Trust Genesis; Trust Christ for Salvation and Eternal Life

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This article is my testimony of faith in God our Creator and Christ our Creator and Savior, Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-18, Colossians 1:12-20.

My testimony will follow my journey of strong faith in God and Christ in my youth through belief in His word, the Bible, from Genesis through the New Testament, which brings us Christ our Savior. My journey includes challenges to my belief brought about by the teaching of naturalistic evolution as fact in my science education. I will share the blessing of help to hold and strengthen my faith as I became a member of and participated with the Triangle Association for the Science of Creation (TASC). TASC’s mission is: To rebuild and strengthen the foundation of the Christian faith by increasing awareness of the scientific evidence supporting the literal Biblical account of creation and refuting evolution. Perhaps after hearing about my journey and blessings you can simply send your email address to TASC_notifications [at] nc.rr.com and we will add you to our newsletter distribution list.

I am thankful to have been born November 27, 1946, eighth of nine children, in the United States of America, which was founded as a nation under God as proclaimed in its Declaration of Independence and Pledge of Allegiance to our flag. Most of its citizens, as I, have practiced religion as allowed under the first amendment to our Constitution with faith in God, with Christianity being the largest group in our history. I was fortunate to have been raised by Christian parents in a Christian community on a farm between the cities of Bells and Jackson in west Tennessee. I loved the outdoors, nature, and the animals and plants that I became familiar with in my youth. On the farm, I saw what marvelous things God had made, and it instilled faith in Him within me at an early age (Romans 1:20). This influenced me to go forward in my education to eventually receive a Master of Combined Sciences in biology, chemistry, and geology under a grant from the National Science Foundation while I was a high school science teacher for five years in the Atlanta, Georgia area. I then went into pharmaceutical sales and marketing with The Upjohn Company and Pfizer for 30 years, after which I retired.

As a child, I attended the Church of Christ in my community. I was blessed to have strong Bible teachers as well as Christian parents who lived good Christian examples before me. At 12 years old, while attending a gospel meeting at the Church of Christ in my community, I confessed my belief in Jesus Christ, repented of my sins, was baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for forgiveness of sins, received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and began my walk with Christ as a Christian with commitment to do so until death, with the hope of receiving the reward of eternal life in heaven with my Creator God and Christ my Creator and Savior and with other believers and family who have gone on before me (John 3:14–18, Matt. 10:32, Luke 13:3, Matt. 28:18–20, Mark 16:15–16, Acts 2:36–42, Rev. 2:10).

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Mark and Janice Stephens. Mark has served TASC as chairman and continues as a board member.

In high school biology, chemistry, and physics my teacher was fortunately a Christian and did not push evolution so strongly as mostly was the case in the 1960s in my area, over 50 years ago. Perhaps he was like many Christians then and today who did not give it much discerning thought or just treated it as evolutionary theory and left it that way. Others have adopted theistic evolution—still a deceitful compromise that God used evolution to create over millions of years rather than creating by His omnipotent power, by which He created heaven and earth during a literal week of six 24-hour days, resting on the seventh day, around six thousand years ago as understood in the literal Genesis account of creation (Genesis 1–2). The early history events are recorded in Genesis 1 through 11 and generally are referred to as the Genesis account when discussing “beginnings” or “origins.” I rationalized some years later with theistic evolution due to my confusion about whether objective science confirmed creation or evolution. However, during my high school years I believed in a literal Genesis account as foundational to my faith. As I got into more detailed study of evolution later in college biology, other sciences, social sciences, etc., and beyond, I realized I must find truth about our “beginnings” or “origins,” especially human origin as personal confusion and doubts were coming up about creation by God. I prayed through the Holy Spirit in me to keep my faith as I searched for truth on origins.

As I went off to college majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry at the University of Tennessee at Martin, I had to continue to pray and call on the Holy Spirit in me to help me resist being deceived by my college biology professors into evolutionary theory taught as fact (assuming no Creator God and His Son and Savior, Jesus Christ). My faith in God and Christ was being tested in my biology classes as well as in my social sciences classes, where evolutionary influences had brought on humanism and secularism that were attacking Christian beliefs and testing Christians further. I must say that by the time I graduated from university with a BS degree in Science Education with a major in biology and minor in chemistry and from graduate school with a Master of Combined Sciences degree in biology, chemistry, and geology, I was maybe a sophisticated scientist but a confused Christian about origins. My faith in our Creator God was shaken, but I still managed to hold on to faith by still praying through the Holy Spirit in me to lead me to the truth of origins as proclaimed through the Bible and true, objective scientific evidences. I believe God put me on that dangerous cliff of doubt to seek the truth about creation and belief in God and Christ so I could be able to teach the Bible along with objective creation science to help others to gain, hold, and strengthen their faith in God, to trust in the Genesis account, and to trust in the New Testament with faith in Jesus Christ. Sadly, I was seeing back then weakened faith in some fellow students and science teachers and their dropping out of faith due to the deceit of evolution and outcrops of humanism and secularism. Paul warned Timothy (I Tim. 6:20–21) of the same during the early church of “oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith” (KJV Bible) or “opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith” (NIV Bible).

