The Implications of Rejecting the Literal Days of Genesis 1
The assault of humanism upon the American mindset in the last half-century has taken a dreadful toll on our culture. Its atheistic tentacles have invaded virtually every facet of social life: politics, education, entertainment, medicine, industry, and yes, religion. The church has not eluded its grasp. Evidences of humanistic influence in the church may be seen in the fluctuating attitudes toward morality, authority, worship, and fellowship.
One prominent manifestation of humanistic influence in the church is the tendency to make concessions to the theory of evolution. Even Christian college science professors have been seduced by pseudo-scientific “proof ” that the Earth is 4.6 billion years old. Evolution’s illusion of scientific credibility depends upon an ancient Earth. This circumstance has created a climate in the scientific community in which those dating methods that support an ancient Earth receive preeminence, while those that support a young Earth are effectively ignored.
Once a Christian accepts the idea of an ancient Earth, he automatically is placed in a position where he must abandon a literal interpretation of the biblical Creation account. He must reject the “days” of Genesis one as literal twenty-four-hour days (or accept some other compromising concept such as the Gap Theory, Modified Gap Theory, etc.). Historically, in their frantic need to maintain their own credibility as a valid academic discipline, liberal theologians reevaluated their views of Genesis 1, and altered their assessments in order to accommodate the evolutionary framework. Consequently, the Creation account was stylized as a “myth” or a “hymn.” It is incredibly naïve to think that Christians can use the term “myth” to refer to Genesis 1, and there be no connection with liberal theology, evolution, and a devaluated view of the inspiration of that sacred chapter.
What are the practical effects of retreating to such a view? Many older Christians (i.e., World War II generation and before) were faced with the growing threat of an evolution-based view of science at a time when their own convictions about the reliability and inspiration of the Bible already had been crystallized. Consequently, many simply have not understood what all the fuss is about. They have been convinced that one can believe in evolution and an ancient Earth, and yet still hold to firm convictions about the reliability of the biblical account of Creation. What they fail to realize is that they already had come to accept the Bible viewpoint, and so learned to live with the logical incompatibility of the two divergent viewpoints. Their determination to maintain a belief in the inerrancy of Scripture was formed at a time when bold comparisons with the evolutionary framework were not forced upon them in the classroom.
But times are different. Babyboomers, whose adolescent years transpired after World War II, were forced to bring into bold relief and stark contrast two clearly clashing world views: creation and evolution. Irreligious science teachers caused us to face the fact that there is no common ground between the two views. Ultimately, the main reason for accepting the idea of an ancient Earth is to accommodate an evolutionary position of one sort or another.
Generation X arrived, and has been genuine and honest enough to see and embrace the logical implications of the ancient Earth viewpoint. Consequently, they have adjusted their perceptions of the integrity of the biblical text. They recognize that since Genesis 1 may be interpreted rather loosely, so may the rest of the Bible and, for that matter, the whole of their parents’ religion. Generated by a secular, humanistic society, and perpetuated by careless parents, the children have come to adopt a relativistic view of Christianity (if they have not abandoned it altogether). Alarmed, even panic-stricken, parents look on with wonderment at how their children can so easily throw overboard such ironclad certainties as God’s laws governing marriage, New Testament worship, and the plan of salvation. They apparently are blind to the fact that they, themselves, in league with humanistic philosophy, have sown the wind that yielded the whirlwind!
The solution? It may be too late to save many of the post-World War II population, in whom a modern mindset has been deeply embedded. However, the only road to recovery, and the only hope for future generations, is a return to complete trust in the written documents of the Bible. Tampering with the text in order to accommodate every fast-talking scientific or theological “authority” that comes along must stop. God must be taken at His word. Everything must be measured by the standard of the plain teaching of the Bible. The god of secular education, which has become the measuring stick and the absolute authority, must be dethroned. The God of heaven must be re-enthroned in one’s life. His ability to communicate His view of reality to humans in simple, straightforward, easy-to-understand language must be taken seriously.
Once the biblical text is compromised, once the obvious meaning of Scripture is whitewashed in order to make its teaching more palatable and in step with secular culture, once Scripture is adjusted to fit human ideas rather than human ideas being adjusted to fit Scripture—the battle has been lost and Satan has won. No one should be surprised if our children have enough sense to see it, and to live accordingly.