… it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. – Jude 3
The Bible is True
The Bible has come under sharper attack in the past 150 years than any other time in history. The thrust of the criticism is leveled against the accuracy of the record in light of modern conflicting theories of our origins. The attack is taking place in the universities, the seminaries, and the media. Our hope of salvation and all we believe in as Christians depends on the truthfulness of the Scriptures. I believe it is time to stand up for the inspiration and authority of God’s Word.
The crucial questions we must ask ourselves are: Can we trust the Bible? Is it true? Does science provide supporting evidence of the claims made in Bible? To all of these questions, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Most intelligent and educated persons don’t realize how much scientific support we have for our beliefs. Albert Einstein, the author of the theory of relativity, said “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” For many their faith is not dependent on science, nor does it have to be. For the unbelieving, however, whom we hope to reach for Christ, the rational mind looks deeper for proof, for something to lay their trust in outside the realm of blind faith.
Evolution versus Creationism
As we begin to build for the future, I believe an important aspect of our teaching must address the relevancy and accuracy of God’s Word. We must tackle the tough issues that confront us. Specifically, we must address the claims of evolution versus creationism. We should not neglect education in purely spiritual areas, far from it. A deeper understanding of the scientific principles which support our faith will, in fact, strengthen our spiritual insight into the marvels of our Creator.
In our world, modern theory says we evolved as a species from a primordial soup over the past 4.5 billion years. Our Bible says God supernaturally created earth out of nothing, and man from the dust of the ground on the order of 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. The arguments for evolution, though weakened with each scientific discovery, are still taught in the mainstream of education as if they were true. From a statistical point of view, the requirements for even the simplest form of life are so enormous, that even billions of years would not be enough time for chance mutations to bring life from inorganic matter. Evolution has never been observed, yet millions accept it in blind faith. It is a new religion: secular humanism. Many evolutionists are grasping at straws to find credence for a waning theory. The popular notion now to explain the unexplainable is that life must have migrated here from another world. I predict that evolution will fade from prominence within the next twenty years. It is on its last gasp.
The evidence for fully-formed, complex life and organisms on a grand scale which appeared suddenly is overwhelming. There was no Big Bang. Instead, God spoke and commanded, “Let there be light.” The very fabric of society is a reflection of our beliefs. If we believe that we are the result of chance mutations over billions of years and have descended from apes, then we are merely animals. This thinking would say we are only animals concerned with self-preservation, or as Darwin put it, “survival of the fittest.” We should expect to see more acts of violence, more war, more abortions, more disregard for the sanctity of human life at every level in a society that holds these norms. On the other hand, if we took a closer look at the evidence and came to realize there is no support for evolution or even theistic evolution (the belief that God used evolution as the creation mechanism), then we should expect society to behave differently. A society with this understanding would honor the Common Designer and recognize we are created in His image. This society would be less violent, suffer fewer wars, and show more concern for fellowman.
Jesus Christ specifically referred ten times to the Book of Genesis. He verified the historical fact of creation, the institution of marriage, the world-wide flood and Noah’s ark, and the reality of Satan. God spoke and wrote on the tablets of the Ten Commandments “for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth.” What stronger point can be made for a literal day (twenty-four hour cycle) as the unit of time, not eons required by evolution, than God confirming it himself?
Evangelism and the Web
We live in an age of dual-income families. Though educated, many are not in a church. This presents us with a unique opportunity of evangelism. This is the time to reach our neighbors and bring them into the fellowship. While we get up and go to church on Sunday mornings, many sleep in. When they arise some leisurely surf the internet, searching for meaning in their lives. Why not reach them where they are? The teacher realizes the student doesn’t always learn at pre-determined times and intervals. The teacher looks for a teachable moment. The moment when the person is genuinely searching for the solution to a problem. The church with a welcome mat in cyberspace provides an avenue for the person who doesn’t want to answer the door when they realize it’s the church people.
A web site for a church gives the church a place to lay out the beliefs, programs, plans for growth, and introduce the staff to those too shy, lazy, or guilt-ridden to walk through the door of the church. It introduces the church in a medium they understand and with which they feel comfortable. It gets our foot in their door. I would urge you to seriously consider this avenue of evangelism. Thirty years ago, a church would not dream of not listing it’s name in the phone book. Although the internet is barely four years old, many churches have already developed a cyber connection with their community and as far as they want to have an impact through the use of the web. Placing a website to reach people is becoming as commonplace as placing your name in the phone directory. The movie “Field of Dreams” showed how a Midwestern farmer realized a dream by listening to a voice in the cornfield that said, “If you build it, they will come.” We must use this relatively new medium if we hope to attract those which use it. I don’t expect us to go on a yuppie-quest to find geeks and computer-literate technophiles. Just don’t ignore them, because they are here. With the price of personal computers becoming more affordable more and more homes will use them as much as a television.
Heeding the Warnings
Nothing has captured the American imagination more lately than the renowned Titanic. There have been more books written on three subjects than any others in history. The first is Jesus Christ, second is the American Civil War, and third is the Titanic. The Titanic exhibition is touring major cities in America to show the artifacts that have been found in the icy depths of the North Atlantic. In 1912, the R.M.S. Titanic sailed on her maiden voyage that only lasted three days and ended in tragedy: 1523 souls perished. Titanic was so well-designed it was considered unsinkable. It carried passengers from many countries, the wealthiest in society. We may draw a parallel between the Titanic and Noah’s Ark.
Noah’s ark is believed by some to be a myth. Yet, no single year in ancient history has been recorded as well as the year the eight survivors of the great flood spent upon the ark. The ark was about half the length of Titanic, and about two-thirds its width and height. It could snugly fit into a professional football stadium. Its area would hold 1.5 million cubic feet, or the equivalent of 522 railcars. The Titanic had 30,000 horsepower and cruised at 21 knots. The ark didn’t have an engine or rudder. It merely floated. God commanded Noah to build the ark to precise proportions. The ark could withstand an almost 90 degree tip and not capsize. Because of its length it tended to turn into the face of the waves.
The Titanic was sent six warnings within 10 hours of its collision with the iceberg. The crew had plenty of time to pursue a different course. Noah spent 120 years preaching during the construction of the ark. The Titanic had 705 survivors; the ark only saved eight persons. Titanic has become a symbol of human tragedy; the ark, a symbol of hope. The lesson of Titanic is we must not become too heady with our own human engineering marvels to the point that we disregard the warnings of danger. The lesson of Noah’s ark is that God wants to save us. He wants us to heed the warning of the danger of our sin. God has provided a way of escape: His Son Jesus. His story and the story of our origins can be trusted and has been preserved in his relevant, true, and Holy Word.
(P)1998 by Jim Kerlin. You may freely use or distribute any portion of this homily.
Graphic of Truth versus Darwin courtesy of Upon This Rock Graphics.