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How important is creation for Christians and others?

 

Creation Corner articles are usually directed toward non-Christians. Although this one is directed toward Christians, non-Christians will also find many parts in it of interest.

My observation

I have observed for several decades that many church groups have lost sight of creation as a prominent focus in their literature, their services, and in their evangelism efforts.

 

This article is about that loss of focus and has four objectives:

1) To re-affirm creation as a major theme throughout the Bible.

2) To show the importance of creation in strengthening the faith of church members.

3) To show the importance of creation in evangelism efforts.

4) To show how the spread of evolution has harmed both society and Christian churches.

 

It may be helpful to first look at some of the harm being done by the evolution alternative.

 

Results after 140 years of Darwin's theory

Evolution is now widely proclaimed as established fact. Its doctrines are the only ones taught in public schools and are supported without question by the mainstream media. Even worse, giving the creation alternative a fair hearing is viciously fought by the evolution-believing "superiors" in academia, science, and government. As a result, creation is now definitely a "second class citizen"; unfairly suppressed and its followers quite often ridiculed.

 

Harm to society

We can see evolution's harm to society in today's widespread evolution doctrine that "humans are just animals". (1) This doctrine has brought about these results:

1) Groups are arising who say humans should be active contributors to justify their continued survival. The old, the infirm, the mentally and physically challenged are at risk as this thinking expands.

2) Abortions are of no consequence and should be available on demand. After all, don't other animals kill their young from time to time?

3) Humans are not responsible for their actions, they are instead victims of their genes and environment.

4) There are no moral absolutes, no right and wrong.

5) Humans should do whatever feels good to them.

 

Harm to Christians

Not only does evolution harm society in general; it has especially harmed Christian church groups. Many ministers and members seem intimidated by evolution's success and perceived authority. Too many are afraid to stand up for creation. This diminishes their belief in the Bible, which consequently diminishes their effectiveness in promoting the Bible and in gaining new converts.

 

Now that we have looked at some of evolution's harmful results, we will examine:

How important is creation for Christians and others?

?

We will consider twelve points.

Point 1.

I don't think it is an over statement to say everything revolves around creation. The proposition is a simple one:

1) Either we have been created.

2) Or we have not been created.

It has to be one or the other. Depending on the answer, certain conclusions become evident.

If we have not been created

then you can throw out the Bible and all that it says. Why say that? If the Bible is not true about one of its major doctrines - creation - then it would be both pointless and foolish to 1) believe and 2) follow the rest of it.

 

On the other hand, if the Bible is true about creation, then all the rest of what it says becomes believable and important.

1) If true, it is only logical to trust your creator.

2) If true, it is only right and proper to worship the creator who made you.

3) If true, it is only logical to live the type of life that your maker says will bring you the most happiness.

4) If true, it is only logical to believe your maker when He teaches there is right and wrong; that there is a moral code.

5) If true, it is easier to believe you will be resurrected from the dead and will have an eternal existence.

6) If true, a Christian has a deeper appreciation for Jesus Christ, knowing the actual Creator of all things lowered himself - became human - and voluntarily died a painful death to save His human creatures.

 

Point 2. A core theme throughout the Bible

A core theme throughout the Bible is God

1) revealing Himself as Creator

2) and then communicating to His human creatures.

 

The Bible's very first verse sets the stage for what follows. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". (Gen 1:1) It really does not get any simpler than those ten words.

 

Chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis give more detail about the re-fashioning of the earth and the creation of man.

 

God says the sea is his, he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. (Psm 95:15)

 

The Creator compares himself to man's other gods and says, ""Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands! They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes they have, but they see not. They have ears, but they hear not; noses have they but they smell not. They have hands, but they handle not; feet have they, but they walk not; neither speak they through their throat." (Psm 115:4-7) (I find those verses quite amusing. What eloquent satire!)

