Do Origins Matter?
by Henry M. Morris III, D.Min. *
An unprecedented confusion is now permeating the modern world. Everything has seemingly been turned upside down, and the older standards of right and wrong have been almost completely interchanged….the wide resurgence of paganism and occultism, the inexorable spread of the cancerous drug culture, giant crime syndicates in the capitalist nations, pan-Arabic aggression in the Islamic nations, and a worldwide breakdown of personal and governmental morality. It is no wonder that there is everywhere “upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity…” (Luke 21:25).1
Dr. Henry Morris, founder of the Institute for Creation Research, originally expressed these concerns over 20 years ago—and they seem even more relevant today. Ideas do have consequences, and the world is beginning to reap the harvest of millennia of polytheistic and pantheistic religions, now concentrated in a well-established evolutionary worldview that dominates global thinking.
In this world of mixed-up thinking, evolution is the order of all things. Whether we see the evolutionary processes as directed by the Consciousness (deity implied) of the universe, the random interplay of blind forces, or the mysterious management of Natural Selection, all things have evolved out the primeval chaos of the eternal essence of whatever makes up the universe. “No absolutes” is treated like a prima facie statement justifying all things. We are taught that the universe is constantly evolving to higher and higher orders of reality and that knowledge is both temporal and temporary. Evolutionists claim that nothing can be known for sure—that it is possible to experience certain levels of awareness and to function pragmatically in the environment that we now experience, but it is impossible to find ultimate truth.
All the religions of the world are either pantheistic or polytheistic, except three monotheistic faiths, and much of their teaching has degenerated into social ethics or justification for political influence. Does that matter? Most modern philosophical systems are based on naturalistic assumptions. Does that matter? Sociology and psychology have long been secular, humanistic, and evolutionary. Science and education promote evolution to the exclusion of all other possibilities. Does that matter? Politics has become the art of domination. Does that matter?
But the message of the Bible is diametrically different.
Although there are varied logical systems, scientific philosophies, and theological interpretations that vie for our souls, they all attempt to answer the age-old question: “What is man?” Scrape away all the technical jargon and liturgical mysteries, and they all boil down to an attempt to define who or what we are and how we got here. And since that study depends on the presuppositions one holds to be true (no human was around to observe what happened when the universe began), the answers produced by such studies impact the entirety of knowledge—the study of origins does matter!
Ancient cosmogonies assume some sort of eternal oscillation of chaos to order, some insisting that such oscillation has been repeated often over unthinkable ages. Various secular scientists are questioning the Big Bang theory by promoting “something from nothing” ideas that are very similar to Indian and Egyptian religious beliefs. King Solomon’s conclusion comes to mind: “Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us” (Ecclesiastes 1:10).
Would it matter if God were real and the creation really happened like He said?
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
This astounding claim, unique in all literature, has enormous implications. The Bible insists that Jesus Christ was the Creator (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2). If that is true, then “neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
But apart from the claim that one’s eternal destiny is directly tied to the belief in the creation account and the Creator who made everything and will judge all men, all of science (knowledge) would be affected. Not only must we understand that the universe and all that is in it were created, but we must know that everything has been designed by the omnipotent and omniscient God and has a purpose for being. Those foundational matters do matter!
“And God created…every living creature that moveth” (Genesis 1:21).
The origin of life has stumped secular theorists and scientists. The ancient religions merely relegated life to mystical gods that sprang randomly out of watery chaos. (Sounds something like modern science.) Sophisticated scientists with prestigious degrees have given up on explaining how the complex “simple cell” could have originated from watery chaos and are now promoting some sort of spontaneous generation or “seeding” from “other beings” that have evolved in the far reaches of the universe.
But the Bible’s message is simple: The One who is life, created life (John 1:3-4). That concept is profound. Life is unique. Life itself reflects the nature of the Creator Himself. Although death is now the last enemy because of man’s rebellion against his Creator, life is still most precious. All the world recognizes this, and those societies that denigrate or waste lives by wars, plunder, or sacrifice disintegrate into footnotes of history.
Life is miraculous. Life is wonderful. Life is both mysterious and majestic. Life is to be valued, protected, and conserved. One’s view of life matters—a lot!
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27).
Three times God insists that man was created. Man is not some higher order of ape. Man bears the image of the Creator. You and I are unique in all of creation. We are not the product of ages of random atomic interplay. The omnipotent and omniscient Creator personally designed us (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 94:9; Psalm 139:14; Isaiah 44:24). We bear both the responsibility and the authority to manage the earth and its resources (Genesis 1:28; Psalm 8:5-8). We are not doomed to merely survive—instead, we are granted an abundant life (John 10:10). God did not intend for us to have a “spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Secular philosophies would have us “grab all the gusto you can, because you only go around once in life.” Evolutionary science vehemently denies the supernatural—especially the thought that God promises eternal life to those who receive His gift of salvation. Our view of life matters.
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (Isaiah 45:22-24)
- Morris, H. 2000. The Long War Against God. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, Inc., 17.
* Dr. Morris is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris III, H. 2012. Do Origins Matter? Acts & Facts. 41 (6): 4-5.