Whereas, the culture in which we live has been permeated with evolutionary thinking which is unbiblical, and anti-scientific theory of origins,
Whereas, The issue of the veracity of God and His Word are under fierce in our day,
Whereas, at the 25th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, the elders refused to uphold the truth of the historicity of the creation account in Geneses 1 and 2,
Whereas, the issue is of such importance not only because the whole Word of God has been "rewritten"by the same hermeneutic method that was condoned as an acceptable view at the 25th General Assembly, but which when applied consistently throughout, the Word of God has been championed to support such heresies as women's ordination, homosexuality, and the denial of the historicity of great foundational truths of the Christian Faith such as the virgin birth, the substitutionary atonement and the bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Therefore, be it resolved that Westminster Presbytery declares to the world, our denomination, other presbyteries and particular churches, and the various seminaries from which most of our teaching elders graduate, its position that the Bible and our standards teach a six-day creation; with day defined as an approximately 24-hour period of time. Furthermore, Genesis 2 teaches not another creation account but a more detailed account of Genesis 1 regarding the creation of man on the sixth day and the creation of the Garden of Eden.
We hold that the Word of God teaches a 24 hour day because:
(1) In Genesis 1:14-19, the Lord God describes the function of the sun and the moon to delineate the day from the night, this referring to a portion of a 24-hour period of time. (2) Where the recurring phrase "evening and morning"occur in the Scriptures, it always refers to an approximately 24-hour period of time.
(3) When in other places of the Bible, the term "yom"is used with a numerical adjective, it always refers to a 24 hour day, and when the term "yom"is used in the plural it always refers to 24-hour periods of time.
Furthermore, we reject the following positions as examples of views out of accord with the Scripture which has been carefully and accurately exposited in our standards, the Westminster Confession of Faith, Westminster Longer Catechism, and Westminster Shorter Catechism:
(1) The "gap theory,"which calls for a gap of time before or between the days of creation,
(2) The so called "day-age theory"which holds that the term "day"in Genesis 1 does not refer to 24 hours, but to long epochs of time,
(3) The "poetic"view of Genesis 1, sometimes known as the "framework hypothesis"view which maintains that Genesis 1 does not state history but an allegorical or symbolic declaration that somehow God, with the details not being important, created the world. According to this view, the facts and the order of events of creation are obscured by the poetic, illustrative language of the text.
Comments on these views:
Note that there is absolutely nothing in the text to even hint, let alone explicitly declare these views. All through the Scripture the historicity of creation is referred to. Examples include: Exodus 20:8-11, Deuteronomy 5:12-15, Psalm 33:6-9, Psalm 104:1-6, Matthew 19:4-6, Romans 5:12-21, Romans 4:17, Hebrews 11:3, 1 Timothy 2:11-14, 1 Corinthians 3:8-12, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22,45-47. This teaching does great violence to the clear teaching of Scripture. These views appear to be held merely to seek to accommodate the evolutionary view of origins that postulates millions of years for the earth to appear. If consistently applied throughout the Word of God, this hermeneutic renders Scripture uninterpretable in an objective, meaningful way. These views of Scripture are perpetrated by the neo-orthodox liberals of our day. We repudiate it as heresy. It is the same method of perverting and twisting the Scriptures that has been championed by denominations to "justify": the ordination of women to ecclesiastical office, to commend and approve of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, and to permit sodomites to hold ecclesiastical offices. It is the same hermeneutic that has been championed by the liberals of our day to twist the Scriptures to teach that Jesus was not born of the Virgin Mary, that propitiation by the substitutionary atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ is a barbaric relic of primitive man's thinking, and that the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is mythical. Other casualties of this hermeneutic include: Moses being the human author of the Pentateuch, the historicity of the book of Jonah (his being swallowed by a big fish and being in its belly three days and nights), the crossing of the Red Sea rather than the reed sea, the historicity of the ten plagues, etc.
Therefore, Westminster Presbytery does declare and make known to the world and to all churches, especially our own denomination, our churches, our presbyteries, our General Assembly and the seminaries from which our candidates arise, that we will not tolerate these views in any teaching elder seeking admittance to this Presbytery, or any other man seeking to be licensed or to become a candidate for the ministry under care of this Presbytery. Furthermore, Westminster Presbytery considers that any view which departs from the confessional doctrine of creation in six, 24-hour days strikes at the fundamentals of the system of doctrine set forth in the Holy Scriptures.
Adopted at the Spring Meeting of Westminster Presbytery on April 18, 1998.
Larry E. Ball [signed]
Stated Clerk of Westminster Presbytery