BELIEVE IT OR NOT SERMON SERIES
CREATION…MYTH OR FACT?
APRIL 11, 1999
As I stated last weekend, I am in a brand new series of talks and these talks are all about questions; deep questions, profound questions, questions from the heart. Our God wants and welcomes our questions. And believe me, He and His Bible can stand up to the scrutiny. In essence, God says, throughout the scriptures, “Bring it on. Probe. Seek. Ask Me the questions.” The answer to the question that we are asking this morning is huge. The implications play out powerfully in your life and mine.
For example, if we believe we are cosmic accidents, if we think we are geared up gorillas or advanced algae, we will do life that way. Won’t we? We will conclude that there are no absolutes, that your opinion is just as valid as my opinion and our only purpose on this planet is to simply to perpetuate our species and we will live that way. And quite frankly that is precisely the premise that’s corroding the character of our culture. A lot of people accept life that way and they believe it without studying the facts or the evidence.
On the other hand, some believe that they were tailor-made in the image of God. They believe that the Lord gave them some guard- rails to live by, a purpose to live for and an eternity to gain. And they do life that way. They boldly proclaim that being a Christian, a believer in the scriptures and the ways of God and Christ and the church, is a life work living and love worth finding. They believe it. Yet a lot of people who accept this lifestyle, don’t really know why. They don’t know the evidence or the facts that support their ideology, their convictions.
Let me say right up front, it is a pipe-dream if you are thinking that we can scientifically prove evolution or creation in a little message that I will give over the next couple of moments. Because at the end of the day, it is a believe it or not deal. We can gather all the facts and dissect the data and then we make the call. And the great thing about it is, we have freedom of choice. God doesn’t force the issue on you or me. He simply says you must trust, you must believe it or not.
In its simplest form, evolution states that something came from nothing. In its simplest form, creation states that something came from something. It is a faith deal. We live by faith, though. We have a lot of faith as we walk through the rugged plains of life. We have faith that our cars are going to take us from our place of residence to the office tomorrow morning. It is a faith deal. We also have faith that the jet is going to transport us from one destination to the next destination. All of us had faith, to some measure, when we walked into this beautiful worship center and pulled down the theater seats and rested our posteriors on the comfortable padding. We had faith that the theater seat would hold us up. So we live by faith. We think about the information, we dissect the facts and the data, then we make a decision.
So today as I wade through a lot of information, an avalanche of thoughts and ideas, I want to hit the high points and then challenge you to come up with your decision. And I am going to warn you, how you feel about this one matters. It really, really does.
Well, let’s talk about evolution. That is a good place to start. When I say the word evolution, what do you think about? There are two types of evolution. The first type is something called microevolution. Microevolution states that there is a great variation within certain kinds of plants and animals. For example, there are 200 varieties of dogs. There are various kinds of races out there. And the Bible says in the book of Genesis that God created plants and animals to reproduce after their own kind. No one here has a problem with microevolution. Certain types of bacteria can’t immunize themselves to certain kinds of drugs. And we accept this and believe it. It is not really a hotly debated topic.
But the second type of evolution, macroevolution, is hotly debated. That is where things begin to rumble. That is where the wheels begin to fall off for certain groups and institutions. The theory of macroevolution was put forth in the mid-1800s by a man named Charles Darwin. Darwin said, and I will paraphrase, that living matter evolved from dead matter through a random process plus time. Macroevolution states that electrical disturbances caused chemicals in an ancient ocean to line up into living cells. I won’t even get into how the chemicals got there or how the electrical disturbances got there or how the ancient ocean got there. But anyway, it says that these chemicals lined up into living cells and over time and through chance and mutation and random process and survival of the fittest, we have today over 6 million kinds of plants and animals. That is what Charlie believed and that is what a lot of evolutionists believe today. They really, really do. They accept it as fact.
However, Charles, himself, dissed his own theory. He shot holes in it. Look at the side screens. Here is what Charles said about evolution. Here is the biggest problem that he saw. I call it the fossil flaw. “Innumerable transitional forms must have existed but why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers of the crust of the earth?” Darwin was saying, surely over the years, surely when I am dead and gone, as archeologists and paleontologists study the fossil record, surely they will find these transitional fossils. They have got to be there. For example, if a fish turned into an amphibian, if it evolved that way, you would have to find half fish/half amphibian fossils. They have got to be there. Over a century later, the scientific world is still waiting for those transitional fossils.
