Edward F. Lundwall Jr.
In their zeal for their “fundamental” emphasis, Young Earth Creationists have laid a stumbling block to many a young people. Their six 24-hour days doctrine has become a latent stumbling block, especially to young Christians that attend secular schools. In a Independent Baptist Church, it was announced that 75% lost their faith. In Jacksonville, Florida, Southern Baptists said that it was 89-90%!
It is a tool in the hands of unbelieving secular professors to discredit the Bible as the trust worthy Word of God in the light of scientific discoveries. This essay is a further look at key Scriptures that have been overlooked or disregarded by those leaders that promote the 6/24 hour view of creation of the Universe as well as the world.
There are a growing number Bible believers that have observed that God calls people to learn from revelation found in His creation (Ps. 19:1-6; Prov. 6:6; Job 38:9). These people assert that a proper understanding of creation and the Bible will be in agreement since they have the same God that made them.
Neglected or discounted passages of young creationists
Fundamentalists fume at astronomers when they propose that the earth was formed four billion years ago. Some even say that the planets and galaxies were formed on the fourth day of creation as found in Genesis 1. Their reasoning to arrive at about 6000 years ago stems from the work of a Church of England priests named Ussher and Lightfoot that used the Genesis genealogy of Adam. But then, because of their desire to have an early date for creation, they assert that the days of creation to be six successive twenty four hour days. Again to show that evolution is impossible.
Some have said that the way to hide something is to have it so obvious as to be overlooked. Recently, I found that this is what has happened in much of the discussions about the age of the earth from the biblical record. Genesis 1:1, 2 states that God created the universe, including the earth. To understand that this must be considered a unit in the creation record apart from the “days of creation” is seen that the first day of creation was a fundamental change in an already existing planet! The days of Creation, or rather steps of making the earth habitable, have a relative means of measuring their age. However, nothing in the Bible dates when Genesis 1:1 happened. In Job 38:4, God said that He laid the foundation of the earth and clothed it with a cloud. All this was before the first day of creation and was the beginning of change. All the days of “creation” are changes one after another. Therefore, the planet earth and the galaxies could be billions of years old, and the days of making the earth habitable for living things and man have a much later date, making they much younger than planet earth of Genesis 1:2.
In my earlier essay, I observed that God uses time terms as units of time to give relative time considerations other than their usual literal meanings. In ANY determination as to what words mean in an expression the immediate context must be depended upon to know what the word's meaning is in the place it is used.
The meaning of the days in creation MUST include Genesis 2. Most of the young universe - earth proponents neglect this in their head long efforts to maintain their interpretation that the days of creation are 24 hours!
There are three disregarded passages of Scripture that specifically state that days, when only God and His angels are considered, are longer periods of time than 24 hours. When I have brought them up to these people, they simply brush them aside without considering what these passages say.
Genesis 2:4: “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.” (NASU)
This has been overlooked or deliberately mistranslated. It is of key importance because it is a part of the creation account. Its influence should define whether the days of creation are 24 hour days or simply periods of undetermined time. In one book I read, the author argued that the Hebrew “in (a) day” (or “in the day” in many translations) should be translated by a word that disregarded its literal meaning. This showed that he argued his cultural orientation rather than Scripture. It showed that Scripture was not his governing authority.
Even worse, a professor with a PhD in Hebrew when faced with this verse only gave a grammatical term for the construction, but did not speak about what the words actually said in this verse. Apparently, he didn't want to change as he did not show that he tried to answer any of the other demands of interpretation of the multitude of verses I gave for consideration.
1. “For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by,” Psalm 90:4. This Psalm is attributed to Moses, the human author of Genesis. In this when, only God is involved, Moses says by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, a day is “like” a thousand years. By writing “like” Moses is writing that with God a day is a very long period and not restricted to just a thousand years. Moses said "days" to God, when He alone is "as a thousand years" not a billion. Young earth creationists just mumble something of no significance and ignore the demands that this passage pertains to the days of creation.
2. They also ignore 2 Peter 3:9. It clearly states that a day with God is “like” thousand years. “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” They usually say that this only applies to the Lord's return.
3. The ways of God should affect everyone's interpretations, but not the young earth zealots. In my earlier essay, “A Latent Stumbling Block,” I detailed that through the biblical ages, God did nothing quickly. In fact, waiting upon God is considered not only a virtue, but a source of spiritual life: “. . those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength...” Isaiah 40:31
In conclusion, it seems so strange for those who hold so strongly to the Bible and the necessity that people must be saved from God's wrath, let their idealism hold a latent stumbling block that destroys the faith of so many!
And this, in spite of the Lord Jesus' words: “...whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6
Related reading: The Science-Faith Question; Creation of the Universe: Examining the Evidence; Let's Ruminate About Evolution; Theories of Change and Constancy