Friday, December 3, 2010

Compromise at Square One

One thing that I have noticed with people who want to compromise (or even deny) the Scriptures is that they do a song and dance routine around what is stated. We can go back to Genesis to find a hotbed of compromise. People want to appear educated or non-fanatical, so they accommodate an ancient Earth (and ancient universe) to fit with the ever-changing whims of man-made science. They do this in several ways, but I will only discuss the two most prevalent. One way is to put a "gap" between the first two verses of the Bible. Another is to invoke the "day-age" belief.

When people are of the belief that science has "proven" that evolution is true and that the Earth is billions of years old, they interpret Scripture in light of man's word. They conveniently forget that man-made science is replete with errors, excuses, backtracking and even fraud. (I discussed a scientific principle that was believed by all, and then abandoned, here.) This raises the question of authority (a short audio about that is here), and if they believe that the Bible is really God's Word.

The "gap" concept has all sorts of silliness that I will address briefly. This allows for fossils by saying that there was a pre-Adamite race and a global flood before the time of Noah. The idea has been around for centuries, but causes many problems even though it supposedly "solves" the problem of where fossils originated. It gets impetus from the King James Version's use of "replenish the earth" (Gen. 1.28 KJV), which is better translated as "fill the earth" (Gen 1.28).

More commonly, the "day-age" belief wants to make the days of Genesis into huge amounts of time. The main "proof text" for this position is 2 Peter 3.8. This misses the point that is brought out in 2 Peter 3.9. Sometimes, Psalm 90.4 is used to support this position, but that verse is simply emphasizing how God is not subject to time.

I learned most of this next material from Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis. The word translated "day" isThe Hebrew word yom (pronounced with a long O sound, rhyming with "home"), and it can be used in different ways. One is indefinite period of time, which rules out a set "age". (Another use for yom is the daylight part of a day, so that does not get brought up in the discussion.) So what happened in Please pay attention here: The other use is literal 24-hour day. The qualifier? Well, we have several, actually. "Evening and morning, the first day". The "evening and morning" part, and a number (first, second &c.) nails it down that these were literal days, and leave no room for forcing in an age. Any other time yom is used with a number, it means literal day. Why should the first two chapters of the Bible be the exception?

If someone insists on using yom to mean "age", they have problems with other verses. For instance, "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy" (Exodus 20.11 ESV). What did God do, make the world in six indefinite periods of time and then rest for an indefinite period of time? Also, Jesus taught that Adam and Eve were created in the beginning, not after long ages or billions of years (Mark 10.6). Christians believe that Jesus is the Creator (John 1.1, Col 1.16-17), so he should know what he is talking about. Further, the literal six day creation week never has any doubt in the rest of Scripture.

I call it the domino effect. You start compromising back in Genesis, and you have problems through the rest of the Bible. I will deal with some of these other things in later episodes. 

We have to decide who to follow, who is the authority. Does man decide what is true in God's Word? Does science interpret Scripture? Should compromise be taught from the pulpit? Take about one minute for some thoughts from Ken Ham to help us decide:

(Taken from here.)