Dr. Steven J. Gould, leading evolutionist and professor of biology and geology at Harvard University writes these words. “One hundred and twenty years of fossil research after Darwin, it has become abundantly clear that the fossil record will not confirm this part of Darwin’s prediction. A species does not arise gradually by the gradual transformation of its ancestors.” Gould is an evolutionist. Gould is on Darwin’s side and he is saying this stuff doesn’t work. It doesn’t make sense.
Evolutionists say that it took about a hundred million years for animals without a backbone to form a backbone yet there is nothing in the fossil record that substantiates this theory.
Let me draw your attention to another quote from Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist at the prestigious British Museum of Natural History, which houses the world’s largest fossil collection of over 60 million specimens. He confessed these words. “If I knew of any evolutionary transitions, fossil or living, I would certainly have included them in my book, EVOLUTION.” So, everybody is waiting for the gap to be filled. Surely the gap will be filled. Well, the only Gap that has been filled is the clothing store chain that caters to baby boomers and baby busters. That’s about it.
Well, evolutionists say, maybe evolution didn’t take place gradually, maybe it took place in short bursts followed by extended periods of time when nothing really happened. Again, go back to the fossil record. It is not there. You can’t find it.
“Well, Ed, what about the missing link? There are some missing links out there. I studied them in biology class. Surely the missing link theory is intact.” Well, let’s look at the missing link. The Nebraska man. The scientific world freaked out when the Nebraska man was discovered. They said the Nebraska man was over one million years old. They built the whole Nebraska man out of one tooth. Later it was discovered that the tooth came from an extinct pig.
Next we have the Java man. The Java man was supposed to be 750 thousand years of age. Everybody got freaked out about the Java man, yet he turned out to be a gabon or an ape that had no link whatsoever in evolution.
The Pildown Man, I love that name, was a hoax. It didn’t happen, kind of like Big Foot. You know Big Foot is a hoax. I am talking about Sasquash, you know. I used to watch those shows as a kid. Remember the Big Foot sighting when the guy had the camera on horseback and Big Foot was walking and you could see the seams in the ape costume.
The Peking Man. The Peking Man was discovered in the orient and they found a bunch of skulls with the back of the skulls missing. They also found a bunch of tools around the skulls. So people concluded, this is the missing link. This half man/half ape type person used tools. This is legit. Well if you push the fast-forward, they did some more excavations and some more studies and they discovered that the Peking Men were not actually men. The skulls they had found were skulls of monkeys and their heads had been cracked open by civilized men and women because monkey meat is very tough but monkey brains was a delicacy. And that explained the tools. So there has not been a missing link.
And you know what? Here is my advice to the paleontologists and scientists and archeologists and geologists: stop digging. Stop looking at the fossil record. If you want support for the missing link theory, put down your shovel and pick up your remote and watch professional wrestling. Stonecold Steve Austin, man, this guy looks like the missing link. That is a great support for evolution. Shawn Michaels. Look at him. Whoa. You know I am just joking. But if you know Stonecold or Shawn Michaels, tell them I love professional wrestling. I don’t think its fake. I don’t want to take them on.
- E. Wilder Smith, author of the video, The Origin of Life, said this about the intricacies of our existence. She said, “A single fertilized egg the size of a pinhead contains chemical instructions that would fill more than 500,000 printed pages. In time, the fertilized egg divides into the 30 trillion cells that make up the human body, including 12 billion brain cells which form more than 120 trillion connections.” The chance deal, statistical data shows, doesn’t work. The wheels fall off. There is a train wreck.
I love what Sr. Frederick Hoyle, the English expert on the origin of the universe and an evolutionist until he began to study chance, wrote. Here is what he said. “Believing life could result from chance is like believing a tornado could sweep through a junkyard and the winds accidentally assemble a fully functioning Boeing 474.”
