The Separation of Church and Faith

by , [now] CMI–Canada CEO

24 May 2002

Does your church teach geology, biology and astronomy? These subjects are among the most important to be taught in churches today. Let me explain why.

Secular articles, books and television programs dealing with science and religion usually promote the view that there is, and should be a clear separation between matters of faith and matters of science. They set up the idea that there is little connection between ‘religious’ things like theology, faith in God, morality, etc. and things like geology, biology and astronomy. In other words, they separate church and faith from the ‘real world’ of science and observation. But is the church any different in this area? Doesn’t the church also promote the same separation? Most Bible study and Sunday school curriculums teach the Bible as only a collection of stories that relate to moral and spiritual aspects without touching on the very subjects that are used to attack the accuracy of those stories.

The problem is, the geology, biology and astronomy (wrongly interpreted) are often subtly suggesting that Bible stories aren’t accurate. Take geology for example. We are told that geological processes (erosion, mountain building, etc.) happen slowly, taking millions of years, contrary to the Biblical time scale. In biology, natural selection (something creationists believe and wrote about before Darwin) is blurred and blended with ‘molecules-to-man’ evolution by the schools, media and most secular scientists.

In astronomy, stellar and planetary evolution theories and the search for extraterrestrial life drive most deep-space research, rather than giving glory to the Creator (Psalm 19:1). What are the results of such a separation? Church teaching is seen as irrelevant and outdated. And this is already happening:

Today, according to a number of surveys, including the Barna research group, 50% of Christian teenagers and college-age adults will leave the church and reject Christianity. George Barna says,

‘We have been tracking the religious behaviors and inclination of teenagers for two decades and have seen a pronounced growth in the notion among young people that involvement in organized religious activity is optional and, in many cases, of no personal value’1

If the constant barrage of evolutionary teaching in these areas is not reinterpreted by Biblical history and taught alongside the Bible stories, it can unlock a door that, when pushed open fully, will lead Christians to reject Christianity. Charles Templeton, former evangelist who worked alongside Billy Graham and later rejected Christianity, is the result of such a compromise. He once related to Billy Graham,

‘But Billy, it’s simply not possible any longer to believe, for instance, the biblical account of creation. The world wasn’t created over a period of a few days a few thousand years ago; it has evolved over millions of years. It’s not a matter of speculation; it’s demonstrable fact’2

His questions about Genesis unlocked a door of Biblical compromise that ultimately lead him to the rejection of Christianity.

Reconnecting the Bible to the Real World

[Creation Ministries International], through our materials, magazines, Web site and speakers, equips the church to properly interpret data from science. Geology, biology and astronomy, and many other sciences, overwhelmingly confirm that the Bible is true! When the world interprets scientific observations in a way that is contrary to Biblical history, Christian leaders need to counteract wrong interpretations and teach the Biblical interpretation. (See table, below.) By teaching in this way, the church will be able to provide answers to questioning Christians and reconnect church and faith to the real world of rocks, trees, fossils, stars, animals, etc. to bring glory to our Creator and Saviour and reach the world with the message that the Bible is accurate from its very first verse.

World teachesBible teachesRequired church teaching
Man evolved, just an animal. Man created in God’s image. Man is special.Counteract ‘ape-men’.
Fossils formed over millions of years.No death before Adam.Noah’s Flood formed most fossils. If death existed before Adam sinned, then the Gospel falls apart. Counteract millions of years in geology.
Living things evolve. Fixity of ‘kinds’ (not fixity of species).Natural selection and/or mutations will not generate the necessary genetic information to produce higher animals.
‘Big bang’.In the beginning God…Inconsistencies in ‘big bang’.Basic thermodynamics. Counteract millions of years in astronomy.
  1. Barna, G., Barna Research Group Web site <http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PagePressRelease.asp?PressReleaseID=101&Reference=F>, 5 November 2001.
  2. Templeton, C., Farewell to God, McLelland & Stewart Inc.,Toronto, ON, p.7,1996.