This article is from
Creation 40(4):40–41, October 2018

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Communicating the truth of creation with grace

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communicating-the-truth

As biblical creationists, we can see how important the doctrine of creation is to the Bible’s ‘big story’ of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. Many of us recall what it was like when the lights first ‘went on’ and we realized that Genesis could be trusted as an actual historical record. And especially when that revelation is fairly new to us, we can have great zeal when communicating that truth to others who have not yet had that ‘aha’ moment.

At CMI, we love it when people get excited about creation, of course. Some of the most encouraging feedback we receive is about people becoming more confident in their faith, or even coming to faith for the first time, as a result of this life-changing information.

However, sometimes, the zeal of the newly converted (or those newly convinced about creation) can play out in ways that are less than helpful. So here are some ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ when beginning to share creation with others.

Don’t: Suggest people are unconverted if they don’t share your view of creation.

We know many people whose eyes were opened to the truth of biblical creation only after decades of having faith in Christ. There are good people who are evangelizing, preaching, and doing other Kingdom work, even with a deficient view of creation. We can point out the inconsistencies of their approach without calling their salvation into question. We need to recognize that God’s work of sanctification progresses throughout the life of the believer in all areas, including the mind.

Do: Use a profession of faith as a ground for calling them to believe God’s Word.

Rather than questioning someone’s salvation, it is much more effective to use someone’s profession of faith as a means of calling them to believe what God has communicated in Genesis. When you’re no longer contesting that person’s faith, but using a shared profession of faith as a common ground to explore what God has said about creation, you’re much more likely to influence them. This is especially so when you can graciously point out how evolution and long-age beliefs clash with the Bible in so many ways—including such Gospel-critical issues as the origin of sin and death.

Don’t: Make every conversation about creation.

If every conversation with the old-earth deacon in your church is about where you differ about creation, he’s going to begin avoiding you pretty quickly. You don’t want to be ‘that guy’ or ‘that gal’ who is known only for being strident about this one doctrine.

Do: Have a well-rounded view of theology and service.

If, on the other hand, you’re known as someone who loves God’s Word, and all of its teachings and doctrines (of which creation is one), and you pair that with a passion for helping others and living your Christianity out practically, your defence of biblical creation becomes more credible.

Don’t: Think you have all the answers.

All of us need to be open to learning from Scripture, and from the other Christians God puts around us. And there is always more to learn. None of us completes our sanctification in this life. Just because you have the correct grasp of creation doesn’t mean that you have nothing to learn from others about doctrine or practical wisdom.

Do: Maintain a humble and teachable spirit.

People are more likely to be open to talking about their beliefs if it’s an equal ‘give and take’. Perhaps your interlocutors have a deficient understanding of creation, but maybe they have something equally important to teach you. This is especially the case if they are significantly older or have been a Christian for longer.

Do: Trust God to do the work of sanctification!

Finally, remember that we are not the Holy Spirit. We cannot change people’s beliefs, whether it comes to the Gospel itself or a very important, foundational matter like Genesis history. We can present the issues truthfully in a way designed to persuade, but only God can do the critical work of changing hearts and minds.

Helpful Resources

From Creation to Salvation
by Lita Cosner
From
US $14.00

Readers’ comments

Philippus S.
Genesis Creation is logical and true! For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  Romans 1:18-23 God has already passed judgment on all of the unrepented.
Barth Z.
Lita, thank you for the timely reminder, "None of us completes our sanctification in this life."
God knows it. I am comfortable knowing God knows it as I continue this franken-walk through the days assigned to me. Looking back on this last day of this year, I was taught as much from failure recovery as from outright material absorption. Funny how a character trait, left to naturally grow in the sinful realm, will mutate to the knucklehead degree where it threatens its host. But when we individually present and ask God for the strength to repent, his Spirit some how evolves it into a substantial improvement, hence sanctification bit by bit. Curious how sanctification will continue in the next body, in the next age.
David G.
And remember: the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness...be kind.
Richard P.
Being saved via a spiritual “aha moment” and having no doubt whatsoever about the reality of God, I’ve always struggled to understand how a person can come to God via intellectual means. But I am told that it happens. Before I was saved I researched the mainstream narrative/science of the universe, the earth, evolution etc. However, I now find that the more I know about Creation and Biblical history/narrative, the more convinced I become, not just through faith but through logic, that the Biblical narrative is not only true but far more logical. I mean, it simply doesn’t make any sense to say that the universe came into existence spontaneously, that life created itself by accident and our lives are meaningless.
Robert P.
What if it's not that "old-earth deacon in your church", but instead that theologically trained and educated "Minister/Reverend in your Church", and you are (as a believer in that Church) attempting to execute the mission that Jesus gave us regarding going into all the world with the Good News? Which Includes the essential piece of news that the Saviour we are asking people to put their trust in for their eternal destiny, didn't incompetently take millions of years of trial and error attempts to get the Creation right, and then lie about it in the openinjg chapters of the Bible.
If that leader of your Church then shuts down your local, church based, creation based, Christ centred Gospel outreach, because it is "not about Jesus but about Creation, and it's controversial and devisive", what then? Have another "conversation" later, when an opportunity arises? What if your church leader is avoiding you because of the fact you want to discuss this local ministry outreach issue? What then?
Yes, "trust God to do the work of sanctification", if that Minister is indeed saved. Yes, patience and grace when it comes to ordinary fellow believers.
But for theologically trained Ministers who from the pulpit, in their position of power, knowingly attempt to crush, silence, usurp and pervert this vital and essential aspect of the Gospel message, I leave the words of the Creator Himself :

And Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind." Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, "Are we blind also?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, 'We see.' Therefore your sin remains.
(John 9:39-41 NKJV)
Lita Cosner
Robert, this is a difficult situation, and we wouldn't give "one-size-fits-all" advice because dynamics in a church involve more variables than we could ever account for. But we can give some options. If my pastor thought I was divisive when it came to creation and was avoiding me because he perceived that's all I wanted to talk about, I might spend a season engaging in other work in the church filling areas where the church particularly needed extra hands. I would intentionally go out of my way to encourage the church leadership in the areas where I could honestly be positive. In other words, I would go above and beyond to show that I am not a divisive person, that my desire to serve the church is not limited to a singular focus on creation, and that I am supportive of the leadership in general.

