Is it ok to be a Christian and believe in evolution?
Our CEO (CMI-US), Gary Bates was speaking to students at a Christian High School where he was repeatedly interrupted by the teacher with the comment , “But you can still be a Christian and believe in evolution … right?”
She was trying to insert her belief that it doesn’t matter what you believe about biblical Creation. Such a view infers a type of ‘Gospel only-ism’. But everything we need to know about the Christian faith, our fallen state and our need for salvation has its foundation in the early chapters of Genesis. Jesus and the New Testament authors grounded the Gospel and key doctrines of the faith on this foundation. Genesis 1–11 tells us the ‘how’—what happened, and the rest of the Bible tells us the ‘why’—the implications of what followed those first chapters.
Genesis is not the Gospel, but it is a Gospel issue. If it is not real history, why believe the rest of the Bible? As Jesus Himself said, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:46). Here, Jesus stakes his reputation and authority upon the inerrancy of Moses’ writings.
A plain reading of the Bible tells us that God created the world in six days. We are given chronogenealogies in the Bible with the age of each father and when he has his next son, meaning that there cannot be any missing ‘time gaps’. Adding up the numbers from Adam to this present day places the creation of Adam and Eve at ~6,000 years ago.
The doctrine most under attack today!
In Mark 10:6 Jesus said, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female’”. Adam and Eve were a historical couple, whose fall brought sin, death, and suffering into this world. Attempts to insert billions of years into the Bible before Adam and Eve not only places death before the Fall, but it also requires placing Adam and Eve at the end of billions of years of world history, but this would contradict Jesus’ words. To put it plainly, Jesus teaches that the Earth is young (that is, not millions of years old). Do you believe Jesus?
Soteriology (The doctrine of salvation)
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul wrote, “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive…The last enemy to be abolished is death…Thus it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.’
Jesus’ had to die a physical death on the cross because Adam, the first man (1 Cor. 15:45), brought physical death into this world. Jesus wore a crown of thorns on the cross, a symbol of the curse that came into this world because of sin (Gen. 3:18), and the Bible tells us that one day, death itself will be destroyed. Likewise, the blessed hope (Titus 2:13–14) and future restoration (Rom. 8:20–21) alludes back to Genesis, and even the very order of creation and the order of the Fall forms the basis for New Testament teaching (1 Tim. 2:12–15).
The implications are obvious. If there never was a real Adam and Eve, there is no need for salvation. Denial of original sin constitutes the ancient heresy known as Pelagianism. Undermine Genesis, and you undermine the Gospel.
Can you be a Christian if you do not believe in biblical creation?
This question always draws a lot of debate. Well, can a person be saved without believing the Trinity? The answer is, ‘yes’, but only by being inconsistent and ignorant. New believers often come to Christ without a comprehensive understanding of the Trinity. However, if after being informed, a person still denies the Trinity, that person is a heretic because they have rejected the truth of God’s Word. In the same way, a person may be a Christian and not believe in biblical creation, but only by being inconsistent and ignorant. This is the situation because of the confusion over the issue of whether evolution is ‘science’. Most professing Christians have never been exposed to the biblical evidence for Creation. When they are shown for the first time, how creation declares the mighty works of God, it sparks in them great joy and confidence in the Word of God.
You might be impressed at the amount of information CMI produces. But being on full time staff for a couple of years now, even I am amazed and excited at just how much more we could, and need to, produce if we had the resources to do more research. But the workers are few. That’s why we need your support to produce new resources and information that changes lives.
Todd B. from Japan wrote to us:
“The church I attend in Japan taught Hugh Ross’ Progressive Creation and sold his books. I came to this church right after the previous pastor of 11 years retired. I bought all the Hugh Ross Books and replaced them with [Dr Jonathan Sarfati’s] Refuting Compromise, we now have a biblical creationist pastor with no compromise. Thank you very much for this valuable resource!”
Thank you for making a difference!