You have got to talk about the fossil flaw. Darwin talked about it. Evolutionists are shooting holes in it. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t square. If you are an evolutionist, I am not at all saying that you are a sloppy thinker. I am saying, though, do the study for yourself. Don’t take some pastor’s or some scientist’s opinion on it. Read the data. I am telling you, you will not believe what you will conclude. I believe that at the end of the day you are going to say, “Wow, you know what? It takes a greater leap of faith to believe that something came from nothing than it does to believe that something came from something, that God created me in His image and that I am accountable to Him and that He wants a personal connection with me through Christ.” I sincerely believe that you will come to that conclusion. But pursue it with integrity. Pursue it with excellence. Pursue it strategically and aggressively. Go for it. God said, “Come on. Ask the questions. Seek the answers.”
There is one more thing I want to talk about concerning Charles Darwin’s theory. There was another problem that he saw right up front in his theory. I refer to it as the eye problem. Turn to your neighbor and wink at him. Some of the singles are going, “Oh, boy.” OK, now turn and face me. Here is what Darwin said. Darwin said that the idea that the eye with all its incredible complexity could have been formed by the trial and error evolutionary process seems absurd (in his own words) in the highest possible degree. Darwin is saying that.
Think about how detailed the human eye is. I want you to read something with me. “The human eye needs about 130 million light sensitive devices to cause a photochemical reaction that transforms light into electrical impulses for the brain. Every second, 1,000 million of these impulses are zipped to the brain through the optical nerve system. When exposed to darkness, the eye can increase its ability to see by 100,000 times and it automatically protects itself through filters from the sun’s ultraviolet light which would cause blindness. The eye automatically elongates and compresses as it focuses in color stereo.” Think about how amazing the human eye is. Yet evolutionists say the eye evolved.
Well, if you jump on the evolutionary train, when an eye let’s just say occurred by accident on some organism, surely it wasn’t functioning since you have to have all of the nerves and brain things working to make an eye function. Well, if an eye just appeared, on an organism and it wasn’t really functioning, which it was not, if you believe in evolution then after time it would have fallen off. Evolutionists say, though, if you believe in evolution, you have got to believe that the eye evolved three separate times in three different ways outside the millions and millions of species. It doesn’t really work. If an eye is just there and it is not fully functioning, it is useless. It is kind of like the television that we have in our playroom at home. We have a Mitsubishi but the Mitsubishi ain’t working. The kids have messed up the remote, the manual buttons are trashed. We are getting it fixed right now though. But if you walked into our playroom in our home, the Mitsubishi is just a pile of junk. If the eye is not fully functioning, it is useless. It is just a pile of junk.
See that camera right there. It is a pretty amazing camera. But, as quick as I run, it cannot pick me up. I can fake it out. See the camera missed me. I am that quick. I am talking about in relationship to the camera. To you, folks, you may be saying that I am so slow. Our eyes make that camera seem archaic. There are incredible things right here in our heads.
Well, let’s forget talking about the human eye. Let’s talk about the eyes in lower animals. I am talking about way, way down, those creepy, crawly things, those bugs. They have complex eyes. But remember, evolutionists say, as things evolved, they became more and more complex. Well, let’s look at insects. Ants have 400 lenses. House flies, 4,000 lenses. Honey bees, 6,300 lenses. Butterflies, 17,000. Beetles, 25,000. Moths, 27,000. Dragonflies, 30,000 lenses. How much would it cost if these creatures decided to sign up for lazic surgery? Can you imagine that bill?
What is God saying to you right now? Hey, skeptic, what is He saying to you right now? Hey, Christ follower, what is He communicating to you? Is He strengthening your faith? Skeptic, is He challenging you? Don’t put your intellect aside. Think, probe and say, “God, You reveal Yourself to me about this issue. I want to have an open heart and an open mind, no presuppositions. God, You reveal it to me.” And I am going to tell you something. If evolution is a barrier in your life, our bookstore, I believe, can be a barrier breaker. At the end of this message I am going to identify some books which I want you to read. They will challenge you and step on your toes. They are written with you in mind.
Against the backdrop of creation, people believe some different things. But the big ideas about creation are simply this. We have to believe as Christ followers that God created it all, that He is the architect, the artist, the programmer doing the whole deal. We also have to believe, as Christ followers, that we are accountable to Him and were made in His image. But after that, some Christians I know believe in a young earth. They believe as they read the book of Genesis, chapters 1-11 specifically, that when God used the word day, He was talking about a 24-hour period of time. And they conclude that the earth is between 10,000 and 20,000 years old. They said this because of the unreliability of radioactive dating, by the positioning and the age of the moon, by the way the earth rotates. And if that is you, hey, that is cool. That is great.
