Hedge of truth
by Henry De Roos, AiG-Canada Seminar Lecturer

September 13, 2001

Oh, the great theological lessons we can learn right in our back yard! When we moved to our new home three years ago there was a beautiful flowering hedge around part of our property. I trimmed it superficially last year, knowing that there were other tree species intertwined with the hedge, with the hopes of someday removing them when I had more time. However, when everything started to grow in the spring, the hedge looked horrible! It hardly flowered this year compared to previous years.

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The once beautiful hedge was now an assortment of 7 different tree species including 2 thorn varieties! I had no choice but to cut out all these unwelcome foreign trees that had taken up residence in my hedge before what was left of my pretty flowering hedge would be destroyed. When I began cutting out the foreign trees, I noticed that every one of them had been growing from an existing stump! After removing the unwelcome trees, I was left with 7 gaping holes in hedge. To avoid future problems, I replaced the stumps with hedge transplanted from elsewhere. Now it looks great again.

What’s the theological lesson in all of this? The hedge could be likened to the church today. Much effort was taken to plant, nurture and establish the hedge in the first place. In a similar way our faith has to be nurtured by establishing a solid foundation, starting with believing basic Biblical truths in Genesis. The evidence of a solid faith is the production of spiritual fruit, just like the flowering hedge producing beautiful flowers when the soil is good and there are no competing weeds.

In today’s church, there are those who spread the seeds of doubt about the meaning of Genesis. These are like the trees and thorn bushes trying to establish themselves in the hedge. A popular teaching is that there are many different ways to interpret the ‘days’ in Genesis. The resulting confusion has led many great Christian leaders down a slippery slide into unbelief. The once fervent evangelist Charles Templeton (friend of Billy Graham and founder of Youth for Christ) led large crusades many years ago, but died recently as a bitter atheist largely as a result of the confusion caused by a wrong view of Genesis.1

If we don’t expose and cut out the root of doctrinal error (i.e. millions of years timescale for Genesis—and man’s opinion decides truth rather than God’s Word) in our churches, then the ‘stump’ will grow and choke out the hedge and may eventually kill it, as it did in Charles Templeton’s case. We see the results of this happening with the majority of our mainline churches who allowed ‘interpretations’ of Genesis years ago, and are now questioning even basic Christian doctrines.

Radio Bible Class (RBC Ministries, who produce the popular ‘Daily Bread’ devotional) recently distributed a booklet about dinosaurs that basically said that we cannot take a stand on the truth of Genesis (see our response). In years to come, what might this lead to? Will we see others leave the faith because of the seeds of doubt spread by ministries like these? What needs to be done is to expose and eliminate the stump for the well being of the hedge!

If we return to the authority of Scripture in every area that the Bible touches on (including how old the Earth is), that is like restoring the gaps in the hedge. A solid foundation will produce fruit for the Lord, just as the hedge with no competing weeds produced beautiful flowers in previous years. When the winter storms come (those trials of life and the questions of skeptics seeking to undermine Biblical truth) then our faith will be tested. Will it stand? It will if we believe God at His Word, beginning at Genesis, submitting our small, incomplete, speculative glimpse of truth to His all-knowing, eyewitness account of the true history of the universe.

We hope that our seminars and materials help you to see the world through the true history recorded in the simple words of Genesis.

1. See article in Creation Ex Nihilo 22(3):8 - 13, June - August 2000. Return to text.

Published: 3 February 2006