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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sydney Anglicans' Embarrassing Discovery

I am reliably informed that a couple of decades ago groups of Sydney Anglican clergy and parishioners would troop off to the USA to some large and seemingly Lord blessed Baptist Churches for conferences. What the USA churches thought of Sydney Anglicans is cause for wonder given the theological and moral decline of the USA equivalent of the Anglican Church. Best to leave it that there would likely be some serious suspicion.

Anyway, one of the Baptist Churches attended was Grace Baptist Church, Los Angeles, pastored by John MacArthur jnr. Whether the subject came up during the conferences, I am not sure, but if John MacArthur jnr had been given the opportunity to speak on the matter of origins I am confident he would have caused distress to most Sydney Anglicans present.

I provide herewith an extract of a sermon given by John MacArthur jnr in later years. Let there be no doubt, this sermon, if delivered in the hearing of most Sydney Anglicans would have had them quivering and looking for the next flight out of LA.

"Now when you talk about origins you're going to have to go back to Genesis. This is a book of origins. And let me put it again on the line where I put it last Lord's day. Either you believe Genesis or you don't. It's that simple. Either you believe what Genesis says about all of those origins or you don't. And that would include either you believe the creation account in Genesis 1 and 2 or you don't. And if you don't believe the Genesis account, then I just...I have to tell you, you have no hope of coming to the truth. You're not going to discover it. Unconverted scientists aren't going to discover it. You either believe Genesis or you don't.

And what is really intolerable is to say you believe the Bible but not just the Genesis creation account. You believe Genesis, you believe about the origin of sin, you believe chapter 3 on maybe. Or maybe you're not sure about that because you don't really believe there was an actual Adam and an actual Eve. You've got a small problem because, "As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive," and there was a real Christ, so you can be sure there was a real Adam. But just in case you don't believe in a real Adam, maybe you don't sign on until chapter 6, maybe you just believe the Flood. Well, maybe you don't believe that, maybe you believe when the Tower of Babel is described later on in chapter 11, or maybe you don't believe that. Maybe you don't check in until Abraham shows up in chapter 12. Pretty ridiculous, isn't it? Who are you to be sitting in judgment on Scripture?

You know, I'm never going to get caught in the trap of trying to prove to you that Genesis is true by science. I'm just going to proclaim to you what Genesis says and let science bow its knee to that explanation. As you will see, it will do that.

All you can know about how God created is what He said. That's all you can know. And if you don't believe what He said about creation, what kind of precedent have you established for the rest of the Bible?

And what about the end? Do you know how all of redemptive history ends? You know how the whole story of humanity ends? It ends according to 2 Peter when the Lord uncreates the universe, I like to use that word. The elements melt with fervent heat. There's some kind of a...literally an implosion as the nuclear structure, the atomic structure of the universe literally is totally turned against its existence and takes it right back out of existence when He uncreates, when the elements melt as with a fervent heat in that kind of nuclear holocaust that ends human history.

And immediately after that it says in Revelation that He creates a...what? A new heaven and a new earth. Let me ask you this, do you believe He can do that? Or is that going to be another umpteen billion years of evolutionary process to get the new heaven and the new earth cranked up? Is it going to take billions of years to evolve the new heaven and the new earth, or do you really believe God might be able to do that just by fiat, just by making the statement and calling it into existence? If you believe that, then what's your problem in Genesis?

If God can wipe the entire universe out in a split second, if He can dissolve the whole thing, if He can send it reeling in the time of the Tribulation and refurbish it during the time of the Kingdom and then totally uncreate it at the end of the thousand years, if He can do all of that then I don't know why you have a problem with Him creating it all in six days. You see, the implications of rejecting the account of Genesis are profound.

And listen to me because what I'm going to say is very important. It is not necessary to reject the six-day creation. It is not necessary. We have yielded up territory to evolution without cause. Science knows nothing. Science proves nothing that contradicts a six-day creation...nothing. In fact, science as it keeps advancing makes its own claims to evolution ridiculous, more ridiculous all the time.

You know, and having a perspective on this is very important. We've caved in to the scientists too long and it's time to stop. If you want to do some reading on this, get Philip Johnson's book Darwin on Trial, it just devastates the scientific perspectives. Christian people literally accepting the scientific descriptions of origins and come out of an evolutionary bias as if somehow they've been proven and somehow the Bible is going to have to give at that point because a six-day creation is not scientifically possible. That is just not true. But the results are staggering.

Master's College, for example, is a member of the Christian College Coalition. It's a coalition of Christian colleges across America of which there are about 110 colleges. Of the 110 Christian colleges in the coalition, six that we know of believe in the creation account in Genesis. Six out of 110 Christian colleges, that's a small, small fraction. And most Christian leaders and most Christian educators have allowed the teachings of evolution to one degree or another to be added to the Bible. They sort of stuff evolution in between the verses in Genesis. Most Christian leaders have accepted the fact that the universe is billions of years old. Yet clearly from the words of Scripture, God created the universe in six literal days. And Christian leaders can't deny that that's what it says cause that's what it says. You can translate it any way you want, it all comes out...the word yom means day and you have six of them.

But they believe somehow that scientists have proved that the age of the earth must be billions and billions and billions of years old. So they believe you've got to go back to Genesis and fix it. And in so doing they have allowed the authority of the Bible to be undermined, right? It's serious stuff.

If the words of the Bible means six days, and you conclude...but so-called science says that's not true...then science is right and the Bible is wrong. Now if you can't trust the words of Genesis, when do you start trusting the Bible? It's a sad indictment of the church, isn't it? And the humanists even use the compromising the Christian leaders to further their cause to undermine Christianity. And what we have is a kind of Christianity today that loses its absolutes in Genesis 1. That's sad.

