There is no doubt that secularists and humanists are stepping up their campaign against Christianity and the Judeo-Christian values which undergird our society (e.g. see here). There is growing concern within the Church about these attempts to sideline and even to undermine Christianity. In the UK, the latest threat is from the Government itself, which wants to legalise ‘gay marriage,’ even though the Prime Minister recently called on the Church to defend the “values and moral code” of the Bible—which includes marriage only between a man and a woman.
Imagine a real battlefield, where the enemy brought out a new deadly weapon, capable of mass destruction. Then imagine that the other side completely ignored it, preferring to take pot shots at lesser targets. By and large, this is what is happening in the battle between Christianity and secular humanism. Ever since Darwin, the enemies of the Christian faith have used evolution as their main weapon. Yet, in defending their faith, most Christians totally ignore this, believing the creation/evolution issue to be irrelevant. Nothing could be further from the truth, as this article shows.
Take the issue of marriage as an example: When Jesus replied to a question about this, He quoted from Genesis 1:27 and 2:24: “At the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ” (Mark 10:6–8).2
The principle of marriage being only between one man and one woman is based on Genesis. However, if humans evolved from ape-like ancestors then marriage was not a creation ordinance but something that ‘evolved’ along with us. Without the Genesis foundation, those who defend marriage have to appeal to ‘tradition’ and the campaign to defend it is weakened. The same could be said of campaigns to uphold the sanctity of life and oppose abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide. The only real argument against the secular view is the fact that people are created in the image of God. Biblical values begin at the beginning of the Bible! The enemies of our faith know that if they can undermine the foundation they have won half the battle.
Exodus of the young
There is growing concern over the exodus of young people from the Church. This often happens when they go to college and university, where they find themselves ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of secular humanists. Many churches try to keep their young people by using modern music and worship styles, yet forget to teach them how to defend their faith, especially belief in creation. The Church needs to rediscover the importance of biblical apologetics in order to counteract the attacks of secular humanists.
Many people within the Church feel intimidated by the increasingly vocal campaigns of secular humanists, and it’s easy to adopt a siege mentality, like that envisaged in an old gospel hymn:
“Hold the fort, for I am coming,”
Jesus signals still;
Wave the answer back to Heaven,
“By Thy grace we will.”
However, we must not be defeatist, but engage with those who oppose us, and not ignore their main weapon—evolution. Another old hymn is more realistic and biblical:
Strong to meet the foe, marching on we go,
While our cause we know, must prevail.
We are on the winning side. Jesus rose from the dead, and His Kingdom cannot fail! Although we use the language of conflict, this battle is a spiritual one. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:3–5). Evolution is one such “stronghold”; but with the resources now available, backed by prayer and the Holy Spirit, we have the means to demolish it!
This article first appeared in Creation Update, Spring 2012, Creation Resources Trust, UK; used with permission. Return to text.
It was “at the beginning” that God made them male and female, not 4 ½ billion years after the beginning, as theistic evolutionists claim! Return to text.
This article first appeared in Creation Update, Spring 2012, Creation Resources Trust, UK; used with permission.
It was “at the beginning” that God made them male and female, not 4 ½ billion years after the beginning, as theistic evolutionists claim!
So true. However it is not just in opposing humanists and secularists that we need to rely on Genesis. Creation truth also comes into play when challenging Islam. For example, Muslims downplay the significance of sin. They ofter refer to it as a mis-deed or mistake. As one Muslim put it: "Adam sinned, we agree. But why do his children have to bear something they took no part in? Why is a sacrifice needed to please a Most Merciful God? A Muslim will answer there is no need for any of that." This ignores the fact that death followed as a result of sin and that God provided skins (blood sacrifice) as a covering.
Islam has Adam created out of dust but omits the fact of God breathing life into the body He had formed. This has at least two consequences: Sanctity of human life results from the God-breathed life we enjoy. Apart from that how does one claim any greater 'sanctity' of human life compared to animal life? Secondly, Allah is consistently depicted as remote, unapproachable and having no personal relationship with mankind. That may sound like a very pious belief. However Genesis gives the lie to it in that God breathed his breath into us and that He walked with Adam and Eve in garden. This is consistent with the nature of the tri-une God. This God makes firm covenants and promises to Man. By way of contrast Allah is unpredictable and capricious - even the most devout Muslim men, from the very first up to the present, have no certainty regarding the resurrection and judgement. Jesus said I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish. This is what I pray for my Muslim friends.
