Does Your Church Need a Change of Mind about Genesis?

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
A church's attitude toward the doctrine of creation is a litmus test of a church's ability to hold to sound doctrine.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

This article concludes our answer to the question, "Is the doctrine of creation a litmus test of a church's attitude toward the Bible?"

"We wouldn't mind so much if they wanted to build a church - but they want to build a creation museum to change our minds!"

In our last article, we demonstrated that the controversy over the interpretation of Genesis chapter one can't be swept aside so that the church "can get on with its real work of proclaiming the Gospel," as some say must be the case. The reason is simple: Compromise on Genesis cuts the ground from beneath the Gospel, and it cuts the ground from beneath a credible profession of belief in the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture.

Today, much of the Evangelical church fails to bear a clear testimony to the inerrancy of the Word, and as a consequence much of the time Evangelicals pays only lip service to the authority of Scripture. As a result, the church's proclamation of the Gospel is weakened, as vital components of the Gospel message are left out.

The postmodern church's uncertain mindset about inerrancy undermines its ability to hold to sound doctrine generally, and to proclaim it unapologetically. Let us not forget that this also is the church's "real work" - teaching believers the whole counsel of God, as Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:20).

"They Want to Change Our Minds!"

The following incident vividly demonstrates the weakness of the contemporary church's attitude toward Scripture. Answers in Genesis, an organization whose motto is "Upholding the authority of the Bible from the very first verse," applied to government authorities for re-zoning of land near Cincinnati, Ohio, for construction of its Creation Museum. The museum, which opened in 2007, teaches the truth about Genesis and proclaims the Gospel for which the creation record is foundational. AIG gained approval to build the museum only after winning a protracted legal fight. National humanist organizations, opposed to giving a voice to any explanation of origins that does not bow the knee to Darwin, led the opposition.

At one public hearing, a humanist spokesman said this: "We wouldn't mind so much if they wanted to build a church - but they want to build a creation museum to change our minds!"1 Such a statement speaks volumes about the reputation of churches that have refused to take an unequivocal stand on the authority of Scripture regarding Genesis, and have instead compromised with the unbelieving world.

Needed: A Change of Mind in the Church

Jesus Christ commissioned His church to seek to change the minds of men by preaching the Gospel of repentance (Luke 24:47). In the original language the word translated "repentance" is metanoia, literally, a change of mind. The Bible's accounts of the creation of the universe, and the temptation and fall of man, are foundational to that Gospel. The church cannot credibly call unbelievers to change their minds based on an infallible Word from God, if the church cannot make up its own mind to accept the plain meaning of Scripture - whether it is the meaning of the word "day" in Genesis; the historicity of the rest of the Old Testament; or the meaning of other doctrinal words such as sin, regeneration, faith, justification, and sanctification.

Compromise on the doctrine of creation produces churches that are, in the world's view, really harmless -because they aren't out to change anyone's mind.

Does your church need a change of mind? Do you? May God grant a spirit of metanoia to the contemporary Evangelical church.


1. AIG Update newsletter, January 29, 2005.


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