Christian leaders might not sign on, of course, to humanistic evolution. They would say, "Yes, there's a God and somehow God's involved in the evolutionary process," that's called theistic evolution, sometimes called progressive creationism, a term developed by Russell Mixter(?) in the science department of Wheaten College a number of years ago. But they would say, "No, there is a God and God is...sort of injects Himself at points at theistic evolution." Says, "God launched it and started it." Progressive creationism says, "He jumps in along the way but it still took millions and millions and billions of years for it to happen." These people call themselves believers in God. They probably would say they believe the Scripture. But they don't want to allow for a six-day creation. This poses immense problems...immense problems.

Here's one of them, I'm not going to give you all, but here's one...just strikes me as a serious problem. If man is created at the end of the evolutionary process, whether it's a naturalistic evolutionary process, or it's a theistic evolutionary process launched by God which some Christians think they have to affirm in order to pay homage to science, or if it's a progressive creationists view where God injects Himself along the way, the problem you've got is evolution is a process...listen carefully...evolution is a process by nature of death. It's a process known as the survival of...what?...the fittest. It's a process of violence. It's a process of bloodshed. It's a process of suffering. It's a process of disease. It's a process of death as the order rises higher and higher and higher until it gets to man.

Now here's a serious problem. You don't have man until billions of years and when man appears he is perfect and he is sinless and there's no such thing as death. Death doesn't even come in to the picture until man does...what?...sins. How can you have death before the Fall? You don't even have a cursed earth. The whole...the whole of the Genesis record is stood on its head. If there's been all kinds of death in this billions of years of evolutionary processing, then what did sin do to the world that hadn't already been done? And how could God who looked over this whole evolutionary deal when it finally reached its completion in man and said, "He saw it and He looked at it and He said it is good." How could God say that?

You see, then the sin of Adam and the curse of death is meaningless because there's been death for millennia and for billions of years, just convolutes all of the biblical record. Cause what you have in Genesis is a perfect world until Adam is confronted by the serpent and falls into sin and God curses the universe and then comes death and disease and suffering and violence and bloodshed and not before. Evolution makes no sense in that perspective.

You know, I...Christians will get out there, you know, and they'll say, "Boy, we're against abortion and we're against homosexuality and we're against Jack Kivorkian(?) because he's murdering people and we're against euthanasia and we're against genocide and, you know, we're against the moral evils of our society, etc., etc., etc.

Why are we against those things? Can you tell me why? Why are we against those things? Give me one reason. Here it is, because they're forbidden in Scripture, is that not true? The only reason we're against abortion is because God's against it. How do we know that? Because it's in the Word of God. The reason we're against homosexuality, adultery, etc., etc., is because of the Bible. You see, we stand on the Scripture.

But the problem is we don't want to stand on the Scripture in Genesis. So we equivocate on whether or not the Bible is an authority at all. What do you think the watching world thinks about our commitment to Scripture? Pretty selective, isn't it? And again I say, such capitulation to evolution is completely unnecessary. Nothing requires evolution. In fact, evolution cannot happen...it can't happen."


Enough said. John MacArthur jnr goes on to quote eminent scientist A.E. Wilder-Smith's account of how the evolutionary model fails to adequately explain the emergence of life on earth.

As far as I can tell, Sydney Anglicans no longer attend conferences at Grace Baptist Church, Los Angeles. Is it because John MacArthur jnr's faithfulness to the Word of God is an embarrassment to Sydney Anglicans' worldly view?

Neil

8 comments:

John said...

"Is it because John MacArthur jnr's faithfulness to the Word of God is an embarrassment to Sydney Anglicans' worldly view?"

No, because SADs have in their self-worship sold their soul to ol' Nick.

Duane said...

Great post Neil.

I used it on my site and it has promoted discussion, albeit with an atheist. No SAD's over there though.

Thanks,
Duane

neil moore said...

All the best, Duane.

Neil

Ktisophilos said...

MacArthur's book Battle for the Beginning is uncompromising on Genesis creation.

Eric said...

The big worry about SADs and their bending away from the Bible, is that it ultimately will back up into their doctrine of God and then their doctrine of salvation...it's only logical that this might occur. The underlying reason, in my view, is that they will have to maintain their intellectual alliegance to the form of philosophical idealism that rejects God's proximity to matter and allows, or rather demands, that theistic evolution be extolled. I wonder if that's it: they align with the neoPlatonists and cannot tolerate a God who directly formed the world (even man, out of 'dust') and so must find some way of exculpating their philosophically remote god from the real world he directly created.

neil moore said...

Yes, Deism is on the march in Sydney Anglicanism.

The good thing about that, in the 18th Century in the United Kingdom, Deism was rife in the Church of England and God raised up men who faithfully trusted the Word Of God and preached with conviction and compassion of a personal God. A great revival broke out and changed the course of the United Kingdom through the Church.

Boy oh boy, we can all look forward that. Amen.

Watcher said...

There's another thing that theistic evolution does, and that to a thorough understanding of Christ, IMO.
In the scriptures, Christ is portrayed, and stated, as the only mediator between God and man. Now, this is typically set in soteriological contexts, but John 1 suggests that it also applies to creation.
So theistic evolution rejects Christ's role as the only mediator, and makes some form of matter a mediator as well, making Christ not the head of man, but the head of something which is then the head of man, and Christ as not the one through whom the world was made, but through whom the process which made the world was made.
This becomes so close to ancient rejection of the goodness of the creation (pagans/Gnostics regarded the material as 'evil' and the spiritual as 'good', despite Jeremiah's reminder that evil comes from the heart...from spirit) that it has to be a major theological lapse to think that God could refer his creation to a 'method' that is at odds with everything in the Bible that attributes the creation as we see it now directly to him.
So not only the doctrine of God is out the window, but a proper understanding of Christ is disturbed.

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