Robert S., Australia, 20 September 2012
We should have all confidence when we stick with and use God's word in this Holy War, since it is easily able to destroy any high argument that is brought against it.
"Is not my word like a fire?" say the Lord, "And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?" Jer 23:29
Chandrasekaran M., Australia, 20 September 2012
Why is Nothing-to-moral-homo-sapiens evolution treated as endangered science to the exclusion of the creation science when the real science has thrived ‘millions’ of years without excluding other worldviews?
On the one hand, genome degradation in bacteria due to anti bacterial treatments is claimed as the proof of evolution in action but on the other hand, a fossil and a corresponding living fossil after ‘millions' [of] years is also evolution.
No wonder evolution history science is a protected science by atheist and agnostics.
M. G., South Africa, 20 September 2012
Great article. Thank you. It is time for the church to face its responsibilities of standing for truth, and unity. In many ways the church is failing its younger and older members in the fight against our Adversary. If we were less divided we would have a greater impact upon the world and enemies of truth.
Michael T., Australia, 20 September 2012
Matt 19:6b "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
It seems to me to be self-defeating to not affirm marriage as being between one man and one woman *for life*.
If marriages are 'disposable', then the concept is meaningless.
Patrick C., France, 20 September 2012
I question the wisdom of using a battle tank image to bolster the spiritual warfare analogy in this article. It is a completely inappropriate image, I believe, to use on both moral and spiritual grounds. You quote the Scripture correctly, and then show a lack of understanding of what Paul meant by indulging in the use of the battle tank analogy. The spiritual weapons that we are commanded to use cannot be compared to anything this world has to offer (The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world). Having seen military service, including ‘live-firing’ exercises firsthand, there is nothing nice about the crack of a live round passing inches from you. Images inappropriate for our prestigious ministry, I think.
Philip Bell responds
Thank you for your comment. Certainly, we respect that supporters of CMI will not always agree with our decisions on matters of this sort, though we do try to take such views on board, seeing this as a vital way in which CMI helps to maintain its cutting edge relevance; i.e. "iron sharpens iron" (Proverbs 27:17).
Clearly, there are divergent views on the issue you have raised. It seems that even the Apostle Paul used martial and battle imagery, without glorifying war. There is nothing glamorous about the intended use of a Roman sword either, yet the same argument could be used there too, that the weapons we fight with are spiritual, and in one sense can’t be compared with Roman swords.
Images are sometimes used to provoke thinking and/or to draw attention. As with the use of allegories, they often fail if the comparison is pressed too far, as here (since the fight is on a spiritual level). We trust that the main point of the article was clear nevertheless.
Knut E L., Norway, 20 September 2012
Amen to this! And I'd like to add the following from Heb.10,35: "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward."
Why should we be intimidated by arguments / teachings / doctrines which obviously are not based on facts or / and (the) truth??
John C., United States, 20 September 2012
How can marriage be based on genesis when adam and eve WEREN'T married?
Philip Bell responds
When Christ defended the doctrine of marriage in Matthew 19:3–6 (parallel passage in Mark 10), He cited the Genesis creation account regarding Adam and Eve, particularly Genesis 1:27 and 2:24. The joining of Adam to "his wife" (see Genesis 2:25) was taken by Jesus to be the basis of all monogamous heterosexual marriages since that time; i.e. "the two will become one flesh."
michael S., United Kingdom, 20 September 2012
I understand and agree with the article. I live in the UK and they are obsessed with gay-marriage, it comes on the news every few weeks because they badly want it to come to pass. ERGO, I confidently predict it will come about. Because inner-desire, and the sinful nature, runs free in those that are not in Christ, ERGO they have no reasons except WORLDLY reasons. (we want to, ergo we will).
"The world and it's desires are passing away, but those who do the will of God will abide forever".
