Can You Dismiss Genesis and be a Christian?

My comments in this article are addressing those Christians who know about this issue. I am not, for example, aiming these comments at new Christians, other than to properly educate them about this subject, so that they can make a Scripturally informed decision. Of course, once you’ve read it; once you know, as Jesus said, you become accountable and there is no turning back! So make your decision now whether to continue or not. As Morpheus told Neo, you have a decision to make; The red pill? Or the blue pill? :)

And before beginning, let me state clearly for the record here, that if you do not consider the Bible to be the infallible word of the living God, then you’re not a Christian yet anyway. Or, if you’re one of those people who thinks that they can get away with obvious attempts to try to get around certain parts of the Bible, by claiming that they were “for that time, but not today” and you’ll spend your time trying to dismiss this message while reading it, then you should probably just stop reading right now. I say that, because this article is about rethinking that position, which you should, because trust me, you’re not even fooling yourself with all of the Scriptural “two-steps” you always seem to find yourself doing in those situations in which the Biblical prescriptions and admonitions conflict with “modern thinking”.

And if you find (while trying to hang on to that self-conflicting view) that you are constantly having to respond to Scriptural points on these issues with; “Yes, but…”, then maybe you need to take a long, hard and brutally honest look at your own claims/views and begin placing God’s word first. Because a “but” means that you haven’t been doing that yet.

You know, back when I was young and stupid (those two always go hand in hand) and I was insane, I was meeting with a counselor, to try to help me screw my head on straight. And this counselor told me something that I have never forgotten in all the years since!

You see, after I had responded to something that she was trying to teach me, with my typical; “Yea, but…”, she looked me right in the eye and said;

“Dave, everything after ‘but’, is bullsh*t!”.

I never forgot that! In fact, I even caught myself a million times after that! And I have to admit that it completely changed my way of looking at things! And I realized that 99 out of 100 times, it’s true! :)

Think about it. Break it down.

You start your answer with; “Yes”.

Think about that, now. The very first thing you did was to say that you do agree with what the other person said!

Then comes the “but”, followed by your so called “reasons” for why you’re not going to act in agreement, but will instead act in a manner that is the complete opposite of what you just agreed was true!

Now what does that mean, other than you know that what was said is correct, but you don’t like that, because it interferes with your opinion.

Here’s a simple rule; If what you think agrees with God’s word, then you’re right. If it doesn’t, then you’re wrong.

To think any other way, is to believe that you are perfect. After all, if you can think that your opinion is right even when it disagrees with God’s word, then you have just placed yourself in the position of being the judge of God’s word.

This is where some try to do what I mentioned earlier; they try to claim that it was written way back when and much of it doesn’t apply today. But if that’s the case, then why should we read it anymore? And by what ruler do we measure morality with? Our opinions? Look around you at the world and tell me; How’s that worked out so far?

But let’s get to the point of this article, which is about whether or not one can dismiss parts of the Bible told as history, as fables and still be a Christian.

You see, I was reading an article at CMI (Creation Ministries International) about whether or not one has to believe in a literal, historic creation event, as described in Genesis. Their claim was that while they should, even if they didn’t believe it, while they would be “inconsistent Christians”, they would indeed still be “genuine Christians”.

I disagree with this and to support why I disagree with it, I would first like to state a little history and to then go over what the Bible has to say about it.

Yes Virginia, the Bible does deal with this subject. Surprise! :)

Obviously it is my hope here, that if you currently do not think it matters, that if I can show you that the Bible tells us that in order to truly believe in our Savior, that we must also believe that what He came to save us from (original sin) did actually happen, that you will then change your view about whether or not it matters if the Genesis creation account is literal history or not, from “it doesn’t matter”, to “it does matter”.

In fact, it is my hope that you will come to understand that it not only matters, but that it can determine our eternal state as well. And that you will see that it is hypocrisy to claim to believe the Bible and not believe the first 2 or 3 pages. That it is self-contradictory to claim to believe that Jesus came to save us from the stain of original sin, yet also deny original that very same sin as an actual, historical event, just like the Bible teaches and it does not teach this belief as optional. How can it, when the entire Christian faith is built on top of it? It is this stain of original sin that was the fall of man and which Jesus came to save us from. So how can it be “just a story”?

The bottom line here, is that if the original sin is just a story, then so is the cross and the resurrection. Or, even if the cross happened, it was just a nice guy who was, in the end, deluded. And if he was deluded, then He never rose! And if He never rose, then as Paul said, we are still in our sin!

If you come to understand this, then I hope you will act on this new revelation and not shy away, out of fear of what others might think, or say. That you will do as the Bible teaches and stand up for Christ, believing in faith that the creation account and the original sin did happened! Jesus, as I will show below, also believed that it happened. And after all, who shojld we believe? God? Or man?

