Anything that affects children being able to connect with God affects this ministry. Anything that affects children developing a biblical worldview, which ultimately affects their connection with God, affects this ministry. Therefore, we find ourselves engaging in conversations that most children’s ministries avoid.
One of those conversations, concerns creationism and evolution. Surveys show that children start becoming skeptical about the Bible almost as soon as they start hearing that science has proven Scripture to be wrong – and that’s very early!
Undermining the Bible to Kids
Undermining the Bible usually begins in cartoons that talk about millions of years. Evolution is actually affirmed by well-intentioned Sunday school teachers whose curricula avoid teaching what the Bible reveals regarding creation and the flood. By the time they are teens, young people are so hardened against the trustworthiness of the Bible that many times they stop believing in Jesus altogether.
In addition, their friends, teachers, and the media tell them every day that the Bible is simply a bunch of moral stories, full of allegories and poetry. Young people understand that if it is true, then the gospel message is a lie, and faith in Jesus is futile.
Fifty percent of Christians Believe in Evolution
I was shocked the other day when I heard a survey taken among born-again Christians which stated that over 50% of them now believe the world was created through evolution. Now granted, many of them say they believe God was the original catalyst, but that he used evolution to do the job. (Theistic evolutionists) I have some real problems with that way of thinking.
At my root, I am a Bible teacher for children. One of the callings on my life is to help children rightly divide the word of truth. One of the things we strive to do is impart biblical doctrine into their lives rather than stay on surfacey Bible stories where they never really receive deep foundational doctrines.
As such, I use the story of creation and of Adam and Eve in the Garden in many of my curricular lessons. For instance, I have a curriculum on the blood of Jesus. Bible scholars talk about the “scarlet thread” that runs from Genesis to Revelation. What they mean by that is that in every book of the Bible, you’re able to find the blood of Jesus spoken of in one form or another symbolically. In other words in every book of the Bible, we are given a type and shadow, or a prophetic picture of Jesus’s sacrifice of his shed blood. It’s one of the ways that we have of confirming biblical validity and affirm that the Bible is in fact the inspired word of God.
One might think that in Genesis the symbolism of Jesus’ blood begins with Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac, because Isaac is a well-known prophetic picture of Jesus. But the blood actually appears much earlier in Scripture than with Abraham. It goes back to the Garden of Eden. Man sinned and needed to be redeemed. The Bible tells us that God took the skins of an animal and clothed Adam and Eve before he sent them out of the garden. How did God get those animal skins? Did he just create some skins without the animals? I don’t think so!
So what happens when you skin in animal? You get blood! The inference here is that blood was shed for the forgiveness of man (in this case, Adam and Eve), so that in his sinful state he would not be destroyed in the presence of a holy God. As we know from Scripture without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. So even before it was a Scripture God acted on this biblical truth. The shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sins was first instituted in the Garden of Eden.
The Beginning of Everything
The story of creation is the beginning of everything. It was in the garden that God bent down and breathed into man the breath of life. But if God used evolution to create the world, at what point did he breath that life into a living creature? At what point did he consider the glob of goo – that pool of primordial soup – as mankind? If He used evolution to create the world, then did he actually breathe into the nostrils of chimpanzee as the forerunner of man the breath of life, or did he wait till the Neanderthal man or the Java man came on the scene before he breathed in him the breath of life? Which creature did he choose? Or was that just “allegorically speaking”? A beautiful poetic symbolic picture!
Some Christians say God never meant the creation story to be taken as a real event! At which point I ask the question, how do you decide which stories in the Bible are allegories and which ones are true? Jesus talked about Adam as though he was a real person. In fact, if you will study Scripture one of the most boring things is actually one of the most important—the endless lists of genealogies. In them you will discover that even the genealogy of Jesus goes all the way back to a specific man called Adam!
Adam Was Noah’s Great, Great Grandfather
Noah is the great, great grandson of Adam. Count them: Adam, Seth, Methuselah, Lemech, and NOAH! How can Noah be the great, great grandson of someone who’s make-believe and just the result poetic imagery of a symbolic man in an allegory? Oh, that’s right! We can’t believe in Noah and the flood either! That’s also an allegory! Excuse me – I forgot! Funny, isn’t it? Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be before the coming of the son of God”…. Silly Jesus! He thought Noah and the flood was real! He’s even used him as a picture of what is going to happen in the end times before he returns! Boy, Jesus needs to get his doctrine straight, doesn’t he? (And don’t forget–the Bible traces Jesus’ genealogy all the way back to Adam too! Think of it! They trace his lineage all the way back to a make believe allegorical figure! Now there’s a book we can trust!) Yes, I’m being sarcastic….
