What We Believe: A literal six day creation
The Creation vs. Evolution debate is perhaps the oldest conflict in modern day religious thought, and the debate dates back centuries, to the time of the Reformation. Yet even within the belief of Creation by God as the source of all matter and all life, the theology is challenged: the idea of a literal six-day Creation, as stated in Genesis vs. a non-literal approach that allows for a time gap between the days of Creation or the stretching of days to millions of years. This is more than a debate between theologians and scientists, or between Christian believers and unbelievers, but has filled the minds of some Christians in their struggle to discern God’s given Word, and to reconcile that Word with science as we know it.
“Gap Theory,” as it’s known, implies millions of years of geologic time within the six days of Creation, allowing science to assert an alternative Creation account based on the rules of science (ex: fossil or rock formation). The insertion of such outside thought or preconceived notions into Scripture creates another term: “Compromise Theology.”
One reason there are so many interpretations of theology and doctrine according to God’s Word, is that many interpret the Bible with bias, or a failure to see God’s Word in context. In the case of Creation, man often cannot let go what has been taught on earth: that being science as fact. We do well to remember that God created science, not the other way around. Yet Compromise Theology puts science on equal foundation with God’s Word with the result: bending of God’s Word to fit in a less than literal translation. In our example, fossil remains found in earth layers made during a ‘millions of years’ gap between Day 1 and Day 2 of Creation assume the death of formerly living creatures. As disease, decay and death are tied to sin and the fall of Man, as recorded in Genesis 3, after the sixth day of Creation, scientific theory refutes God’s given Word.
In trying to reconcile the two theories (Compromise Theology), the interpretation of what constitutes a “Day” comes into question, as “Day” can mean an age, a span of light, or a 24-hour period. In the proper context of Genesis 1, the Hebrew word ‘yom’ is meant to denote a 24-hour period. “There was evening, and there was morning, the first day.” Genesis 1:5.
When we attempt to reconcile the Bible with science, we cross into dangerous ground that only escalates. Compromise Theology undermines the authority of God’s Word, challenges all Biblical truth by man’s assertion in the direction man wants it to go, it waters down the Word of God, reduces God’s truthfulness, sovereignty and power to man’s understanding and limits, and opens the door for many other doctrinal interpretations that would serve man’s corrupt ideology.
We accept a literal six-day Creation because we believe God is not limited, His Word is inerrant, His authority comes first. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) And as Martin Luther once said, “I have often said that whoever would study Holy Scripture should be sure to see to it that he stays with the simple words as long as he can and by no means depart from them unless an article of faith compels him to understand them differently. For of this we must be certain: no clearer speech has been heard on Earth than what God has spoken.” (Plass, What Martin Luther Says: A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian).
A literal six-day Creation- this is what we believe.
To learn more about what we believe, our churches are: St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fredonia (672-6731), Immanuel Lutheran Church in Gowanda (532-4342) and Trinity Lutheran Church in Silver Creek (934-2002).