Published April 5, 2012
Question: Is the age of the earth really important?
Answer: Yes, it is very important. Many Christian leaders think that as long as they reject biological evolution, then it doesnít really matter about the age of the earth. These pastors and theologians believe that by rejecting Darwinian evolution, they have shut the door to compromise regarding the authority of the Scriptures.
The reality, however, is that by allowing for millions of years, these Christian leaders (many of them are godly men and I have benefited from their teaching) have kept a ďcompromise doorĒ open. If that door is not completely shut, then the next generation of leaders will push the door open further.
This compromise has led to a catastrophic loss of biblical authority in the church (and culture as a whole) Ė which includes the devastating consequence of moral relativism permeating the church.
Did you know that, more often than not, when the secular media report on our Creation Museum sometimes the reporters donít even mention our stand against evolution but are more focused on the issue of the age of the earth/universe?
For instance, in 2010 one secular news source, in covering our Creation Museum and future Ark, stated: ďThe ministry, Answers in Genesis, believes the Earth is only 6,000 years old Ė a controversial assertion even among many Bible-believing Christians ÖĒ
Why is the issue of time so important in the secular world? Well, without the supposed millions/billions of years, secularists cannot even propose biological evolution. An old age is absolutely crucial for the secularists in their attempt to explain life without God.
It is vital for Christians to understand that:
ē The Bible does not even hint of millions or billions of years. If you take the Bible as written, itís obvious God created in six literal days. With the specific history given in the genealogical lists, itís very clear that there have been only about 6,000 years of history since time began.
ē All dating methods devised by humans are fallible; they are based on fallible assumptions. The only true reliable dating method is the historical record that God prepared for us: the Bible.
ē When Christian leaders try to add millions of years into Godís Word, then they are making God responsible for death, disease, thorns, carnivory, and suffering millions of years before sin. The Bible makes it clear such things are a result of manís sin!
Ultimately, the issue over the age of the earth/universe is one of authority: will it be fallible, sinful manís authority, or will it be Godís? Should we take manís fallible understandings about the past and reinterpret Godís Word, or do we judge manís beliefs against the absolute authority of Scripture?
The secular world has intimidated so many pastors and Bible college/seminary academics to believe in millions of years, for if they donít accept an old earth, they will be accused of being anti-intellectual and anti-science. Itís largely a problem of academic pride.
Why such intimidation from the world? Because the idea of an earth that is millions of years old is the foundational religion of this age for secularists, who need to explain the universe and all of life without God. These atheists and agnostics must have billions of years to support evolution.
Compromising Christian leaders need to give up not only biological evolution, but geological and cosmological evolution (i.e., billions of years). I call on Christians everywhere to shut the door to this compromise that is undermining the church and culture. Indeed, we are seeing the collapse of biblical Christianity in the West as scriptural authority is questioned.
The idea of millions of years is like a disease in the church; biological evolution is just a symptom. Help us prevent the disease from spreading further.
Ken Ham is president/founder of Answers in Genesis (www.answersingenesis.org).
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