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My pastors don’t believe Genesis. Should I leave my church?

Published: 15 November 2014 (GMT+10)

We received the following question from a supporter in Australia who was surprised to discover the pastors of his church did not believe Genesis.  talks about some of the issues that need to be considered.

Hi guys, I love your work, and have subscribed to the magazine and am continually encouraged by what you guys publish.
pastor-genesis


I have a question. I’m at a church which I’ve attended for the last 12 years (I’m now 30). I’ve since realised that none of the 3 pastors take a straightforward reading of Genesis, and at least 2 of the 3 (haven’t yet checked the 3rd) don’t even believe the Flood was global. I was wondering if you had some advice on what I should do about this. I have 2 kids and 1 on the way and I want them growing up in a biblically sound church. Apart from Genesis our church is excellent. Do you think leaving the church is too drastic?
ove to get your feedback, thanks heaps!

Tas Walker replies:

Thank you for your question about being part of a church where the pastors do not accept Genesis as written. Unfortunately that is more common these days than it should be.

The decision as to which church you and your family should belong to depends on many different factors. Here are some issues for you to think and pray about.

  1. There is no such thing as a perfect church. In some areas the church may be really good for you but in others it may be totally unhelpful. So you have to balance a lot of factors in your life.
  2. There are usually good reasons in your life why you belong to the church you do, but churches change with time. E.g. sometimes the youth ministry is strong and other times it struggles. Your pastoral team will change and that will bring a different dynamic. So, perhaps by waiting you may see things improve.
  3. Church is not just about what you can get out of it, but it is a place where you can minister to others with your gifts. Your passion and experience with creation may be one area where you can be a blessing to others.
  4. In every church you will have to stand for and speak out the truth, and this can apply to many different issues. In this particular church the issue that you need to bring to others is the truth and foundation of Genesis. But speak the truth in love, with tact and in a winsome way. Look at this as an opportunity to share some wonderful truth that otherwise would not be shared. Rather than pushing creation in six days on people as if it is your hobby horse, use it to meet their needs as you become aware of them. Thus, you can present the truth to people along the following lines: “You may find this will help resolve some of your doubts and give you a firm foundation as you follow Christ.” I always take back issues of Creation magazine to church, as well as brochures and DVDs, which I freely give to people as the need arises.
  5. You may be influential in the thinking and life of your pastors. It’s important to love them and support them. Don’t be divisive or argumentative. Don’t be a one-issue person but show that you are interested in the wider ministry of the church and that your passion is to serve Jesus Christ and to help others come to Him and grow in Him. Here are two examples of how a person in the pews was pivotal in helping their minister come to the truth of Genesis:
    1. A young man in a church lent a book to his minister who was big enough to read the book and research the issue and who changed his mind (see Esa Hukkinen interview).
    2. This pastor, Owen Butt, believed Genesis was myth but changed his mind after attending a creation meeting, and that changed his whole approach to ministry. What this article does not say is that it was one of his congregation who fed him information and invited him to the creation meeting, where his whole way of thinking was changed (See Catching the vision).
  6. Make sure that your family is properly instructed in the truth of Genesis and creation by providing books, DVDs and other resources for them. Talk about the question and issues as they arise. However, note that it is really important to always speak in a positive way about your pastors and your church, especially with your children. If there is a critical spirit and an undermining of your pastors and your church in your home, that will poison things for your children.
  7. If the situation becomes very difficult for you, with say the pastors instructing you not to talk about the issue you may need to think about moving. In the same way, you could not accept a ministry offer from the pastors if they included a condition that you could not talk about creation in that ministry or in the church. So if there is a hardening and aggressiveness develops toward your position, say from the pulpit, you may need to think about moving.

In our life’s entire journey it is important to seek the Lord and His will for our lives.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5

God bless,

Tas Walker


Long before this site existed, many millions searched on the word “creation”. When they do that now they will get to know this site exists and read the evidence that God is Creator. Help reach millions. Support this site

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Readers’ comments
Hugh P., United Kingdom, 28 November 2014

Where a Minister of the Word or pastor (an under-shepherd) doesn’t believe Genesis 1 to 11, or considers these accounts to be myths, it must surely be legitimate to question whether he also preaches “another gospel”. I do believe this is the real issue. If Adam is a mythical figure, then the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15, Romans 8 v 14) is also a mythical figure. If Adam’s transgression (Romans 5 v 12 and v 14) was mythical then the reign of death on all (Romans 5 v 14) is also mythical.