 

He says he formed us from the womb(13); the Lord who makes all things; who stretched forth the heavens alone; who spread the earth by himself. (Isa 44:24)

 

The Bible continues as God says he made the earth by his power; he established the world by his wisdom, and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. It says he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightnings with rain, and brings forth the wind out of his treasures. (Jer 10:12-13)

 

God says he covers himself with light like a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a curtain; he makes the clouds his chariots; he walks upon the wings of the wind; he makes his angels spirits, he laid the foundations of the earth; he covers it with the oceans like a garment; he has set them a boundary that they turn not again to cover the earth [implying they once did cover the earth]. ((Psm 104:2-9 good to read all of 104)

 

God again says he made the earth and created man upon it; he formed it to be inhabited. ((Isa 45:12, 18)

 

God says he formed the mountains; created the wind; treads upon the high places; and tells man his thoughts. Amos 4:13)

 

Nehemiah said God alone made the heavens, the earth, the seas, and all that are in them. Moreover he said God preserves them all; and the host of heaven worships that God. (Neh 9:6)

 

We are told He tells the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. (Psm 147:4)

 

In the last book of the Old Testament the question is asked: "Don't we all have one father; hasn't one God created us"? (Mal 2:10)

 

So from the first book to the last book, with another nine books in between, the Old Testament has a basic underlying creation theme.

 

That theme is then securely fastened to the New Testament by the first chapter of John that explains Christ was the being who carried out the creation

The last book of the Bible completes the creation theme as it tells about the future creation of a new earth.

 

How about life itself?

This same Bible being says He is the author of life.

 

We are told if God takes away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. (Psm 104:29)

 

We are told man became a living soul when God breathed into him the breath of life; and that he provides the tree of life. (Gen 2: 7, 9)

 

God says he gives breath to the people upon the earth, and spirit to them that walk on it. (Isa 42:5)

 

We are told the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. (Rom 6:23)

 

So the first two points have shown the importance of creation in the Bible; that it is a core theme throughout, from beginning to end.

 

Pont 3. A universal belief around the world

Is the Bible the only place we find a Creator? Emphatically not! It is surprising to realize that most cultures around the world have a passed-down belief in a creator being. (Although the Bible is the only book claiming to be direct communication from the Creator to His human creatures.)

 

Americans will probably immediately think of our native Indians whose various tribes believed in the Great Spirit.

 

Prominent evolution lecturer, Sir David Attenborough, in his autobiography (3) mentions two more such cultures. He was at the island where Captain Cook had landed hundreds of years before. Attenborough visited a native shrine called Orongo. The rocks were carved with mask-like faces that had circular staring eyes. He had noticed similar carvings elsewhere on the island. He asked about them. Notice the answer, "The people told us circular eyes were a sign of divinity. The masks represented Make Make, the ancient and most important god, the creator of all the world."

 

 

 

 

Sir David goes on to tell about a visit to Egypt. He mentions that about 5,400 years ago bulls were the first animals worshipped as gods in the temples of ancient Egypt. Notice as he tells us "A special bull calf, identified by particular markings, was selected by the priests as the mortal incarnation of Ptah, the creator of all..

 

"The Illustrated Dictionary of Religions"(5) tells us this, "From Africa to Australia, small groups of indigenous people still practice their own "primal" religions..... Most primal religions have a creator spirit spirit - often a sky god - as well as a range of nature spirits and local deities.

 

The book "Religions of the World"(4) says this about religious beliefs in Africa "Yet a conception of a "high god," a supreme creator, does exist across Africa."

 

The theme of the book, "Eternity in their Hearts"(6) is all about belief in a creator that is found in cultures around the world.

 

Among many in the book, the author tells us that the Incas had a memory of a god before their then current gods. He was called ..."Viracocha the Lord, the omnipotent Creator of all things of all things." Another book, "Atlas of the Year 1,000"(9) says this: "Nearby stands a single 10-tonne block of andesite cut into an arch known as the Gateway of the Sun, with a lintel on which are carved 48 figures running towards a god, possibly Viracocha, the Creator."

