This morning I watched a clip of the Bill O’Reilly show from last night’s broadcast. I was shocked to hear a pastor that I trusted stating something that goes directly against the Bible. Here is a link to the video , and my response to him:
I have listened to your podcast for the past few years, because I understood you to be a man who bases his life on the teachings of God in the Bible. There are four men that I listen to their preaching in a consistent fashion: my pastor, Ravi Zacharias, Alistair Begg, and you.
I saw a video of you on the Bill O’Reilly show (broadcast on 03/06/2013). I understand that you have a very limited amount of time when you are on these types of shows, certainly not enough time to answer Mr. O’Reilly’s questions in anything approaching a complete manner. However, that means that every word you DO say is crucial.
There were several questions that you answered as well as you could have, given the time allowed and Mr. O’Reilly’s constant interruptions. But there was one question that he allowed you to answer that I was saddened to hear your response.
• Mr. O’Reilly: You have to reject the science of carbon dating, and evolution and all of those things
• Dr. Jeffress: No
• Mr. O’Reilly: It’s kind of incompatible with science, or am I wrong?
• Dr. Jeffress: No I think you’re wrong on this one, Bill. You’re usually absolutely right, but I think you’re wrong on this one. The Bible does not contradict true science. It may contradict the passing fads of scientific theory that are always evolving. For example, it used to be thought that the cosmos always existed. But then we had Sir Frederick Hoyle who named the Big Bang Theory that said guess what: the universe had a beginning 13.7 billion years ago. Again, Frederick Hoyle, a Cambridge mathematician said the chance of inanimate matter….
• Mr. O’Reilly (interrupting): Do you believe that? Do you believe that the universe started 13.7 billion years ago?
• Dr. Jeffress: I do.
• Mr. O’Reilly: You do?
• Dr. Jeffress: I think it very well could have been. One of the things that fundamentalist Christians mess up on is they try to say the earth is six thousand years old. The Bible never makes that claim.
You are correct when you say the Bible never says that the earth is “six thousand years old,” however, this is a straw man, and I’ll tell you why: even if the events of Genesis 1 and 2 happened six thousand years ago, the Bible was completed about 1900 years ago, so it would be ridiculous for any Christian to say, “The Bible claims that the earth is six thousand years old” as you falsely claim that fundamentalist Christians state.
The real question is: do you believe that God created the universe in six, literal 24 hour days? This is a solid line that a man of reason cannot straddle. You either believe that man was created six days after there was nothing, or you believe evolutionary thought which states that man came into being some 200,000 years ago. This would put the “creation of man” (according to theistic evolution) at 13,699,800,000 years after the creation of the universe. How do you reconcile these beliefs?
There are two specific places in Scripture that clearly state God created the world in six days:
- Genesis chapter 1 uses ordinal numbers to refer to the days of creation (“the first day” “the second day”). This means they were 24 hour periods. If you say they were longer than 24 hour periods, then how do you explain the recorded order of creation: the sun, moon and stars were not created until “the fourth day.” If these “days” were billions of years, then how did life exist on earth for the first three periods of time when there was no sun to warm the earth? Why would God create plants (which require the sun for photosynthesis) on “day three” if they wouldn’t see the light of the sun for a billion years or so?
- Exodus 20:11 “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.” That pretty much sums it up: God made the universe in six days and rested on the seventh, and that is why He told the Jews to work for six literal 24 hour days, and then rest on the seventh. If the days of creation aren’t literal 24 hour days, this verse makes no sense.
You sir, have abrogated your responsibility to hold fast to the truth of the Word of God. By rejecting the literal account of creation in Genesis 1 and 2, you have stated that you do not believe the Bible when it says in Romans 5:12 that death entered the world through one man (Adam). If death did not enter the world through Adam, then why do we need a Savior? Why are we all sinners? It is a slippery slope you are on, sir. I will quote your comment near the conclusion of your interview with Mr. O’Reilly back to you, “If you start labeling these stories as fictitious or fable where do you stop?”
Where do you stop, Dr. Jeffress? I know where I stop: I stop listening to the preaching of people who do not preach the “whole counsel of God.” Please reconsider your position, sir. Until you do, I will no longer listen to your preaching.