The relevance of creationism to evangelism (part 4)
How does a belief in creation or evolution influence evangelism?
This is the fourth column in a series addressing a question I received about how creation influences evangelism. It is crucial for the Christian to understand how important the issue of origin is. This is not just an interesting debate between creation and evolution but is one that deals directly with a correct understanding of who God is and the authority of the word of God. Frances Schaeffer, "felt we are greatly mistaken to avoid the important subject of how we got here, why we are like we are, who is in charge, by whose rules we should play, and by whose rules we will be judged. Schaeffer thought that when one avoids those questions, which are deeply implanted in every human heart, and jumps immediately to salvation, one loses the major impact on those who are seeking the truth."
The questions of who we are, what all this "stuff" is around us and where all of it came from are only answered by acknowledging God as creator. Only as creator is God qualified to be master, ruler, Lord and judge of all things. Thus, evangelism that portrays God as anything less than king of all creation is powerless. The apostle Paul tells us that understanding God's invisible attributes, eternal power, and divine nature is found in "what He has made." Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."
Evangelism that fails to comprehend the importance of God as creator also fails to comprehend the nature of the sinner. The preceding two verses Romans 1:18-19 describe what the "unrighteous" man does to deserve the wrath of God. Romans 18-19 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them." He suppresses the truth. What truth? The attributes, power and nature of God "understood through what he has made."
Therefore, the activity of those we are evangelizing that deserves God's wrath, according to these verses, is suppressing the truth. That is the reason why there is such a great effort by the unrighteous to indoctrinate in evolution. Evolution is the logical solution to the problem of origin for the unrighteous man. Some of the most vocal evolutionists were/are atheists, like Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan and Stephen J. Gould. Evolution has become the primary instrument for men to suppress the truth. It replaces the truth of God with a confusing soup of chance, mutations, and natural selection as the cause of what has been made. Thus, why would one think there is wrath for suppressing truth when one doesn't think he is suppressing truth; he's got science on his side. (Of course, evolution isn't science at all. It is, in fact, what Paul warned Timothy about in 1 Timothy chapter 6. It is merely "science, falsely so-called.")
Evolution cannot withstand criticism so the only way for it to survive is to suppress any other view. That is why it is so important not allow creationism in public schools. It is not because we do not want to offend anyone with the religious view of creation because evolution is equally as religious. Faith in blind chance and a model of origin without any scientific method is religion. In fact, it is a belief system of the worst kind. It depends on repeated confession of something for which there is no proof with forced acceptance. In education today evolution is not even presented as theory but as fact. It requires a monopoly on the provision of information in the textbooks and enforces acceptance through grades.
This is understandable in light of Romans 1:18-20. The unrighteous attitude of suppressing the truth of a creator is allowed in the name of religious equality. The church, as a whole, has been unprepared to defend biblical creation in the public arena because it has categorized the issue as unimportant compared to evangelism. Ironically, it is only by understanding the lost that evangelism can be effective. The "good news" of salvation has no meaning unless one also understands the bad news of the wrath of God. The motivation for using creation in evangelism should be evident in verse 18. By allowing the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men to continue to suppress the truth in unrighteousness the consequence of God's wrath is ignored. God's wrath, his judgment, his condemnation, His anger are revealed against suppressing the truth. This should therefore be a motivation to learn more about how to defend the creation model of origin instead of a reason to run from it and avoid it in evangelism.
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Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen