Music As A Form Of Worship

The phrase ‘Let us start worship’ or ‘Let us begin worship’ is one that never sits easy with me. The term ‘Worship Leader’ for me doesn’t seem to be a biblical principal. In this post, I am to pick apart these terms and phrases and suggest what I believe we should be actually doing instead.

Is Worship something we turn on?

I do hope that no church flicks a switch and suddenly they are in ‘worship’ mode, I would be extremely concerned if it did! In my interpretation, worship is something that we are, we are made to worship. It is also not just solely music and singing, as we can sometimes think; in fact music is just a small part of what worship is all about.

So can we just turn it on with a flick of a switch? No! We don’t start worship, and we don’t just begin in worship, we should be worshipping God in all our thoughts and deeds, in our actions and in our words.

There is no start, and there is no end. To be frank, no one can lead you in worship. No man can lead you in worship to God, only the Spirit can give you the words to say, give you desire to praise such an awesome God we serve. You don’t just go to church where someone there helps your heart focus on God, that’s all through the Spirit, through your own heart and through you as an individual before the Lord. We worship collectively as individuals.

Music isn’t all worship

Let’s be straight here as well. Music is only a tiny fraction of what worship actually is. The Bible says:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1).

Worship is everything we do, it is a way we can communicate with God, it is a way we can give Him praises, and it is a way in which we can actually remember truths and passages from the Bible. If you look at hymns for example, their purpose is often to help people remember key truths about the Bible and about God. Are we losing that today?

Nonetheless, music isn’t worship. Music is a tool God has given us, to help us and to give it back to Him. Martin Luther said, ‘Next to the word of God the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.’ However, I think, we, the church, can get too focused on just one facet of what worship is. We will rehearse, practice and make a fantastic performance on stage, but what is our prayer life like? Do we spend time with God? Do we read our Bibles? Do we show a Christian life by our actions always? Sometimes we focus on one facet that we forget all the others which are just as, if not even more, important. We may get excited over a song, but we have to ask the question — do we get excited because we love the tune, love the music, but not what worship is all about?

I’m not against ‘Worship Leaders’ but..

I understand the need for someone to help keep everyone in tune, in focus and in musical cohesion, but let’s be straight here, no person actually leads worship. If anything the Spirit helps us in our singing praise, but again no person should be in a position like this, it is though as if it was just a title given to someone to sound spiritual.

Again, I am not against someone at the front helping the congregation sing and what not, but it’s the term that I have problems with, can it not be just an ego situation?

So is Music bad?

Certainly not! Music is a great gift! (Psalm 71:23; 105:2; 150: 1-5, Colossians 3:16; Revelation 14: 3-4) and one we should cherish and love to do, it allows us to be creative and it allows us to express ourselves when words fail us. Nonetheless, we must remember that it is all about Him, the mighty God, the One we are told to hold in reverent fear as well as love and adore. When we sing to our Father we do need to be serious and mean what we say. If we sing ‘I surrender all’, for example, then we should surrender all to Jesus, rather than merely singing for the sake of it (or because it’s catchy and modern) then going home and forgetting all about it. Jesus told the Pharisees that they were hypocrites and, to be frank, we can be very hypocritical in our music.

Music shouldn’t also be about using the latest snazziest catchphrases. For example, in recent times ‘oceans’, ‘waves’ and ‘storms’ having been doing the rounds. Before that it was ‘dry bones’ and I can keep going on. When we write music as worship, it should all be from the heart, about what God is telling us, and what we have been through, not what is trendy. Let’s be frank, modern songs/hymns have produced some amazing and great songs that really come from the heart, but there are also a number which just sound like they have been regurgitated time and time again, the same phrases, the same things being said. When we describe God, surely there are more ways of saying ‘You are awesome’ or ‘You are great.’ Don’t get me wrong, these are amazing truths, but sometimes it feels to me that less time has been put into the lyrics and more time into the production quality. Lyrics are important! Sometimes I can’t resist rewriting certain songs for my own personal use, and I’ll probably go on a massive rewriting spree now with many others because sometimes the tune is great but the words are so weak.

