Should Christians Accept Evolution and an Old Earth to Win Converts? (Part 2)
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Part I of this two-part series appeared in the April issue. Part II follows below and continues, without introductory comments, where the first article ended.]
Reason #4: We Want to Be Rational.
Scientists pride themselves on being rational, basing their conclusions on the evidence. Christians wish to do so as well, in keeping with Scripture’s teaching on the subject (e.g., 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1). “Blind” (i.e., evidence-less) faith is unbiblical.1
So, if Creation as it has been taught for thousands of years is correct, we want to know that fact, because we want to be rational, drawing the right conclusions. If Creation as it has been taught is incorrect, we want to know that, too! We want the truth, because we want to be rational. We want to, “Prove/test all things, hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Is the pursuit of sound conclusions a worthy reason to oppose Evolution when Evolution has proven to be an irrational theory?
Reason #5: We Want to Teach the Truth.
It is clear that “truth” is a theme in Scripture, on par with faith: coming to know the truth (1 Timothy 2:4); believing the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:12); obeying the truth (1 Peter 1:22); preaching the truth (Ephesians 4:15); telling the truth (Ephesians 4:25); walking in truth (2 John 1:4); doing the truth (John 3:21); working for truth (3 John 8); practicing the truth (1 John 1:6); following the way of truth (2 Peter 2:2); standing in the truth (John 8:44); girding our waist with truth (Ephesians 6:14); rightly dividing the truth (2 Timothy 2:15); worshipping in truth (John 4:24); and rejoicing in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). The truth is what sets us free (John 8:32). Jesus is described as “the Truth” (John 14:6).
According to 2 Thessalonians 2:10, loving the truth leads to salvation. Do we love the truth? If a person loves the truth taught in God’s Word—be it the truth about Creation or the Cross—will he not want to oppose those ideas he believes to be false and only teach true ideas to others (regardless of their popularity)?
Reason #6: Teaching Error is Sinful.
The Bible is explicit in its condemnation of teaching error regarding biblical matters. “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1). When we want to believe or do what we want to believe or do, it is tempting to try to force the Bible to say what we want it to say, injecting our own ideas into the text (eisegesis), instead of letting the text interpret itself without our own preconceived biases (exegesis). Peter, however, warns about the result of “untaught and unstable people” twisting the Scriptures to fit their agenda. It will bring on their own “destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). Genesis 1 is as much Scripture as the rest of the Bible. Teaching error about Creation is just as wrong as teaching error about anything the Bible teaches.
In Job 13:7, Job defends himself against the accusations being made by his friends, who had claimed that God was punishing him for sinning. He warns his friends about putting words in God’s mouth saying, “Will you speak falsely for God?” (ESV). Would we want to attribute something to God that He did not do, or say He did something that He did not say? Would we want to claim that He did something—like Creation—in a way that He did not do it? In so doing, we become false witnesses for God!
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul gives a defense of the fact that, in the end, there will be a resurrection from the dead. Souls are not annihilated at death: there is an afterlife. Paul argues that, if there is no afterlife, then, contrary to the testimony of Paul and the apostles, Jesus was not resurrected. “Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not raise” (vs. 15). Would we want to be false witnesses of God, claiming He used Evolution, the Big Bang, and deep time, if He did not do so? If God did not use Darwinian Evolution, and Christians say He did, then are they not giving false testimony for God?
Undoubtedly, some people simply have not thoroughly examined the evidence concerning Evolution, deep time, and the Bible. Perhaps they have no opinion on the subjects because they do not care or because they humbly recognize that they currently have insufficient evidence to draw a conclusion. Perhaps they lean for or against belief in Evolution due to the evidence they currently possess. We would not suggest that every person must necessarily passionately believe in a young Earth and a literal Creation to be saved. However, the moment a person begins definitively teaching and encouraging others to accept as true a particular position with biblical implications, he is bound by Scripture to “speak the oracles [i.e., utterances (NASB)/very words (NIV)] of God” (1 Peter 4:11). No matter the topic, a person should be careful to speak the truth in all things. If the truth can be known about something, the truth should be taught. If a person knows he is not, or cannot be, certain what the truth is on a subject, he should be careful not to speak definitively, instead using disclaimers (e.g., “might be,” “could be,” “seems,” etc.). On the other hand: if the evidence conclusively substantiates a truth, he should unashamedly teach it. We have yet to see a solid, reasonable case made for how Evolution and deep time should be drawn from the biblical text or injected into it. On the contrary, they have been shown to be lacking in essential scientific and biblical evidence. Should we not, therefore, if desiring to speak the oracles of God, teach against them?
Reason #7: Evolution Is a Dangerous Doctrine.
