the christadelphian waymark

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When Bible teaching is compared with Church teaching, it can be seen that Christendom at large is astray from the Bible. For further information regarding the saving truths of Scripture, read the articles opposite.

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The Stumbling Blocks of Unbelief—Revisited

In a previous issue of The Christadelphian Waymark under the heading of The Stumbling Blocks of Unbelief” we examined the proposition advanced in The Endeavour Magazine that an acceptance of the Bible’s Creation record as it stands is incorrect. Rather, an alternative position was advanced thus:

“Now we have ample evidence of prehistoric man hunting and gathering and living a nomad existence in caves and other primitive dwellings for hundreds if not thousands of years before the emergence of the Adamic family and many of their cave drawings depict them hunting animals long since extinct until relatively suddenly these Palaeolithic (Old Stone Age) people began to be replaced by Neolithic (New Stone Age) people, who replace the hunting and gathering mode of existence with a settled agricultural and stock-raising form of living, which correlates with the calling of Adam ‘from the dust’ (i.e. from the desert of Mesopotamia) into the well-irrigated ‘Garden of Eden’ ‘to dress it and to keep it’. Suddenly, a ‘help-meet for him’ (metaphor ‘close to his side’) was found, presumably from the same source, i.e. the local population, the same people who Cain feared would all want to kill him because he had murdered his brother Abel” (Endeavour, June 2002 Page 39,40).

This leaning of Endeavour towards Evil-ution is again expressed in the editorial for the December 2008 issue, headed: “Religion and Science”. In this article, Les Boddy makes the statement:

“… I do not wish to fall out with those who can’t see it that way, but it does seem to me that the evidence for an evolutionary history of the world has become compelling and in no way diminishes the glory of God” (The Endeavour Magazine, December 2008, page 2)

In support of his position, Les recommends various publications, including one entitled: Creation or Evolution, Do We have to choose?”.

The fact of the matter however, is that Evolution specifically contradicts the Bible record, and that therefore it is impossible for a believer of the Bible to accept Evolution without compromising the belief that the Creator’s own account is correct.

Back in August 2002, we demonstrated the alleged literal events being taught by an alleged metaphor in Genesis are found wanting thus:

“The proposition therefore, is that the formation of Adam from the dust of the ground is a metaphor to describe the literal the calling of Adam from the desert regions of Mesopotamia - and the formation of Eve is likewise a metaphor for her being brought from the same source. But the supposed literal events outlined here simply do not match the descriptions of Genesis, even taking the record to be metaphorical. Adam is there depicted as being formed from dust, not emerging out of it. The record speaks of his formation as an event distinct from his being placed in the garden - whereas the literal counterpart, would require requires both to be the same event. Moreover, there is no literal counterpart to the “metaphor” of breath of life being breathed into his nostrils. And the formation of Eve is described in a totally different manner—an entirely different “metaphor” is employed, to teach that she has identical origins as Adam! Significantly, no attempt is made to define what the “metaphor” of a rib being taken out from Adam in his deep sleep specifically relates to!”

This year (2009), will bring the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and there will doubtless be many pro-evolution events organised to mark it. It is important therefore that the Bible Student is clear on what the Bible has to say on this subject, as our faith is likely to be challenged during this time by those who reject the Creator’s Own account.

NO NEED TO BE SCIENTISTS

We can readily understand the desire to show that Science and the Bible are not contradictory, as Science—so called—is held to be the repository of knowledge, whereas the Bible is held to be a collection of fables, myths, and delusions. To claim that Science is wrong—especially if we are not amongst the learned men of Academia—will inevitably bring scorn upon us. This need not worry us however. The Master, Jesus the Christ taught:

“except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 18:3).

Again:

“Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein” (Mrk. 10:15).

These words demonstrate that it is not required of us to understand the intricacies of men’s theories (and Evolution is but a theory), and formulate an academic response. If we can do that, then all well and good—but for the majority of us the time spent analysing and refuting the minutiae of the various theories held (for there are many evolutionary theories, with even scientists disagreeing amongst themselves), can be better spent. There are those who feel a little lost with all the science-speak, but they need not be. The teaching of Christ is that we should humbly and simply accept the Truth; being as little children believing the teaching of their Father. The matter really is that simple. As a child of God, I believe my Father. If someone asks why I believe in Adam and Eve, my simple answer is “because my Father taught it me”. If they ask why I do not believe in the position held by the majority—that of Evolution, my answer is “because my Father taught me to believe otherwise”. And that is all that is required of us: men may despise us for it, and deride us as being “naïve” “blinkered” and all the other terms that they like to use—but none of that matters. For most of us, there is simply no need to devote ourselves to sifting through the complications of alleged “evidence” that men might bring: we need rather to simply believe our Father, trusting that as the Great Creator, He alone knows how he brought about Creation.

