Few Biblical passages have been attacked as much as Genesis 1. In the early 20th century when Darwinian Evolution was gaining momentum in the West, people began questioning the authenticity of the Genesis creation account. Many Christian seminaries and colleges began teaching some form of the Darwinian theory.
Over the past 35 years, the trend seems to have slowed, if not reversed. God has been raising up Christian scientists and apologists across the United States and beyond, calling the church back to a literal, Biblical understanding of creation. As more and more scholars join the creationist camp, it continues to become evident that the Bible and science have never contradicted each other. In fact, all true science is solidly supported by and rooted in God’s Word.
The committee that drafted the 1963 Mennonite Confession of Faith felt that belief in creation as taught in Scripture was very important. Since this confession was written to address contemporary issues, it is appropriate that they included a statement concerning creation. Point number three starts out: “We believe that in the beginning God created all things by His Son, and that all existence is therefore finite and dependent upon God, the Source and End of all things visible and invisible.”1
So how does this brief statement impact our everyday lives?
First, it highlights our smallness and God’s greatness.
As a boy, I loved studying about space, stars and planets. My small telescope only made the twinkling night sky feel a tiny bit closer. However, a Moody Bible Institute video series did better justice. Jumping from one planet to another, and then from galaxy to galaxy, this video series put things into perspective. It helped me realize just how small I am and how expansive the universe is.
Just think about it: You are one of the 7.3 billion human beings on earth. Earth is one of the eight (or nine)2 planets that orbit the sun. The sun is only one of the hundreds of billions of stars within the Milky Way galaxy. And our galaxy is only one of the guesstimated hundreds of billions of galaxies sprinkled through space. Do you feel small yet?
In the words of the Psalmist, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him…?”3
Next, it sets us apart from the rest of creation.
If you are going through an identity crisis, now that you realize how small you really are, take heart. The Creator of the vast, seemingly endless, universe molded Adam with His very own hand and breathed life into his lungs. He turned a pile of random earth-dust into a living image of Himself.
Animals have instinct, plants have cycles, and weather has seasons. Yet God created man above and beyond all His orderliness. “He gave man a free will. He created man in His own image, which set man apart from the animal creation. In free will, moral character, superior intellect, and spiritual nature, man bore the image of his Creator.”4
Man can choose between good and evil, right and wrong. He feels good about himself when he does right and feels guilt when he does wrong. He is driven to create and invent. He longs to own and protect. He seeks to find purpose and fulfillment in life. He is a mini-reflection of who God is.
And that sets us apart from all of creation.
Lastly, it gives us the status of sons and daughters.
Maybe you’re one of those who can’t brag enough about your family. Or maybe you’re one who has a hard time saying anything good about them. Whatever the case, I can assure you that your background isn’t a perfect reflection of God’s relationship with us.
Each one of us can look at our heritage and find faults with our parents and siblings. Yet as I see all the families falling apart across our nation, I realize just how blessed I was to be raised in the Lenn Miller family. Way beyond that, I marvel at the awesome privilege to be called a son of God!
I’m not the only one who is amazed. The apostle John writes, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”5
It is like he is saying, “Look guys! Can you believe this?! We are sons, we are daughters, of God!”
The Confession describes what this relationship looks like: “In His providence God is concerned with the lives of His children, and in everything works for their eternal good. He hears and answers their prayers.”6
This is where Judeo-Christianity parts ways drastically with every other belief system. The Muslims, Sikhs and Bah’ai believe in one God who created everything. But they would never say that God has an intimate, parent-child relationship with His creation. In the words of an Islamic scholar, “If we start to think of Him as a father, then we bring Him down to the human level. If we bring Him down to the human level, then we start to see Him as being like us, imperfect.”7
That is the amazing part—that God, the creator of the entire universe, would want a relationship with me, a mere speck of dust in the Milky Way Galaxy. Yet I am not just a speck of dust. God’s designing hand and life-giving breath sets me apart from every other living species. I bear His very own image and am invited to be part of His family! And so are you.
This truth changes everything!
|Ian Miller lives in Brooklyn, NY and volunteers full-time with a non-profit organization. He is earning his BA in English through College Plus, which he hopes to use to teach ESL, both at home and abroad. He is passionate about urban, cross-cultural church planting, and verbal, personal evangelism.|
1. Mennonite Church. “Mennonite Confession of Faith, 1963.” Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1963. Web. 31 Aug 2016.
2. Britt, Robert Roy. “Solar System Planets: Order of the 8 (or 9) Planets.” Space.com. N.p., 22 Jan. 2016. Web. 28 Aug. 2016.
3. Psalm 8:3-4a
5. I John 3:1
7. ”Allah the Father?” Islamicboard.com. N.p., 21 Jan. 2011. Web. 01 Oct. 2013.