My answer is no…and yes.
First let me speak from my experience because I think it is not unique. When I became a Christian, I came to Jesus. I wanted Him, what he offered. I wanted hurts inside to stop hurting and the feeling of not belonging and being unloved to go away. He spoke to those desires and offered a new life in Him. I’d gone to church and Sunday School all my life, I knew the stories, but it really wasn’t a matter of believing them or not–all my focus was on believing in and giving myself to Jesus.
I remained in that place a long time, doing a few things with great faith but predominantly not gaining in spiritual understanding or maturity. If someone had asked it I really believed in the Garden of Eden and the flood I probably would have shrugged my shoulders. The one thing I knew was that the question I would be asked on Judgment Day would be whether I believed in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. A definitive yes. Amen. Hallelujah.
Around age 30, after a lot of knocks in the world, I got serious about my walk with Jesus. I participated in lots of classes, small groups, Bible studies, etc. I gained a cumulative knowledge of the Word–one thing building on another. Even today when I look back just a couple of years I can see so much progress. Each study opens my eyes more and more.
In the course of this I came to see that the story throughout God’s timeline with humanity has a consistent theme of restoration…a thread that flows from the Garden of Eden. All scripture, including the flood, consistently show our self-centered natures and how God has used the course of history and stepped into it to bring about our salvation–should we choose to accept it.
I cannot provide anyone with any evidence that the Genesis stories are literal. I don’t know. But I take it in faith that they are how God has shown us the story and I fully believe in them and their purpose. It’s taken a lot of years to come to this place of trust. Because of all the things He has brought about in my present life I can trust His Word for the future…and from past, even Genesis.
So the yes part of my answer is doing my part to give more and more of myself to knowing Him and yielding to the process of sanctification. Walking forward with Jesus, growing in our spiritual maturity is not just important, it is everything.
If we believe that in order to be a Christian you have to get it all right, immediately, then it would be a very small group indeed. What I find is that the more is learn, the more God reveals to me, the greater the realization that I know so little. That my mind has only begun to grasp the breadth, depth, height of who He is an His love.
My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col 2:2-3)
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:4)