1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1)
“If God’s word be true, evolution is a lie.”~~Charles Spurgeon.
The Clergy Letter Project was developed by atheist biology professor Dr. Michael Zimmerman of Butler University in Indianapolis. On the letter’s genesis, Zimmerman writes on how it all began:
“In the fall of 2004, I worked with clergy throughout Wisconsin to prepare a statement in support of teaching evolution. We were called to action by a series of anti-evolution policies passed by the school board in Grantsburg, WI. The response was overwhelming. In a few weeks, nearly 200 clergy signed the statement, which we sent to the Grantsburg school board on December 16, 2004. Additionally, groups of educators and scientists sent letters to the Grantsburg School Board and to the Superintendent of Schools protesting these policies. In response to all of this attention, as well as the efforts of others, the Grantsburg School Board retracted their policies.”
After this great victory in the small town of Grantsburg, the project evolved. More and more clergy were signing on and Zimmerman concluded that what he was doing was not just good but very good. But why would a member of the clergy sign such a letter? Consider these samples:
“Even with a very basic knowledge of science I could see creationist arguments were either false or misleading and I was intrigued.”~~ The Rev. William R. Clough, Minister Member, Peace River Presbytery, Northport, FL
“Getting the word out that religion does not require us to leave our brains at the church door has contributed to our growth in recent years.”~~ The Rev. Kristi Denham, Pastor, Congregational Church of Belmont, Belmont, CA
“Baptists stand in the history of real Religious Freedom and helped to set in place our Constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state. Yet, many Baptists today are influenced by those who are still fighting the Scopes trial and reacting to the Supreme Court decisions in the early 1960s to stop forced, state-sponsored prayer in the public schools.”~~ The Rev. Henry Green, Pastor Heritage Baptist Church, Annapolis, MD
Essentially then, those of us who are Biblical creationists mislead, are brainless idiots and that we as Baptists are still fighting the Scopes Trial. No doubt, the Reverend Green believes that the movie Inherit the Wind presents an accurate portrayal and unbiased assessment of the Scope Trial. I have no proof of that, but it’s been demonstrated that most people do believe that about the trial from the movie.
In 2006, Zimmerman and his followers began “Evolution Sunday.” This event was held on or near the birthday of Charles Darwin, which is February 12th. (Atheists make sure the world knows that Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born on the same day, February 12, 1809 as if there is some significance to that fact. Plain and simple, it means nothing.) The first year saw 467 churches take part in preaching the glories of Darwinism from the pulpit. The number of participating churches peaked at 1,049 in 2009. This year, as of January 30, 2012, just 523 churches have signed on to this, slightly more than a 50% drop. The numbers for my state, Wisconsin, also peaked in 2009 with 36 churches. For 2012, the number has fallen by 50% to just 18. (See chart below)
This year in Wisconsin, the 18 participants are an interesting group. As can be seen in the chart above, the Lutheran church is number one with five participating churches. It is not known which synod or synods these five represent, but it would be a good guess to say that most, if not all, are part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the most liberal synod in Lutheranism.
Look at the group at number two, the Unitarian Universalists. This is no surprise as nationally they are second to only the many non denominational churches of today. The UU’s are not a Christian denomination. The membership is made up of a variety of people, mainly New Agers, pagans, homosexuals and others who can worship whatever it is they worship without fear of being called sinners and having to be judged by Christ in the end.
One of the churches in /Wisconsin that celebrates evolution and Darwin is Christ Memorial Church of Christ in Fitchburg pastured by Phil Haslanger. His sermon on the 2009 event is, well, strange. It began:
More light, more truth, is breaking from your word.
More light, more truth –
Holy Spirit, help us hear what needs to be heard.
(from a hymn by Christopher Grundy)
Now that I’ve introduced the whole idea of light, I’d like to take you into darkness for a moment. If you are willing, would you close your eyes and just experience the sense of darkness that comes when the light is shut out.
This is the darkness of the universe before the Big Bang.
This is the darkness of the universe before we hear
about a creative power that brings light,
a power that begins to bring order out of chaos.
What we learn here is that it was dark before the big bang. He goes on:
Now in this darkness, could you think for a moment about your image of God. Not simply a physical image, but who or what God is for you.
There may well be more than one image, and that’s OK.
There may be contradictory images, and that’s OK too.
Let the images play in the darkness.
Who God is for you? What exactly does that mean? Does this mean it is ok to make God in our own image? That is almost pagan, where one can pick and choose whatever gods and goddesses they want, that are the best for them. They can even make up their own deity. God does not have the attribute of “make Him whatever you want Him to be for you.” As more do this, they will get into the postmodernism funk of “I have my idea of God and you have yours, and that’s ok since there aren’t any absolutes!” That’s what that comes down to, no absolute truth, therefore no all powerful God! Our reality is our own as long as we don’t push it on others.