While I’m on that point, it’s fairly common knowledge in the New Testament that Jesus told true stories, and then he told “parables” which are made up stories to make a point. The writers of the Gospels always let us know when it was a true story or a parable. Jesus talked about Noah and Adam several times referring to them in his teachings. Never once did he say “as in the parable of of Noah,” or the “parable of Adam and Eve.” Read it for yourself. He spoke of them as real people. So Jesus was either ignorant, deceived, or deceiving us.
It All Started in the Garden
But I digress. Let’s move on. It is from this story of creation that we refer to God instigating the institution of marriage between a man and a woman. It is upon this principle that we base our beliefs in regards to homosexuality today. So it’s in the world’s best interest to consider this nothing but a stupid allegory so that we can marry and have sex with anybody we want to!
Sin started in the Garden of Eden. The result of sin was death which was also found for the first time at creation. We are told clearly nothing ever died, that is, there was no sickness or disease, prior to the Garden of Eden. If that’s true, then there’s no way that dinosaurs and similar creatures lived prior to Adam and Eve because they died BEFORE Adam and Eve and sin and death came on the scene! Prior to Adam and Eve there was no sin, therefore there was no sickness or death. So how could the dinosaurs have died millions of years before Adam came along? (Trick question with a logical answer—dinosaurs were created on DAY SIX right before Adam and Eve were—they co-existed in the Garden!)
It is in the creation story that the great battle between Satan and mankind began. From that time forward, there has been enmity between man and the devil. And he’s been out to destroy us ever since. It all started in the Garden of Eden.
Let Us Make Man in Our Image
The story of creation is where we are told that mankind was created in the image of God. God said to Jesus and the Holy Spirit, “Let us make man in our image.” What was that image? It was that we were made spirit, soul and body just like God (GOD: Father, Son and Holy Spirit / MAN: Spirit, Soul and Body).
But the Bible never tells us that God breathed into animals the breath of life—only man. This is one of the things that sets people apart from the animal kingdom. Animals have a body and soul, but they don’t have a spirit. That was something man received when God breathed into him (The Hebrew word for ‘breath” in Genesis actually means ‘spirit’!). He received God’s very spirit—and the capacity to commune and fellowship with God.
If the creation of man in the Garden of Eden did not take place the way we read it in Scripture, then which amoeba, blob of protoplasm, or animal as a forerunner of man as we know them today, or caveman did God create in his image? How far back in history, did he go before he pointed to a creature and said, “That’s the one I want to say is made in my image!”?
The Adam of the garden is called the first Adam. Jesus is called the last Adam. Why? While Adam was made in the image of God, Christ is ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Colossians 1:15). Adam was created a perfect man, in full possession of all human faculties, and with a God-consciousness which enabled him to have spiritual communion with God. Initially innocent, sinless, and holy, he was in a right relationship to God, to woman, to himself, and to the natural world around him. The last Adam, Jesus, was also perfectly man, one with God (John 10:30; 17:21-22), innocent, sinless, and holy (Hebrews 7:26). Adam was a type and shadow of Jesus Christ—a prophetic image of the son of God.
If sin did not start in the Garden of Eden, at what point did it start? At what point did man need a savior? Did the Cro-Magnon man need a savior? Or perhaps the Homo Erectus? Which one of these dudes did Jesus die for? Which one brought sin and death into the world and brought the need of a savior to save us from our fallen state?
The Power of God’s Words
The list goes on and on! Either the story of creation is real or half the Bible is a fake! If you can’t believe what God says about creating the world, people and animals, then how can you believe in the invisible forgiveness of sins or Jesus’ second coming? How can any of it be true?
The Apostle Paul spoke of Adam as a real person. Consider these Scriptures that we base our salvation message on:
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—Romans 5:12 NIV
Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. Romans 5:14 NIV
For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22 NIV
So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 1 Corinthians 15:45 NIV
For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 1 Timothy 2:13-14 NIV
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones. Jude 1:14 NIV
So if the story of creation is not real, and Adam and Eve are the subjects of an allegory, what does that do to the validity of these scriptures? Adam and Eve are rooted in the very message of salvation.
Our Kids Need Answers
So in regards to our children and our youth, we need to teach them biblical doctrine. We need to teach them the things that I’ve talked about here. There are answers to the seemingly unanswerable questions regarding creation and the word of God. To believe that God used the evolutionary process to create the world is a serious compromise that has great implications for the trustworthiness of the Bible.
The fact that over half of Christians today believe in evolution, regardless of whether or not they put God in the equation, tells us that the world is winning the battle of the mind! It means that slowly but surely, one generation at a time, our faith in God and the trustworthiness of his word is being systematically undermined. It’s time to reexamine what we believe through digging into the scriptures. We either believe it, or we don’t. There cannot be compromise!
By Becky Fischer
Also visit Answers in Genesis website at http://www.answersingenesis.org/