Meanwhile, when a child stomps his foot because he wants something, expect him to get it in this world.
Martyn M., Australia, 21 September 2012
Michael S, don't give in to same sex marriage as being inevitable. We had a tremendous win here in Australia defeating the bill to legalise same sex marriage, even though the media and many of the public support SSM. Britain was in a terrible way before the Wesley revivals. Revival again in Britain will transform your nation. Just as I believe it’s going to do here in Australia.
Robert S., Australia, 21 September 2012
When talking with your Muslim friends about sin, you could point out that children lie and steal without anyone having to teach it to them; it comes quite naturally, which shows that we inherit a sinful nature from the start.
Also, (concerning the doctrine of good works) any good deeds we do will be inadequate in compensating for our sins/crimes, since they will always be tainted to some degree because of our sinful nature (our concience also bearing witness to this); and sin cannot make atonement for sin.
Handing God an invoice for our good deeds/works places us outside the Kingdom of Grace. Added to this is the wrong notion that God 'owes us' for our good deeds, which is trying to make him our servant. God owes us nothing; he does because he desires to do, for free (John 3:16), not because he has to.
He does reward good deeds, but only for their own sake, freely done out of gratitude towards God because of grace freely given, but certainly not as a means of gaining heaven.
The fact that God himself had to personally make atonement for us, demonstrates the seriousness of our condition, and that scratching at the debt with good deeds will not even put a tiny dent in it.
The only good deed that can save us is Christ's good deed on the cross.
And the only value of our good works/deeds is to help others and to advertise God's kingdom i.e. "put your light on the hill."
Scriptures which say, "faith without good deeds/works is dead" simply mean that to lay around on the couch all day is no help to God's Kingdom.
The main sticking point that the world has when trying to grasp the real meaning of and the overall reason for the Bible's message, is that:
A righteous and Holy Creator cannot but require an overall account of and reackoning for sin/crime. But, he has provided a means of escape from this reckoning and punishment through sacrificing himself in our place.
P. G., United States, 21 September 2012
Responsse to John C. from the United States. Genesis chapter 2 verse 22 says "And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man." God brought Eve to Adam. I can't at all comprehend what you imagine marriage to be if you don't recognize that as marriage. I exhort you to read your bible and believe it and do the things the Lord has called us to do.
Gordon H., Australia, 21 September 2012
In further response to "John C., US", it should be noticed that no ceremony is necessary for Biblical marriage. "Wife" is consistently used within the context of sexual relationship (eg Solomon [sic] after his adultery with Bath Sheba - no ceremony mentioned) and "Husband" is usually in the context of "father of (his wife's) children"
Philip Bell responds
While marriage in the Old Testament was not always associated with an overt ceremony (see e.g. Genesis 24:67 regarding Isaac and Rebekah), just because the Bible doesn’t mention a ceremony in the case of David and Bathsheba, it doesn't necessarily follow that Bathsheba was not formally and legally married to David after the death of her first husband Uriah; the Bible is silent as to the details.
M. H., Australia, 21 September 2012
Very clear precise article. You might be interested to know that many Christians believe that a stronghold can be unbelief, rebellion or bitterness and evolution is the lie to justify the lack of repentence or the lie to justify keeping the stronghold.
Keep up the excellent work.
P. G., United States, 21 September 2012
Response to Gordon H. of Australia. The mistake John made was in his view of what constitutes a marriage and who ordains marriage. Your mistake is in viewing sexual relationship as marriage. It is not. Jewish law required that man and woman who were not married and engaged in sexual relations be stoned to death. The Lord told the woman at the well that the man she now had was NOT her husband. What does it mean? Sexual relations do not constitute a marriage. You emphasize a husband as the father of his wife's children - yet Abraham was Sarai's husband long before she bore children. The Lord gives the example of wedding feasts many times, which shows that marriage was not simply sexual relationships but a joining together as appointed by God. Our Lord also described someone who came into the wedding celebration and had not put on a wedding garment. The view you expressed of marriage is off the mark, and such a view will surely have adverse spiritual effects.
Philip Bell responds
This will be the last comment posted re: what constitutes 'biblical marriage'.