Romans 5 v 19 summarises the truth and says “as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners”. If Adam is a mythical figure, then this statement is a myth, and, most terribly, the corresponding statement “so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” is also a myth. How can a minister who doesn’t believe what the bible says about Adam and the fall preach truthfully a gospel at whose centre is substitutionary atonement? It would seem to me that he can’t. Either he has to dissemble as to his real beliefs, or to preach another gospel.

The Lord Jesus Christ said “the truth will make you free”. So myths certainly will not make you free. Nor will “cunningly devised fables”. If one labels the Genesis accounts and the men and women of Genesis as mythical then one is, in effect, accusing God (who breathed the Word) of “cunningly devised fables” (2 Peter 1 v 16).

Derek H., United Kingdom, 28 November 2014

Dear Tas,

Thank you for your excellent answer. I am facing a situation in my church where the same issue applies. The Minister asked me not to take Creation Magazine to church. I was leaving them in the hall where we have coffee in case anyone might like to take them and read them.

Your reply is a big help to me, thank you

Derek

Jan P., South Africa, 28 November 2014

Dear Tas

I went through a similar experience as you commented on almost 40 years ago. I received the same advice as you gave and stayed in the "home" for almost 20 years without converting the "home" to my way of seeing. However during the process I was moulded and changed into something God wanted me to be. When God was satisfied I left the "home" and went to another "area" where He wanted to use me. Without this fiery test I would not have been able to do what I am doing. Thanks for sound advice. It works!

Andre D., South Africa, 28 November 2014

An exercise that I have always found useful is to study any issue that surfaces in depth myself. This will not only highlight any errors in presently held beliefs, but has proven invaluable in confirming faith in the Bible as God's inerrant word. Then present the information to your pastor - you will not only have more confidence in your position, but will have more information to share with him.

On the creation account, it was interesting for me to note that even non-Christian language scholars agree that the Genesis account leaves no option but to accept it as conveying a literal 6 day creation.

As far as "science" is concerned, it is a developing body of information with major contradictions - from Einstein's relativity theory (see Higgs Boson) to supposedly dark matter/energy. Thus to accept "science" as the final word would indeed be building on shifting sand.

If the pastor would then in the light of your evidence still choose to believe a lie, I would seriously consider leaving the church.

You may never find the 'perfect" church, but be sure that God's truth rather than "science" is the standard on important matters.

Stephen T., Australia, 22 November 2014

It is plain to see that you believe in the literal account of Creation and the Flood, as recorded in the Book of Genesis. Praise The LORD, I am a firm Creationist and also strong believer in the literal account of the Book of Genesis.

We are instructed to "obey all that have the rule over you" and this includes pastors. You said "apart from Genesis my church is excellent". I would suggest that you try to talk to your pastors about your beliefs regarding Genesis in a loving way. If they will not hearken to you, you may be able to continue at your church by teaching your children and any who are willing to listen to your beliefs of Genesis. However, should your pastors forbid you to express your beliefs of this, you may have to look to the Book of Acts 4:18-19 and 5:28-29.

In Acts 4:18 the high priest commanded Peter not to teach or preach in the Name of Jesus. In Acts 5:28 the high priest asked Peter why he had not obeyed the command and Peter replied "We ought to obey God rather than man". If this becomes a major issue, you may have to consider leaving your church. However before you take this step you should take it to The LORD in prayer. Ask The LORD if it is His Will for you to leave your current church, that He direct you to another church of His choosing. If you need to take a stance on this and honour The LORD, He will not leave you stranded. "Ask and you will receive". I count myself truly blessed in that the church I was searching 27 years ago, and The LORD led me to a strong Bible believing, Creationist Church that believes in the literal meaning of the Book of Genesis.

