Ah, the age-old creation versus evolution debate. An on-going heated discussion about the origins of our world and ultimately, ourselves. Dive deeper into this topic, and you will see that even among the “creation camp” there is division. Did God create the world in six, literal 24-hour days? Were the “days” mentioned in the Genesis account figurative? Did God “create” the world using natural mechanisms – ultimately relying on evolution to take over?
In a 2014 study conducted by the Institute for Church Ministry, Adventist young people were asked about their views regarding Creation. Sixty-eight percent of respondents answered that they believe God created the world in a literal week, comprised of 24-hour periods. Sixteen percent indicated that they believe that God created the world, but that He created it in a symbolic “week,” that He created it from preexisting matter, or that He employed the use of evolution in the creation process. The remaining 16% indicated that “no one can know exactly” what happened when the world was created.
It all boils down to faith in the Biblical account of creation. The Bible tells us in Genesis 1 that God created the world from a void, spoke the world into creation, and that Creation lasted for six days. This is all we know.
However, if we start picking apart and questioning the Biblical account of Creation, then we also must question other parts of Scripture that we hold to be truth:
- If God did not create Adam and Eve and place them in the Garden of Eden, then how/when did sin enter the world?
- If sin did not enter the world through man, why would we need a Savior?
- If we do not need a Savior, then why would Jesus’ death on the cross be significant?
- If Jesus is not important, then nothing else matters!
Matters of faith are hard because there is no absolutes, no proof. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that, “ . . . faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Because of this, teaching faith to our young people is difficult. However, we must strive to exemplify faith in our own lives, demonstrating it so that our young people can see it and learn from us.
It’s also important for you to be prepared if the young people in your church come to you with questions regarding the creation versus evolution debate. Here are some great websites that might help you formulate your answers:
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