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2019 Launch of TASC’s Restoring the Truth About Origins: Book I and II. L to R: Board members Elizabeth McVeigh, Mark Stephens, Dan Reynolds, Phil Johnson

 

This leads me in my journey and testimony to 1997 to the very impactful influence that TASC had on me to clear my confusion and show how objective scientific evidences actually confirm the Genesis creation account, not dismiss it like the false science, conjecture, and philosophy of evolution attempt to do. I attended a TASC meeting at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in 1997 which was to host a debate between TASC members and evolutionists. The evolutionists did not show; however, I was introduced to informative topics on creation science. I met founding members of TASC, Gerald Van Dyke, PhD, professor of botany/mycology at NCSU and Isaac Manley, MD, Chief of Surgery at Rex Hospital, Raleigh. It was encouraging to me that here were a highly educated scientist, a medical doctor, and Christians that apparently were able to hang on to their faith in God and Christ and perhaps strengthen their faith. I learned later that they had gone through the same challenges as I had and as most of us do in these trying times when vain deceits and philosophies of the world, not coming from Christ, are increasing (Col. 2:8). I shared with Dr. Van Dyke and Dr. Manley my background as a confused Christian scientist regarding origins. I wanted to clear my confusion about the Genesis creation account and strengthen my faith in God and His word to go forward in His grace onto good works in my Christian walk. They said I had come to the right place, and they looked forward to sharing scientific evidences that uphold God our Creator and His word, the Bible, and importantly our Christian faith. I give them much gratitude for their faithful service to me and others in the triangle area and beyond. I started attending TASC monthly meeting presentations and became an active member of TASC. I checked out and bought creation/creation science (C/CS) materials from TASC (TASC-CreationScience.org) and from other creation organizations such as Answers in Genesis (AIG.org), Creation Ministries International (CMI.org) and Institute for Creation Research (ICR.org). ICR was founded by Henry Morris, PhD in 1970 to stem this growing tide of evolutionary influence and to help people gain, hold, and strengthen their faith in God our Creator and Christ our Creator and Savior. I read, viewed, and studied the C/CS materials regularly and attended C/CS conferences. It was not long before I had the knowledge and confidence in C/CS to give talks, go on TV interviews, and respond to the evolutionists as in the following “letter to the editor” of a newspaper which was having an editorial page debate on creation or evolution:

Science Proves It; Evolution Is Unprovable

As a former science teacher with a master’s degree in biology, chemistry, and geology, I believe it is relevant to continue the questioning of the theory of evolution. My concentrated study of unbiased science convinces me that the theory of evolution is unprovable and unsubstantiated by the fossil record, geology, and radiometric dating.

Many, as I once did, confuse evolution with variation and adaptation through gene recombination that our marvelous God provided in his animal creation. The real theory of evolution teaches that animal life evolved into man by incredible chance, struggle and death. According to this theory, man was not created by God.

The theory of evolution is incompatible with the Biblical account, since suffering and death did not enter God’s creation until Adam and Eve sinned. Our omnipotent God told us that He created man as his special creation in His own image. It is only man’s misunderstanding through the deceit of evolution or his basic unbelief that tries to tell us another story. This story is either one of atheistic evolution or a compromise of theistic evolution, claiming that God directed evolution.

Mark V. Stephens

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Mark, Janice, and adult children: Jonathan, Holly, Dana. Mark taught them creation science when they were children and then their children to hold faith.

Henry M. Morris, PhD, LLD, LittD., founder of the ICR in 1970, is another very influential person in my journey to clear my confusion and doubts. I actually met Dr. Morris on a plane trip (I sat in a seat next to him) out of San Diego in 1986 when the headquarter was there. He was an answer to my prayers through the Holy Spirit I believe. I wrote a dedication honoring Dr. Morris’s tremendous contributions in our TASC newsletter when he died in 2006. When I came to TASC in 1997, TASC had inventoried and used many of Dr. Morris’s creation science materials. I have many of his materials, studied them, and placed them into my personal C/CS library. He has influenced and helped us all to uphold creation over evolution and answered many questions that we and our children have had. During his life, Dr. Morris published many very edifying materials with most still available through ICR. I would like to provide you access to three of these key materials associated with or by him in this article that helped me very much. They can help to equip you as they did me and provide answers to help others discern creation over evolution to help them come to faith, or for those of faith, to hold and strengthen their faith. These materials are: (1) The New Defender’s Study Bible (ties scripture commentary to scientific evidences, 50% more commentary over his original one), (2) Acts and Facts, free (monthly, scholarly journal with current scientific research supporting creation and scripture; easily understood by laymen with articles written by Christian scientists), and (3) Days of Praise, free (quarterly, brief daily devotional tying scripture to objective, scientific evidences). All are available at ICR.org/store or 800-628-7640.

