Hello and happy Monday, dear ones! This is the day of the week that we usually dig into Creation Science, however today I want to discuss an issue that stems from that topic. It’s a very serious, and touchy subject, because it deals with salvation. What I want to address is the question of whether or not someone can believe in an earth that’s millions of years old, and still be a genuine believer. Let me start by asking you all to handle this topic, this post, and the writer with patience and mercy. I value all of your opinions more than I could express, so with a subject this debated let us pray for wisdom and grace before we continue.
So, then, the question I’m asking is whether or not you need to be a Young Earth Creationist to be a born again Christian. First, let me separate the camps with a bit of a broad brush for the sake of time. There are those who profess to be Christians who believe the Earth is younger than at least 10,000 years old. There’s some debate about whether or not the original math is correct, some say it’s 6,000 while others say 8,000 or 10,000. There are also professing Christians who believe the Earth is hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years old. There are Atheists and theists who believe in Young Earth evolution, they would be called Catastrophists as they are of the opinion that Evolution happened rapidly and the Earth has changed drastically due to catastrophic events. There are Muslim Creationists, and theist Creationists falling in young and old Earth categories.
In other words, this is not as black and white as the popular secular speakers, such as Dawkins, would have us believe. As my husband would say “clear as mud.” Thankfully, Gods Word makes our question today clear, regardless of the great variety of opinions. Can someone be genuinely saved if they’re not Young Earth Creationists? The very simple answer is, yes. Friends, we are saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ alone! Not through scientific or philosophical beliefs. I’m thankful for this, as I was certainly in the Young Earth Theist camp long before being saved, though I would have called myself a Christian. I believed a god created the Earth 6,000 years ago based on the scientific evidence. I just didn’t know the God of Creation! I know others who were saved by Gods grace, but had never considered the scientific side of the debate. It wasn’t that they didn’t care, but that they were dealing with other Biblical issues.
Can someone be unsaved that holds to a Biblical view of Creation? Of course, in fact I think you’ll find a couple of our more well known brothers in Christ entered into ministry or seminary before being born again. This is simply due to the fact that intellectual assent does not equal salvation. I had a good deal of knowledge about Creation Science, but I had no idea what the Gospel was or why Christ needed to die. There are others who hear the Creation scientists and have that barrier removed from their understanding, who go on to bow their knee to Christ. The evidence did not save them, God saved them. Our sovereign Lord can use any means He chooses to draw His lost sheep.
This is, at the core, an errancy issue, not a Gospel issue, although getting this wrong can , and often does, lead to a misunderstanding of the basic principles of salvation. Why is this an errancy issue? Essentially the debate is over whether or not Genesis 1 and 2 are literal accounts of creation or just poetry. There are forms of poetry found in the Bible, in the Psalms for example. There are also historical narratives found in the Bible, such as the Gospels. When we read Genesis it’s very clear from a literary stand point that it’s being written as historical narrative, lacking in every word is any form of poetry.
For me, as a believer, the very fact that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ pointed to creation, a literal Adam and Eve, during His time on earth is all the evidence I need. There are those who have never considered the consequences of believing otherwise, who are still growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord. When born again believers are faced with calling their Savior a liar, or assuming secular philosophers and scientists are wrongly interpreting the evidence, genuine Christians will go for the latter. It’s not until faced with this dilemma that many find themselves making a choice where they’ll stand. This happens to be brought up often when evangelizing, which means those who do not often do so might find themselves a believer for many years before even considering creation.
How does this effect our understanding of salvation? This is where the issue of origins moves from being an issue on errancy and becomes a Gospel issue. You see, friends, God created the world perfect without death. Adam and Eve fell, throwing the entire creation into a sin cursed world. This is where death began, and why we need a savior. If Adam hadn’t fallen you and I would not have been born with a sinful Adamic nature, in need of salvation. Without a literal Adam we simply don’t need a literal Jesus. Misunderstanding the beginning of Gods Word will cause the rest of it to be very confusing. Increasingly, those who hold to such positions, will need to continue the compromise of Scripture to fit their views. It is at this point that we can say someone is not in the faith. If someone calls themselves a Christian, yet does not hold that we are sinners in need of a savior, they are not born again. There are many out there, like Andy Stanley, who want to use the Bible as good moral lessons rather than Gods written Word.
I hope I didn’t make this more complicated than it needs to be. Essentially what I’m saying is that we can not cast out those who are young in the faith, or Biblically immature, simply because they do not understand the importance of Creation. We need to pray for these, teach them, and be very patient with them. We need to have grace for one another, baring with each other in love. However, those who have spent years fighting against those of us who hold to a Biblical view point, those who compromise, twist, or ignore, Gods Word, or who say Christ is a liar, and worse, a story, can be known to be false converts. These are the men and women who should be shown their error, prayed for, and evangelized with hopes that God will give them the gift of repentance and faith. We must judge with righteous judgement, dear ones. We can not call evil good, or good evil. To say that Jesus Christ, God made man, was wrong when He pointed to Genesis as a historical narrative, is evil. To be a new believer in need of instruction is not evil. To be a believer for a while, and yet to have been sanctified in other areas first, is not evil. With patience, love, and grace we can help one another grow. Consider, beloved, that there are areas in our own life that need more sanctification, before we anathematize others.
When I came out of the WoF Movement, there was nothing of that theology I could hold to. I had to unlearn all the erroneous things I had been taught, and to check everything against Gods Word. The only thing I believed that was accurate, that held up against the Bible, was Creationism. Ironically enough, Creation is not something the WoF teaches, but something I learned on my own. You’ll find WoF teachers very mushy on doctrine. When others are saved out of secularism there will, likewise, be so much they have to unlearn. This is the same regardless of what false worldview we’re saved out of. It is the rare few, like Dr. Jason Lisle, that are raised in a God fearing, Biblically accurate, home who can come to faith without a massive paradigm shift. That being said, let us share the Gospel with all boldness, in love, that some might be saved. Whether that some comes from an Old or Young earth background! As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.