Building blocks … or stumbling blocks?
Replacing Genesis history undermines the foundations of Christianity
Photo by Stephen Dyer www.stockphoto.com.au
Great stonemasons of the past understood when constructing a building that the foundation was key to stabilizing the structure.
Similarly, a wise buyer looking to purchase a home today is unimpressed by beautiful appliances, wallpaper and flooring if the basement is cracked.
Even someone buying on ‘impulse’ may soon move on after the initial excitement wears off and the structure is put under close scrutiny.
Similarly, the foundations of Christianity must be solid, otherwise the whole edifice will look flimsy to people examining it.
Jesus said; ‘If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?’ (John 5:46–47)
Another similar theme is found in the account of the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus, dying, goes to be with Abraham, but the rich man goes to hell. Unable to escape, he requests a messenger be sent to his brothers to warn them to avoid his fate. The response?
‘ … If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ Luke 16:31
The foundational book of the Bible is Genesis (one of the ‘books of Moses’—the first five books of the Bible). If people do not believe what Moses wrote (as I once didn’t) they may have a hard time believing what Jesus said, or even in a Resurrection. Many doubt the Creation account, but Jesus quoted Genesis as real history …
Growing up as an atheist I frequently used questions regarding Genesis to deny belief in God. When a Christian wanted to witness to me (i.e. tell me about Jesus) I would simply ask them questions about Genesis (i.e. Moses). When they couldn’t give reasonable answers it justified not listening further.
Q - ‘So you believe the Bible?’
A – ‘Yes!’
Q - ‘You believe some guy put two of every animal on a big boat, and there are millions of animals in the world?’
A – ‘Uhhh … ’
Q - ‘You believe the Bible?’
A – ‘Yes!’
Q - ‘You believe some lady talked to a snake?’
A – ‘Uhhh … ’
It seemed like I almost always got one of two responses. Either the person had no reasonable answer, or they tried convincing me what I was referring to didn’t necessarily mean what the Bible plainly said. Either way, their answers were illogical.
How so? Logically if there was no reasonable defence of Scripture or it could be ‘reinterpreted’ to mean whatever you wanted it to mean, why should any portion of it be considered authoritative? This helped justify my sin and disbelief. Like the rich man’s brothers, the reality of hell and the account of Jesus’ death and Resurrection seemed implausible because of my disbelief regarding events in the books of Moses.
The creation/evolution debate is far from a side issue in the church. Both deal with the past (history). But evolutionary history and the history recorded in Genesis are completely incompatible.
Genesis 1–11 is a building block for the Christian faith because all Christian doctrines (directly or indirectly) are founded in the book of Genesis. The origin of sin, death, the need of a saviour, marriage, clothing, work etc., are all found there.
When people attempt to remove and replace the history in Genesis it threatens the entire structure of Christianity by undermining our foundation, and what were meant to be building blocks of faith, become stumbling blocks of doubt!