"Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil" (Proverbs 4:27).
Some today disdain the "old farmer" who has been quoted as saying, "God said it. I believe it. That settles it." It appears that it has become passé to base our faith solely on the word of God or to trust explicitly in the clear, simple words of the written text. We must, many seem to demand, have evidential proof of the accuracy and authenticity of the Scriptures before we feel that "others" will accept our faith.
Perhaps the evangelical Church needs reminding how emphatic is the demand for total allegiance and submission to the authority of God's word.
"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments . . . " (Deuteronomy 4:2).
"Every word of God is pure: . . . Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" (Proverbs 30:5,6).
"Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" (Matthew 5:18).
"The scripture cannot be broken; . . ." (John 10:35).
"For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; . . ." (Romans 3:3,4).
And perhaps, the Church has forgotten the intense prohibition and terrible consequences to those who would take it upon themselves to alter the word of God.
". . . there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:7,8).
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Colossians 2:8).
". . . keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith" (I Timothy 6:20,21).
"Ye therefore, beloved, . . . beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness" (II Peter 3:17).
"I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18,19).
When the Lord God of the universe, the Creator of the ends of the earth, the King of kings—whose very name is held to be the greatest name among all created beings; whose name is not to be taken in vain—when He says He has "magnified (His) word above all (His) name" (Psalm 138:2), it does seem prudent, at the least, to respect that word and honor its message.
|God's Power Available for Us|
|Power of the Gospel||Romans 1:16|
|Power of Declaration||I Corinthians 1:18; 2:1-5|
|Power of the Word||Hebrews 4:12|
|Power of the Holy Spirit||Ephesians 5:15-21|
|Power of the Armor of God||Ephesians 6:10-19|
|Power to Work Great Works||John 14:12|
|Power over Unclean Spirits||Matthew 10:1|
|Power over the Enemy||Luke 10:19|
|Power in the Gospel||I Corinthians 9:18|
|Power to Edify the Saints||II Corinthians 10:8|
|Power over the Nations||Revelation 2:26|
|Power of Grace and Mercy||Hebrews 4:16|
|Power of Forgiveness||Exodus 34:5-7|
|Power of Faith||Hebrews 11:32-40|
|Power of Love||Ephesians 3:16-19|
|Power of Holiness and Righteousness||Mark 6:20|
|Power of the Angels||Psalm 103:19|
Yet today, even among the core of evangelicals—indeed, among those who claim to hold to the inspiration of the Bible—there are voices of Christian men and women who are questioning the most basic and foundational revealed truth in Scripture that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). And not merely questioning the curious mechanics and unique events of the creation week, but debating the very words and message of that week. Even more—questioning the character and nature of the God of the Bible by attributing to Him the evil, wasteful, chaotic, random, purposeless, death-filled processes of evolutionary "creation" making God the Author and Sustainer of all that evolution demands.
My dear reader, this cannot be! The worldview which is presented in the Bible is quite incompatible with and un-harmonizeable with that which is presented by the evolutionary philosophers. Every facet of these two diametrically opposed systems of thinking and belief are opposites! They cannot be made to blend together.
One or the other is not real.
Perhaps the most perplexing and distressing phenomenon among the scholars, theologians, scientists, and leading spokespersons on this issue today is—that Christians are the only ones doing the compromising! The evolutionary camp is not being converted to the Biblical message of an omnipotent Creator. They are fast anchored to the atheistic system that excludes a Creator. The evolutionary thinkers are not struggling to find a way to harmonize the events of Genesis 1-11 with the words of Darwin or Stephen J. Gould. They are beating the drum of "science" versus "religion" so loud that they cannot hear the evidence that some Christian apologists would try to get them to consider.
No, the "movement" is among the saints of God! It is the Christian scholars and theologians who are insisting that the words of God be aligned with the words of men. It is the avowed "Bible believers" that are leading their followers down a broad road of compromise with philosophical amalgams like "The Progressive Creation Theory" or "The Framework Hypothesis." The common thread among all of these efforts, including the earlier attempts such as "Theistic Evolution" and the "Gap Theory," is to provide a way for "science" to have the long ages necessary for evolutionary activity, while still allowing for God to "create" mysteriously during the long ages of chaos.
Years ago the "enlightenment" dawned in Europe and darkened the minds of theologians and Christian scholars with the "proof" of intellectual reason and the "science" of evolution. The main streams of Christianity (both Protestant and Catholic) fought fiercely for the approval of secular minds trying to bring about a reconciliation between faith and science, morality and philosophy, and revelation with reason.
As the "higher critics" attacked the authenticity and accuracy of the Scriptures, the theologians bent to accommodate the "naturalistic" interpretation of God's word. When the "scientists" swept the creation account into the dustbin of mythology, the theologians found "allegorical meaning" in the words. And when the philosophers rationalized away the "absolutes" of righteousness and negated the "concept" of sin, the theologians embraced "situational morality" and "cultural diversity."
Time after time, issue after issue, decade after decade, the Christian theologians were the ones who "changed" their positions to placate open hostility to God's Holy Word!
Now, the momentum is building up again toward secular triumph among the evangelical churches, after a few decades of opposition by the "fundamentalist versus modernist" clash in the early years of the twentieth century. Science now supersedes Scripture when there is conflict. Reason and intellect now triumph over Scripture where there is question about the text. In many churches, experience substitutes for doctrine and pragmatic function dominates theology.
Instead of "pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians 10:4,5) many are "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Ephesians 4:14). But, my dear brother or sister in Christ, "these things ought not so to be" (James 3:10)!
As Dr. John Morris (President of ICR) is so fond of saying, "This is a wonderful time to be a Bible-believing Christian!" There is more "proof" of the veracity of Scripture in history, archeology, and science than at any other time. More work has been done and published than ever before! There is absolutely no need to retreat into the shallow grave of ignorance and apathy. We should be on the spiritual battlefield, heady with the filling of the Holy Spirit, and rejoicing in the power of the Gospel!
Thankfully, there are still many churches that stand firm for the word of God. There are thousands of Christian leaders, scholars, pastors, theologians, and scientists who both love the Lord Jesus Christ and hold to inerrant Scriptures. There are Christian schools, radio stations, teaching organizations, and mission boards that rejoice in the integrity of the Bible and boldly proclaim their commitment to the absolute authority of God's revealed Word over life and lifestyle. God is not asleep; His reach is not shortened; nor is His ear dulled to the cries of His people.
The command of God was "go" under authority and with ability (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). Both God's promise and His expectation are for us to use His power and might.
*Dr. Henry Morris III is the Executive Vice President for ICR.