When it comes to social causes like abortion, young evangelicals are ditching old arguments as too simplistic. Does Genesis really have anything significant to say on such matters?
A favorite line against Bible believers is that their arguments are too simplistic. “Simple answers are simple-minded,” the hecklers sniff. In our postmodern world, the name of the game is “nuance.”
In the face of such relentless scorn, young evangelicals are tempted to avoid the simple answers of their forefathers. They don’t want to appear narrow-minded or stupid.
As one up-and-coming evangelical recently blogged, “Young evangelicals are tired of the culture wars. . . . We’re ready to make peace.”
She boasts that young evangelicals have rejected a 6,000-year-old earth and believe in evolution. And of the pro-life movement she says, “Instead of protesting outside abortion clinics, we’re championing adoption and supporting single moms.”
Her assessment encapsulates the postmodern thinking that has seduced our churches: “The world is changing,” she brazenly admits, “and we are changing with it.”
While the details can be complicated, some basic points are nonnegotiable. God’s Word, beginning with Genesis, is still our supreme authority. Its central themes are so clearly stated that even a child can understand them.
Scripture draws distinct lines. Some things are good and others evil. Jesus didn’t advocate evasion on such important matters, whether creation or the sanctity of life. Drawing lines may offend and separate, but that’s the nature of truth (Matthew 10:34).
With respect to creation, Martin Luther said bluntly, “Moses writes that God created Heaven and Earth and whatever is in them in six days . . . . If you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are.”
We arrive at a 6,000-year-old earth by simple addition of the Bible’s time references. Even a first grader can do the math. (I know because I’ve done it with them!)
Evolution is also a no-brainer. God made birds one day before dinosaurs, and He made humans on the same day as dinosaurs, apes, and other land animals. So creation and evolution are irreconcilable.
The Bible is just as clear on social issues like the sanctity of life. Government should oppose the shedding of “innocent blood” because it has a God-ordained duty to promote good and be a “terror to evil” (Romans 13:1–4; see Psalm 106:37–38).
In fact, Genesis provides the underlying reason for government. The Lord judged the earth in a global Flood because of violence, and then He instituted the death penalty whenever blood was shed. Why? Because “in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:4–6).
The Bible is also the foundation for addressing other social ills. For example, we must go back to Genesis to understand why we should intervene on behalf of abused women and children. As Janice Crouse writes, modern slave traders “violate the sanctity of human beings, created in God’s image” (page 50).
This reasoning may sound simple, but she explains, “Any other argument, based on shifting human opinion, lacks the sure moral compass that comes from the authority of God’s Word.”
Everyone agrees that adopting “unwanted” children, assisting single mothers, and rescuing abused women are right and good. But that does not preclude speaking out against evil. Upholding the sanctity of human life, in particular, is fundamental to a just society, as Tony Perkins points out (page 44).
If evangelicals are accused of being “simple-minded” for believing God’s Word, we should wear that badge with pride (1 Corinthians 1:26–29).
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