So for those who know better, I disagree that these people would just be “inconsistant Christians”.  You cannot believe that Jesus came to wipe the stain of original sin, but not believe that the original sin is real and still be a genuine Christian!

What people tend to do today, is claim to “know their Bible”, while choosing to remain completely and totally ignorant of the history of the Scriptures and the faith that they call their own. But how does that make any sense at all?

You see, what ends up happening because of this wilfull ignorance (dumb on purpose), is that they take a few lines out of the context of the whole of Scripture and out of their historical context and then assume that they’ve got the whole concept of what’s required to call oneself “saved” completely down. And that is obviously a nonsensical approach to a Scriptural issue. And yet it’s done all the time, with whole books written on just those few lines!

Here’s the thing… while the Bible is for all time, it still was written in the 1st century and like any ancient writings, the Scriptures suffer when they are removed from their historical context. Even phrases that seem simple, can be completely misunderstood when the reader does not possess any real knowledge of the time and place (and thus, mindset) in which they were written. And those who don’t, are in no position to teach anyone!

Let me give you a perfect example of this;

Romans 12:19-20

19) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20) Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Now, in reading this statement, it seems that it’s saying that we should do good to our enemies. But for what purpose?

Well, it seems to be saying that it’s so that we can help pile up “vengeance points” (coals of fire to burn their heads with) for the Lord to take out on them (our enemy) for us later on (maybe after their dead). It seems that the Lord says that He gets to have all the fun (v19), but hey, we sure can pile up the points against them and “heap those coals of fire on their heads” (v20), right?!

Put aside your worry about what you might say right now and be honest about it. Doesn’t it seem to be saying exactly that?

In fact, don’t you even get the picture in your mind of you sitting there, having yourself an evil little laugh, because you know that you’re going to pile up those vengeance points on them, secure in the knowledge that the Lord’s going to avenge us all? You’re enjoying the fact that they’ll get theirs and the Bible says so! Yet, this does not seem to be a Christian attitude for us to have, does it.

Haven’t you ever wonder why these verses never seem to get brought up in Bible studies?

It’s because people are afraid to touch them. But the problem isn’t in the verses. The problem is the ignorance of those times on the part of the teachers.

And the reason you felt funny about these verses, is because you know that this whole concept doesn’t jibe with the clear teaching of Jesus, to “turn the other cheek” and not have malice in our hearts.

That’s why you didn’t really want to admit to the thoughts they brought up in you, even to yourself! Because in truth, you’re wondering how Paul could say such a thing! Or, you’re enjoying the fact that he did so much, that you don’t care why. You don’t want to poke that bear. Hopefully, it’s the former. :)

But what most folks never seem to do, is to realize that maybe they’re just ignorant. That they’re understanding is lacking, because they didn’t want to spend any time doing any actual research and instead, bought into the lie that they don’t need to do that, because “The Holy Spirit teaches me!”.

Well, the truth is, that’s what people say when someone calls them on their ignorance of simple facts. And while the Holy Spirit will increase our understanding, it does so by teaching us what a lesson means spiritually. But first we have to have an earthly understanding of the words we’re reading and what they mean as words in the first place.

I.e., If I wish to tell you a fishing story, so that I can teach you what “the moral of the story is” and teach you a lesson using that (fishing) metaphor, first you have to know what fishing is, don’t you?

Yes, of course you do! And the same is true here!

Right now, you have a picture of doing good to your enemy, to help build up “vengeance points” against them, but that doesn’t sound very “Christian”.

But maybe there is another way to understand these passages, so that they do make sense and they do jibe with the rest.

You see, in those times, they didn’t have heating systems in their homes like we do. So they would take a bunch of coals and keep them burning all night, for heating food and keeping warm throughout the night.

However, they also didn’t have Bic lighters. And so, getting these coals lit could be some real work! And God forbid it would go out in the middle of the night, or you couldn’t get it lit! Your only hope is that one of your neighbors would help you out, by giving you some lit coals to get yours started with and to get warm with. And if your neighbor did help you out, he would do so by scooping up some of his coals and throwing them in a basket.

And now here’s the fun part! …

Since it was the 1st century and in that region, guess where they would carry the basket of coals? That’s right, on their heads (well insulated, I’m sure)!

So by “heaping coals of fire onto your enemies heads”, you are keeping your enemy and his family from freezing that night, enabling them to cook a meal and eat, etc.. In essence, you were providing them with a basic necessity that they needed to live (literally).

Thus, the words “heap coals of fire on their head” was not a note about packing on vengeance points, but a metaphor for acts of kindness that you could do for your enemies and show love to your enemies in return for their evil acts against you, just as Jesus commanded. Not for “vengeance points”, but to show them how powerful the love of God in Christ is! And note that Paul goes even further, by talking about more than just a few coals here, but rather, talks of heaping them on!

