To be risen with Christ means not only that one has a choice and that one may live by a higher law – the law of grace and love – but that one must do so. The first obligation of the Christian is to maintain their freedom from all superstitions, all blind taboos and religious formalities, indeed from all empty forms of legalism. – Thomas Merton
Courtesy of Hubble Telescope
The Cilantro Mandate (aka legalism) is alive and well in Christendom, and we believe the rigid attitudes regarding creation, particularly among the young earth crowd, demonstrate its harmful effects. Ken Ham, the self-appointed guru for Young Earth Creationism, provides an excellent example of such legalism.
On September 8, 2010, Ham wrote a blog post entitled “A Sad Day for the Assemblies of God Denomination”. Here is the link.
Why should anyone be “sad” about the Assemblies of God (AG)? Actually, what took place in the AG denomination makes us glad, not sad. Here’s what happened. In its August 9-11, 2010 session, the general presbytery of the Assemblies of God denomination adopted a revised statement on “The Doctrine of Creation.” You can read the entire statement here.
In his post, Ham writes: Here is an excerpt from the official AG position paper, that opens the door to evolution and millions of years, and the various compromise positions on Genesis held by some in the church (such as gap theory, day age, progressive creation, theistic evolution, etc):
Whatever creation theory we individually may prefer, we must affirm that the entire creation has been brought into being by the design and activity of the Triune God. Moreover, we also affirm that the New Testament treats the creation and fall of Adam and Eve as historical events in which the Creator is especially involved. We urge all sincere and conscientious believers to adhere to what the Bible plainly teaches and to avoid divisiveness over debatable theories of creation.”
Although neither Dee nor I have ever been involved in the AG denomination, we are extremely proud of them for developing such a theologically mature position on creationism, which will bring about unity. We especially liked this wording: “Given the limited information available in Scripture, it does not seem wise to be overly dogmatic about any particular creation theory.” AMEN!!! Notice just before this statement that it was God who “went about the creative processes”. No one, including Ken Ham, knows how God created, but we acknowledge that He is the creator.
Ham writes: “What is sad to notice is this 2010 revision of such a strong statement about creation.”
He then calls attention to the following change that grieves him:
Then Ham plays the blame game by writing:
On the contrary, Dee and I know young people and adults who have fallen away from the faith because they were forced to believe in young earth creationism which took supposedly place in six literal 24 hour days. Why was Almighty God in such a hurry? He exists outside of time. In fact, He created time!
What is SAD to us is that Ken Ham and his groupies have been known to question the faith of those who dare disagree with them on how God created the heavens and the earth. Imagine being threatened with the “H” word (heretic) or being told that you are “in denial of the doctrine of the atonement” for believing God created everything over a long period of time. As we have stated before, Ken Ham might be more believable if he weren’t profiting from his efforts (Note: “best selling book Already Gone” – probably sold at the Creation Museum, which appears to be a profitable enterprise).
While Old Earth Creationists and Theistic Evolutionists are emphatic about their own positions regarding creationism, we do not believe any of them have ever called into question the faith of the YE crowd. Please correct us if we are wrong. We believe that challenging someone’s faith when they have professed Christ as their Savior and Lord is one of the worst offenses anyone can commit. When we “play God” by declaring whether or not someone is saved based on secondary issues, we are putting ourselves in the place of Almighty God. We have no right to question the salvation of our brothers and sisters in Christ!
Lydia’s Corner: Leviticus 13:1-59 Mark 6:1-29 Psalm 39:1-13 Proverbs 10:10