Pews“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.”

Those words, recorded in Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13, were spoken by Jesus. While the immediate context was that no man can serve both God and money, there is a broader context that applies to what I usually call the Origins Argument:

No man can serve two authorities. This basic axiom is the basis for Jesus’ warning that you can’t serve both God and money. It finds a parallel in Jesus’ warning that a house or kingdom divided against itself cannot stand [Mark 3:24-25] and James’ warning about the inherent instability of a double-minded man [James 1:8].

We’ve been arguing about where we came from ever since Darwin – Before Darwin even! It’s important to know where we came from because the answer to that questions tells us who we are and how we should live our lives and even where we’re going.

Creationists believe that we were made in image of a loving personal Creator. He tells us how to live our lives and we should do what He says because He knows what’s best for us. We are loved and we matter on an individual level. What we do here and how we live our lives matters a great deal in regards to eternity.

The Battle Defined

A lot of folks see the Origins Argument as a tug of war match between Biblical Creationism and Evolutionism for our allegiance, but that’s not really the case. It’s a battle of worldviews, yes, but on either end of the rope stands Biblical Creationism and Pure Naturalism.

The doctrine of naturalism is that nature is all there is and that all the answers to our questions must be purely natural. Our modern scientific search for truth has been hitched to this principle. No Gods allowed. No acts of God. No God-written revelations either! Naturalists affirm that we came about by natural processes in which God was never necessary. There is no particular reason for our existence; we are happy cosmic accidents. There is no ultimate standard by which we should live our lives, especially since we are racing towards nothingness. Do what makes you happy and don’t think about your own mortality too much.

The confusion arises because some folks who claim to respect the Bible or who even believe much of the rest of the Bible have taken up some of the positions of the naturalists where it comes to our origins. Pastors are genuinely concerned that making a stand on the Origins Argument will lead to divisions and strife across the pews. Let me say this: the only way to end the division is to be unified, not in deceptively respectful silence on the issues but rather in unity of conviction.

The Consequences of Naturalism as our Ultimate Authority

Make no mistake: pure naturalism and supernatural revelation are directly at odds. Christians may utilize naturalism as a tool for investigation precisely because they calibrate the findings of naturalism against the supernatural revelation of the Bible. Some Christians have failed to do that where it concerns Genesis and in doing so, they seem to have forgotten the particular demands of naturalism. Naturalism does not allow for men to walk on water, multiply a kid’s lunch or raise men from the dead. Naturalism does not allow for the possibility of God. Naturalism can never entertain the possibility that He has ever acted or spoken.

Millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution is the inevitable conclusion of a man searching for answers to our origins while looking through a lens of pure naturalism. Of course, the Bible’s revelation in Genesis concerning supernatural creation and a much younger universe stands in direct contradiction their premise and its conclusions, so naturalists suppose the Bible must be wrong where it claims these supernatural things. Make no mistake: naturalists don’t just claim that the Bible is wrong in Genesis. The premise of naturalism makes the very idea of a supernaturally inspired Bible ENTIRELY wrong because the supernatural can never be considered as a possibility, be it a Deity, a miracle or the supernaturally-inspired Word of a Deity. The implication of naturalism would be that the Bible was written by fallible men who were trying to understand the universe. Likewise, naturalism could never consider that Jesus never did anything out of the ordinary, nor that He was in any way God – and certainly it could never entertain the suggestion that He rose from the dead! Naturalism implies that no God has ever acted on behalf of His people or spoke through any so-called prophets, however well-intentioned, and that no supernatural agent answers prayers now.

The Flaws of Naturalism as an Ultimate Authority

The thing is that naturalism is an assumption. All it can give us are all-natural answers that may or may not be true – and are certainly false where the supernatural was involved!

The trouble is that naturalism is also blind. It cannot tell you the supernatural does not exist or hasn’t done anything. It simply refuses to consider them as viable answers. It pretends as if the supernatural will always be irrelevant to the question and further pretends as if all-natural answers must supplant supernatural ones by virtue of being natural. If the supernatural agency was actually involved, anyone committed to naturalism would have no means to determine that they were ever wrong! So a commitment to pure naturalism becomes exactly the sort of willful ignorance Peter warned about in 2 Peter 3:3-7.

Naturalism is also inconsistent.  Those committed to naturalism must presume that nature can do supernatural things that no one has ever observed: that everything can come from nothing or comic book multiverses; that specified. complex intelligence such as that found in our DNA can come without an intelligent source; that life can come from non-life; and even that an amphibian can become a prince if we just give it enough time, chance and all that!

Hard-wired for Belief in a Supernatural Creator

Naturalism isn’t even our instinctive belief about the universe.

Research by Dr. Deborah Keleman of the University of Arizona has shown that children have this natural tendency to interpret features of the natural world things as if they have a purpose and this naturally leads to a belief in a Creator God, what has been termed “intuitive theism.

The Bible says much the same thing in several passages. For example:

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3

Romans 1:19-20 is much more bold in its declaration of intuitive theism:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

Did you catch that? There’s no excuse for ungodliness or unbelief because the Creation itself leads to intuitive theism – and as I’ve always said, if you suspect there’s a god of any sort, it’s in your best interests to see what sort of god that is and what they might expect of you!

Richard Dawkins admitted to this human tendency toward intuitive theism when he wrote that “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Of course, he believes that these things only appear to be designed. His beliefs are supported by the consensus of modern science and are taught as scientific fact in our public schools.

So the question becomes: Can we trust our instincts or do we need to lump our intuitive theism with the fairies and monsters under the bed and other childish things, grow up, and accept the cold, hard facts of the all-natural world? Or was there a reason Jesus warned us that “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein” [Luke 18:17]? Is it possible that God stacked the deck in favor of theistic belief because he really is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” [2 Peter 3:9]?

More to the point: Are we the product of a benevolent Creator who spoke the cosmos and everything else into existence over the course of six calendar days about 6,000 years ago? Or are we the product of all-natural processes consistent with those we observe today taking place over the course of millions and millions of years?

Loving God Enough to Take Him at His Word

This all comes down to which authority we ultimately love more. If you love your wife, you wouldn’t trust somebody else’s word over hers unless there was a compelling reason. The God we love, the God described in the bible,  is someone who is all-powerful, knows everything, never makes mistakes and never lies, so why would we ever trust someone else’s word of His?

Churches across USAmerica and the world need to return to their first love and start trusting the God they say they love at His Word. The Bible doesn’t claim to be the work of fallible men trying to figure out God, but rather claims to be a supernatural revelation from God. The Bible doesn’t just say it contains truth; it claims it IS truth. It doesn’t make these claims lightly: its claim to supernatural revelation is authenticated by fulfilled Bible prophecy and the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We may liken the Scriptures to an infallible eyewitness account. So when naturalists make certain claims about our origins, we may say that we have a witness who says the facts should be interpreted a different way if we want to get at the truth [and not just the conclusions of naturalism]. In this way, we can calibrate our investigation of the natural world and lift the blinders naturalism would commit us to.

The Bible says that two cannot walk together unless they be agreed and that a house or kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. Creationism isn’t creating division in churches; the division occurs when people abandon the ultimate authority of the Bible and the faith once delivered for another authority. Naturalism as our ultimate authority is a blind, inconsistent assumption, but can be a useful tool of investigation if calibrated against the supernatural revelation of God’s Word.

This Creation Sunday [Feb 14, 2016], lead your church and your family into a commitment to the truth of the Bible as your ultimate authority for the sake of the love you have for its Author.