Gunfire in Genesis

The Advent Movement was designed to be a cavalry.  It was to be fast-moving, hard-hitting, and always on the offensive, taking the three angel's messages to the entire world and calling the remnant out of Babylon. Many of you are like me, you enlisted in this apocalyptic army, summoned by a love for truth and by catching the vision of that great controversy. You responded to the call. And so our spiritual careers are encircled by spiritual warfare (2 Cor. 10:4).  We must fight the good fight and be alert for the enemy is prowling around looking to destroy people (1 Timothy 6:12; 1 Peter 5:8).

By now, we ought to be aware that as believers our command center is under tremendous attack. The Word of God is not only intrinsically hated by the enemy; it is the special target of several desperate offensives. Understanding that the best way to destroy a building is to attack its foundation, demonic special forces have fixed the crosshairs of their fury squarely on the book of Genesis. Here are three main assaults on this foundational book of the Holy Bible.

Creation. Unless you’ve been under a Gibraltar-sized rock, or stranded on a South Pacific island for the last fifty years, you are probably aware of the escalated offensive against the biblical account of creation. The six literal days of creation, clinched by the seventh-day Sabbath, certified in God’s holy law, countersigned by Jesus Christ, and confirmed by the remnant of Revelation is openly scorned by an unbelieving world. That’s not too shocking, having read Matthew 26:23 and Roman 8:7.  But when these grand truths are attacked from within the church, shock and dismay are not only appropriate, they should be accompanied by redemptive rebukes and firm culpability. This is what the Bible says we should do. There are Adventist websites that regularly entertain skepticism towards the six-day biblical creation--a fusillade of bullets fired at the book of Genesis.

Heterosexuality (Genesis 1:26-28). I guess the obvious divine template of male and female is not so obvious anymore. When the U.S. president laid out his second-term agenda in January 2013, he cited Stonewall as one of the “stars that guide us...”  In this reference to the Stonewall Riots (the birthplace of the modern homosexual movement), he was carving a path that will ultimately validate all forms of non-heterosexual expression. Think about that for a moment. Once you redefine biblical truth to suit your carnal passions, there is room for an unlimited display of moral deviation.  An example: Last March in Fargo North Dakota, Nadine Schweigert married herself in a wedding ceremony with over forty guests in the audience. Hearing about it, CNN rushed to validate the ceremony with an interview. The bride (squared) said, “I feel very empowered and joyous!”

Her eleven year old son (who was probably the only adult in the interview) said. “Mom, you’re embarrassing me.” When I heard that, I wanted to weep for the lad.

But back to homosexuality. I was intrigued by the answers I received from the youth at the 2013 3ABN camp-meeting last week. I asked them what percentage of the American population they thought was homosexual. Their answers ranged from 25 percent to 60 percent! Imagine their shock when they learned that the real number is 1.6 percent (or 3.4 if you include bisexuals and those who have “experimented”).

This means that the homosexual community is earsplittingly loud for such a small group. They also have a lot of friends–friends of the world who are enemies of the biblical symbolic significance of marriage itself.  If biblical marriage illustrates the relationship between Jesus and His bride, homosexuality is the sacrament of paganism. It becomes a short-circuited process where the bride says, “I don’t need a connection with heaven (a Groom). I will marry myself.”  If a “Christian” is ok with saying this to the world, there is something profoundly wrong with their heart. Instead of worshipping the God of the rainbow promise, they are lobbing a rainbow grenade at the book of Genesis.

Dominion over the Earth.  God gives mankind dominion over the earth at creation (Genesis 1).  He (man) is to exercise stewardship over the earth, participating both in populating the planet and subduing it (v. 28).  However, todays environmentalists are increasingly (pardon the pun) regarding people as a burden upon the earth. Instead of a biblical worldview that acknowledges humans as producers and stewards, the environmentalist worldview accuses people of defiling the earth–just by procreating and existing upon it. And they are working tirelessly to import these ideas into Christianity. Not long ago, The National Religious Partnership for the Environment was given a gift of $16,000,000 to get churches across America to “green their messages.”  As a result, progressive theologians are reinterpreting the Bible in environmentalist ways, sifting the Word through the teeth of the green dragon. Friends we have to pause and take a look at this anti-biblical environmentalist worldview, before it is too late.

It is my personal conviction that our own General Conference ADCOM committee succumbed to this kind of environmentalist pressure when in 1995 they adopted a statement on climate change. Feel free to read it. Regretfully the statement sounds like it was written by Al Gore himself.  I will add however, that if the statement would be revisited in light of additional information we now have on the topic, I believe it would be sharply amended, or hopefully deleted altogether.

A hundred years ago, Darwinism robbed society of the blessings of Genesis 1:27. The result has been the tragic undermining of human dignity and the growing prevalence of all kinds of depravity. The church stands today with regard to environmentalism where it stood a century ago with regard to Darwinism. At that time, some Christians strove valiantly, some were deceived, some were unaware, and some capitulated. We largely lost that battle, and the sad consequences are obvious all around us, with sexual confusion, abortion on demand, infanticide, and general societal breakdown.

Our response to environmentalism must be better than our forefather’s response to Darwinism. To restore the teaching and reclaim the blessings of Genesis 1:28, we must respond both critically and constructively.

Critically, we must exercise a wise, courageous, spiritual warfare, tearing down ideological strongholds, taking “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5).  Let us love mercy, and walk humbly with the Lord to guard those under our care and preserve that great treasure of the church, the everlasting gospel of Christ, which alone is the power of God to salvation for all who believe.

Constructively, we must teach people to exercise a wise, loving stewardship of God’s earth and everything in it. Mankind begins with the mandate to multiply, fill the Earth, subdue it, and have dominion over it.  Let us be producers of good things, consumers of the better things, and sharers of the truth to all men. This will protect us from the green gunfire of naturalistic idolatry and keep us from adding to it.

In Summary.  The Advent movement is now confronted by a situation unknown to its past. Designed to be a fast-moving, hard-hitting cavalry, we are slowly settling into siege warfare.  And we weren’t designed for that.  We are reminded of the notable statement published in 1909, “Great changes are soon to take place in our world and the final movements will be rapid ones.”  I submit to you, this prophecy is fulfilled.  Not until this century have we been required to cope with change so rapid, leading to ends so alien to biblical values, yet marketed in such alluring format. This presents both spiritual perils and unprecedented opportunity.  Let the world shoot at the Bible. Resist them and reach out. And if restless progressives within the church join them, hold them accountable, and pray that your faith stands in the power of God. We know that the book of Genesis is born of God. “And whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our [simple] faith” (1 John 5:4).  Stay connected, friends. The Bible and the shed blood of Jesus will never fail us.