Edwin M., New Zealand, 17 November 2014

Thank *GOD* for your receiving the grace to be meek (teachable) Zeph 2:3 and this will open doors to the humble Ps 34:2.Missionaries wether to todays churches or jungles are similar so be encouraged and led,but not presumptuous.*GOD* keeps *His* WORD as *He* asks us too.So lean heavy on the promises.We do see through a glass darkly but it is Prov 25:2 & Prov 2:3 promises a door .James 1:4 on. We and CMI must wait and incline the ear constantly and 40 years of discussing Genesis with our *Father* I have shared blessedly clear revelation they are still wrestling with also. Genesis 1:1 The CREATION of the subatomic VOID particles that were AFTER IN 6 DAYS, SPOKEN TOO to MAKE the Universe.

Finally Prov 8:30,especially verse 31 kjv.*GOD* is GRACIOUS ,STAY COMMUNING.1Thes 5:14on.

GBU amen in *Jesus*.

Richard F., United States, 17 November 2014

Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? and what concord has Christ with Be'-li-al? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said,

I will dwell in them, and walk in -them-; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate,

says the Lord,

and touch not the unclean; and I will receive you, and will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,

says the Lord Almighty.

Wildee R., Philippines, 17 November 2014

While it is right to judge what people do or think from a biblical perspective and bias, and prayer for guidance is in order, it would still be prudent to use restraint. A Christian is engaged in a fight the moment they chose Christ, whether they choose to engage or not, whether they are inside a church or outside of it. So why leave? And go where? Didn’t the Lord Christ predict this would happen? Isn’t this what the Apostle Paul got when he fulfilled the Great Commission? When he or Jesus arrived in a town, they went to synagogues and started to contend for the faith right there! They kept the fight at the enemy’s doorstep! So naturally they got opposed, and is it really a wonder to find that some church leadership are in opposition and that they fight against the word of God today? Or how about ourselves for that matter, weren’t we all opposed to God’s word before He graciously intervened? And does it really matter? God’s word is a rock. His word breaks those who fall on it but to those whom His word falls on are crushed. So, dig in and suck it up Christian soldier! That is what your God-given armor is for.

Marc K., Australia, 17 November 2014

My favourite scientist (sorry, Tas, it isn't you!) was A.E. Wilder-Smith. He stated one day, apropos theistic evolution, something like the following: The Bible states that God created by Wisdom, the exact opposite of chance. Evolution cannot be directed because it would no longer be evolution but design. If God did "create" by evolution he, contrary to the Bible's revelation, put Wisdom in his pocket and worked without it.

Notwithstanding the absolute lack of observable genetic evidence for evolution occurring, I've never met any Christian who touts God created by evolution who is able to then explain how God pulled this remarkable nonsense off.

Furthermore, Jesus is God's Wisdom and is Creator. If evolution is true, Jesus was sidelined for the duration of Creation which, according to evolutionary tenets, is still occurring. Some theology! Some Creator!

Don P., Canada, 16 November 2014

Thanks, Tas Walker, for a well-balanced reply. I am in the category (except that I am not a pastor) that Dean M. mentioned yesterday of "those who believe it could be figurative language and don't care which position you take on it." I believe that Genesis is inspired by God to show (among many other things) that God is the Creator, using language and concepts understandable to the original readers, rather than trying to express things in terms of modern scientific concepts. I do believe that evolution in the sense of biological descent is true, but this scientific understanding does not mean that it happened by Chance rather than by God. I am nervous about pastors preaching against evolution, since I fear it might lead young people to reject the faith when they learn how well evolution is supported by our current scientific knowledge. So I found your advice excellent for accepting their positions and not demanding that they preach what fits our current knowledge, while sometimes I privately warn these preachers against the danger of suggesting that evolution is incompatible with Christianity, because of the crisis of faith this may lead young people to come to when they learn of the enormous evidence that has accrued for evolution. So, Tas, I appreciate your call for a balanced approach no matter which side one takes in this debate that is not central to our faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and as our risen Savior.

Yours in Christ,

Don

Tas Walker responds

I would encourage you to keep reading articles on creation.com because this issue is vitally important, and because your response indicates that there are many issues that you need to clarify.