When we worship, via music, via songs, we must ensure it comes from the heart and that we mean it. We must also be prepared to learn, to be prepared to be challenged. We must acknowledge all aspects of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Conclusion

Now I love music, I love music in churches, but I just wanted to write this. I think sometimes we get the wrong concept of what worship is. We don’t start or begin worship, when we sing we actually join in with the choruses in heaven, but our whole life is worship, of one form or another. Live a life that worships God, love Him with all your strength and yes praise Him in music, but always remember Who you are worshipping.

LGBT+ And Christianity: Have We Got It Wrong?

This is a massive subject and not one that I approach lightly, but rather, literally, in fear and trepidation, with a profound sense of its difficulty and sensitivity. It is an issue that needs to be considered by all Christians. We need to clearly define the biblical position. It cannot be handled without touching on certain points which may well cause offence, but I tread as delicately as I dare and attempt to do these subjects as much justice as is possible within a reasonable word-count (which, by the way, has been blown to kingdom come!). I, and others who I have prayerfully tackled this with, have done our utmost to be loving and faithful, to share the amazing love of God and stay true to the Bible, as the final authority on everything.

Three wrong attitudes

Homosexuality and transgender issues are being promoted so rapidly, and sometimes quite forcefully, by progressive liberal Western governments in schools, places of work, in law, and even in churches — that it is vitally important we define the correct and biblical position. Every letter of the initialism LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and more) is real and we have to recognise them, they aren’t going to go away! Before we go any further we must understand that LGBT is not primarily a political movement. It is a series of enormous issues that affect and have affected many people, including many Christians, globally, throughout history. Many people feel born into the wrong gender or sexuality and feel they just have to embrace that powerful feeling and turn it into reality; others experiment with gender and sexuality searching for something, some magical key to happiness that will suddenly give life real meaning.

In Christian circles there seems to be at least three incorrect attitudes towards LGBT issues, particularly homosexuality and the ‘gender revolution’. These have had a seismic impact on our society; even within the last five years so much has changed.

Firstly, there seem to be those who condemn homosexuality and transgenderism in no uncertain terms, and oppose homosexuals and transgender folk every step of the way, shunning them and treating them with contempt and disgust. This sad attitude is perhaps worst expressed by Westboro Baptist Church, a nutty sect in America, infamous for their offensive and downright wrong ‘God hates fags’ banners. Whilst this represents the extreme of this position, the sentiments often expressed privately or thought by individuals holding this sort of view are sometimes not dissimilar. The unspoken thought is worse in many ways, as we lie not only to ourselves but to the world.

Secondly, there are those who go to the opposite extreme and jump on the LGBT bandwagon for all they are worth. Many liberal churches (and indeed much of the Church of England) are now in this position, they follow popular opinion rather than the Bible. ‘God is love,’ they say; ‘He doesn’t mind’.

Thirdly (and I think there are many Christians in this position), there are those who are unsure of their own position, caught between the cross-fires; unwilling to come down on either side for fear of being judged or alienated, they neither speak in favour of LGBT issues or oppose them. They see certain ‘Christians’ loudly condemning homosexuals instead of preaching the gospel and object inwardly but do no more. They view liberal churches on the ‘LGBT bandwagon’ with suspicion and whilst they know that the Bible teaches that homosexual acts are sinful, they fear to speak out. They find it easier to say nothing and do nothing, letting the younger generations struggle on alone.

Well, all of these attitudes are quite plainly wrong. C.H. Spurgeon once somewhat bluntly said, ‘Only blockheads go to extremes,’ and he was quite right. But we don’t need a balance or a middle ground between anti-LGBT and pro-LGBT — we need to take a big step back, put matters into their correct perspective and re-examine our position. And to do that, we start with the Bible…

What does the Bible say?

Sexual identity and gender has been the big question of the last fifty years, but the Bible has all the answers.

The Bible is the eternal Word of God. On it we stand, off it we fall. If we compromise on one biblical truth, we might as well throw it all away. It’s all or nothing.

The Bible isn’t just a list of do’s and don’ts. It is a record of the magnificent plan of salvation God has wrought for His people, it is an open invitation to escape the clutches of sin and death, and join the marriage feast of the Lamb. It is the story of all of us, all humanity, and our past, present and future, whether believer or unbeliever. The Bible is not an encyclopaedia or a series of random old manuscripts stuck together. It is ‘the textbook of life’, says Martyn Lloyd-Jones, with ‘one great message and that message is life and how life is to be lived, how life is to be enjoyed, the object and purpose of life and the way to live it.’

The Bible says that ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23), and David writes that ‘surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me’ (Psalm 51:5). We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.

In that backdrop, homosexuality and the gender revolution are just more outworkings of the sinful nature of mankind. And here is an important distinction; too often I fear Christians define sin as a list of particular evils to abstain from — e.g. drunkenness, bad language, gambling, etc. — making it out to be single acts of wickedness rather than the underlying problem.
However nowhere does the Bible directly condemn the consumption of alcohol, cursing or gambling. That doesn’t mean they aren’t wrong but not simply because of what they are, but because of how the heart is in these matters — a heart not set on God — and, one might add cursing often comes from an angry heart, and gambling and drunkenness from a greedy heart.

What is sin then? Sin is rebellion against God (Joshua 1:18). And this all stems from the Fall of Man — the ‘original sin’, and the reason, the only reason, the world is always in such a mess, and always will be, until He comes. Lloyd-Jones defines sin like this: ‘God is to be praised because He is God, and the real essence of sin is not to praise God. […] Sin really means we think we know better than God.’ Read Romans 1:18-32 for a fuller definition. This is the real issue, not whether a person is a homosexual, liar or adulterer. Whilst the Bible is clear that homosexual acts are wrong, it also makes it clear that all sins are as bad as any other (James 2:10) — and everything we do, outside of God, is sin (Romans 14:23). Paul says as much, in that Romans 1 passage:

“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator.

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones [unnatural in the sense that biologically we are not designed for same-sex relations]. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

Paul goes on to list the rest of what ‘free will’ got man.

Jesus said: “In the beginning the Creator made them male and female. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” (Matthew 19:4-5).

Both homosexuality and the gender revolution are perversions of God’s plan for creation and part of the curse on mankind, as is every other outworking of our sinful nature (e.g. sex outside of marriage, as well as non-sexual sins). That is what the Bible says.

Homosexual acts are no different to a lustful glance at a member of the opposite sex. They are both 100% natural to our fallen nature. The fact is, we are all sinners who sin, and there’s no difference between a liar, a practicing homosexual or an adulterer. In many ways these labels are a misnomer – e.g. I’ve lied, I’ve stolen, I’ve blasphemed, that doesn’t mean I’m just a ‘liar’, I’ve broken more than just one commandment! I’m a sinner — full-stop (James 2:11).

It seems some people consider ‘homosexuality’ to be the worst sin ever! Wrong, the worst sin ever and the only sin that cannot be forgiven is the final rejection of the Son (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit).

What about sex outside marriage? Much more prevalent today and much more ruinous than homosexuality and transgenderism to 21st century society; it’s been the break-up of countless marriages and the downfall of many people, including Christians. Yet many Christians turn a blind-eye to it, whilst judging LGBT people!

The bottom-line is we’re all sinners who need Christ. He is God’s way of escape.

The Bible says:

“[The Lord] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).

And:

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

And this is the glorious truth! It doesn’t matter what we are, what we have done, we can come to Christ as we are; and with Christ we start totally anew! He is the personification of love and ‘love keeps no record of wrongs’ (1 Corinthians 13:5b), if we are in Him then all is forgiven. ‘For the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin!’ (1 John 1:7; also see v.9). Christ is our mediator; He takes on all the wrong and freely exchanges it for His perfect righteousness. We do nothing except believe in Him, as Jonathan Edwards said, ‘You contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.’ It’s all Christ, and in Him, true contentment and lasting peace is found, for all who will only come to Him. Hugh Latimer once said, ‘[Christ] is but believe and have.’

‘Gay and Christian’?

So can you be a gay Christian? No, I don’t believe you can. Why? Is this narrow-minded and homophobic? No. Let me clarify: The word of God is quite clear — when we become Christians we put off the ‘old self’ and put on the ‘new’ – that is Christ. We no longer define or identify ourselves by what we were, we define and identify ourselves by what we are now — new creations, children of God, joint-heirs with Christ. For more information I would recommend checking out Living Out (an organisation set up by same-sex-attracted Christians). They, and I, don’t believe Christians should hold on to the ‘gay’ label. Our true identity is Christ; everything else is irrelevant — nationality, sexuality, whatever.

Heaven will be full of adulterers, murderers, thieves, rapists, paedophiles and all kinds of wicked people that would send a cold shiver down your spine. Will they be defined by those labels? ‘No!’ they will cry emphatically. ‘We are new creations in Christ, the old has gone, and the new has come! God has forgiven my sin, though it was as red as scarlet, He has made it as white as snow! I am now perfect and spotless through Christ. I did nothing. It was all the grace of God!’ And I’ll warrant there won’t be a dry eye in that glorious place.

Yes, as Christians, we may still struggle with same-sex attraction and all manner of issues, but God promises that: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13).” We are all tempted and whether that temptation is lust for a member of the same- or opposite-sex is irrelevant. ‘Resist the devil and he will flee from you,’ the Bible says (James 4:7b).

Coming to Christ doesn’t mean your problems disappear completely; He just opens our eyes so we see everything in a new light. We then have a Heavenly Father we can call upon (through our mediator – Jesus Christ [1 John 2:1]), who loves to hear our voice, whether it be repentance, praise, petition or thanksgiving. So called ‘gay cure’ techniques clearly miss the bus here; there is no cure for same-sex attraction, as there is no cure for other temptations, outside the grace of God. We will not be completely free from the shackles of sin until we get to glory. What a day that will be!

‘Transgender/Intersex and Christian’?

I believe the same principle applies. However hard it is, God rules, not us. Yes we may experience gender dysphoria and struggle with all sorts of gender or sexuality-related challenges, but God will never forsake us! He made us just as we are, for a reason.

Far too much is made of sex in our world. It is not all! Nor is marriage everything! We shouldn’t push ourselves into a marriage just for the sake of it. ‘I wish all men were as I am,’ writes Paul, unmarried, celibate, 100% content; and a better servant of Christ for it.

What did Christ say…?

“The disciples said to him, ‘[…] it is better not to marry then [in response to Jesus saying divorce is adultery].’

Jesus replied, ‘Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others – and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.’” (Matthew 10:12).

There is hope for everyone, and that is the fantastic truth of the Gospel. Everything that separates us now, even as Christians, is made irrelevant in heaven:

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Colossians 3:28).

Again, I believe we cannot then identify as ‘transgender’ — ‘our citizenship is in heaven and we eagerly await a Saviour there, the Lord Jesus Christ’ (Philippians 3:20).

What should Christians do?

There is no place for homophobia or transphobia of any sort in thought, word or action, just as there should not be any place for racism, murder, hatred and etc. Discrimination or bullying of any sort on the grounds of sexual orientation is bang out of order.

What would Jesus, the Son of God, the promised Messiah from ages past, do? He would hang out with homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender peeps, just as He hung out with the ‘sinners’ of 1st century Israel. He would ‘look at them and love them’ (Mark 10:21). So what are Christians to do? Emulate Christ. The Bible says: “Whoever claims to live in [Christ] must walk as [he] did,” (1 John 2:6), and, “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness,” (v.9).

We don’t judge — ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’ (John 8:7). We’re sinners too. Everybody is a sinner, whether they are an adulterer, homosexual or transgender too is irrelevant! Who are we to judge? Christ is all the difference! Many LGBT people are some of the nicest people I have ever met. They aren’t ‘in your face’ and neither should we be with our gay and transgender friends! We have a message of love that we need to preach — really bad news and amazing good news. How do we witness? With ‘gentleness and respect’ or ‘meekness and fear’ (depending on which translation floats your boat! — 1 Peter 3:15).

We should neither oppose LGBT issues nor support them. We support the Bible and serve our King. Where we have an opportunity to defend the Bible we should, although as Spurgeon once said, ‘You do not defend a lion, you just let him loose.’ That is how I have sought to tackle this issue. The word of God is indelibly imbued with the Holy Spirit and will not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11); let Him do the talking.  However we must be prayerful, careful and wise where we take our stand. We should not seek persecution or ridicule for the sake of it; just as we shouldn’t cause offence for the sake of it or go out on a limb because we feel ‘prompted’ outside the word of God.