 

"Eternity in their Hearts" tells about several million people living in Ethiopia. "...who, though divided into quite different tribes, share common belief in a benevolent being called Magano - omnipotent Creator of all that is." of all that is."

 

The author tells us about the Karen people of Burma. Christian missionaries were shocked to translate the native hymns to discover they were about a creator god called Y'wa. Some songs have these verses, "Y'wa is eternal, his life is long. Aeons follow aeons - he dies not. Y'wa created the world in the beginning! Y'wa created men at the beginning." The author recites many more such verses, which seem like they could have come right out of a Christian hymnal!

 

The book has many more such examples. In addition, it mentions the work of the German researcher, Wilhelm Schmidt. In 1912 Schmidt published his book (7) that documented evidence for "native monotheism". By 1955, Schmidt had collected and published more than 4,000 pages of evidence in a total of 12 large volumes!

 

A world-wide creator belief summarized

The book "Myths and Legends (10) sums it up nicely when it says, "One thing that all mythologies agreed on is that the world was created by the deliberate act of a divine being, and that men and women were created especially to live on it."

 

 

Point 4. How do we prove the creator God?

Do the Bible verses quoted in points one and two, and others like them, prove God, prove the Creator? They do not. Someone saying something is so does not make it so! Why list the previous creation verses then? As you will remember, they were listed to re-affirm that creation is at the very core of Christianity.

 

How then can we prove a being we cannot see? What are we to do for proof of the Creator? There is an answer! The Bible tells mankind to look around at the things that have been made (8) and we will understand Him (God). That is what "Creation Corner" articles try to offer; proof by looking at things that have been made. Moreover, there are many other books and web sites that offer more such proof.

 

Point 5. The everlasting gospel

The Bible says in its last book that when God is ready to offer salvation to all people, that an angel will preach the "everlasting gospel" to all nations and peoples. What is the "everlasting gospel"? It is a message that primarily points out "we should fear God and give glory to Him, and worship him [the creator] that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountain of waters". (Rev 14:6-7)

 

And indeed that is why we should worship God - because he did create us and does give us life.

 

Point 6. The formula for more Christian faith.

How many Christian readers think they enough faith? Probably very few. How many want more faith? Probably every practicing Christian. As a lover of algebra and geometry in school, I like formulas. Do you know the Bible formula for more faith? Notice Heb 11:6 that says "But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that comes to God must believe that He is...´ But how can we believe He is when we can't see Him? How can we believe He is when He is invisible to humans?

 

The answer or formula is given to us in Rom 1:20 cited above. We are to look at the things He has made. The formulas can be expressed as:

More faith = believe that He is.

Believe that He is = look at the things He has made.

 

Has this writer's own faith been increased by learning more about creation? Yes, it has. I look back to realize I have heard over 4,500 Church of God sermons and sermonettes over the past forty years. But like most humans, only a few standout in my memory. But three of those few happened to be on creation. Why remember those especially? Because they did increase my faith. I offer the writer's own experience as more support for the importance of creation.

 

Point 7. A Bible example to illustrate the importance of creation

What if God called you a perfect and upright Christian? You would have it made, right? Job 1:1 says Job was such a man. Yet, Job lacked one thing. What did he lack? He did not understand or appreciate God as Creator. God had to reveal and emphasize Himself as the creator to Job, which is recorded in those marvelous chapters of Job 38 and 39.

Then Job said in 42:5, "I have heard of thee by hearing of the ear, but now mine eye sees you."

 

We know Job did not physically see God, because no human can do so and live. What Job confessed went to the heart of Heb 11:6 when he said (paraphrased), "Seeing You as creator, now I believe that You are". So even Job, a perfect and upright man, needed more of creation knowledge to believe God is.

 

 

 

 

David is another such Bible example that comes to mind. The Psalms are full of knowledge and praise about the creator God. They reveal David knew God is; and David's writings are full of admiration and awe for the creator.