Guy G., United States, 16 November 2014

I guess my response is a bit mixed: Yes, I agree no church is perfect, but if I were there, I'd see a clear course to follow....stay, but definitely "make waves". In other words, the issue of rejecting Genesis is serious, mainly because it tampers with how and why death came to be. This in turn tampers with the work of our Savior in redeeming us from said death. I would make waves, and "be a thorn" until 1) I was kicked out, 2) they would acknowledge the legitimacy of the Biblical position, or 3) they would change to the Biblical position. Most of the time, Christians who hold to alternative positions do so because they are fearful of the "science"; they are fearful because they are scientific illiterates. But generally, I would stay till God told me otherwise....

Cowboy Bob S., United States, 16 November 2014

When presenting material that is contrary to the pastor(s) beliefs, people may very well encounter resistance similar to what I experienced.

My father was a pastor in a very liberal denomination, and my views were/are much more conservative. I gave a presentation in an adult class about why we can believe the inerrant Scriptures. He gave closing comments that undermined what I had to say. People are inclined to believe the guy with the "credentials" rather than the truth.

My father retired, and his successor was even more resistant to believing the Word of God. I had to leave, making changes from within was a futile attempt, and I chose to "come out from among them".

I should add that I was much younger, and did not have access to nearly as much biblical and scientific material as is available now.

Also, I asked a pastor if he would consider having a "Question Evolution Day" event at his church ("QED" emphasizes the "Question Evolution" campaign and the "15 Questions for Evolutionists"). He was more interested in doing community outreach and sharing the gospel, but did not want to be "labeled" as a creationist, even though he agrees with biblical creation.

These are some thoughts about meeting resistance, and wanted to emphasize the appeal to authority.

Stephen H., United Kingdom, 16 November 2014

Well written. I recently left an Anglican church over various issues, and am now in a reformed evangelical church where Christ is honoured and the Bible central. The leadership is compromised on theistic evolution, but I am free to discuss creation and I keep finding closet creationists!

We should not expect to find perfect churches but must try to build them, under God, starting with humble penitence and a heart of service 'looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted'.

Brotherly regards.

Dr. Ronald S., United States, 16 November 2014

The answer is yes. Leave with no regrets.

Wesley , United States, 15 November 2014

Dearest in Christ that was a great five point response. I think it a bit too soft hearted. Jesus and the Apostles made it clear that the Old Testament was scripture and it is truthful and factual. Any person who preaches differently is either liar, a fraud, or a heretic. If am minister does not believe the account in genesis that he/she needs to go back to school after excusing themselves from the pulpit. The time has come to take a stand and not be politically correct or handle such as this with soft tender gloves. The person know exactly what they are ding and it is to cause confusion and to weaken the faith of the congregation. If one portends to preach the Biblical truth, one must indeed do so.

I would be honored and excited to be able to help this person to bet back on the straight path. This is no small matter and just as in some of the early churches, one voice can cause dissent and cause fracturing within the body of Christ.

If you cannot help this person preach the whole truth and believe the whole Bible then ask the church to dismiss him/her. Just as Christ purged the Temple a congregation at times needs to purge the church. Within the body of Christ we do NOT have to SETTLE for SECOND best or for someone who teaches against the plain truth of the scriptures. Honestly I'm surprised this preacher is still preaching. You can give this preacher my name and information and I will gladly do my job so errors such as this go away by teaching of the truth, prayer, and personal study. But, again, the church is not the place where an inerrant preacher is permitted to speak nor the place for a minister to learn the truth. The minister is to know the truth, believe the truth, and teach the truth. Otherwise he is none of Christ. It's that simple.

Murray H., Canada, 15 November 2014

Just in the past few weeks the Lord Blessed me with His Word tat was found in Genesis 1;14 it just leaped off the page The sun and the moon and the stars are for a sign. These days we living in are the end days, we are seeing signs in the sun solar flare as massive never before recorded 6 Super-moons in 2014 Year Blood moons 2 in 2014 connected to the God feast Passover and Tabernacles and Again in 2015 the Same time frame.

