Does Genesis Really Matter?
by Jason Lisle, Ph.D. *
Does the creation versus evolution debate matter today? Perhaps you have heard people say, “With all the problems in today’s world, we really shouldn’t bother arguing about how it all began. We need to be concerned about the future, not the past.”
Our world faces enormous problems—violence, war, crime, disease, famine, economic collapse, natural disasters, and much more. We’re seeing attacks on the sanctity of human life and attempts to redefine marriage. We have witnessed a decline in Christian values worldwide, but it’s perhaps most disappointing that the United States—a nation founded on Christian principles—is losing its Christian base at an alarming rate.
How can these things be? Our nation is saturated with Christian bookstores, radio stations, television programs, and schools. And yet for all of this Christian influence, it seems that the United States is rapidly becoming a pagan nation. It’s tempting to think that we should be fighting social issues and not waste time on “academic” topics like origins.
But what if there is a connection between origins and all these social issues? I suggest that there is, in fact, a very strong connection. The social issues many Christians find distressing are not problems in themselves, but rather symptoms of an underlying root cause—the loss of biblical authority stemming from attacks on the book of Genesis. Christian values cannot exist in isolation; they only make sense in light of the history recorded in Genesis. So as society increasingly rejects Genesis in favor of evolution or an old-earth creation view, it is a natural consequence that we will experience the decline of Christian America.
Where do Christian doctrines such as “marriage” originate? This doctrine goes back to Genesis. God instituted the family unit. He created Adam and then Eve from Adam’s side; and this was the first married couple. Genesis 2:24 tells us that this historic event is the reason for marriage. The Bible defines marriage as one man and one woman united in God for life. Jesus affirmed this in Matthew 19:4-6, and He quoted Genesis to prove His point.
But if the history in Genesis were not true, then why would marriage have to be so defined? Why not a man and a man, or a man and a rock, for that matter? Without the foundational history in Genesis, marriage is reduced to simply a cultural trend—one that is subject to the shifting winds of human opinions and feelings. It’s not surprising that marriage is under attack today, since its foundation in Genesis is being undermined by evolutionary dogma.
Likewise, the sanctity of human life, human freedom, laws, and justice—all of these have their foundation in the literal, historical understanding of Genesis. And yet, Genesis continues to be attacked throughout our culture. We are told that millions of years of evolution resulted in all life on earth. And as more people reject biblical history, the more we will see the decay of Christianity. Individuals may believe in evolution and still behave in a Christian fashion, but their belief and behavior remain logically inconsistent. People will tend to act on what they believe. And the more people believe in evolution, the more they will behave as those who reject God as Creator.
If we are ever going to see America turn back to God, we must faithfully teach and defend the Bible—starting with the creation account in Genesis.
* Dr. Lisle is Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado.
Cite this article: Lisle, J. 2012. Does Genesis Really Matter? Acts & Facts. 41 (6): 22.