Point 8. A church group example of the importance of creation

In 1964 the writer was baptized and became a member of the Worldwide Church of God. The writer witnessed much of their astounding growth, which they say was 30% a year for nearly a decade. The writer saw new members coming into the Detroit church every week, growing from 400 members to over 2,100, from one local church to six. The point is - during those growth years, the Worldwide Church of God had a strong emphasis on creation.

 

They printed many magazine articles, made numerous broadcasts, and published a number of booklets that supported creation. The booklets were especially well done, with full color covers and expensive glossy paper for the inside pages. Could their focus on creation have been a major factor in their highly successful growth rate? I believe it was. And based on their example of growth, I think all of us need to consider very seriously the matter of proclaiming more about creation.

 

It may be significant that about the time the Worldwide Church of God lost their focus on creation is about the same time many problems in the organization began to surface. Not only did their growth stop, but today the organization, even including a multitude of offshoot groups, is a fraction of what the mother organization was at its peak.

 

Point 9. Creation as an evangelism tool

How should churches use creation to reach and persuade new people? To answer that let's separate prospects into three groups:

1) People with no Christianity in their culture.

2) People whose culture has some Christianity.

3) Islam converts in America.

 

To reach those without a Christian background

Doesn't it make sense to evangelize people without a Christian background by building on their own knowledge? Consider these two different approaches.

1) One way is to tell prospects to throw out all of their past religion and accept this new one.

2) The other way is to say something like this, "Your ancient ancestors recognized a creator and that knowledge has been passed down for many generations. I represent that creator. Moreover, I want to introduce you to the Bible, which is the creator's communication to His human creatures."

 

Which approach do you think would get the best results? The book "Eternity in their Hearts" recommends the second approach and has case studies to support their recommendation.

 

Moreover, isn't the second approach the one used by Paul when he addressed the pagan philosophers at Mars Hill? Didn't he say "I perceive that in all things you are very religious...considering the objects of your worship...found an altar...To the unknown God?" Whom, therefore, you ignorantly worship, him I declare unto you. God, who made the world the world and all things in it,...seeing he gives to all life, and breath, and all things...as certain of your poets have said, For we are also his off spring...Forasmuch, then, as we are the offspring of God "? (Acts 17:22-29)

 

Did Paul thrust a brand new God in their faces, or did he build on what they already knew and were doing?

 

Didn't Paul first start off by praising them for being very religious? Didn't he then commend them for having an altar to the unknown God? Didn't he introduce himself as representing that God? Didn't Paul quote from one of their own poets? Only after all of that, didn't Paul then, among other things, introduce them to the creator?

 

As someone who spent much of his working life in sales and sales management, I recognize a fellow salesman in the way the apostle Paul approached people. And I mean Paul as a "top salesman" in every good sense of the term.

 

Paul used creation again at Lycaonia. (Acts 14:15)

 

With Paul's examples, plus the other verses we have looked at, doesn't it make sense to give creation more attention and focus when trying to reach people without a Christian background?

 

To reach those with some knowledge of Christianity

How about reaching out to people living in a Christian culture? I would like to submit to my readers that if you can first persuade someone that God is the creator of all things, it is then easier for them to accept Jesus as their personal Savior. Why say that? Once you can establish Jesus as the one who did the creating, it is easier for new Christians to appreciate His sacrifice of becoming human and dying for His creatures. Once new Christians realize they have been created, their thankfulness and responsibilities to their creator become self-evident.

 

We already considered Job who was "perfect and upright", but who needed to know the creator.

 

In any event, I think Jesus as Creator and as Savior are so closely intertwined that a renewed emphasis on creation will improve reaching new people, even those with some knowledge of Christianity in their background.

 

Reaching non-christians

A growing problem in America is the fact that prison inmates are being converted to Islam. We have even seen cases where Islam-converted Americans serving in our military turned on the United States.