There were 3 earthquakes 2004, 2010,2011 the earth came off its axis Job 9;1-8 5-6 In Gods Anger He moves the earth out of its place, or off its axis. Luke 21;25-28 28 and when these things begin to come to pass, Look up lift up your head your redemption draws nigh We are looking at the very days of His soon arrival.

Richard F., United States, 15 November 2014

Dr. Walker writes, "It’s important to love [. . .] and support [your pastors]. Don’t be divisive or argumentative."

What does the Bible say about this?

"Him that is weak in the faith receive you, -but-not to doubtful disputations. For one believes that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eats herbs. Let not him that eats despise him that eats not [. . . .]

"[. . .] every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

"Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in -his- brother's way."

Richard F.

Joyce V., United States, 15 November 2014

As I have studied through the entire Bible with my children over the last several years, I have been amazed at the number of times and number of books from Genesis to Revelation that refer to God the Creator. (Has an official count ever been done?) This is so interwoven into all the Scriptures that it would seem to be hard to deny this as truth.

bob B., United States, 15 November 2014

The problem lies in the three pastors not agreeing on scripture. Who's to say all three are correct or incorrect? Self interpretation leads to people leaving churches or starting their own church without resolving the interpretation problem . Here we have three pastors reading from, presumably, the same bible and not agreeing on the same scripture, confusing I would say. With churches using the same bible you would think there wouldn't be so many interpretations of scripture and over 30,000+ churches. The question was asked, should I leave my church? Here in lies another problem, I have observed over the years that there are two ways of resolving a problem in a church. One is to either leave the church or start your own. Both of which never really resolves the problem of interpretation but does land one in a more comfortable setting, maybe. So we set our selves on a quest of finding what best suits our own interpretation by church hopping. I have learned over the years, too, the way a person can tell if a pastor is interpreting scripture correctly is weather or not you like the pastor. I regret to say this is the method I used for 40+ years of determining correct scripture interpretation. If this is not the case then anybody would be able to go to any church because truth would be taught there. I would go so far to say that most people use this method of determination as well. With all the different interpretations and over 30,000+ churches how else would how else would one determine if truth is being taught? And all of them would say they are being lead and taught by the Holy Spirit but in reality all coming up with different interpretations, the Holy Spirit should be the same everywhere, correct?

Clifford P., United States, 15 November 2014

Staying in a Church where the "leaders" do not believe in the inerrancy of the Word of God...and from its FIRST foundational book?...in hope that it may be alright...as long as the Holy Spirit says its OK...well...as we may be able to advance the truth to the Church's "leaders"?. If pastors and leaders do not believe in Genesis as written (BY THE HOLY SPIRIT!)...yet ascribe to the Lord's and Peter's testaments about Genesis (Matth. 24:37 and 2 Peter 2:5)...then a MAJOR inconsistency exists in that leadership...and is being promulgated to its congregation...and THAT IS SERIOUS. I do NOT agree with CMI.

Kathi C., United States, 15 November 2014

While it is a fact that there is no perfect church, the Bible is God's Word and anything different from what the Bible says is false. I personally would not be comfortable under this leadership. I would have a heart to heart talk in love and then I would be on my way. Young people have enough liberal nonsense taught to them in the world..

Tony F., United Kingdom, 15 November 2014

Thank you for this lovely answer. It may help to solve my own problem which is women in the ministry. It brought to mind the following:

Practical Religion J C Ryle First Bishop of Liverpool UK

(f) Last, but not least, when St. Paul said, " Come out and be separate he did not mean that Christians ought to withdraw from every church in which there are unconverted members, or to refuse to worship in company with any who are not believers, or to keep away from the Lord's table if any ungodly people go up to it. This is a very common but a very grievous mistake. There is not a text in the New Testament to justify it, and it ought to be condemned as a pure invention of man. Our Lord or Jesus Christ Himself deliberately allowed Judas Iscariot to be an apostle for three years, and gave him the Lord's Supper. He has taught us, in the parable of the wheat and tares that converted and unconverted will be "together till the harvest and cannot be divided” (Matt. xiii. 30.) In His Epistles to the Seven Churches, and in all St. Paul's Epistles, we often see faults and corruptions mentioned and reproved ; but we are never told that they justify desertion of the assembly, or neglect of ordinances. In short, we must not look for a perfect Church, a perfect congregation, and a perfect company of communicants, until the marriage supper of the Lamb. If others are unworthy Churchmen or unworthy partakers of the Lord’s Supper, the sin is theirs and not ours: we are not their judges. But to separate ourselves from Church assemblies, and deprive ourselves of Christian ordinances, because others use them unworthily is to take up a foolish, unreasonable, and unscriptural position. It is not the mind of Christ, and it certainly is not St. Paul's idea of separation from the world.