It is important therefore, for us to understand that Evolution does contradict the Bible, regardless as to what Endeavour teaches. The fact of Creation (in terms of Adam, Eve etc) is assumed to be fact in the New Testament, with various points of teaching being derived from it as follows:

Marriage

Matthew 19:4, Mark 10:6—“made male and female”

Role of Sisters

1 Timothy 2:13—Adam formed first, then Eve

Danger of Apostasy

2 Corinthians 11:3—As the Serpent beguiled Eve

Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:22-25 As in Adam all die, in Christ (second Adam—read the whole chapter) all made alive (see also Romans 5)

New Creation

1 Corinthians 4:6—light shine, 1 Corinthians 5:17—New Creature (see also Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11; Rom. 8:19-22).

The Genesis account of Creation therefore must be accurate for any one of these teachings to hold true.

RECOMMENDATION OF PAPAL WORKS?

The Apostle Paul plainly taught that there would come departure from the Truth, as a consequence of those who were once part of the Ecclesia of Christ turning away:

“of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts. 20:30).

Whereas the true ecclesia would remain as a “chaste virgin” (2 Cor. 11:2-3), those who fell away would become “the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth” (Rev. 17:5). So, the apostle warned, drawing upon the fact of Creation: “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3).

Notice the terms used here: “beguiled”, “corrupted”, “simplicity”. Those who adopt the fables of men are not simply presenting “a different viewpoint”: in Bible terms, they are “corrupted”. And the Truth-holders are not those who become learned in the dogmas of man’s theorising, they are those who hold the “simplicity” of Christ as little children trusting and believing their Father.

It is ironic to note however, that the Apostasy emerged from the ecclesia of Christ. There was a falling away, and the man of sin was revealed (2 Thes. 2:3), just as predicted. The Mother of Harlots is a particularly appropriate term for the Catholic system, with it’s claim that: “The one, holy, catholic and apostolic universal church is not sister but ‘mother’ of all the particular churches.” (cited from: “Note on the Expression ‘Sister Churches.’” dated June 30th 2000, authored by the then Cardinal Ratzinger, and approved by the then Pope John Paul II.) And each one of her ‘daughters’ preach the same philosophies of man in the place of the Gospel of Christ. It is so sadly ironic to see how The Endeavour, purporting to be “Christadelphian” leans towards Papal teaching concerning Evolution—and even recommends a book written by the current Pope. Headed: “Jesus of Nazareth Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI Bloomsbury pbks £8.99” Sheila Harris writes:

“This book is a brilliant reaffirmation of the authenticity of the Gospel records, as a true account of the actual, historical life, work and sayings of Jesus himself …”

Now, however unlikely it might be, it could well be the case that in this specific publication, the Pope does not make any wrong statements—without reading the book it is impossible to know. But in each step of the falling away from the Truth as revealed by Messiah and his Apostles, there has always been a mingling of Truth and Error. So that some folk present us with statements that are true, and say, “there you are: the Church believes the Truth”. The problem is, however, that they also paradoxically believe error at the same time. For instance, it is difficult to see how in the case at hand, the Pope could truly “reaffirm” anything about “the actual, historical life, work and sayings of Jesus himself” without abandoning the dogma of the Trinity, held to be one of the most important tenets of the “Christian” faith. It is ironic that in these matters we see a repetition of history: the Catholic system itself is derived from a falling away of the Truth, and in these latter days when our Master is at the door, there is another falling away (finding a mouthpiece through Endeavour), with leanings towards Catholicism in it’s acceptation of Evolution, and recommendation of papal writings. But whilst we lament the situation, we must also take heed to ourselves, being warned of this example of unbelief, lest we fall away likewise.

“Beware, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve
through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from
the simplicity that is in Christ” (2Cor 11:3).

Christopher Maddocks

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