 

This writer believes these conversions to Islam happen by default. They happen because Christians have fallen down on the job. Why say that? Islam says there is a Creator of the Cosmos, they agree with Christianity in that respect. Then they go exclusively to the sayings of Muhammad, a man they believe a prophet. I think we need to counter Islam by proclaiming - with much more vigor - that Christianity represents the Creator acknowledged by Islam, and that the Bible is the creator's communication to us.

 

As a side note, Hinduism believes in Brahma, the creator. Hindus, unfortunately, then go on to worship the creatures instead of the creator, which is just what we are warned against doing in Rom 1:25. Doesn't it seem that Hindus, like Muslims, could be better reached by building on their belief in the creator?

 

As a side note about Islam. Students in the California school system are now forced to study Islam. Not only to study its doctrines, but also to act out its beliefs. A federal judge recently ruled that a California school district did not violate the US Constitution when its teachers had students simulate Muslim worship, voice Muslim prayers, and wear Muslim attire in class.

Yes, you read that right. Now consider the contrast. One minute of silence so students can voluntarily offer a prayer to the creator is not allowed because someone might all alone, silently and voluntarily practice one minute of Christianity. On the other hand, compelling every student, even against their wishes, to wear Islamic robes and recite Islamic prayers is court sanctioned and must be obeyed!

 

I think Christians have already lost the battle in California. What do you think?

This writer believes a greater emphasis on the creator aspect of our God is needed to help counter these ominous trends.

 

Point 10. What is a major difference about Christianity?

Once we realize other religions also acknowledge a creator, we have to ask, what then makes Christianity so different? A major distinction is that the Christian Bible is all about the Creator communicating to His human creatures. (12)

Point 11. How evolution harms children raised as Christians

But there is another harmful effect. "Answers in Genesis" is a creation work that I am especially fond of. Another is "Does God Exist", the personal ministry of John Clayton. Both of these sources document large numbers of cases where children were brought up as Christians, only to quit church as adults. Why did they quit? It happened in case after case because of the evolution (no creator) doctrines they were taught at public schools and colleges.

 

What brought them back? In case after case it was exposure to information that supported creation.

 

John Clayton's story is especially interesting. He was raised by atheist parents and was himself an atheist until well into adulthood. John tells us that as an atheist he experienced many of the pleasures offered by a life without God. Finally he came to realize - pleasure is not happiness - and he made a major change in his life.

 

By the way, I think John has voiced a profound truth - pleasure is not happiness. This is good advice for all of us, but especially so for our children who are every day besieged by the evolution influenced world around them.

 

I should mention that hard working John Clayton carried out his creation ministry while performing a full time teacher job. Now in retirement, he is still busy for creation. From atheist activist to creation advocate - what a turn around! His story is inspiring reading.

 

What to do? It is this writer's strong belief that Christian churches need a return to promoting the Creator God as a prominent part of their focus.

 

Will a re-focus on creation solve all modern day Christianity's problems? Of course not, other factors are also at work. What I do propose is that if our children are given the firm foundation that they have in fact been created, they are more likely to stay with the church. Moreover, even if they don't stay, they at least will be better equipped to withstand the trials and temptations they are sure to encounter as they go through life. Of course a firmer creation belief helps every Christian, not just children growing up.

 

Point 12. To what extent are scientists at fault?

Point 12. The theory of evolution is full of questions and problems. Many are pointed out in other Creation Corner articles. Lots of books and web sites point out many more.

The theory of evolution is full of questions and problems. Many are pointed out in other Creation Corner articles. Lots of books and web sites point out many more.

 

We have to wonder, is every evolutionist scientist fully aware of the many problems in evolution theory so that they carry out a deliberate deception? Maybe for a few, but I think the majority act in ignorance because they do not see the big picture. What do I mean by that?