And knowing this about these passages only comes by first knowing how they stayed warm back then and how they would carry them, etc.. And it is only then, that the Holy Spirit will speak to us about the spiritual aspect of these passages. The Holy Spirit does not say; “Hey, just stay ‘willingly ignorant’, because I’m going to teach you all of the history you need to know!”.

So anyway, with all of that being said, let’s read these passages again with one more verse added and see how they read now, after our history lesson and see if they jibe with the rest of what Jesus taught us about how to treat ones enemy (and doing so from the heart):

Romans 12:19-21

19) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20) Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21) Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

It reads a little differently now, doesn’t it? :)

And just for one more quick note about what happens if folks choose to remain ignorant of the places, customs and times (way of life; world view) that they are reading/writing about.

Imagine if you will, someone 2,000 years from now who lives in Taiwan, reading an American writing from our present time, who did zero research into our lives during our time and who came across a writing where one guy is showing his skateboard to another guy and the other guy says to him; “Wow! That’s gnarly dude!”.

What would this person 2,000 years from now, who chose to be “willingly ignorant” about our culture, in our time, think of this? Maybe that the skateboard had a rough (gnarly) surface?

And yet, it’s such a simple statement, if he had just done some research! It’s simply a word that was/is used to mean “awesome”.

But you see, the future reader did not bother to learn about our time today. How we lived and spoke and most importantly here, how we wrote.

Now imagine this guy is writing the history of skateboards and this is the source he chooses to use, because of its unique take on skateboards. I mean after all, no one else talked about how rough skateboards felt!

Get it now? :)

Now imagine that some people got together 2,000 years after a guy named Jesus lived and decided to start a church and declare what one must do to make it to Heaven for all eternity, based on ancient writings about Jesus. But they also decided that the best (actually, the easiest, because they’re being lazy about it) way to go about this, is to remain completely ignorant about the history involved (which obviously and absolutely will lead to some major misunderstandings) and then declare for all to hear, that they have “the truth and come on in and hear it”.

Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it?! And yet, that is exactly what is happening in 99% of churches today!

That’s exactly what’s happening in just about any church that you walk into today!

Are you really still going to try to claim to “know your Bible”, when it is so obvious that that cannot possibly be true, given what you now know? I hope not!

And ask yourself; Now how many ignorance based misunderstandings do you think might be getting taught in the churches today?

Or do you figure that there’s no way that you could be getting the issue of salvation wrong?

Getting back to the point, obviously, the longer we choose to remain ignorant, the more issues there will be.

We must not try to transfer a modern, American way of thinking back to the time of the first churches and claim that means we have “the truth”!

What I mean by that, is that when faith in Christ is given as the requirement for salvation, we cannot just ignore what is not stated, but is implied in those statements. But we cannot know that, unless we have a very good understanding of the times in which the Scriptures were written.

Let me now state this very clearly…

It is absolutely impossible to understand the New Testament Scriptures, without a good working knowledge of the Old Testament (remember, that’s what they preached salvation from) and the times and peoples of both the Old & New Testaments! This is true of any ancient writings! So why exclude the Bible?

For example, we cannot forget that back then, that it was Jews who were doing the preaching and they did not consider themselves to be a new religion, but the fulfillment of the prophecies in the OT Scriptures, which were written by Jews. And what did Jews then believe about Genesis? They believed it to be a literal, historical account of how everything came to be!

So if those preached to were Jews, then they already believed in Genesis as literal history. And they would never have thought it okay to claim to be of God’s people, while dismissing Genesis as “just a story”!

So as for their history, Genesis is their history! These people traced their literal, historical heritage, using those very same Scriptures!

Why do you think there’s so much traceable lineage in these writings? Maybe because they’re stating a history?

We must understand that in addition to being considered to be the Scriptures, these writings were considered to be the history of the Jewish people and not just nice stories.

And if they were Gentiles who were being preached to, remember again, that it was Jews spreading the word and that “the Scriptures” consisted only of the Old Testament. And part of what they were taught, was to put away those pagan creation myths and to believe what the Scriptures said about how everything came to be.  Those pagan creation myths were an intregal part of their pagan religions.  They would never claim to be of that religion and dismiss its creation myth!

In other words, the creation accounts of each religion, was interwoven into the religions. It was not, for any of them, a “you can believe everything except the creation account if you want” affair, for any religion at all.

So why doesn’t the Bible say that here and here and here, when it talks about salvation?

Simple! Because Christians didn’t need to be told that in every lesson! And you are supposed to have complete faith in what Jesus taught! And He taught the Genesis creation account as fact (see further down)!