It should be noted that this particular church also participated in Faith Shared, a day last summer in which muslims were brought into churches across the country in order to read from the unholy koran from the pulpit and tell the lie that their false god allah and the God of the Bible are the same. And, of course, they claimed that they’re just misunderstood, that, despite their history and actions, they really don’t want to kill all the Christians and Jews in the world. The “service” ended with the church’s assistant pastor, a woman, giving the benediction in which she referred to God as “she.” Obviously, they really do believe that God is whatever we want Him to be!
Soon it became clear a response was needed to counter the evolutionists. Enter Tony Breeden. Tony is a Creation speaker, writer, Gospel preacher and apologetics teacher. He is the founder of DefendingGenesis.org, CreationSundays.com and CreationLetter.com, the Biblical Creationist response to the pro-evolution Clergy Letter Project. He is from Nitro, West Virginia.
In 2011, Creation Weekend held twenty-one events in the United States, one in Canada, six in Cyprus and three in the United Kingdom. Granted, the numbers are much less than what Zimmerman has, but the speakers at the events are some of the best known in creationist circles. Notables such as Ken Ham, Jonathan Sarfati, John Leslie, Terry Mortenson and Paul Taylor participated.
Why are there so few? One answer is that many pastors today, even in the conservative denominations, don’t want to preach on a six day creation because of the possibility of people in the congregation who believe in evolution would cause a ruckus. People today have been indoctrinated through their entire education and adult life that evolution is true! And if they heard their pastor preaching the creation account as history, they would leave the church.
What this comes down to is this: It is “In the beginning there was nothing…..which exploded” versus “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) As Genesis 1 is read, the atheists will always point out “gotcha verses,” the ones they believe will trip us up. Some examples: How could be light on the first day if the sun wasn’t created until the fourth day? (Genesis 1:3, 14-18) I suggest that we look in the last book of the Bible for the answer. In describing the New Jerusalem, John writes “23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:23) Is it possible that the light created on the first day was also illumined by God? Yes, it is.
Another “gotcha” is who was God talking to just before man was created? (Genesis 1:26) God said let us make man in Our image. Who was God talking to when no intelligent life yet existed? The answer is simple. This verse is the first glimpse of the Holy Trinity, God the Father, Jesus the only Son of God and the Holy Spirit. This is confirmed later in the Bible. John wrote “1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:1-3) This shows that not only was Christ, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity at the creation, but He was the creator!
The biggest “gotcha” question, the one which was used by Clarence Darrow in his questioning of William Jennings Bryan during the Scopes trial is “who was Cain’s wife?” Jennings had no idea what the answer was. If he did know the answer, he certainly wouldn’t be able to give it because at that time in history, it would have caused a huge uproar. The answer? Cain’s wife was one of his sisters. But the Bible doesn’t say anything about Adam and Eve having daughters. Actually it does. Genesis 5 has the genealogy from Adam to Noah. In Genesis 5:4 reads “Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters.” It is rare that the Bible names all sons and daughters, especially daughters, of particular people. God concentrates on the main characters, Adam, Eve, Moses, Noah, etc.
“Well what about people living 900 years?” the atheist asks. Once again, the answer is simple. In order to populate the earth, people had to live for very long times. After the Fall, it took quite awhile for the genetics of the body to wear down so that people died earlier. After the Flood, that process sped up, ages of death went down into the one hundreds. Abraham died at 175, Moses at 120 and David at 70. The long years were needed to produce as many offspring as was needed!
Genesis is the most important book of the Bible. It lays the foundation for the rest of God’s Word. In Genesis we read that God created everything, that we are answerable to God, how sin came into the world and when God first promised a Messiah (Genesis 3:15) in order man to come back into a relationship with the Creator. Yet men add things, based on fallible human reasoning. In Proverbs 30 we read “5 Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6 Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.” (Psalm 30:5-6) This is further stated in the last book of the Bible, 18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; “19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19) And yet, man adds things to God’s Word, not only in Genesis but throughout the Bible. The atheists and the liberal theologians hate the thought that a Creator God exists, a God who will judge us. It is the sin of pride, putting man’s ways ahead of God’s ways. It is why we need a Savoir.
Creation Sunday: http://creationsunday.wordpress.com/
The Clergy Letter Project (Evolution Weekend): http://www.theclergyletterproject.org/rel_evol_sun.htm
News story on the Grantsburg evolution controversy: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6433296/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/evolution-flap-flares-wisconsin/#.TylnPvnJRwc
Ken Ham on Michael Zimmerman: : http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2010/04/23/the-rest-of-the-story-exposing-misquotes-atheist-professor/
“Creator God, Evolving World” Sermon: http://www.memorialucc.org/worship/sermons/39
For further reading
Answers in Genesis: http://www.answersingenesis.org/
Creation Today: http://www.creationtoday.org/
Creation Education Center: http://www.cecwisc.org/
Institute for Creation Research: http://www.icr.org/
Creation Ministries International: http://creation.com/