Does it Matter what we Believe about Genesis?
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Foundations Movie Overview
What we believe about the past—even the distant past—has an impact on how we live our lives today, including our choices, values, and moral foundation, and yes, even our destiny. Our Foundations illustrates this by walking through a young man’s life (Parker) in three different scenarios: Atheistic, Compromised Christianity, and a Biblical Worldview. In the Atheistic worldview, Parker’s life plays out with the understanding that his life is a product of molecules-to-man evolution over millions of years. There was no creator before him, and he will answer to no moral judge after he dies. Under the Compromised Christian scenario, Parker is raised by parents who take a mythical viewpoint on Genesis, and thus the Bible’s power to be an authority in his life is usurped. If the Bible doesn’t get it right in the beginning, why should Parker order his life after the rest? Thus he lives his life disregarding its principles. Under the Biblical Worldview, Parker’s parents regard the Bible as historically true and scientifically credible, and therefore base their perspectives and choices upon its teachings. This leads to a much different life outcome than the other two scenarios…
Insights from the Foundations Movie
There are many insights that can be drawn from this movie, but one that is not so easy to catch is how Parker pays attention in church (or not). Notice that the Atheistic/Compromised Christian versions of Parker are distracted in church. Why pay attention to the teaching of God’s Word if we cannot regard the Bible as scientifically or historically credible? If it’s just a compilation of fables? Only the Biblical Worldview version of Parker is paying attention, standing reverently and fearfully under the teaching of God’s Word, because it’s authoritative and credible in all that it teaches, including history. Many teens today want to know, “If the truth does not start on the first page of the Bible, how many more pages do I need to turn before the truth starts?”
Foundations Movie Disclaimer
Foundations shows the life journey of a young man being raised in a household under three different belief/worldview conditions: (1) atheistic/agnostic, (2) theistic evolution/compromised, and (3) biblical worldview (especially the belief that Genesis 1–11 is real history). Foundations makes clear that there is a strong connection between our belief systems and behaviors, and subsequently our life outcomes. However, we need to clarify “right out of the gate” that this movie does not promote “prosperity gospel” in any way, shape, or form. Foundations is a short film that briefly previews how believing and trusting in God’s Word and building your life upon it will result in a much different life than not doing so. As Christ Himself admonished:
Life Built on the Word of Christ
“Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24–25)
Life not Built on the Word of Christ
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:26–27)
Christ was clear about two things in this passage: First, storms will come into all lives. Second, lives built on the foundation of His Word (which includes the whole of Scripture—see John 1) will stand, and those who don’t will not. We see these truths (and many variations in between) played out in the lives of our friends and family every day. Psalms 1 provides a similar truth:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law [Torah, including Genesis], of the of the Lord, and in His law [Torah, including Genesis] he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore, the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Proverbs is filled with truths that straddle two extremes that can be generalized as: “Be wise and live according to God’s ways and be blessed” or “Live your own way and disregard God’s ways, and you’ll be a fool with a messed-up life.” Scripture is also clear that by living according to biblical teaching and virtues, a person can obtain the confidence of the living God and be put into a position where they are regularly used by God for His purposes: “For the Lord detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence” (Proverbs 3:32, emphasis added). Scripture gives direct promises to enlist us in God’s personal service if we do so: “If a man cleanses himself from the latter [wickedness and godless living], he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). Psalm 25:14 also provides: “The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.” Living a life subjected to the Holy Spirit will naturally produce these traits in one’s life: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). Ephesians 2:10 promises that “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Jesus is the author and finisher of our lives and yearns to live through us in powerful ways (Philippians 1:6).
Foundations highlights that there is a tight connection between our belief system and our actions and choices, and those actions and choices will lead to inevitable outcomes: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). While Jesus promises that believers will endure persecution, trials, and tribulations (John 16:33), much of the hardship, trauma, and suffering we experience in life is a result of not ordering our lives after Scripture—and much of the time we’re not ordering our lives after God’s Word is because we really don’t believe it to be true and authoritative. Many believe: “If God’s Word is not true historically or credible scientifically, what authority does it have to tell me how to live my life?”
Thank God for his grace, mercy, and restoration! Romans 8:28 promises that the Lord will weave all things in our lives together for good: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Thus, even when our lives appear to be falling apart from a temporal viewpoint, believers can still stand strong in the Lord, with their lives having meaning, blessing, and joy even through the worst of difficulties or circumstances.