Mike D., United States, 15 November 2014

Clearly this young dad is focused on God's Word and could be a marvelous source of revelation for this excellent church. He can also use this opportunity to help his children prepare themselves for the "battle" that has already taken over the public schools and is growing within the church at large. Satan, with his serpent's uniform on, continues with his alluring question. "Did God really say...?"

So it is a great opportunity for this family to be a rock-solid model of faith anchored in God's magnificent word. Then, in a kind and deferential way he can equip himself and his kids to "always be prepare to give a defense to those who ask you for a reason for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and respect" 1 Peter 3:15. Blessings and strength to you all and the sure knowledge of Christ, who IS the word!

In Him, Mike

Chris S., United States, 15 November 2014

If the word of God is not being teached correctly and entirely, I would move on. The Bible is without error, complete, and valid.

To teach anything short of a global flood is wrong.

The Bible is meant to be interpreted by itself, not mankind. If it is okay to allow this teaching of Genesis then why not consider the Jehovah's witnesses butchered example of scripture?

Lawrence V., Canada, 15 November 2014

I've heard the phrase "no church is perfect" many times as a means for disarming inquiry that uncovers serious problems with church leadership.

Scripture teaches that leadership in the Church of Christ is supportive and not supervisory (Matt. 20:25ff).

All the pastors I've met so far use the pretense of athority to force people into following their teachings. Those who follow them or pretend to be knowledgable by following them are not getting getting their teachings directly from Christ. As Jesus said, they are building their house on the sand Matt 7: (26,27).

Jim R., United States, 15 November 2014

Very good advice. I left a church in 1976 when I asked the Pastor if I could teach a SS class on abortion. After he fumblèd his way through a denial, and finally told me he had just counseled a 15 yr old to have one (prominent family in the community), I slid back from his desk, and w/ less diplomacy and more fear, I said" her blood is on your hands, and we won't be returnìng." I was only 25 and a few years in the faith. I often wonder after 40 yrs if I would handle it differently. I had attended every Bible study offered, and they were shaky at best, but this was a bridge too far for me.

Shirley L., United States, 15 November 2014

Because of my children and the truth of the bible I would leave it is very unlikely you will change the pastors mind but he could influence your children and even you.

EDWARD H., United States, 15 November 2014

Thank you Dr. Walker and CMI for this well put and concise response. It comes to these points: 1) Study, with prayerful obedience, the Word and do it diligently, daily. Praying deeply and reading deeply while memorizing the Words of God will infuse any member of the Body of Christ with what he or she needs to live out the will of God both towards both the world and in the Spirit 2) Patiently dwell among those who are with you with love and sincere hope 3) Do as the Spirit leads and Praise the Lord for all He provides for you to do.

I attended a meeting at a mission. It filled me with hope as a older man who seemed to be the 'head' of the mission expressed among this mid-week audience of former drug users, early in the morning before work, sound doctrine and Christ-like practices BEGINNING IN GENESIS. Specifically touching on the truths of our creation. An assistant pastor came out to speak with me as I tended to some gardening at his church and revealed his compromise with the 1st chapters of the Word of his professed God. Our hubris is remarkable when it comes to the inerrant and inspired Cannon.

To me that experience illustrates the ease by which others can influence others when we are not exercised in poverty. Consider who Jesus preached to. He spoke to the masses - the poor, sinful and 'day-to-day' folks. Where attend church, in no small way determined by how strong we are in the Lord, should be of the Lords choosing. Pray and study and trust on Him who we place our faith in!

