Should New Converts Take The Bible Seriously?

March 01, 2003 | Jere Patzer

Something happened a few Sabbaths ago that reminded me how important simple belief in the Bible is to our efforts at personal evangelism. It may also be an important factor in the faith of our more “veteran” members.

A visiting friend of mine stated in our Sabbath School class that we should not take the Genesis 1 creation account too literally. He went on to explain that if the sun wasn’t created until the fourth day, there culd not have been an evening and a morning during the first three days of creation, as described in the Bible.

Now my friend’s views are certainly not new, but some of our people do struggle with these questions and wonder if the Bible is really believable. While I believe the Bible teaches a literal six-day creation, I don’t intend to exhaustively challenge my friend’s views here in this short editorial. Furthermore, I respect the fact that we do have scholars willing to wrestle with issues beyond the usual scope of most church leaders and members. But my friend’s comments illustrate how easily and how quickly human reasoning can take over in regards to personal belief in the Bible. There are significant consequences to our entire belief system, including our belief in a Creator-designed seventh-day Sabbath, if we begin to allow our science to inform our theology rather than our theology informing our science. The Bible must always be the higher authority since it is “impossible for God to lie.” Hebrews 6:18.

Created Sun or Creator Son?

And that’s where we get back to the importance of faith. I would like our members to challenge their faith to go beyond mere logic. I don’t have a definitive answer for my friend’s observation about the evenings and mornings before the creation of a sun. But I do believe that the God Who created this world by His divine power could certainly account for a divine phenomenon beyond my immediate understanding. Perhaps He wanted to symbolically say to later generations, “I want you to worship the Creator Son, not the created sun.” However He did it, I suspect scholars, scientists, church leaders and members alike will be amazed when we sit together in that great heavenly school of eternity and learn firsthand from the Creator Himself.

I’m inspired when I read stories like those in the next few pages. The power of one committed person to positively impact people for God’s Kingdom is incredible. I pray that each of our members—the news ones and the veteran ones—will challenge themselves in the coming weeks and months to take God’s Word by faith. That way, our evangelistic efforts will bring people in contact with something and Someone Who can be trusted—even when everything doesn’t make sense. •