But can you show me even one passage, in which Jesus, or the Apostles, or any man/woman of God anywhere in Scripture, teaching that it’s “just a story”, or that what you believe about it is unimportant?! Can you?!

No, of course you cannot! In fact, any true Biblical scholar (including myself) will tell you that one of the writing styles in Scripture is called “historical” (when an actual, literal history is being conveyed) and that it is this category; style of writing that Genesis is written in. In fact, the writers goal (Moses?) throughout the Torah (Gen-Deut), was to convey what was considered to be a literal, historical account. The Torah is not the only place in which this historical style of writing is used, but it is a very good example of it and it clearly conveys by using this style, what we are to believe regarding how it all came to be. And we shouldn’t doubt the creation account and the original sin, any more than we should doubt that God gave Moses the Ten Commandments!

Same writer, same style, add Jesus confirming it and then ask yourself; What right do I have to claim to believe the Bible and then toss out the creation and original sin?

But this isn’t just about consistency for us, as the writer at CMI believes. This is about our eternal state!

The original sin found in Genesis is what separated mankind from God. Jesus came to restore man to God, through His blood and resurrection and by faith in Him.

So, now, if you say that you are saved, because you “confessed with your mouth and believed in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead”, then the question is; Why did He raise Him from the dead? Wasn’t it to restore us to God through His blood and so we could have life through His resurrection?

Of course! So then, what does the Bible teach that man needed to be restored from? The fall, remember? Original sin!

So now remove original sin, the fall of man and his separation from God and now what? It all falls apart, doesn’t it?

You see, you can’t have one without the other! It’s very simple now, isn’t it! :)

I mean, given these facts, how can anyone claim to be a Christian, while dismissing the creation account and the original sin?! Especially with our religion, whose creation account stands out, given that the original sin that our Lord and Savior came to wash us clean from occurs shortly after the creation event and in fact, in the very next chapter!

Believing in Jesus as Savior simply doesn’t wash with tossing aside original sin and we are faced with an extremely important choice! One that just may effect our eternal state!

Either both the creation/original sin and Jesus as Savior is true, or neither are true.

Make your choice, because as you will see, it cannot be (whichever) one and not the other. As you can see, that simply will not work.

Are you beginning to see the problem yet? :)

And for those who think otherwise, stop flapping your lips and back it up with Scripture! I did! :)

But let’s also take a look and see what Jesus had to say about the creation and Adam and Eve. After all, the Bible says He is the Creator (John 1:14), so He should know, right?

God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.”
– Mark 10:6-7

First note when Jesus said that Adam and Eve were created (confirming the Genesis account as a historical event).

“…from the beginning of the Creation.”

So man was created at the beginning. He did not “appear billions of years later”. Furthermore, it is clear here that Jesus believed the creation account and did not view as just “a nice story”. In fact, Jesus was answering a question about marriage and divorce there and used Adam and Eve as His literal answer to a literal question.

Furthermore, contrary to this modern idea that we’re all born innocent, Paul, who stated clearly that He was taught by the risen Christ (Gal 1:11-12), confirms that we are born into sin and that it’s due to the original sin by Adam.

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” – 1 Cor 15:21-22

Because of original sin, death came.

By man came death and Paul names that man! Do you really think that Paul was saying that “for as in an imaginary guy in a made up story we all die…”?

If that’s the case and what causes us to require Jesus as our Savior from death is just a made up story, then wouldn’t it make sense that Jesus as Savior is a made up story too? After all, you can’t have a real Savior from an imaginary act! That makes a joke and a mockery out of the Christian faith as a whole!

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Maybe you hadn’t thought of it this way before, but it is the truth and that’s what this is all about! That’s what we do here! And the truth is, that either Jesus Christ and Paul were liars who gave false teachings, or they were both deluded!

Pick one and stick with it, folks! But you cannot have it both ways!

The Scriptures cannot be true and what they were teaching be true and the Genesis account be false! You forget, Genesis is Scripture too, amen?

It should be clear to you by now, that one of the main goals in Genesis, was to convey an actual, historical account of how it all came to be. This is further stressed when we look at Exodus 20:9-11 and read about the commandment regarding the Sabbath and the work week and day of rest and we see that man was commanded to work six days and to rest one. Would this commandment have been tied to just a fable? And worse yet, a fable in which the “days” were actually “billions of years”? No, of course not! Or since this commandment is tied to the creation account, do you wish to argue that each man who lived/will live was commanded to work for six billion years and rest for one billion years?

Speaking of “billions of years” and whether or not the creation account is accurate or not, there is another post/article in this blog that you should read, titled;

“Evolution Means the Bible is False!”

I think you’ll find it very informative! :)

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