Les G., South Africa, 15 November 2014

A truly wise and balanced reply to to a troubled church member. There is little to compel such a believer to leave a generally bible-believing Christ-exalting church just because the leadership is not clear on every point of doctrine. But if, on the other hand, the teaching were that Adam was not the first human being, created in God’s image and likeness, and that his fall made necessary the coming of “the last Adam”, Jesus Christ, to atone for the sins of Adam’s descendants, then the whole gospel is undermined. To prayerfully leave such a church, where one’s witness is unavailing and has become merely a casting of pearls before pigs, might well be the right thing to do.

I myself am firmly of Reformed persuasion; but I worship in a church where the teaching on the Atonement is Arminian. However, the Scriptures are believed and taught, and I would not consider leaving. Even though I believe strongly in (for example) Particular Redemption, I would not leave the church because its teaching is that Christ died for all human beings – as long as the gospel is preached, that it affirms Christ died once, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God.

God bless your wise counsel.

Terry D., Canada, 15 November 2014

Having a tendency to be a bit of an ideologue, I identify readily with the questioner's concerns. Your answer resonates with the Spirit of Truth and will help many. It is certainly a marvelous prescription for my own affliction, anyway.

Don N., Australia, 15 November 2014

This is a most difficult matter especially where a school is attached to a church. If one is a member and the school teaches evolution without opposition to it scientifically will God hold us individually resposible for this teaching.

Are we robing God of His glory by teaching He is scientifically replaced by chance with no evidence for design? With this teaching during the week and no scientific rebuttal especially in the church where do we stand in our responsibility to our youth and others. This has concerned me greatly and I know others for some time. I suspect most play the ostrich act.

Many thanks for the work you do.

Renton M., New Zealand, 15 November 2014

As one who’s been through this and been unjustly excommunicated for challenging leaders who did not take Genesis in a straightforward way, I can attest it’s a tough call. Every situation is different of course, with different players with their differing egos, psychological makeup, personalities, alliances, maturity in the Faith, etc., and differing degrees of deviation from the truth…or openness to it, along with differing ‘political’ circumstances.

I lived for twenty five years in a church with leaders I strongly suspected were liberal re origins. But when it was made explicit re denying the global flood, that led to a series of events that brought about my demise. I fought it for a long while. It wasn’t just truth that was involved, though that was the most important, but my ‘home’ was also at stake, and I didn’t relish being a refugee. Unfortunately, many acted cowardly, agreeing with me, but being unwilling to stand with me.

One of my great reliefs was that by the time it all finally hit the fan, my children were old enough to understand the issues and two of them had already left home and the area. However what grieves me still is that my children also lost their ‘home’, the one they had been raised in, something which these ‘leaders’ will have to answer to the Lord for.

In a book I’ve written I have a chapter, ‘Grace in times of Conflict - Seventeen Suggestions for Conduct in a Theological Civil War.' The most important of those points is (from Acts 24:16), ‘seek at all times to have a clear conscience before God and man’. Cultivate a sensitive conscience in line with the requirements of Scripture, one that does not fool you so that you can use it to justify yourself, and one that is not seared, then make sure that nothing you do violates this conscience.

David C., Australia, 14 November 2014

Thanks so much Tas, for sharing your godly wisdom, that I'm sure is relevant to many, many readers.

Brian G., Australia, 14 November 2014

I am impressed by the answer given here. I would have suggested finding another church, but your answer shows a biblical and balanced reply to that persons question. Thank you once again to CMI for your guidance.

John B., Australia, 14 November 2014

Hi,

I work in a Christian School. I have found that many staff members don't believe the Genesis account word for word &/ or don't think it matters. I believe that if we belong to the Lord Jesus, He will use us for His glory where ever we are; we are where we are for a reason. The CMI Ministry is awesome, you guys are doing a tremendous work for the Lord. I leave your material, including news letters, all over the place for people to read & trust the Holy Spirit to do His thing.

Thank you & bless each one of you at CMI & your families.

John

Ross C., Australia, 14 November 2014

Great advice!

James P., Australia, 14 November 2014

Great wisdom in this answer. Not divisive and full of practical advice. Keep up the good work.

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