this order of events actually makes perfect sense and provides a stronger motive for Lucifer's pride and rebellion.

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