The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8)
Recently a well-known pastor was interviewed by a well-known news commentator concerning the History Channel’s mini-series entitled the The Bible. The commentator, who claims to be a Christian, began his interview with the presupposition that the Bible is all allegorical. His first question betrayed his bias: “Adam and Eve: Did they literally live in the Garden of Eden and usurp the evolutionary process?” The exchange continued on a pretty even keel from then on with the pastor responding to the commentator’s every incredulous questions. Finally the commentator challenged the compatibility of the Bible with science. The pastor responded with, “I think you’re wrong on this one. The Bible does not contradict true science. It may contradict passing fads of scientific theory that are always evolving.” The pastor could have been more straightforward with the commentator and plainly said, “No, you are wrong on this one,” and gone on to make his case. The truth that pastor made clear was that the opinions of science are always changing with every new discovery, but God and His Word never changes, so, it is either always fully reliable, or it us wholly unreliable. It is either all true or not true at all.
So the pastor continued to make his point: “For example, it used to be thought that the cosmos always existed. But then we had Sir Fred Hoyle, who named the named the Big Bang Theory, that said, ‘Guess what, the universe had a beginning 13.7 billion years ago.’” At this point the pastor had not yet fully capitulated. He was simply pointing out that scientific theories are fickle, but what he unwittingly did was give credence to the unproved “scientific” Big Bang Theory. This was reflected in the commentator’s subsequent question: “Do you believe that the universe started 13.7 billion years ago?” Now the pastor was in a tight spot. He had already opened the door to the possibility of the Big Bang, so now he had to wiggle out of it the best way he could. He responded, “I think it very well could have. One of the things fundamentalist Christians mess up on is they try to say the earth is 6000 years old. The Bible never makes that claim anywhere.” So now, before a national audience, he made the theories of man superior to the Bible, he threw fundamentalist Christians “under the bus,” and he made a false (or at least uniformed) claim about the Bible.
Of course the Bible makes no claim about the age of the earth! However, when one makes a careful study of the genealogies in the book of Genesis, one can easily determine that the time from Adam to Noah was about 1600 years. Some who doubt the veracity of Scripture will attempt to interject “gaps” in the genealogies so that the time span could be much greater, but this is unfounded when one takes Scripture for what is plainly stated. Others attempt to introduce long ages, billions of years even, between the first two verses of Genesis, but this, again, is unfounded. Or else they will attempt to make the “days” of creation be long ages, and this too has no basis in truth especially when a “day” (Hebrew: yom) is clearly defined as “evening and morning” – clearly a 24-hour day. So with a little bit of study and the use of some very simple mathematics, we can conclude, according to Scripture, that the earth is approximately 6000 years old. By yielding on this point, the pastor lost credibility for himself and for the Bible, and ultimately he lost the debate. The commentator reaffirmed his assertion that the Bible was all allegory and given that the pastor had basically conceded on the Genesis record there was really nothing more the pastor could say to convince him otherwise.
Anyone who truly believes that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16) and that “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but [God’s] words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35) cannot afford to compromise on Scripture even in the tiniest point. Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). If this is so, then all of Scripture is true and accurate, and according to the biblical record, the earth is about 6000 years old. The atheists/evolutionists do not yield in the least on their contrived Big Bang Theory, so why should Christians compromise on the truth of Scripture?
The pastor preached a solid sermon on Sunday. He preached on:
- The reliability of the Bible
- The exclusivity of the Gospel
- The sovereignty of God
All points meant to encourage Christians to trust God and His Word. So why compromise? Either God’s Word is true or it is not. It really is that simple. The words of the old hymn probably express best the attitude we ought to have toward the Word of God …
The Bible stands like a rock undaunted
’Mid the raging storms of time;
Its pages burn with the truth eternal, (emphasis added)
And they glow with a light sublime.
The Bible stands though the hills may tumble,
It will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble;
I will plant my feet on its firm foundation,
For the Bible stands.
The Bible stands like a mountain tow’ring
Far above the works of men; (emphasis added)
Its truth by none ever was refuted,
And destroy it they never can.
The Bible stands and it will forever,
When the world has passed away;
By inspiration it has been given,
All its precepts I will obey.
The Bible stands every test we give it, (emphasis added)
For its Author is divine;
By grace alone I expect to live it,
And to prove and to make it mine.
(“The Bible Stands” by Haldor Lillenas, 1917)
As Bible-believing Christians, there should never be room for compromise on Scripture.