"In the Beginning"- Idolatry in the Christian Church<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
By Ron Carlson
A.W. Tozer in his book, The Knowledge of the Holy, says that "Idolatry is not simply worshiping a stone image, but idolatry is any concept of God that reduces God to less than who He really is". Recently I've been thinking about that and I wonder if there is not idolatry throughout many of our Christian Colleges, Seminaries, and so called "apologetic" ministries that seek to give reasons to believe.
What is this Idolatry? It is a pervasive idea today, the idea that finite men know more than the infinite Creator in regards to "In the beginning". I am amazed at some people in the Christian community whose idea of evangelism requires "political correctness" so that we may be accepted as relevant by a society schooled in the philosophy of Darwinian naturalism that rejects the notion of God a priori.
This is reflected in ministries, colleges, and seminaries whose leaders and professors believe that they know more about Creation than does the Creator. This absurdity is reflective of an arrogance that basically says, "I was not there at the beginning, but with my fallen, sinful, finite, three pound brain, I know more than the infinite, eternal, perfect, faithful, Sovereign Creator who was there!" Therefore, they conclude, it is up to them to correct God's mistakes in Genesis and set the record straight. This, they believe, will make God acceptable to people who believe in the "big bang", billions of years of macroevolution, and that the global flood at the time of Noah never occurred or was a local affair in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Mesopotamia.
So what is the idolatry in this? The idolatry is that in the name of "evangelism" and for the sake of winning the lost, we must offer the "lost" a God who is acceptable to them on their terms! Since they will not accept or put their faith in the God of the Bible, we will now make God "relevant" by reducing Him down to a level than can be more easily accepted by a secular, naturalistic, evolutionary worldview. Then people can believe!
How do they do this? First they say we must correct Genesis One which says that God spoke everything into existence. Instead of this biblical teaching, we must accept the current enlightened thinking of people who were not there and accept the "big bang" hypothesis. Next they say we must correct God's divinely inspired revelation of six 24-hour days and a Creation that was perfect (Exodus 20:11; Gen. 1:31) and replace it with the popular naturalistic worldview of billions of years of death, destruction, and survival of the fittest.
Thirdly, therefore, we must do away with God's revelation that death was the result of sin, since man came along billions of year after death was present. Next we must reject the teaching of Genesis 7 and let God know that he really did not mean a global flood, but that He really was talking about a little local flood around Mesopotamia. Now that we have gotten rid of all of God's mistakes in Genesis, we can now do relevant evangelism and be "seeker sensitive" in presenting a "god" truly worthy and acceptable to the intelligent 21st century mind!
Does this idolatry bother anyone? It doesn't seem like it. A majority of our Christian colleges and seminaries, as well as many "apologetic" ministries and Christian publishing houses now promote these ideas. Does this arrogance bother anyone? That finite men with three pound brains who were not there, think they know more than the infinite and eternal Creator who was there!
Let me share a few observations in support of God's revealed biblical truths. First, God did not need six 24-hour days to create the world. If you understand the omnipotence of God, He could have done it in six seconds! People who try to help God out with a process of billions of years for creation have a very small and impotent concept of who God is!
Second, Romans 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 teach that death was a result of sin and sin came through one man Adam. Therefore, the idea that death was around for billions of years prior to Adam is unbiblical. If death was not a result of sin, then there is no need for a Savior. Furthermore, while some Christian evolutionists claim that the death being described in these passages is only spiritual death, it is important to understand that this is biblically impossible; the 1 Corinthians 15 reference to death is clearly talking about physical death, as this whole chapter is an apologetic argument for Christ's physical resurrection!
Third, an important question to consider in regards to God's creative work is this, why would a perfect God use an imperfect means (billions of years of evolutionary death and destruction) to create a perfect world? It makes no logical or biblical sense. You have to wonder, what kind of "god" is it that they're trying to bring people to!
Fourth, the idea that light coming from stars necessitates billions of years is purely a naturalistic worldview. Since God is eternal and omnipresent, God is above "time" and "space". God is not limited by "time" or confined by "space". He, in fact, is the Creator of Time and Space! So, the premise that "distance equals time" is totally irrelevant to God and purely a function of a limited, finite, naturalistic worldview (Psalm 19:1; Isaiah 40:26).
Fifth, those Christians who hold to an "old earth" do so because they view the fossil record as one of billions of years of death and destruction. They have accepted fallible human assumptions regarding the ages of rocks and fossils, assumptions which are based purely upon a naturalistic worldview which requires billions of years of evolution. Instead of accepting these naturalistic assumptions, which are not based upon scientific facts, these Christian men and women of science would do better biblically and scientifically to simply accept the truth of the evidence. What we find in the fossil record around the world is testimony of a world-wide global flood, as described in Genesis 7, with everything being buried in its logical ecological niche some five thousand years ago. This is scientifically sound and biblically faithful.
I'm all for evangelism and reaching the lost, but in our desire to reach the lost, let's not water down the truth of who God is or the authority of his Word for the sake of the predominant human philosophies of our day. Otherwise we are bringing people to another "god" and committing the sin of Idolatry!
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