I will provide a list below with some brief comment on “some foundations of creation beliefs” that are declared throughout Dr. Morris’s writings. I hope these will be helpful to you as well. For more in-depth information on these, you may access my August 2010 article titled “Some Foundations of Creation Beliefs” on the TASC website or read it beginning on page 303 in our TASC Restoring the Truth About Origins: Book II. (See our TASC, Restoring the Truth About Origins: Book I and II advertisement at the end of this article and on our TASC-CreationScience.org website from which I hope you will purchase those books with a 25% discount for Christmas or other 2021 gifts for yourselves, your children, and friends.) These TASC books contain 20 years of creation science research with about 200 articles and over 1000 pages on many informative C/CS topics answering your difficult questions, clearing up perhaps your confusion, and strengthening your faith to help you help others gain and hold faith.

The following foundations of creation beliefs, once having learned them, were instrumental in clearing my confusion about creation and evolution and strengthened my faith, helping me to help others clear their confusion and thus gain or hold and strengthen their faith (I am providing for help to you as well):

1. Belief in God our Creator and the Genesis account of creation: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1, KJV)

The very first verse of Genesis in the Bible declares the existence of God, our Creator, and Colossians 1:11–19 declares that Christ is our Creator and Savior.

2. Belief in the truth of the Genesis account of creation as recorded in the Bible with support from creation science: Genesis is not just an allegory or story line to give us an idea about creation; it is inspired by God and is God’s divine revelation to mankind (Exodus 31:17–18, II Timothy 3:16–17). It not only tells us of the creation and origin of life, but it is the foundation of moral law, marriage, and the family.

3. Creation week of seven literal ordinary days: This includes the creation of kinds with the potential for variety programmed within the kind by God, which was not randomly evolved by naturalistic evolution. It includes the special creation of mankind in the image of God, not evolved from ape-like ancestors over millions of years.

4. The Fall: The disobedience and sin of Adam and Eve resulted in the corruption of a “very good” creation (Genesis 1:31) and the beginning of struggle and death.

5. Theistic evolution conflicts with God speaking creation into existence and implies that struggle and death have been used by God over millions of years before any sin and penalty of sin existed. Theistic evolution invalidates the doctrine of sin, the need for redemption, and the reconciliation of mankind to God.

6. The worldwide flood and the catastrophic destruction of the earth: The Genesis account is clear about a “worldwide” flood by expressions emphasizing universality of the flood and its effects more than 20 times in Genesis 6 to 9. Some propose the flood to be a local one, which represents a compromise to accommodate evolutionary theory.

7. Fossils: The fossil record supports created kinds and still says “no” to naturalistic evolution.

8. Geologic column: Much of geology can be explained by the layering effects of a world-wide flood described in Genesis. The flood can explain the massive graveyards of animals all over the world and the coal and oil deposits from the rapid burial of plants and animals. The flood is consistent with an earth of thousands of years of age, not millions or billions as proposed by evolutionists.

9. Noah’s Ark: This was a very large boat (ark) designed by God to preserve the land-living created “kinds” and mankind from the cataclysmic worldwide flood. (See my article on Noah’s ark on page 85 of Book I to get an understanding and feasibility of the ark described in Genesis 6. Also go to AIG.org to see how you can visit a full-sized model of Noah’s ark called The Ark Encounter).

10. Human Kind: There is only one true race of people, all related to Adam and Eve and Noah’s family after the worldwide flood. The Biblical record and scientific evidence from genetics support this.

11. Dinosaurs: Dinosaurs are referred to as behemoth, leviathan, and dragons in the Bible in Job 40 and 41, Isaiah 27:1, Psalms 74:13, 14; 104:26 (KJV) as the name “dinosaur” did not appear in history until named such by Sir Richard Owen in 1841. Dinosaurs were created on the sixth day of creation along with other land animals and man; they lived thousands, not millions, of years ago. The discovery of soft tissue found in dinosaur bones and the discovery of fossils containing protein and DNA with residual carbon-14 support the Genesis account of creation that these “beasts of the field” were created on the sixth day of creation along with man. This implies and we can infer that they existed around thousands, not millions, of years ago. Also, this supports an earth that is thousands, not millions, of years old. Christians can believe the Biblical record because it is supported by objective scientific evidences.

