This document reflects commonly held beliefs based on scripture which have been endorsed by the church's Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery.
Why does the Assemblies of God hold a strong position on creationism? Could the evolution theory or portions of it fit into the Bibles account of creation? Also, why is our origin so important?
The Assemblies of God has a deep commitment to creationismthat God is the Author and Creator of all life (Genesis 1:1; Psalms 121:2; 124:8; 146:5,6; Isaiah 40:26,28; 1 Peter 4:19). By the power of His Word, He created everything out of nothing (Hebrews 11:3). The visible was created out of the invisible, the material out of the nonmaterial, and the tangible out of the intangible.
However, by what means was His creative work accomplished? More specifically, did God employ a gradual process by which the world came into being? Did higher forms of life progress from lower forms of life? The advocates of gradual process are called theistic evolutionists. For them, Gods creative days recorded in Genesis may well have been eons of time.
Assemblies of God believers hold that the Genesis account should be taken literally. Admittedly, there is progression in Gods creative work. But each step was concluded: "And there was evening, and there was morning." This points to a specific measurement of time. The most natural reading of the creation account therefore is to place it in parallel with a 7-day week. By doing so, the burden of determining time frames and development for various components of creation is avoided. Furthermore such a literal view of Gods creation process requires no more faith than theories of sciencethat our world evolved to its current state by the accidental collision of molecules.
For Christians, the question of origin is most critical. If mankind has merely evolved from lower forms of life, one cannot possess the special imprint of Gods likeness (Genesis 1:27; 2:7). If all of life is but the result of natural forces as told through various strains of evolution, it then becomes impossible to understand and know God through His creation.
Ultimately for most Christians it comes to this: if God is not Author and Creator of all that is, life offers little meaning or purpose for mankind. In evolution there is no judgment, and therefore no punishment or reward for the way we live. Through the view of evolution, lifestyle choices dont matter. Instead life and creation simply evolve. But from the view of creationism, recognizing Gods handiwork and order, life takes on great meaning and renders significant eternal reward.
Much of the moral and spiritual decline of modern society is traceable to the skepticism that has formed around creation. From the Bibles account of creation we first understand that the very nature of God is creative. We also see that He possesses supernatural power through His ability to "make something out of nothing." Through Scripture we come to understand that the earth was created by God, and that the birds, fish, and animals were likewise His creation. Most importantly, we learn that mankind in the form of male and female were created by God, and that each has unique needs and purposes. We also see that mankind is given domain over all the earth, its resources, and other creatures. Also in the creation account we learn that work and rest are good for man. We learn that in spite of good, evil also exists, and that mankind by nature is bent to evil. But God has made provision for man to be freed from evil through the death of His Son Jesus.
From this perspective we believe to remove God as the Source of creation is to erode the basis for moral and ethical values. For this reason a biblical account of creation must remain uncompromised.
The above statement is based upon our common understanding of scriptural teaching. The official delineation of this position is found in the Assemblies of God position paper, "The Doctrine of Creation," 1977.
All Scripture quotations are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise specified.