Others, who still believe in creation, believe that we have an older earth. They believe that when God said day, He meant an era of time because that is what the word means in the Hebrew. They take texts like Psalm 90:4, which says, “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by.” Those who accept this, accept that God made something, created it all, fashioned human beings, plants and animals. Yet they believe He used a lot of different things in microevolution in order to have the beautiful planet and earth that we experience today. And if that is you, great. We can definitely come together whether you believe in a young earth or an old earth but the big idea is that our God did it all. Our God did it all.
As I was preparing for this message I really felt I learned a lot. Every time I study I feel like I may be learning more than the people whom I am teaching. I need have to understand it, assimilate it, prepare it and then articulate it. While I was going through all of this stuff, this avalanche of information, I found myself just breathing quick prayers of worship to God. I found myself saying, “God, You are so awesome.” I was in awe, I really was.
If you have a pen or pencil, I want you to jot down the word awe for me. A W E. That is what I want you to come away with as a result of today’s session, a sense of awe. A stands for aware. Write the word aware down. I believe after dissecting this data, that it can and will make us aware of the sacredness of life. Think about the sacredness of life. Think about the fact that we are not geared up gorillas or advanced algae. Think about the fact that we are tailor-made in the image of God. Think about the fact that every time you lock eyes with someone, you are locking eyes with someone whom matters to God. You are locking eyes with a masterpiece. So when you lock eyes with your spouse, with your co-worker, with your neighbor, with the person who cut you off in traffic or takes your parking place at church, you are locking eyes with someone who matters. How do you treat them? Do you treat them like they matter? Do you treat them like they are sacred? Do you treat them like they are custom made? Or, do you trash them, rage on them and flip them off? What do you do?
- Worship. I believe knowing that God created it all causes us to worship Him because of His creation. We don’t worship the creation. We don’t worship or pay homage to plants and animals and the sky and the mountains. That is pantheism. But the plants and the animals and the sky and the mountains should cause us and inspire us to worship. When you see one of those beautiful Texas sunsets, the blues, oranges and reds, colors that the best and most creative artist on the planet cannot reproduce, what does it cause you to do? Do you say to your children, “Hey, kids, don’t we have a great God?” God put that sunset in the sky just so it would cause us to worship Him. When you see the fresh dew on the grass in the morning, when you see the mist rising over a lake or river, does it cause you to worship God? When you see the towering peaks if you are skiing or somewhere on vacation, what does it cause you to do? It should cause you to worship God because of His creation. That is powerful stuff.
The E stands for establish. Now because of all this we should establish behavioral patterns that reflect our view and this mindset. In other words, we should take care of the planet. If you litter, you are committing cosmic treason before God. If you pollute, you are messing around with something very holy. Are you teaching others around you about stewardship? Are you teaching them the care of the planet? Are you doing that? That is an act of worship. You see, worship is not just singing praise songs and saying I love you, Lord. That is part of it. But worship transcends everything we do and say and touch and feel and walk and talk. If we are a Christ follower, it is not compartmentalized. It should transcend every venue of our existence.
This should also cause me to establish the pattern to take care of my body. The Bible says that our bodies are temples, dwelling places, for the Holy Spirit of God. What if I walked in here, grabbed some spray paint and just trashed this church. What if I took a razor blade and cut up the seats? You would ask what I was doing, that this is a church. You wouldn’t even think about tearing apart a church. Yet, we don’t exercise. We stuff our faces with nachos and Whoppers and Big Macs and Twinkies and ice cream. I am not saying to freak out and snort carrot juice and bean curd for the rest of your life. You can cheat now and then on your diet. But I am saying, don’t trash the temple. Take care of this miracle, this masterpiece. The better you take care of it, the more you can serve God and influence others for His kingdom.
You see, these are the implications of creationism. This is why Christians should be on the cutting edge. We should be leading out in these issues. But again, at the end of the day, it is a believe it or not deal. For me and my house, after studying the data and the facts and the information, we believe in creation. How about you? What is creation – myth or fact?