12. Evolutionary stories and books about dinosaurs can be deception to your children. However, scripture and recent scientific discoveries concerning dinosaurs provide confirmation of the Genesis account. (See my article on “Dinosaurs: What is the real story?” on the TASC-CreationScience.org website of March 2008 or in our TASC’s Restoring the Truth About Origins: Book I, page 163, a meaningful faith-building gift for your children available on discount through our TASC-CreationScience.org website front page advertisement or at Lulu.com or by Lulu phone at 844-212-0689. Book II is also available on discount.

13. Intelligent design: Irreducibly complex biological systems defy a random gradual evolutionary explanation since all precursors would have been nonfunctional. Some contend that it takes a lot of faith to believe in God and creation. One might also contend that it takes even greater faith to believe in an essentially impossible, chance origin by naturalistic evolution:

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20, KJV)

14. Young Earth; Thousands, not Millions, of Years Age: Radioisotope dating methods used to support an old age of the earth is based on big assumptions with a large margin of error. We have a new understanding through the Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE) study that supports a young earth. An abundance of other scientific data supports a young earth, just as the Biblical record does.

15. Concerning the above basic foundations of creation beliefs: I will summarize with the following very relevant commentary by Henry Morris, PhD, from his The Defenders Study Bible on I Timothy 6:20, where Paul warns Timothy, and we should heed this warning as well.

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science (KJV), (knowledge, NIV) falsely so called...

“Science falsely so called” is in the Greek literally “pseudoscience” or “pseudoknowledge.” This pseudoscience is nothing other than evolutionism, which has been in “oppositions” against God as Savior and Creator and against the world as His Creation since the beginning of time.

Dr. Morris brings out in his commentary on I Timothy 6:21, the repercussions of professing “science” (KJV) falsely or evolution, “Which some professing have erred concerning the faith...”

Sadly, falling away from the faith is still continuing too much today as people succumb to the atheistic theory of evolution accompanied by humanism and secularism. Subsequently, as people adopt the belief that there is no God because of various compromises with evolution, more and more people in our nation and worldwide have

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Mark and his wife, Janice, and their five grandchildren; the three oldest already have become Christians; Mark taught them creation science to help their faith.

forsaken His commandments and guidelines for our righteous living, turning instead unto darkness (Romans 1:21–32). Again, this is why we want to help by answering questions that you may have to keep your true understanding of the Bible and science and your faith whole.

I encourage you to provide a C/CS curriculum for children through parents/adults at your church as I have mine to help gain, hold, and strengthen faith. About half of even our churched children are dropping out of church by middle school due to the influences of evolution taught as fact in our schools and us not teaching them how to reject evolution and its outcrops of humanism and secularism by teaching them the creation foundational beliefs above. Also, atheism is doubling in our current generation known as generation Z according to a study done by the American Family Association [Randal M (2018) Study finds Gen Z least religious in America. AFA Journal, 42(3):9].

I am currently a member of the Brooks Ave. Church of Christ in Raleigh and have served as a deacon of education and teacher of children through adults. I, along with other members who see the importance to faith of study of creation science along with the study of the Genesis account of creation and the rest of the Bible, established in 2010 a C/CS curriculum for children through adults. These C/CS lessons starting with kindergarten/first grade are to be taught at least one quarter or semester every three years so that a student will have received at least four quarters/semesters of lessons before graduating high school. Parents/adults will have been taught these lessons so they and their children will be able to stand together against the deceit of naturalistic evolution (assuming no God) taught as fact in the public schools and our public media. I encourage you to start a C/CS curriculum for children through parents/adults at your church to help your members hold and strengthen their faith. It will not only be important to your children but keep faith vibrant in your grandchildren as it has in my and my wife’s grandchildren.

A recommended resource for your curriculum could be an exciting, 12-lesson DVD series with teacher/study guide titled, Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis, by Institute for Creation Research that you can purchase at www.ICR.org/store. Perhaps you could use this DVD series as core lessons as you establish a C/CS curriculum for children through parents/adults in your church.

I hope that my testimony on the creation versus evolution challenge to faith provided in this article will provide you with more scientific evidences and Biblical knowledge so that you can believe and trust the Genesis account of creation, which is the foundation for our belief in God’s word, the Bible. We can go forward trusting the rest of the Bible as we study the truths presented that give us our foundations for our Christian belief and acceptance of the gospel of Christ that saves us (Romans 1:16).