Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Attacks or Denials of God's Creation

Scripture emphasizes God as Creator.  God Himself elevates His work of creation.  He desires recognition and glory for what He did and then continues to do in sustaining the creation.   Believing in Him as Creator is one vital aspect of believing in Him.  In other words, you don't believe in Him if you deny His creation.

The Bible opens (Genesis 1:1) and closes with God creating (Revelation 21:1).  We see this all over the psalms.  Psalm 33:6-8:

6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

Psalm 93:3-6:

3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. 5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. 6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

Psalm 104:1-24:

vv. 1-3.  Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, thou art very great! Thou art clothed with honour and majesty. . . . Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: He maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind. . . . Thou best set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth. v. 10. He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. . . . vv. 13–14. He watereth the hills from his chambers: The earth is satisfied with fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; . . . vv. 19–20. He appointed the moon for seasons: The sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness, and it is night; . . . v. 24. O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom host thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

 We don't worship the Lord without acknowledgement of His creation, and God is seeking for true worshipers.  It's easy to see that denying creation is part of apostasy (2 Peter 3:13).  Paul said that the unbeliever under God's wrath worships and serves the creation rather than the Creator (Romans 1:20).  Creation on a root level declares that God is in fact God (Isaiah 45:18).   Heaven's population declares Him worthy because He created all things (Revelation 4:11).  We should concern ourselves with the faith of those who attack or deny God's creation.

I want us to consider several ways that men today attack or deny God's creation, and, therefore, God as Creator.

1.  Evolution

More evangelicals and even some professing fundamentalists believe in evolution.  One of the leadership of The Gospel Coalition, Tim Keller, is one.  The Bible doesn't read evolution.   Now prominent evangelicals are working at making evolution acceptable to evangelicals.  They are looking at the Genesis account in unique ways that I have never seen before.

2.  Homosexuality

An argument for homosexuality is one against God's creation, as clearly seen in Romans 1.  Maybe not ironically, Keller goes soft on homosexuality in his preaching:

Well, it’s much, much, much easier to to have private conversations about it. I think . . . uh . . . can make this short. I . . . I believe in general that if you preach on why homosexuality is a sin . . . uhhh . . . there are . . . at least in my . . . in my . . . in my . . . in my church I know there’s lots and lots of folks who have same sex attraction who know that that’s not . . . as a Christian, I can’t do that. I’m not gonna go there. There’s a good number of them.  I’ve got a lot of non-Christians who are present who are friends of gay people but are not gay. Uhhh . . . and then uhh, there’d be a number of people with same sex attraction who . . . are there. And generally speaking, it’s almost impossible to preach a sermon and hit all 3 or 4 of those constituencies equally well.  Ummmm . . . it’s just . . . it’s just think about . . . you know . . . you know . . . you’re a communicator.  You know you need to . . . well, what’s my goal?  Who are my audience and . . . wow! it’s like a conundrum you can’t solve.  So, the best thing has always been for me. . . . to not do the public teaching as much as segment my audience through . . . ummm.

This explains the numerical growth of Keller's church in New York City.  This kind of attitude and action leads to some bad statistics on young evangelicals and homosexuality.  When you see a fast rising acceptance of homosexual marriage in the United States, you think about professing evangelicals.  The "millennials," those whose oldest are approaching thirty, have been polled and 44% of them support homosexual marriage.  That's bad, but 19% of evangelicals overall support it.  Keller's preaching, and others' like him, with homosexuality correlate to these statistics.

God created male and female and He made the woman for man, not a man for the man, just to remind us of the obvious.

3.  Egalitarian Marriages and Relationships and Roles

Closely related to the first two here are marriages that attack or deny the God ordained roles.  We've got feminist theologians now and they have made great headway.  Male headship and female submission are part of God's creation.  He designed man as head over woman.  You've got homosexuals and now you've also got metrosexuals.  Men are more like women today.  You know this.  They have a certain fastidiousness to their clothes and hair, talk with a slight lisp, and have a lot of girlfriends.  This is a new norm.  Mr. Mom at home also reflects this---dad in the apron.  An engineer in our church says that female engineers are outgrowing men.  Without a role, you've probably noticed, boys become aimless, not knowing how to act anymore.  It seems that you either have a fake manhood or little manhood.  Real manhood is disappearing.  You might be amazed at how much metrosexuality is at West Point, when I've been there visiting.

To remind you of Scripture, roles are based on creation order (1 Timothy 2:13; 1 Corinthians 11:8-9).  Attacks or denials of complementarianism, separate roles for men and women, are attacks or denials of God as Creator.

4.  Unisex Dress

Christians are some of the strongest advocates today for unisex dress.  They take no position on Deuteronomy 22:5 and 1 Corinthians 11:3-16.  They have relegated it to something ancient and closed off by history.  Women in churches have butch haircuts and wear blue jeans.  Men support it.  They elevate female happiness over biblical obedience.  These appearance issues are about God's design in His creation again.  I believe #2 and #3 above proceed from #4 here.  Of course, a wrong belief comes first, but in practice, the appearance precedes the egalitarianism.  Men won't fight this now for the same reason Keller won't preach against homosexuality.  They don't want to deal with those consequences.  But what about God?  I believe God sees this abuse as equal to homosexuality.  Equal.  I'm basing that on the use of the word "abomination."  God wants to be supported as Creator.  Not doing so is akin to not believing in Him.

5.  Amoral Music, Art, and Literature

Yes, Christian acceptance of rock and rap and grunge (etc.) music is an attack on God as Creator.  At the root of it is a denial of Divine aesthetics, objective beauty.  There is one God, one truth, one goodness, and one beauty.  To make beauty amoral, to subjectivize beauty, is a rejection of God's creation.  Pre-enlightenment moral imagination saw God's creation as the model for beauty.  It was beautiful if it reflected God's Divine nature and His order.  Not any more.  Ugly is the new lovely.  And it doesn't matter.  All of these are related.

One more things about the music.  This isn't conviction based.  This is feeling based.  God as Creator is also Controller.  One's music is like Fido's bowl of dog chow---you take it away, even if you are owner, and you might get bitten.  People bite over music.  That's why a well-known presuppositionalist, like Douglas Wilson, really a fake one based on this issue alone, and many conservative evangelicals fight to keep their tunes.  He's got lots of rock on his playlist and you've got a disorder if you criticize.  That's part of his serrated edge for you insiders.  Oh, if it's good rock, well done rock.  But love of rock contradicts presuppositionalism.  It's a bow to relative beauty.

I think there are more than these 5, but I don't want to make this more controversial than it already is.  Man worships himself as Creator.  Evangelicalism and a majority of fundamentalism are already there.  And another big chunk of fundamentalism doesn't care.  You wondering how a one world religion will happen?  Wonder no more.


Gary Webb said...

Good, true article.

Steve Rogers said...

Great Biblical reasoning. So many Christians, evangelicals and fundamentalists, argue from feelings and human wisdom, rather than starting with the Bible and reasoning with scripture!

I especially agree and attest to the "biting" you experience when you deal with music and dress. I think addiction to ungodly music and dress is as strong as pornography.

d4v34x said...

What's the source for the Keller quote? That one surprised me.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks for the comments.


It was from a session on preaching at Covenant Theological Seminary. I saw the transcripts all over. One place was here: