Chicago Church Compromise

I’ve been posting on my blog and Facebook recently on how church leaders (like TV host Pat Robertson) are compromising regarding the clear teachings recorded in the book of Genesis about creation and the age of the earth. Our supporters have been sharing with us their own experiences in seeing compromised teaching first hand, including this ministry friend in the Chicago area:

Greetings in the name of our Creator & Savior Jesus  Christ!

I have felt it necessary to inform you and all of the faithful supporters of AiG as to what has recently happened within my church, the church my wife & I have belonged to for over the past 25 years.

Both my wife and I came to a saving faith in Christ some 36 years ago.  We both believed the Bible to be God’s breathed Word, but yet we had difficulty in accepting Genesis as a literal account of God’s 6 day creation week and a global world wide flood.  We happened to attend a creation seminar at that time and the speaker was John Whitcomb who co-authored the book “The Genesis Flood” with Henry Morris.  As we listened to John speak, our eyes were opened for the very first time.  We both were able to see and to understand how God did it.  It was an amazing life changing experience.  Everything fit into place.  All of our questions were answered and our doubts set aside!  We could believe the entire Bible!  As a long-time church member, I soon had the opportunity of teaching creation to many Adult & Children’s Sunday school classes as well as Bible study groups (using AIG & ICR materials).

And now, 36 years later, something has happened in my church that I never would have thought possible.

Through several conversations with our newly elected 34 year old pastor, I have learned that he believes in theistic evolution!  How could this happen in my church?  In his summary of theology which he submitted to our board of elders during the interview process, he stated he confirmed his belief in the Bible as the literal Word of God, written by God and that all Scriptures were to be interpreted with Scripture.

Our conversations covered the seven 24hr days creation week, physical death prior to Adam, and Noah’s flood.  I supported my literal interpretation of Genesis using Scripture in both the Old and New Testaments.  Our new pastor  could not do that to support his opposing views.  He defended his beliefs by saying that everyone knows that science has proved billions of years of evolution and that he would never be a young earth creationist.  I think he was putting young earth creationist in the same basket as people who believe in a flat earth.  He began to ignore my questions.  He then handed me a book to read written by John Walton who is a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Illinois.  The book entitled “The Lost World of Genesis”  claims that by studying  ancient Near Eastern cultures we are able, for the first time, to know what God was trying to tell us in Genesis and what it all means.  I politely left the book on his desk when I left.

I researched the book and author on the internet.  Among other things, the book supports millions of years of ape to man macroevolution, physical death before Adam, and a local Noahian flood.  It even questions the existence of a literal Garden of Eve.  I could not believe that my very own pastor would want me to read that book and believe what it said.  It was also hard for me to accept the idea that the professor could be teaching these beliefs to his Old Testament students.

Our church now has revised its Articles of Faith, and creation is now listed as a secondary issue.  Our Jr. High and High School pastors do not bring up the subject of creation.  If someone in their class asks a question about creation, they are simply told that God could have created it anyway he wished.  How and when He did it are not the important issues.  The only thing thing that is important is that God is our Creator.

I hope that someway this could be used as a wake-up call to other churches that may be seeking a new pastor or new elders.  They must be aware of both what is said and what is not said.

For example, prior to his hire, our new pastor submitted his summary of theology to our our church elders.    Concerning God’s creation of Adam he wrote,  “As the culminating, sixth day of creation, God created a distinctive living creature, set apart from other living creatures, by breathing into this creature the breath of life (Gen. 2:7 with 1:20, 21, 24).  God named this distinct human creature Adam …”

At first glance, one would think that the words he used reflected what he meant. That was not the case, because what he really meant he didn’t say.

Note that Adam is first described as a living creature, set apart from all other living creatures. He does not refer to Adam as a human until after God breathed into him the breath of life.  What he didn’t say is that he believes God used millions of years “ape to man” macro-evolution to create Adam.  God took a fully evolved hominid creature and breathed the breath of life into it making it human and then naming him Adam.

– T.J.

Let this account above be a warning to you when your church seeks a pastor—to ask very specific questions and listen very carefully to the answers.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken