Saturday, September 19, 2009

Stand for the Rule of Faith, Part 2

This journey through the Rule of Faith will take a few days. Today I want to explore the significance of standing for the next line as it appears in the final form of the Apostles' Creed: "I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth."

In our society the biblical view of the origins of the universe has been under attack for well over a hundred years now. The theory of evolution has moved from theory to dogma in much of the scientific community. Anyone who doubts this should watch Ben Stein's documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

What is at stake if we do not stand for God as Creator? What is at stake if we do not stand for man as uniquely created in the image of God? It is hard to overstate what is at stake here.

First, we need to stand for God as the Creator of all that is because without that one, central unifying truth, there can be (1) no explanation for the order found in the universe (see any of a number of works on Intelligent Design theory for a discussion of order in the universe), and (2) no purpose of meaning to human life, and (3) no objective basis for morality.

I am not academically qualified to speak to the issue of Intelligent Design. I've done some reading in the subject and watched Stein's documentary about the battle over ID in the academy. Suffice it to say that God has not hidden himself behind creation as Richard Dawkins implies in his interview with Stein. Rather, for centuries the testimony of humanity has echoed the words of the psalmist: "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork" (Ps 19: 1). Belief in a deity as evidenced in creation is a universal phenomenon among human beings. Some people groups have more sophisticated religions, others more primitive and animistic, but every culture seems to see evidence that the universe came from a power beyond itself, except the culture of natural science. Why can they not see what everyone else since the dawn of human existence has seen? Could it be that they are among those Paul mentions who "by their unrighteousness suppress the truth" (Rom 1: 18) in their own hearts?

By standing for God as Creator, Christians stand not only for a universe that bears the marks of design and order, they stand for meaning and purpose in human existence--in history. If God did in fact create everything that exists, and if humanity is uniquely created in his image, then everything has a reason and every life, no matter how insignificant it may appear to us, has purpose. God has a plan that he is carrying out in history. Theologians call this the doctrine of Providence. History is merely the unfolding of God's providential plan for creation. Your life means something to God. He has a purpose for your existence. You were not born at the wrong time. You do not live in the wrong place. And if you are living for God by faith in Jesus Christ, then even your suffering has redemptive meaning in your life and God is at work in your suffering for your greater benefit (Rom 5: 3--5; 8: 28). Knowing this has served as a source of hope and inspiration to believers throughout the ages who have dealt with persecution, bereavement, affliction, and debilitating injuries and illnesses. God is in control. As Creator he is sovereign over all things, even the details that we take for granted.

By standing for God as the Creator you also stand for God as the Sovereign Lawgiver. There is an objective basis for moral behavior. Morality is not merely a relative social construct. Right and wrong are things that exist independent of the human will because they originate in the very nature of God. We can say it is wrong to take what does not belong to you. We can say it is wrong to take an innocent life. We can say it is wrong to have sexual relations outside of marriage. We can say it is wrong to treat others as economic tools to be used or discarded on utilitarian grounds. God has given a law by which humans are to live in relationship to him and to one another. Today we have generations of people who have been taught that they are no more than highly evolved animals and that survival of the fittest is the only law of nature that concerns them. As a result the baser ones rob and destroy to get ahead and the more sophisticated ones learn to embezzle and cheat their way through life to get ahead. People fornicate like animals and society says, "You can't stop them, so let's provide them with 'protection' so they can at least have 'safe sex' and slow down the spread of certain diseases." This is the effect of Darwinian evolution on society. It has not ennobled or made humanity better. It has released the restraints that held human sinfulness in check and is threatening to undermine Western Civilization in the name of "scientific advancement".

If you truly believe there is a God who created the universe and created you and everyone you know, then you need to stand for the Law he has also sovereignly given as the basis for an orderly society. In that Law is embedded the requirement to respect each and every person as uniquely created by God in his image, even though that image is now fallen and defaced as a result of sin. You need to stand for public morality and let people know you expect them to live up to a standard that ennobles, not down to a standard that debases. This is not a call for legalism and judgmentalism. It is a call for tough compassion that motivates people to step up and live up to their true potential as human beings created by God rather than living down to the level of clever animals. People have forgotten how to respect their own persons and the persons of others, and this can be seen in drug addiction, sexual promiscuity, violent crime, theft, and the rising tide of any other criminal and immoral behavior prevalent in our society today.

As long as believers compromise on the issue of God as Creator in either thought or attitude, the Church will have a minimal effect on the direction of public morality. The Church must stand for God as Creator and stand for the positive benefits to society which that will yield. I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. Do you?


  1. Satin, the father of lies, did a bang up job with this lie. The lie of Darwinian evolution has permeated the minds of our children and we are seeing it's effects. The Church is not standing in the gap here; they are coddling the theories and concepts, not wanting to drive off seekers. "The truth is much like a lion set it free and it can defend itself"(Spurgion)this should be the response of the Church. Do this with love but always seek the truth.

  2. I know this is a late comment, but I am just now reading. If you see this I would like for you to answer a questions. Do you believe that belief in evolution and Christianity are compatible? I grew up Methodist, believing the bible was full of symbolism, and that you could believe in God and and believe in evolution. I was taught at church, school, and home that there was no conflict.