From time immemorial the battle to maintain the truth of God’s Word has been fierce. Since the beginning of time the question, “Yea, hath God said?” has been asked. It will be readily understood and it is conceivable that men outside of God’s own people ask this question. And during the last part of the 19th century and especially now during the 20th century, the mainline churches have grappled with this issue and succumbed.
The Christian church should have been more aware of this possibility of apostasy. The apostle Paul, in his farewell address to the church at Ephesus, forewarned the overseers to be on guard for mavericks, agnostics and heretics, both from within and without: “... there (a) shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock and (b) also of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them...” and to them and to us “therefore ...watch!” (Acts 20:20-31)
In recent times this doubt about the veracity of scripture has also become an issue within reformed circles. This has been shown to be so in the creation/evolution debate.
Many Christians may believe that the creation/evolution debate is a side issue and not relevant to every day Christian life. Even some of our own people might be inclined to ask: “Why all this clamor about some minor theological difference? We have so many important and more pressing issues to worry about, such as abortion, pornography, homosexuality, AIDS, etc.?” This demonstrates that many have misunderstood (or not understood at all) what is involved in the creation/evolution debate. This misunderstanding is at least one of the causes why millions of modern-day people have lined up in partial or in whole-hearted support of various practices and beliefs that are opposed to true Christian values and standards.
If people had the right understanding of creation and the creation ordinances and applied these faithfully, many problems today would not exist.
The creation/evolution debate is an essential issue, because right from the very beginning the creator sets the rules. The Genesis history is foundational to all of Christianity. The rest of the Bible refers to it and quotes from it more than any other book. Without a basic believing knowledge of the first chapters of Genesis one cannot hope to attain a full comprehension of Christianity. Ultimately all biblical doctrines, including the basic truths of sin and grace, of fall and redemption, are directly or indirectly based on the beginning chapters of Genesis (the foundation). A correct understanding of the sanctity of life, of sex and marriage, and the purpose and meaning of life can only be obtained from the creation account.
The source of the creation/evolution debate involves something much deeper than a simple denial of the creation account. The root of the problem is the refusal of man to submit to the truth of God’s Word. In the fall into sin man first rebelled against God’s will and has continued to do so ever since. If any part of God’s Word is rejected, the logical, eventual result will be the denial of the whole of it.
God, in His grace, has seen fit to provide a record of His mighty acts. Due to sin, man wants to interpret the record of God’s acts according to his own limited understanding. Instead of accepting and believing the record God gave, it is questioned by scientists and agnostics. Because they cannot accept the wonders of creation they look for alternatives and, being only finite, they try to describe the might and power of almighty God in human terms. They limit the omniscience and power of the Creator God.
We, the members of the Orthodox Christian Reformed Churches, believe and subscribe to the Bible as the accurate and true Word of God (Confession of Faith, Arts. 3,5). We believe the Bible to be inspired, inerrant and infallible. We therefore believe that the scriptures, and more specifically Genesis, give an authentic, although not exhaustive, history of creation. We believe that the sovereign God created this universe and all that it contains by the Word of His power (Ps. 33:6, John 1:1-3; Heb. 11:3, 2 Pet. 3:5).
We believe that the whole creation was accomplished in six days (Gen. 1:31-2:2; Ex. 20:11). The creation days are to be understood as regular (solar) days, (Gen 1:14) and not as periods, times or years. The creation days are clearly defined as having morning and evening (Gen 1:5b, 8b, 13, 19, 23, 31b). We believe, therefore, in a young earth, and not one that is millions of years old.
We believe that all plants and animals and, all living things were created “after their own kind” (Gen. 1:11,12,21,24,25). Man, the crown of creation, was formed from the dust of the earth (Gen. 2:7, Eccl. 12:7) “after the image and likeness of God” (Gen. 1:26,27).
We therefore, emphatically reject any attempt to view or interpret Genesis 1 - 3 as different from what it literally describes, a truly historical account of the instantaneous creation of the universe and its contents by divine fiat out of nothing in six days. We also reject any theory that teaches that the universe came into being by a chance evolutionary process or changes wrought by a gradual process. We believe that creatures diversify within their own kind, but do not change from one species into another.
We reject the error of those who view the creation days as other than six consecutive solar days.
We reject the error of those who say that God directed and used the mechanism of evolutionary change to bring forth the world and life in it.
Evolutionism and its beliefs are the product and expression of the unregenerate heart of man as he seeks to free himself from any accountability to his sovereign creator. Apostasy, moral relativism, and ultimately despair are the results of this idolatrous (evolutionary) faith.
We recognize and assert the fallibility of all man’s knowledge, science and assertions, because of the limitations and fallenness of his understanding and the arrogance of his heart.
God’s Word is truth. If any add unto the prophecy of His book, “God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book, and if any man shall take away from the words of the prophecy of this book, God shall take away his part out of the book of life and out of the holy city and from the things which are written in this book.” (Rev. 22:18,19) To God alone be the glory.
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