The three things we should do are: to love everyone regardless, pray for them regardless, and preach the gospel regardless; and we do all this with the Bible. You go outside it, even momentarily, and you will fail regardless.

Is Creationism A Red Herring?

“I think” wrote Charles Darwin on his iconic first sketch of the tree of life. He went on to express his thoughts when urged to write them as a book, On the Origin of Species, and took his thoughts to their logical conclusion in The Descent of Man. The nation had been primed to receive his theories. With the lessening interest in religion, and the growing hypocrisy therein Charles Darwin struck the match which seemed to blow the whole system up. But was Darwin actually right? And does it even matter? Can Christianity survive, even if evolution rules supreme in science? Does the Gospel of Jesus Christ rely on a literal six-day Creation?

How Darwinism crept into the church

The state of the church in Victorian England can be exemplified by the lives of two men, George Müller and Charles Spurgeon. To the people if God existed it was no matter, the country was full of poverty, harsh living conditions and deprivation, sickness and death made their presence felt. Where was the loving God? This issue struck Darwin when his daughter died. Most people who would be called ‘religious’, limited their religion to attending church and nothing else. Müller saw this and worked hard to open an orphanage and help people in their practical needs, he gave all that he earnt away, so although he was given much money and help he died a poor man. Spurgeon likewise dealt with the physical needs of the people, but his greater legacy was in his stand for the Faith, and this is nowhere more in evidence than the ‘downgrade’ controversy. Along with Darwin’s theory and German higher criticism the church was being infiltrated with little defence. Charles Spurgeon would not go along with this; he resigned from the Baptist Union as they would not stand with him against these alien beliefs.

But do not suppose that these men stood alone, Gregor Mendel (father of genetics), and James Clerk Maxwell (father of electromagnetism) rejected evolution, amongst others. In fact in 1864, 717 scientists (including eminent scientists such as Joule and Brewster) signed a declaration stating they believed in the scientific integrity of the Bible, and rejected evolution. In 1932 John Ambrose Fleming (father of modern electronics), and Douglas Dewar founded the Evolution Protest Movement. From then on other organisations have been founded to oppose the belief that evolution is sufficient to account for: the creation of the universe, galaxies, planets, life itself, and for the derivation of life-forms. It is a large area of study, and is an essential part of the national curriculum. It touches so many different people, and even those with very little scientific knowledge understand the basic principles of evolution, and most believe it.

With evolution being so prominent in society, and particularly within the scientific community it is interesting to see that even the Church has accepted the thoughts that Darwin popularised. Many churches now will go with it. As this is the case we cannot say that a Christian cannot hold to evolutionary thinking. We cannot say that evolution has got rid of God in many people’s views. We cannot even say that evolution has turned everyone away from Jesus. So were the attacks on evolution by these people in the past and the modern day apologetic organisations’ arguments against evolution really worthwhile? Or is all this endeavour distracting people from what really matters, is it a red herring?

Defining creationism and deistic & theistic evolution

Creationism is the belief that God created everything, including the world, animals and plants. It stands opposed to the view expressed by neo-Darwinists (modern day Darwinists), that the universe started from a ‘big bang’, and life formed on this planet millions of years ago and has diversified since. Creationism does not necessarily include the idea of a recent creation, 6,000 to 8,000 years ago; neither does it completely reject evolution, though often limits its capabilities. Adaptation is often mistaken for evolution, the former is an observable fact, the latter is still regarded, even by the most ardent evolutionists, as a theory. Creationists almost universally accept adaptation, which are small changes within a genus or family group of animals (often given the term ‘Genesis kind’). But, not all creationists accept the ‘tree of life’ belief – that all animals have descended from one single-celled organism. Yet this idea does not rid the world of God. Questions are asked, “How did this life form come about?” Before that, “How did the universe originate?” For this and certain other things people invoke God, and a ‘God-of-the-gap’ theory comes about, a God who is there just to fulfill the questions that natural processes cannot answer. He becomes a deistic God (and not the Bible’s theistic God) who sets the cogs turning and then takes a step back.

