Artificial Authority

Artificial Authority
You can purchase the DVD from our online store.

If you dare defend biblical creation, you will likely be called narrow-minded. Attempting to be open-minded is considered a virtue in our pluralistic society. In churches today, many pastors and teachers have become wishy-washy about biblical truth, focusing instead on feel-good pep talks and how-to steps to successful living (2 Timothy 4:3–4). Even many respected Christian leaders brush aside the first chapters of Genesis as trivial, unclear, or divisive. Answers in Genesis was recently disinvited from presenting in the “Great Homeschool Conventions” because of Ken Ham’s public warning against one of the other speakers who teaches a compromised view of Genesis.

Jesus demonstrated the foundational nature of the first chapters of Genesis (e.g., Mark 10:2–12), although His narrow-minded teaching was often ridiculed. As disciples and servants of Christ, we should expect the same treatment—reviling, maligning, and persecution—as our Teacher and Master received (Matthew 10:24–25; John 15:20–21). We must follow Jesus, even if our faithfulness to the Word earns us the label “narrow-minded.”

But how can we defend the narrow-minded truth of biblical creation in a Christ-honoring way? How can we “contend for the faith” (Jude 3) without being contentious (Romans 16:17–18)?

First, consider your motives.

  • Do I want to elevate myself by proving myself right, or do I desire to bring God glory by upholding His Word (Acts 20:27–32)?
  • Am I focused on proving my opponent wrong or seeing him drawn closer to the Lord and His truth (Acts 18:26–28)?
  • Do I seek man’s approval, or am I willing to take scorn, slander, and suffering for His sake (Matthew 5:11–12; 1 Corinthians 4:12–13)?

Second, consider the particular issue you are debating. Evaluate whether this is an essential subject worth defending. The Bible warns against engaging in petty arguments. “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (2 Timothy 2:23; see also Titus 3:9). Answers in Genesis focuses on matters related directly to biblical authority. This does not mean that issues beyond our focus are unimportant, but you must weigh their importance and decide whether or not it is something worth fighting for.

Third, diligently study the biblical issue, “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Once convinced of the truth, prepare yourself to convince others. Resources like the Get Answers section and apologetic resources can help you develop a wise answer.

Finally, you are ready to engage others. How should you share the narrow-minded truth of biblical creation?

  • Check your attitude. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).
  • Check your approach. “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24–26).
  • Check your answer. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).

Honoring Christ with humble, gracious, patient persuasion does not mean compromising biblical truth for fear of offending others. John MacArthur wrote, “If the truth offends, then let it offend. People have been living their whole lives in offense to God; let them be offended for a while.1

The truth offends because it confronts proud sinners who want to determine their own “truth.” Although we should remove offenses related to our manner of presenting the truth, we must never shortchange the truth.

The truth shows the way to life (John 14:6). The way to life is narrow, Jesus said (Matthew 7:13–16). So welcome the label “narrow-minded” if the accusation comes through your defense of biblical creation, the foundation for proclaiming Jesus as the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord.

Footnotes

  1. John MacArthur, Found: God’s Will (Colorado Springs, CO: Victor Books, 1977), p. 52. Back