A Fresh Focus on Creation
If you take the words of Scripture as they read, without clever interpretations or complicated hermeneutics, it is pretty easy to understand what they say about the origins of life on Planet Earth. “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth … for he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Ps. 33:6, 9).
It’s why I believe the Bible does not describe an evolutionary process taking millions of years. And, the fact that God created us gives us all sorts of reasons why obeying Him is for our good. If He is our Creator, then we belong to Him. After all, who would know better how we can live happy and meaningful lives than the One who made us?
The seventh-day Sabbath is, as Ellen White described it, a “memorial of creation.” It is a weekly reminder that God created us and that He will one day recreate us into the perfect people we were designed to be. It is the indispensable beginning marker of the Great Controversy theme that is a unique contribution of Adventists' biblical understanding to theological thought.
The scriptural account of creation and the Noachian flood are so foundational to our beliefs that the devil seeks to undermine them through every strategy he can devise. Because of this, the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) executive committee voted to establish a creation study center at the NPUC headquarters in Ridgefield, Wash.
Our office is strategically located within sight of Mount St. Helens. The unexpected eruption of that long-dormant volcano 36 years ago provides a fascinating case worthy of careful study. Giant trees floating upright in Spirit Lake have eventually sunk into the soft sediments of the bottom, proving that the “petrified forest” in Yellowstone could have been produced from a similar single volcanic event.1 Waterborne catastrophes better explain what we see here in the Pacific Northwest than slow processes requiring millions of years.
In addition to the St. Helens evidence, there is another event that affected large portions of the Pacific Northwest called the Missoula Flood. Evidence points to a gigantic ice dam that formed, blocking the Clark Fork River in Montana. When this ice dam broke, an enormous wall of water as much as 500 feet deep flooded across the Northwest leaving the Columbia Gorge and Columbia River behind. Most geologists accept this explanation for the formation of dry falls and other unique topography across eastern Oregon, Washington and northern Idaho.2
Pastor Stan Hudson has been studying creation and the flood his entire professional life. You may have heard the radio program that he and John Kurlinski have broadcast for several years. It is appropriately named “Sink the Beagle.” The ship that Charles Darwin took to the Galapagos Islands was named the HMS Beagle.
Hudson is the newly elected director of the NPUC creation study center. He will be establishing a library of biblical creation study materials and will be available for creation seminar weekends or weeks of prayer at schools and churches across the Northwest. He also hopes to plan study tours for groups of interested pastors, teachers and church members.
Don’t forget — you are not the progeny of a gorilla or chimpanzee. You are a son or daughter of God, made in His likeness and worthy of His tender regard.
1. Morris, John and Austin, Steven A., Footprints in the Ash, (Green Forest, Arkansas: Master Books, Inc., 2005), pp. 78-79.