We can understand why unbelievers don't hold to the literal interpretation of Genesis. But why don't people believe in Young Earth Creationism? The mystery is why do a growing number of Christians not believe in either the inspiration or literal interpretation of the first book of the Bible? Below are some reasons that I have observed over the years I have spent teaching creation science of why people don't believe in creationism:
Why Don't People Believe in Creationism?
1. Lack of Spiritual Maturity
Spiritual maturity is not measured by time and our Christian walk is not measured by distance.
Spiritual maturity is a never-ending journey to become more Christ-like.
How a person integrates their beliefs into all aspects of their lives is a good measure of their spiritual maturity. This is different from a person’s salvation. That is only dependent on their relationship with Jesus. But it can affect their witness and their Christian walk.
The key to spiritual maturity is a teachable spirit and a willingness to learn and grow, to not “lean on our own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Many people who today do not accept the literal interpretation of the creation story will at some point in time, eventually become mature enough to see clearly the obvious clear meaning of the test and be able to lose the chains of worldly compromise.
2. Influence by False Teachers
Those who devise these interpretations are in the position of influencing millions of Christians by their publications, Internet presence, and classroom teachings. Unfortunately, the originators of these theories also are often respected and influential teachers in our Christian schools and Seminaries.
Young people are easily influenced when professors present attractive compromises that allow for long earth ages and even evolution as additions to the Bible. One bit of leaven can leaven the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)
3. Human Pride
How can a person have the audacity to try to correct God? First, they have to believe that The Holy Spirit did not write Genesis, or that it is merely an allegory and not to be taken literally. Then a human mind can imagine anything and fit it in-between the lines. Just like the snake in the Garden, “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3:1)
4. Lack of Scientific Understanding
There is an overwhelming amount of scientific proof that the earth is young. But most of the people who originate the compromising theories accept that secular science has proven that the earth is old, so they feel that they need to correct the Bible to fit into the existence of long ages.
Why Don't People Believe in Young Earth Creationism?
If the age of the earth were only a battle of facts, young earth creationism would win easily.
But it is a spiritual battle and facts get lost in emotions and false assumptions. Others, while still believers, have fallen for the lie of evolution. They do not understand the violence and struggle that evolution entails. Since they do not really understand the theory of evolution, they can accept that God used it to create the diversity of organisms on earth.
While almost all of these alternative theories are created by theologians, somehow there is a general understanding that they are created by believing scientists. Dr. Hugh Ross would be the exception. He is an astronomer who is a proponent of Progressive Creations. However, he sets himself up as an expert in Hebrew. More about that later.
5. A lack of knowledge of Hebrew and Hebrew traditions.
The Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, was originally written in Hebrew. Much has been lost in translation and opens itself to interpretation. In Genesis, the word Yom means day. It is used to recount each of the days of creation. Every time it's used with a number is a literal 24-hour day. This occurs within Genesis and outside of Genesis.
Yom occurs 2,282 times within the Hebrew Bible. Every time it meant just 24 hours, a standard day. This is the same word used nine times in Genesis 1 to depict the six days of creation.
Hebrew language and tradition uphold that this is the true meaning of the word. It cannot mean millions of years because it always means a 24-hour day.
And last, but most importantly,
6. Many people do not study Genesis or the Bible as a whole.
Many people do not study Genesis in particular and the Bible as a whole. As a result, they cannot see that the entire Bible is one consistent story from Genesis to Revelations, and that picking and choosing what is to be believed removes that consistency. One thing that all these theories have in common is death before sin. If there is not a literal Garden, Adam and Fall there is no original sin and no need for a Universal Savior.
Why Don't People Believe in Young Earth Creationism?
Below is a list of the main compromising theories that are popular today:
- The Gap theory
- The Framework Hypothesis
- The Cosmic Temple
- Progressive Creation or Day/Age Theory
- Theological History
- Analogical Days
- Ancient Science/ Mythology
Although all these theories claim to be biblical, they all are accommodations that allow for an old age of the earth. They all have death before sin, and some allow for biological evolution.
In my next post, I will discuss the Gap Theory.
Dr. Sharon Cargo is a retired veterinarian from eastern San Diego County. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University, and a Master’s of Science Education from The Institute for Creation Research. After practicing veterinary medicine for 38 years, she is currently an Assistant Professor at Liberty University. She and her husband Robert Davey have three adult children and seven grandchildren.