This of course assumes that one believes the church is worth staying in and that there are some positive aspects of the pastor's ministry. But I would hesitate to tell people to leave their churches simply because that tends to be someone's first instinct, and sometimes it's the correct one. But we can do great good in our churches by staying and working in the trenches and building influence through our genuine service and care for others.
Ulrich K.
Good points. And denying the account God has provided of his own work of creation is more an effect or prop for unbelief; the cause being the enmity of our own hearts toward God and his law, which by nature is resisted with anything we can find no matter how absurd. Of course the best advise we can have of what to say and not say to others God gives in detail through the Scriptures which begins with a knowledge of God and our own deplorable state. And then the remedy. Oh and what a remedy. As Paul in one place put it, 'Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.' What did Jesus tell the man to do, that had been possessed with a legion of devils; 'show how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done to him.'

A little comment to Barth above; very true, sanctification is ongoing in this life hence the need for daily repentance, but in heaven we will be raised from the dead to be with Christ in glory, perfected, where there will be no sin, hence sanctification is complete, and that in the same body, though changed (1Cor15).
Franswa-Herman K.
Our kids and youth are bombarded by the evolution lie, and we are dealing with an increasing antagonist generation, that are proud of their view. We need all the help we can get, thanks for this.
Ed N.
Suggestion. Do another article on "Communicating the Truth of Creation with non-Christians"
Lita Cosner
That's called evangelism, and we have many articles on that if you search creation.com.
Brian D.
Thank you Lita for the help in reaching out with the gospel message to the unsaved. Yes it's true what Philippus said in the readers' comments that the truth of God's existence is revealed in creation. People who reject God don't want to be disciplined by His word. They want to enjoy doing whatever they like in the name of liberty, freedom and modern thinking.
However as children of the most high God may we continue steadfastly in the faith and be effective witnesses of the One Who loved us and gave Himself for us.
Mike F.
Thanks for this. Very helpful.
Mike D.
What about those that are aggressive & accusatory to anyone that tries to show them the truth & accuse you of being damaging to the spreading of the Gospel. I find many are harsher than actual atheist. I ask them "What is the penalty for sin?". If they say death then I'd ask how that can be true if Jesus the CREATOR used death in method of creation, Evolution. I ask, " What do you think that does or means about Jesus death & it's payment for our sins & salvation if was used in creation. How can it be both? It seems contradictory & impossible to reconcile. How pay for our sins when used in creation? What are your thoughts? Can we find the answer together. Yet some just refuse & get angry & call me names. Sorry but if they stay that way I've yet to find where in the Bible where God/Jesus accepted compromise in all of who He is & the cost of Discipleship from His words. Matt 10:25-39 Luke 14:25-35. He wouldn't from Rich Young Ruler & others He gave grace but told them go & sin no more. How can one compromise Jesus as fully Savior & then compromise Him as fully CREATOR as inerrant Bible teaches. You can't on fully Man & fully God! Jesus is Bodily form of inerrant Word of God. John 1:1-4. Rev 19:13,16. There's no compromise on this. It either is or we can't defend the Bible as we are demanded to learn how to do. What's our priorities? Does Jesus compromise those. Greatest Commandment. Love Lord your God with All your Heart, SOUL, & MIND!
Lita Cosner
If I were in a conversation with someone like you're describing, I would ask them lots of questions to find out exactly where they are in their beliefs and why they, a professing believer, are so opposed to biblical creation. I would make sure they felt understood in their beliefs, and then I would ask them if I could explain where I'm coming from, making sure to address their primary objections. Of course, this assumes that this is someone you have an existing relationship with, and with whom you can have an extended conversation or even multiple conversations.
John H.
A tip from a Born Again Exodus 20:11 believing High School Science Teacher (that was exhausting), once you have done your research you can safely use this line, "most of the scientific community seem to believe that...." You aren't stating what you believe or contradicting what you may believe. If you have a multiple choice question with only evolution options create e) none of the above!
Michael B.
Thank you for the sound advice.. I think you have described how to go about loving people as a first priority and indeed duty as directed by the Lord himself "love one another.." Jn 13:34,35. I am an engineer who became a Christian age 20 in 1969 at UNSW on the basis of simply wanting to know the truth. Not only was the gospel clearly the only solution to my internal moral dilemma's about life and good and evil in the world the physicist doing his Phd easily and clearly dealt with the naturalistic Big Bang, deep time and evolution as violations of the second law of thermodynamics. I had a thermodynamics subject so I checked and he was right. Both the universe and life MUST begin in their most ordered (lowest entropy) states which meant an initial creation finished and complete. To discover the bible as the most profound revelation of truth we have was like winning the biggest lottery ever, (I had just won another lottery a call up notice for army service). The history of the world suddenly made sense. So now I struggle to find that a large proportion of the church still bows to the philosophy of naturalism corrupting the meaning and authority of God's word. Its like watching the church sleep while the world captures our young people with a lie couched in religious scientism. Thank you for your crucial part in this present global war and doing it in love. Paul Davies in 'The Eerie Silence' - in the face of the "Darwinian Theory of Evolution ... finally the church conceded defeat" . But Jesus said "I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it".. We all have to decide which church we want to belong in.

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