How did everything we see get here? How did Saturn come into being? Or ants, birds, and whales? What about the Grand Canyon, or the Sahara Desert? Or better yet, how did we, the human race, get here? That is one of the most important questions a human will ever answer. The study of origins, or as Christians believe, creationism, is a crucial subject because our view of how everything began determines the most important things about us:
1. Our worldview—how we see life
If we believe the world came to existence by chance, so did we. And if we got here by chance, then what’s the point of life anyway? If there’s no real reason for us to be here, then what’s the reason we’re here? If there’s no real, personal God behind our existence, what does it matter how we live? If there is no Creator, then life does not make sense. It has no real purpose that outlasts the 80 or so years we have on this earth. But…if there is a Creator, then there’s a purpose in our creation, in our existence. In other words, if we are here because a real, personal God decided to create us, then we are here for a reason. Then life can begin to make sense. When a watchmaker builds a watch, he has a purpose in mind: primarily, for the watch the tell time. The watch then, because of its maker, has a purpose. The same is true of us if God is our Creator.
2. Our self-worth—how we see ourselves
Chance or choice determines how I see myself. If I am here simply by chance, then I am not special. But if I was created by the choice of God, then I am special. I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). I am here because a loving God decided to create me.
3. Our relationships—how we see others
If I’m here just by chance, then so are others. But if I am created “in the image of God” as Genesis 1:27 declares, then so are others. That makes a huge difference in how I see others. If everyone was created in the image of God, then that means they are unique. Therefore, we are all equally important. I’m no better than the poor or homeless. I’m no better than someone who lives in a different country, or who has different colored skin. If I believe in creation by a personal God, then that changes the way I view others.
4. Our theology—how we see God
Any theory that views the origins of everything as coming from anything other than God immediately downplays or downright rejects God. There’s no other way to see God if you don’t view God as the Creator. But if the foundation of my belief in God is that He is Creator, then that allows me to see God as the Almighty, a Good Father, a Savior, and Redeemer.
Years ago, I had a conversation with a teenager in our church who was struggling with his belief in creationism vs. evolution. We had many discussions, and at one point he told me that he supposed what he believed on this issue really didn’t wasn’t that important anyway.
He wanted to write off the issue as inconsequential to his life, but I told him that what he thinks about our origins is foundational to everything else he believes about God. When you take away creationism, you strip God of His power, His love, and ultimately even His existence. And when we do that, it robs us of having a proper understanding of how we see the world, how we see ourselves, how we see others, and how we see God.