Taking The Genesis Creation Literally
by Bill Mazeika
I must admit right from the start, that this article is really intended for Christians; those individuals who have believed the biblical account of salvation through Jesus Christ, and have personally accepted that free gift of God. It is to you that I direct this question: "Do you believe in the literal creation account as set forth throughout the Bible, but specifically in the early chapters of Genesis? This may seem like a strange question to put forth to a "Biblical Christian," but I am somewhat puzzled at the number of such individuals who shy away from a literal interpretation of Genesis.
I will not bother to go into all the related issues of the day-age theory or theistic evolution. I won't even discuss the problems with radiometric dating, the fossil record or the geological column. I have covered those items in other articles and they can be referenced at a later time. For the purpose of this writing, I will stick strictly with scripture.
Lest you think I am some ignorant fool, I know what a parable is. I know about the symbolic meaning of many of the word pictures dealing with prophecy, especially those having to do with the end times. But I also know that unless scripture itself instructs you to make other conclusions, that the cardinal rule is to take the Bible literally.
Lets just toy with the idea for a while that we can't believe in a literal Genesis account of creation. Well instantly we run into problems. And I don't mean with the ecological catastrophes that occur when you change the six days of creation into six eons of time where you have plants appearing on the scene on day three, and then having to wait millenniums for the pollinating insects to appear on the symbolic day six... Whoops! I wasn't going to get scientific. Sorry. The problems occur in deciding where fable ends and where truth begins. Where symbolism ends and where reality begins. Where lies end and where truth begins. Where false hope ends and where salvation begins, and on and on and on.
We could go on for volumes, but lets just look at a few references. No creation means no first couple - no Adam, no Eve. So what do we do with all the New Testament references to Adam, and sin entering the world? Some of them even out of the mouth of Jesus! Forget about that. We've got major trouble with the basics. What do we do with the genealogy of Jesus' earthly lineage as recorded in Luke chapter 3 where we see a listing of people back to Adam! Out the window with that chapter! If Adam wasn't literal, where does the genealogy become symbolic? Was Abraham real? Was David real? Or we just take those who lived in New Testament times as actual people who lived and died? Perhaps you are saying that maybe Adam wasn't a real person. Maybe he just represented the human race. If so, sure looks like Jesus was fooled.
Maybe your saying Adam and Eve were the first family. But they were just the first couple to appear on the scene after millions of years of survival of the fittest, and they just happened to find each other in this vast world so that they could begin producing intelligent offspring. Perhaps they were just one step above apes; the missing links. But then if God was guiding along this evolutionary process then it's OK, right?
But lets continue. What are we going to do about the rest of Genesis? Do we discount a world-wide flood? Do we discount Jacob? Maybe he wasn't a literal man who had his name changed to Israel and fathered a nation. We haven't even moved into Exodus yet! If God isn't powerful enough to create the world and all within in only six days, then I guess He couldn't part the Red Sea for Moses and the children of Israel.
If we must temper our teaching about a literal creation in order to accept all other possibilities, then must we also rethink the account of David killing a giant named Goliath. Perhaps David was just overcoming some spiritual obstacles in his life, and Goliath symbolized his inner insecurity. After all, David couldn't know how far back his lineage went until it became symbolic. Maybe it was just too much for him to handle. And just maybe, Jesus had some Welch's concentrate under his robe at the Cannan wedding. I mean some things are just too hard for God!
I wouldn't call myself an expert on creation science. But I probably know as much as any layman. I have read a lot. I have talked with many people; Christians and non-Christians, Scientists and laborers, theologians and parishioners. I have found that the majority of people who have some questions about creation are usually those who have never been exposed to the scientific evidence for abrupt appearances. For their entire life they have been bombarded with evolutionistic propaganda and have had no defense, no explanation. Once you show them some facts and introduce them to learned men of science who also happen to be Christians, and who believe the Genesis account, they usually have a change of mind, or heart, or whatever you want to call it.
I have also found that the ones who usually perpetuate the various aspects of the day-age theory or theistic evolution are not scientists who claim to be Christians, but are theologians! There are many scientists who are biblical Christians who are part of great organizations presenting scientific information which supports the Genesis record of beginnings. I find that very strange. You would think the theologians would welcome such evidence rather than continually striving for an ungodly alliance between evolution and the Bible.
In order to be fair to all, perhaps preachers should also offer Buddah or Mohammed as alternatives to Jesus at the end of each service in case there are people there who for some unknown reason have come to mistrust the Bible.
© Bill Mazeika 1997
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