I was reading an article here on the Apprising Ministries blog yesterday about the slide into liberalism that has happened at Fuller Theological Seminary and how they ended up in their current state. As is almost always the case when we begin to compromise in our spiritual walk, we fail to take scripture as the inerrant word of God. We begin to make scripture fit the truth that we see rather than treating it as the rock solid word of God that we are smashed to pieces against that we may be made new by the same Word of God.
A recent (2010) position paper here by the Executive Presbytery of the Assemblies of God is an example of that denomination’s slide into embracing a more liberal interpretation of scripture. It is interesting to note that a position paper on the same subject written in 1977 here takes a more biblical view of creation. I would encourage a comparison of the two papers and take note of how the 2010 paper has adopted more of a “whatever you believe regarding the timing of creation is fine with us” sort of tone.
I want to draw attention particularly to the following paragraphs in the 2010 paper:
The advance of scientific research, particularly in the last few centuries, has raised many questions about the interpretation of the Genesis accounts of creation. In attempting to reconcile the Bible and the theories and conclusions of contemporary scientists, it should be remembered that the creation accounts do not give precise details as to how God went about His creative activity. Nor do these accounts provide us with complete chronologies that enable us to date with precision the time of the various stages of creation. Similarly, the findings of science are constantly expanding; the accepted theories of one generation are often revised in the next.
As a result, equally devout Christian believers have formed very different opinions about the age of the earth, the age of humankind, and the ways in which God went about the creative processes. Given the limited information available in Scripture, it does not seem wise to be overly dogmatic about any particular creation theory.
Whatever creation theory we individually may prefer, we must affirm that the entire creation has been brought into being by the design and activity of the Triune God. Moreover, we also affirm that the New Testament treats the creation and fall of Adam and Eve as historical events in which the Creator is especially involved. We urge all sincere and conscientious believers to adhere to what the Bible plainly teaches and to avoid divisiveness over debatable theories of creation.
The thing the Assemblies of God is failing to see is that all of the alternate “creation theories” that exist, other than taking the bible and its chronology literally, include God creating the earth and animals long before He created Man. And that is where the big problem lies.
For example, these alternate “creation theories” include God creating the earth and dinosaurs (among other animals) and the earth existing millions of years before He created Adam.
If this were true, which it’s not, then that means death existed on the earth before Adam sinned. The bible states the reason we needed a savior is because of Adam’s sin. The only reason we needed Jesus to die on a cross was because of the sin and death introduced into the earth by the fall of Adam.
If death existed on the earth before Adam sinned then that makes the entire bible on big lie. Because the entire bible is about God’s redemption of mankind through a savior, Jesus Christ.
It does matter what we believe regarding creation…..It matters greatly that we believe the word of God regarding everything it has to say. It doesn’t matter that we are able to explain why things are what they are regarding creation. Suffice it to say, however, that if He could create the earth at all, then He certainly could create it in a day.
It does matter, however, that we believe that God created the earth, animals, then man. Man then sinned and then death was introduced into the earth. THEN and only then did animals begin to die. This includes dinosaurs. The very foundation of the Gospel rests on this truth and there is no other optional belief for a Christian.
I was an Assemblies of God member for many years. I was a deacon in my church. I took bible classes in their Berean School for the Bible. I have been witness to the rapid influx of theological liberalism flooding into the denomination and swallowing entire congregations seemingly overnight. Most of this has been brought about by the Church Growth Movement of Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Robert Schuller. All rooted in the Fuller Theological Seminary.
It tears at my heart to see a once mighty denomination that stood for biblical inerrancy slipping so rapidly down the slippery slope of biblical liberalism all in the name of “not offending”. We must stand on the Word of God, whether understand all of it or not, or we’re not really standing on anything at all.
The bible is a two-edged sword, as it calls itself, it’d probably be a good idea if we weren’t so quick to run off and try to think we have to make the bible fit with what unregenerate scientists think they have discovered. The very gospel is at stake.