Controversy Over Genesis at a Church

Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.    Genesis 2:1-3

Ken Ham published a blog article a couple weeks ago about how one of his colleagues went to a church in Bentonville, AR to speak.  Ham is the founder of Answers in Genesis (AIG), The Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter, all based near Cincinnati.  He and others in his organization often go to churches to deliver their message about the importance of Genesis and really knowing what it says.

AIG advocates a literal reading of Genesis, especially the Creation account.  Analysis of Hebrew in context with the rest of the Old Testament shows that “days” in Genesis means a 24-hour day.  This means that the earth is not millions of years old.

A careful reading of the Old testament shows clearly that the earth is about 6000 years old.  The Old Testament is filled with references as to how old someone was when they begat son and daughters, when they died, and so forth.

Therefore, especially without millions of years to draw on, evolution couldn’t possibly have happened.  Creation happened literally as Genesis describes it.

AIG speaker Dr. Terry Mortenson delivered this message at the Bentonville church.  He emphasized the importance of Genesis, chapters 1-11 for Creation and sexual morality.  During the first hymn after he spoke, he was asked by the pastor to step into a back room for a moment.  Dr. Mortenson gave this recap of that impromptu chat.

He told me that what I said about the moral issues (especially my brief LGBT comment) was not what he wanted and that I needed to change the message before the second service and essentially replace that marriage section with comments about God’s greatness and design in creation.

The pastor issued an apology to his church the following Sunday, telling his parishioners that Dr. Mortenson did not address his issues as delicately as he should have.  There followed a lengthy sermon with this summary:

He put man and woman together, and he made them one, they were equal. They were one. And he made them one in this perfect order, so any form of racism, fascism, sexism, classism, nationalism, nationalism is where we say, “Our nation is better than your nation,” wherever we say any of that, it is from the pit of hell. It is not a part of God’s original design.

Do you see what he did there?  He speaks truth in that God made men and women as one, as equals.  I’ll add that they have different roles in families.  Notice then that he quickly covers a whole list of “-isms” that divide us and how talk along those lines is from hell.  He included sexism in there, which leaves open an acceptance of homosexuality.

He also had all material from Dr. Mortenson removed from the church website.

He used a lot of positive buzzwords like unity and identity to cover his allowance of…whatever his members want to believe about sex, evolution, etc.

This is an example of how pastors sometimes succumb to the temptation of watering down God’s word in order to please their members and maintain their membership (and income).  This is why we should all be diligently reading and studying the Bible on our own instead of accepting whatever spiritual “food” is dropped into our open mouths like so many hatchlings.  We can then see when preachers water down or misrepresent God’s Word to us.

If you wish to read the article for yourself, just follow this link to AIG, which includes the pastor’s sermon.  Honestly, I had to read the sermon twice to really appreciate what he was actually saying.  He was very good with his buzz words!

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