When a person thinks about Evolution academically and superficially, without considering its heinous implications and inevitable, deleterious effects on a society, he might fail to see the inherent danger in not speaking against it, much less promoting it. One might think that Evolution and morality can co-exist, especially if Theistic Evolution is accepted, instead of Naturalistic Evolution. However, as mentioned in Part I, belief in Theistic Evolution is a “gateway doctrine” which tends to lead towards faithlessness and belief in pure naturalism, as it did for Charles Darwin. While Darwin was a self-espoused orthodox Christian when he first wrote Origin of Species, upon dwelling on Evolutionary ideas, he “very gradually, with many fluctuations, became weaker” in his faith, ultimately becoming an agnostic. Later, he stated, “Then arises the doubt, can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animals, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions [i.e., belief in God—JM]?”2 Evolution devastates faith, as it did its “Father.”
We have documented extensively elsewhere3 that when Evolutionary thinking is carried to its logical implications, society becomes dark, indeed. If students are taught their whole life that Evolution is true and, therefore, only the most fit will tend to survive by tooth and claw, what would we expect those students to be like after roughly two decades of indoctrination? If they are taught that “might makes right” in the Evolutionary paradigm (as opposed to Scripture defining what is right) and that humans are merely hairless apes, why would we not expect the emergence of a society populated by violent animals? Why would we not expect an immoral populace that uses weapons instead of intellects and takes what they want if they have the power and opportunity to do so?
Is it coincidence that over the last several decades, as Evolution (including Theistic Evolution) began being taught in earnest in U.S. public schools and churches, that the percentage of Americans who believe the Bible is the actual Word of God and is to be taken literally has steadily declined, while the percentage of Americans who believe the Bible to be a book of fables, history, and moral precepts recorded by man has steadily increased?4 Simultaneously, starting in the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. index crime rate, which includes the reported crimes of murder/manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft, began to skyrocket. The crime rate climbed from a steady yearly average of roughly 700 crimes per 100,000 people in the 30s-50s, to 6,000 crimes per 100,000 people—over 800% growth in 20 years.5 No doubt there were several contributing factors to the explosion of crime, but one would predict that the widespread teaching of Evolution would result in immorality and violence, since, as leading Evolutionists have acknowledged (including Darwin, himself), Evolution and morality are incompatible.
Famous evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins said, “Absolutist moral discrimination is devastatingly undermined by the fact of evolution.”6 Cornell University evolutionary biology professor William Provine, keynote speaker at the Darwin Day event at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, said, “Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent…. The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them.”7 Charles Darwin said, “A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones.”8 Is it any wonder that more and more people in society would live out the implications of Evolution if they are taught to believe that it is true?
What kind of things are implied by Evolution that would lead to a dark society? Consider Darwin’s own words in The Descent of Man:
With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.
The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature…. We must therefore bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely that the weaker and inferior members of society do not marry so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage, though this is more to be hoped for than expected.9
But why must we “bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind,” if there is no morality if Evolution is true? From serial murderer Jeffrey Dahmer10 (who murdered and dismembered 17 men and boys) to Pekka Auvinen (who massacred eight people in his school in Finland in 2007), calling himself a “natural selector” eliminating “all who I see unfit…, failures of natural selection,”11 many have carried out the logical implications of their belief in Evolution. In 1999, Columbine High School shooter Eric Harris made his plans to put on his “natural selection” T-shirt and enter his high school to shoot dozens of students and teachers, stating in his personal writings that he would “kick natural selection up a few notches,” killing “whoever I deem unfit.”12 Nazi Germany was, of course, the most notorious of those carrying out the implications of Darwinian Evolution, killing 6,000,000 Jews in Europe for being, in their view, “unfit.”13
As Richard Dawkins said concerning Evolution, “My own feeling is that a human society based simply on the gene’s law of universal ruthless selfishness would be a very nasty society in which to live.”14 If Evolution is false (along with its necessary foundation of an old Earth), would not a rational, moral person do everything in his power to oppose it?
Should a Christian accept Evolution and an old Earth to make the Bible more “palatable” and win more converts? Worded another way: if the Bible does not teach something, should we claim that it does if it will make more people happy with it? Should Christians adjust and compromise every Bible teaching that people have a problem with? Is that how God wants humans to treat Scripture?
One would think that the fallaciousness of such an approach would be self-evident. People have a problem with many more biblical doctrines than Creation and a young Earth. From miracles to the divinity of Christ to the Bible’s teaching about sexual immorality and divorce—the bulk of the world will not choose to accept God’s way. It has always been that way. Should Noah have adjusted his teachings to “save” more people on the Ark with him? We should not go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6). We should not twist the Scriptures, or we are inviting our destruction (2 Peter 3:16).
Jesus certainly did not adjust His teachings to make them more palatable to people (which, ultimately, is why He was killed). Should we? Certainly not. In fact, Jesus directly warned His disciples that the world would hate them and their message (John 15:18-20). It will be considered foolishness to the world (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). It will be laughed at. Peter warned that scoffers who wish to live immoral lives will “willingly forget” Genesis 1 (Creation) and Genesis 6-9 (the global Flood of Noah’s day). They will belittle and make fun of the teachings of Christians on those subjects (2 Peter 3:3-6), but Peter warned that God “is not slack concerning His promise”: Judgment Day is coming just as certainly as Creation happened and the judgment of the Flood came, whether or not they wish to “willingly forget” that truth (vss. 7-13).
Few passages more directly apply to the mindset of those who advocate for Evolution than 2 Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” “Sound” doctrine refers to teachings that are healthy, logical, and rational—reasonable conclusions that follow from the evidence. Paul warns that some people would not just reject the evidence, they would not endure (“put up with”—NIV) it. By implication, they would actively try to fight it, because the implications of that evidence run counter to “their own desires.” They want to live the way they want to live without being accountable. They want to do that which is right in their own eyes. Their solution: surround themselves with “experts” who will tell them what they want to hear. With enough “smart people” bolstering their view, they can, with little bother from their conscience, believe in something that is not supported by either the Bible or legitimate scientific evidence.
If we are warned that many people will not accept the truth (regardless of how it is packaged), the Christian should realize that the packaging is not the real issue. Some people will not accept the truth. Period. So, why try to change the packaging to suit those who are not searching for the truth anyway and invite our own judgment? Why join the anti-Christian, ungodly forces of the world who wish to “suppress the truth [including Creation—JM] in unrighteousness” so that they can live as they want (Romans 1:18-32)? A Christian should never forget that Evolution is, first and foremost, a theory championed by “haters of God” (Romans 1:30). One should be very certain Evolution is true before endorsing such a dangerous doctrine (Romans 1:32) and supporting its promoters (2 Chronicles 19:2).
Christians should understand that most people are not going to like or accept what the Bible teaches on many subjects (Matthew 7:13-14), but boldly and lovingly teach them anyway. “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech” (2 Corinthians 3:12). We should not be ashamed of the Bible’s teaching on any subject, nor should we be shaken by those who scoff at us. Evolution not only has no evidence to support its most basic tenets, it actually stands against mounds of scientific evidence which refutes it.15 Belief in Evolution is, therefore, not only dangerous, but irrational. “Buy the truth, and do not sell it” (Proverbs 23:23). Defend the truth (1 Peter 3:15), contending earnestly for it (Jude 3). “Preach the word” always (2 Timothy 4:2), regardless of its popularity.
1 Dave Miller (2003), “Blind Faith,” Apologetics Press, https://apologeticspress.org/blind-faith-444/.
2 Charles Darwin (1887), The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin: Volume 1, The Project Gutenberg EBook of the Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume I (of II), by Charles Darwin, Chapter 1.VIII.—Religion, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2087/2087-h/2087-h.htm.
3 Kyle Butt (2008), “The Bitter Fruits of Atheism (Part 1),” Reason & Revelation, 28:49-55, https://apologeticspress.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/0807.pdf.
4 Lydia Saad (2017), “Record Few Americans Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God,” GALLUP On-line, May 15, https://news.gallup.com/poll/210704/record-few-americans-believe-bible-literal-word-god.aspx.
5 “Uniform Crime Reports, 1933-1998,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, https://www.jrsa.org/projects/Historical.pdf.
6 Richard Dawkins (2006), The God Delusion (New York: Houghton Mifflin), p. 301.
7 William Provine (1998), “Evolution: Free Will and Punishment and Meaning in Life,” emp. added, http://eeb.bio.utk.edu/darwin/DarwinDayProvineAddress.htm.
8 Charles Darwin (1958), The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, ed. Nora Barlow, (New York: W.W. Norton), p. 94.
9 Charles Darwin (1874), The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, The Project Gutenberg EBook of the Descent of Man, by Charles Darwin, Natural Selection as Affecting Civilised Nations, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2300/2300-h/2300-h.htm, emp. added.
10 Stone Phillips (1994), Interview with Jeffrey and Lionel Dahmer, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjW7bezdddE.
11 “Teen Dead Who Opened Fire on Finnish Classmates, Police Say” (2007), CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/11/07/school.shooting/ index.html.
12 “Eric Harris’ Journal,” transcribed by Peter Langman, 2014, https://schoolshooters.info/sites/default/files/harris_journal_1.3.pdf.
13 Kyle Butt (2001), “Hitler—The Ultimate Evolutionist,” Apologetics Press, https://apologeticspress.org/hitlerthe-ultimate-evolutionist-866/.
14 Richard Dawkins (1989), The Selfish Gene (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 2-3, emp. added.
15 Jeff Miller (2017), Science vs. Evolution (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Science vs. Evolution
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