Others hold to a theistic-evolutionary idea, where God guides evolution. He is involved in each step, He does not take a back seat role but rather His hand is seen in the works of evolution.

What does the Bible say?

Despite all these theories, a simple reading of Genesis chapter one does not suggest evolution at work at all, but rather a literal six-day creation. There is plenty that could be said in support of this, but time does not permit us here to go into them. Nevertheless, there are other evidences that God did things in six days. In Exodus 20, God gives Moses the Ten Commandments, inscribed by His own hand on two stone tablets. He says that the reason why the seventh day should be kept holy and separate, a day of rest, is because ‘in six days he created the universe and everything in it, and on the seventh day he rested’. Furthermore Jesus said that God made them male and female “in the beginning”, which would not be so in theistic-evolution.

It would also not be so if day-age theory was correct. This theory is one that theistic-evolutionists resort to quite regularly. It teaches that each day in the Genesis 1 account is not a day at-all, but a long period of time. They allegorise the text found in the Bible, though the Bible is more likely to be recording historical events, as the language used and turns of phrases do not suggest allegory but reality. Neither does the use of the Hebrew phrase, translated, “and the evening, and the morning were the fourth day (or third day etc.),” realistically allow these to be translated as a longer period of time.

Therefore, those who want to replace the plain reading of the Bible with a scientific theory are not just discolouring what the Bible actually says but ripping pages out of the Bible, only leaving what they like so as to match whatever is the current trend in society. There is a well-known story about a minister who was prone to tell his congregation “well that doesn’t really matter, you can take that out of the Bible”, or “modern science has shown this to be wrong, therefore you can take that out of the Bible”. When he was about to leave and go somewhere else an old woman from his congregation gave him a gift, a Bible, well the cover for a Bible, perplexed, the minister asked the woman why she gave him such a gift, to which she replied, “Well, I took everything out you told me to and the other pages fell out, and this is all that I have left”.

What does this mean? It teaches us that if you discard one thing in the Bible you start on a slippery slope that undermines the authority, authenticity, inerrancy and sufficiency of the Bible. If you cannot trust the history in Genesis why should you trust the history of the gospels? If you do not believe that Adam was a historical character then why is Christ called the second Adam? For that matter where did sin come from? Is it part of God’s original creation, and if so how come the Bible calls it an enemy? How could a good God have created a sinful world? Did He make a mistake and then need to send His Son to correct the error? Why should we trust Him or His Son then? How could Christ die for the sinner if sin is not the sinners fault but God’s, doesn’t that just seem unnecessary? Why should God punish sinners if sin is just part of His creation, which He pronounced ‘very good’ in Genesis 1? How can death be an enemy to defeat if it is the process by which God furthers evolution? What about the results of sin, the famines, wars, plagues etc? There are many more questions, many more challenges that can be issued.

So can a Christian be an evolutionist? 

A person can be a believer, yet hold erroneous views, which do not affect the fundamental beliefs of Christianity (for example a Trinitarian God, and Christ as the God-man). However, they are not helping themselves by compromising on Creation. They are digging themselves a hole that they will struggle to get out of, and which many others will fall into. Some think creationism is a small issue, as it does not strike at the central message, the gospel. But, special creation is foundational to the gospel; it explains where sin and death came from. It lays the foundation for the need of a second Adam. Also, to uphold what the Bible clearly teaches upholds the authority, inerrancy, authenticity and sufficiency of the Bible, as the trustworthy word of God. These things are not secondary issues, and neither should creation be, as it is inextricably linked.

Why cower away as has been done in the past? Why not stand with Spurgeon and others who rejected evolution? Here is an opportunity to show that God’s word matters, it is reliable, it is trustworthy, it is life changing. When someone grasps God as creator they will then find it easier to call Him Lord and Saviour – the first makes sense of all that we see, the second comes from faith, and the reliability of the book that the creation story comes from.

Some people spend too much time in apologetics and the Creation-Evolution debate, and the gospel is completely lost. But others give up apologetics altogether, and the word of God; in fact the very idea of God is lost, along with the basis for the gospel.