Growing up in the church, I was taught to take Genesis 1 and 2 literally. While I knew the theories of evolution and the Big Bang, I didn’t believe them. I believed in a literal interpretation of Genesis that in the beginning, God created the Heaven and the earth.
Naively, I thought everyone who called themselves Christians believed the same. It wasn't until I was in Bible college that I realized that it wasn't just unbelievers who believed in evolution. Many in my Pentecostal Bible College were taught these theories in high school and believed they were true. Others tried to combine Creationism and evolutionary theory by interpreting "days" to mean "periods of time."
This surprised me, but it didn't change my beliefs, mostly because I was blessed to have attended a Christian school where I was taught the theories of evolution. The fact is that evolution is not a proven science. It is a theory filled with gaps and holes. It takes just as must "faith" to believe in evolution as it does in Creationism. When thoroughly studied, there is more scientific evidence for a young earth. But that is an article for another day (and probably another website). It's not the question we are addressing.
So after Bible college, although I believed that Christians who believed in evolution were wrong, I kind of took a "whatever" approach to it. I thought, "You believe what you believe; I'll believe what I believe. What's the big deal?"
Only in the past year or two, I've come to believe this attitude is wrong.
Creationism versus evolution is not a "gray area ." (By "a gray area," I mean a topic of personal preference that the Bible does not address.”)
It can't be a "gray area" because the Bible says ALOT about Creation.
The Bible doesn't just talk about Creation in Genesis—it talks about God creating the world THROUGHOUT the Bible. It isn't only Genesis that acknowledges God as the Creator of all things. It's throughout the Bible, including Psalms, the prophets, the Gospels (yes, Jesus says God created the world!), and the rest of the New Testament. Even the book of Revelations says that God created the world.
The fact is that it can't be both ways. You can't say you believe the Bible but reject God as the Creator of the Universe.
The Bible is not a smorgasbord where you can pick what you agree with and reject what you don't.
Believing that the Bible is God's inspired, infallible, inerrant, timeless Word means believing that God created the world.
There is also a big problem when we start choosing which parts of the Bible we will believe.
What gives us the right to reject Genesis but accept John? What other Scriptures can we ignore if we don't like them?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 answers this question:
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (ESV)
All Scripture means Genesis through Revelations—all of it is the inspired Word of God. Since it ALL says that God created the world, then no, a Bible-believing Christian cannot believe in the theory of evolution and the Big Bang.
So what can you do if you love Jesus and want to follow Him with all of your heart but struggle with rejecting what you've been taught as science?
Well, the best place to start is with the Word of God.
-Read through Genesis 1-12 with a study Bible. I recommend the Fire Bible study Bible.
-Then read through the Scriptures in this PDF. Again, read the notes in your study Bible.
-You can also do a word study searching for words like "creation," "Created," and "Creator." Look up where these words appear in the Bible and see how often the Bible talks about God creating the earth.
-Then search your heart and ask, "Do I choose the Bible or a scientific theory with flaws?"
How do I know that evolution is a theory and not irrefutable science?
Because I've studied it, I've read books by men and women who understand the scientific process. They've looked at the fossils and can explain the carbon dating. Plenty of resources are available that give scientific proof for the Biblical Account of Creation.
Friends of mine recommend Ken Hamm's resources at creation.com.
Josh McDowell also discusses this topic in "Evidence that Demands a Verdict."
Do your research. Check them out. Question the science of evolution and be honest about the weakness of the theory. Don't blindly follow those who teach evolution; look at both sides and see the truth for yourself.
As you learn both sides of the argument, your faith will be strengthened, and you will be assured that the story of Creation, as told in the Bible, can be trusted and that God did, indeed, create the world.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."