Friday, October 1, 2010

Young Earth

There are varied opinions on the age of the earth, even within the church.  I believe the Bible is clear in that the Universe was created in seven literal days.  Today I want to talk about the belief in a young Earth.  That belief is that the Universe (including Earth) is only a few thousand (5,700 - 10,000) years old.  This is opposed to what science offers, which is an earth and is 4.6 billion years old with a universe much older than that.  Obviously, both can not be right. 

First I want to address the idea that all creation was created in seven days.
God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.  Genesis 1:5 NKJV
Some believe that Young Earth is unsustainable scientifically and so they twist Scripture to meet the demands of what they  believe to be scientific fact.  In this case, people believe that these are not literal days, but ages.  The problem with that is the Word is very specific.  It is hard to make the argument of 7 ages when after each day of Creation God makes note that "evening and morning" separated each day of creation.  In other words, God not only says "day" but goes on to describe what a day is.  The earth was created in seven days. 

I am not a scientist and so any scientific argument I can give would just be plagiarized from someone else.  Instead of doing that, I will a link for the more scientific arguments regarding Young Earth.  A good link with a more comprehensive and easier to read discussion is: here.

Refuting dating systems, fossil records, and strata formation are not important to me.  Scientific data may be absolutely accurate, but it does not mean it is right.  Imagine if we developed time travel and a scientific team went back in time to Day 7 of Creation.  That team would get out of their machine and look around seeing fully grown and fruiting trees, animals roaming around, and a fully grown man and woman.  It would look even to the well trained eye of a scientist that earth was much older than 7 days.  I mean just the trees alone take decades to reach maturity. And the light from the stars in the sky would have appeared to take thousands of years to get to Earth.   In other words, God did not create the world or universe as "new".  He planted trees, not seeds.  He created chickens, not eggs.  Science can answer how old things appear by their own standards, but they can not tell you how old things are.  In my example of the time machine, the data collected by those scientists would be accurate in that the trees were at a certain height and thickness, light from stars thousands of light years from earth was visible, and fully grown animals were roaming the earth.  Unfortunately, their interpretation would be wrong.  Their interpretation would be premised on their belief of an "old" Earth.  Even today, scientists may collect perfectly good data, but without being there at creation they have no knowledge in how to properly interpret it.  And so science has much data but no knowledge to interpret it. 
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:
"Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?
Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
"Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?
To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?  Job 38:1-7 NKJV
The point I am making is that no man is alive who witnessed Creation.  We do not know how God did it, only that He did it by His Word and in 7 days. The fact is we do not know what physically happened when God spoke the Universe into existence.  Was there a Big Bang? Maybe.  And who is to say when God did it, that it took place in an instant.  Do we doubt that God has that power?   Was  there no bang and everything just appeared instantly in its place? Also possible because God does have that power.  All we know is that He did it and while guessing how makes for good conversation, it is not as important as the Gospel.  If God wanted us to know what Creation actually looked like as it was happening, He would have told us in His Word.  What He does want us to know is that He did it.  I look forward to eternity to see how! 

We are called naive and unintelligent for our beliefs in Creation and Young Earth.  That should be no surprise.  God chooses the foolish things of the earth. Not that God is looking for fools, but our understanding of God and faith in His Word seems foolish to an unredeemed world.  We are mocked and ridiculed because of our faith. People think we are dumb, but what they do no realize is that they are the ones void of understanding. 
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness"; and again, "The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile."  1 Corinthians 3:18-20 NKJV
Those who think they are wise are really not and it is their pride in their wisdom that becomes their downfall.  Compared to God, their thoughts and ideas are futile.  We may look foolish to the wisdom of the world, but the wisdom of the world is foolish to God.  When God calls us to be as a fool, He is not meaning to dumb ourselves down but to humble ourselves before the greater knowledge of God.  We need to recognize that compared to God, our wisdom is nothing.  We need to submit our minds to God not matter how it appears to the world. God can do great things through those of us who humble ourselves:
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.  1 Corinthians 1:25-29 NKJV
Many people make the mistake of getting into a scientific debate with a scientist.  We study some postings on a website on Creation and think we are adequately armed to battle someone seasoned in not only his own arguments, but in yours.  You come to battle and end up losing miserably and then question God as to how He allowed that to happen.  The reason is that we make the same mistake as the worldly scientist. We come to battle relying on our own knowledge on a subject and not on the eternal Wisdom of God.  You are not going to win any scientists doing that.  You are only feeding their pride.  If a man does not believe in God, he is not going to believe in Creation no matter what you tell him.  Again, if God wanted us to know how He created the world in 7 days, He would have told us.  Guessing how things came to be is just what the scientist does.  What we can do is rely on God's word.  What will confound the wise is you sticking to Genesis no matter what 'incontrovertible proof" he shows you.  What will confound him is you choosing the wisdom of God over him.  Let him see your faith, don't worry about his mind.  Our mind is subject to our hearts and that is what your focus should be. 

We will be mocked, ridiculed, and seen as silly for our arguments because when a man rejects God, he rejects the wisdom of God.  God's wisdom is foolishness to the  unredeemed man. The sad irony is that the unredeemed man is the one who is truly foolish.  The Bible tells us that it is the fool who says in his heart that there is no God, and the heart's rejection directs the mind to justify that rejection. That is why it is futile to argue a mind that can not believe or understand spiritual things while the heart rejects them.   What we can do is stand firm in our faith in the face of that ridicule.  What we can do is show them our hearts.  It is the work of God in our hearts that will win the wise.  It is the Word of God that pierces hearts and does not return void and that is what we need to share.  Sharing our own wisdom does nothing for the hearts of the lost, sharing the Word of God and its work in our lives does.  For the mind to understand the things of God, God must first work on the spirit. 
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 NKJV