 

Modern science has become so complex, so complicated, now has so much information and data, that scientists of necessity have to work in their own very narrow specialty. I think many are aware that their particular specialty has questions and problems with evolution. But they reason, "I see problems here, but I have to consider all the other scientific areas where evolution has been proven. All these other scientists have to be right, so on an overall basis evolution has to be true. Therefore I should overlook the few problems my own field has with evolution."

 

 

 

 

One Biology scientist in a video I highly recommend (8) told of his experience. He said he went all through his various universities, even received his doctorate, without ever learning about the problems in evolutionary Biology. He only learned about them much later as creation supporters pointed them out. He seemed rather indignant that the evolution problems in biology had apparently been deliberately suppressed.

 

Is there hope that evolutionist scientists can be reached? He was one that was reached. "Answers in Genesis" knows of many others. They employ, or have written about, many former evolutionist scientists who now support creation after learning of, and examining, arguments for creation.

 

When the big picture is looked at, when the problems about evolution are accumulated and weighed ‘en masse', only then are scientists able to fully realize the number and extent of the problems. Whose job is it to bring to scientists (and all others) attention to

1) the problems of evolution doctrine, and

2) the proofs of a creator?

 

Christian reader, isn't it yours and mine?

 

A Summary of the Twelve Points

We have considered the following:

1) Either we have been created, or we have not been created.

2) Certain conclusions become evident depending on the answer selected.

3) Creation is a core theme from beginning to end throughout the entire Bible.

4) There is a universal creator belief in cultures all around the world.

5) The Bible per se does not prove a creator; we have to study the things that have been made to do that.

6) The Bible's "Everlasting Gospel" is about creation.

7) The Bible formula for more faith is to know more about creation.

8) Job, a perfect and upright man, only saw God by learning more about Him as creator.

9) One church organization experienced amazing growth when they had a strong focus on creation.

10) Creation should be a major tool in reaching new people, regardless of their previous religious background.

11) A major difference between Christianity and other religions is that in the Bible the creator is communicating to His human creatures.

12) To know Jesus was the one who made all things helps to better understand and appreciate the human death he suffered to become our personal Savior.

13) The lack of focus on creation seems to be a major factor in children leaving the faith when they become adults.

14) We need to reach scientists to show them that the many problems in evolution theory reach across all scientific fields, not just their own particular specialty.

 

In conclusion

As Christians, we represent this different God, the creator God. We also represent His instructions to man. We should stand up boldly and often, proclaiming our creator loud and clear. My intention is to spark a re-focus, to spark a greater emphasis on creation. Doing so can only strengthen member's personal faith. Moreover introducing our God as creator to prospective members should make our evangelizing efforts more successful.

 

C. Frazier Spencer

 

Footnotes:

(1) For more details see the "Creation Corner" article "Evolution and Humans are Just Animals".

(2) A book that reveals evolution as a religion is "Darwin's Leap of Faith" by John Ankerberg and John Weldon.

(3) "Life on Air" by David Attenborough, published 2002 by Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

(4) "Religions of the World" third edition, published 1993 by St. Martin's Press, Inc., NY.

(5) "Illustrated Dictionary of Religions" by Philip Wilkinson, published 1999 by Dorling Kindersly Limited, London.

(6) "Eternity in their Hearts" by Don Richardson, published 1984 by Regal Books, Ventura, CA 93006.

(7) "Ursrung Der Gottisidee" or "The Origin of the Concept of God".

(8) Rom 1:20.

(9) "Atlas of the Year 1,000" by John Man, published 1999 by Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

(10)"Myths and Legends" by Neil Philip, published 1999 by DK Publishing, NY

(11) "Unlocking the Mystery of Life" from Focus on the Family, 800 afamily. Very highly recommended by this writer.

(12) Of course, another major difference is Jesus as personal savior, as well as other doctrines, but our subject for this article is creation.

(13) For God to say "I knew you from the womb" is surprisingly scientific. See the article, "Seven discoveries that establish Bible credibility" for more information.





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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