Imagine if a skeptic of Christianity came to your church and looked for a Christian leader to answer some questions about the Christian faith. Consider the following conversation. Yes, it’s fictional, but the answers are actual quotes that come from a very surprising source.
Question: How did the universe begin?
Answer: “. . .the big bang marked not only the coming into existence of the contents of the universe, but also the coming into existence of space and the coming into existence of time.”
Question: Was there a God who used the “big bang” to create?
Answer: “There is no time before the big bang so there is no God before the big bang. . . . What is responsible for our existence, what is keeping us in existence? And the religious answer is the Ground of all Being-that which we call God.”
Question: Was there a real Adam and Eve?
Answer: “The Adam and Eve story was never meant to be a scientific account of our physical origins. It is purely concerned with timeless spiritual truths like, for example, Eve being made from the rib taken out of Adam’s side. All this means is that man is not complete without woman and woman is not complete without man…. It is not talking about how women physically came into being.”
Question: Is it true to say that humans can go to heaven but animals can’t because they don’t have a spirit?
Answer: “In the light of evolution I think the distinction is more blurred than that, and that just as we have had an evolution of our physical selves, we perhaps ought to be thinking in terms of a parallel evolution of our spiritual selves. By this I mean that our very primitive ancestors were concerned with little more than basic survival-sex, food, shelter.”
Well, I was heartbroken when I read the statements above. And where are they found? In an article in the respected official organ of the Salvation Army, The War Cry (UK edition)!
In a two-page article earlier this year, The War Cry interviewed Russell Stannard, a “lay reader” in the Church of England (typically, a lay reader holds a license to preach from a bishop, and often helps in preparing the liturgy) and a professor of physics.
There are very important lessons for us to learn from the heretical statements of this church leader.
First, Stannard’s statements reveal the terrible result of the church’s overall compromise concerning Biblical truth as it relates to accepting such things as the “big bang” and billions of years (as do progressive creationists, like Hugh Ross), theistic evolutionists and others. I truly hope this article in a Salvation Army newspaper is not indicative of a similar slide in this denomination, a church movement that has a strong Biblical and humanitarian heritage.
Second, this kind of heretical thinking should be a startling warning to the church in America.
An independent news source recently printed an article on the decline of the church in England-a country where 40-50% once attended church. It stated:
“With attendances falling faster than ever, a new report sees the future for Christianity in Britain as bleak …
(16 April 2000)
“Holy Week has begun with an expert prediction that the Christian church in this country will be dead and buried within 40 years. It will vanish from the mainstream of British life, with only 0.5 per cent of the population attending the Sunday services of any denomination, according to the country’s leading church analyst. …
“All claims that Britain is a Christian nation will finally have to be given up, says the church attendance specialist, Peter Brierley. “The basic doctrines of Christianity will be believed much less and there will be many who actively do not believe them,” he says in a new book to be published this week. … The statistics could spell disaster for England’s 10,000 listed Anglican churches. …
“Previous research by Dr Brierley has shown that the Church of England is very much the worst hit of the Christian denominations, accounting for 40 per cent of the entire fall in [church] attendance over the period from 1989 to 1998.”
Compromise with evolution and/or billions of years is rife throughout the churches in England. If Solomon were to use today’s vernacular, he would say (based on Proverbs 25:26), “Compromise kills.” Solomon explained in this Proverb that compromising with the wicked is the same as destroying one’s life source (like a spring or a well) by muddying it.
The Bible is our life source, yet many church leaders are bent on muddying the Scriptures to fit them with man’s fallible theories. The consequence of this is already being seen in the churches of England.
Sad to say, the church in America is on the same slippery slide of compromise as the church in England. I believe the church in the US will end up like that in England if God’s people don’t repent of compromise and decide to return to the authority of the Word beginning in Genesis.
I was reminded of this again recently when I purchased a commentary on Genesis by Bruce K. Waltke. On the dust cover it declares that he is “acknowledged to be one of the outstanding contemporary Old Testament scholars, [and] is professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida and professor emeritus of biblical studies at Regent College in Vancouver.”
In his commentary he states, “The days of creation may also pose difficulties for a strict historical account. Contemporary scientists almost unanimously discount the possibility of creation in one week, and we cannot summarily discount the evidence of the earth sciences.”
Once again we see a leading theologian forcing man’s fallible theories into the Bible (it’s seen throughout his commentary). And who knows how many Christians he is putting on a slippery slide of unbelief concerning the clear written Word of God? Sadly, this is so typical of the majority of Christian leaders today.
For example, other respected Bible scholars like Norm Geisler and Gleason Archer (even though I have been helped by some of the materials they have written) basically admit that Genesis is written to communicate literal 24-hour days, but because this runs counter to what they view as “scientific” research, they chose “science” over Scripture. And recently we’ve written about the sad compromise with evolution/millions of years at Wheaton College (which is also occurring at Calvin College).
My wife Mally and I came to America fifteen years ago as missionaries to the church in America. The Lord continues to intensify this burden in us to combat compromise. The church in America needs, yes, evangelizing! It needs reformation.
The same compromise that has all but destroyed the church in England is now sweeping through churches, colleges and seminaries in America. Now, many of these institutions might claim they believe God created-but what does that mean? Do they really believe God’s Word as written? Or are they on the way to becoming like Stannard, preaching heretical statements as those above?
Be encouraged, however, that God is using this ministry to present the uncompromising truths of the Bible to His glory. Just as I was finishing this letter to you, I received a wonderful e-mail (and, praise the Lord, we receive many such testimonies every week!) from a lady named Laura. God used AiG’s resources to overcome humanistic and evolutionary roadblocks:
“I cannot even find the words to express how much your ministry has meant to me and my family. I was 90% persuaded to become a Christian a year ago, but I had a stumbling block-evolution.
“Your Web site answered so many of my questions. I ordered your video series [above] and by the end of it, I was saved, and grateful for His blood that He shed for me. My husband followed three months later!”
I’m thankful to God that she didn’t turn to a liberal, compromising church for answers to her questions! God, in His sovereignty, directed her to the Bible-affirming ministry of AiG!
I thank you for partnering with us. With your continued support, together we can help slow down the slide of churches/Christian colleges/seminaries into apostasy. And then perhaps we’ll hear about other “Lauras” who receive the Lord!
“Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).
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– Ken Ham, president and founder of AiG–U.S.
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