The Foundation of Authority

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky. I went with Bill and several other area ministers. We got a behind-the-scenes guided tour from an Answers in Genesis staff scientist, as well as a catered breakfast and lunch. The best part of the day, for me, was hearing Ken Ham, the founder of the Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis deliver a message.

His message had to do with many things, but when you boiled it all down, it had to do mostly with the loss of biblical authority in America, and world-wide. What do I mean by that? I mean that we have pushed the envelope so much in Western Christianity to the point where most “Christians” don’t even believe the Bible is the literal word of God. If they do believe it is, they usually believe that it is open to interpretation.

I must say, that the thing that stood out to me was this: that our view of Scripture and it’s authority does and has to begin with the Book of Genesis. As I have pondered this in the past weeks I have really began to see just how right Dr. Ham is. Where am I going with this? I promise there’s a point.

Genesis 1 details the creation of the universe, earth, animals, plants, and mankind. A lot of people take this section of the Bible and just leave it completely open to interpretation saying, “Well, we weren’t there, and we don’t know how it happened—could have been millions of years representing “days”, could’ve been the big bang, who knows…it doesn’t matter…just trust Jesus anyways.” That’s an innocent enough statement, right?

The fact is, that Genesis 1, the word “day” is the Hebrew word, “yom,” and this word means a literal twenty-four hour period of time. All through the six days the phrase at the end of each day is “and it was evening and there was morning the first day.” Now, if that word “yom” means a literal day every single other time it is used in the Old Testament, than why do we say it’s different here? I think the reason is because we have so much “science” (a man-made thing) that tells us the world is billions of years old, and we have no idea how to refute it—therefore, we just accept it and glance over these parts of Genesis.

Where is the problem with Biblical authority, you ask? To put it simply, if we want to take the rest of the Bible (NT included) literally and at face value, but we don’t take Genesis as such, then the rest of the New Testament, the Prophets, Psalms, everything is open to interpretation and can’t be trusted. If we truly believe God’s word, truly take it for what it is, than we can’t skirt around the Genesis issues any longer.

God didn’t say there were millions of years between the “days” of Creation. He said there were literally six days. Scholarship proves that the way they kept time, the way they understood a “day” is in line with us today. The Bible says Jesus rose from the dead on the third day—not 3 million years later. Do you see the point I’m trying to make here? If we can’t base the authority of God’s word to be founded in the book of Genesis 1-11, then we cannot base the authority anywhere. The Bible is the very word of God (2 Tim. 3:16) and we need to make sure we are good stewards of it. Just something to think about.

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