|Does it matter what one believes? Yes, it does. Many people have died
horrible deaths because they believed that a poisonous toadstool was an edible mushroom.
Nevertheless, every one of us has differences of belief from our neighbors or even from
our close friends or associates. Often these disagreements in belief have little or no
effect upon our interpersonal relationships. But what about evolution and creation--is it
really important that we believe one or the other? Some who profess faith in Jesus Christ
are willing to accept the popular idea that living things, even the human race, are the
product not of divine special creation, but of evolution. Other Christians hold that the
biblical record of creation in the Book of Genesis is literally and strictly correct. Both
profess personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Perhaps, then, belief in
evolution or in creation is a matter of indifference. Does it really matter?
A. Does evolution conflict with Christian biblical doctrines?
In order to arrive at a persuasive answer to this question let us consider what effect belief in evolution has upon fundamental teachings of the biblical Christian faith.
1. The Scriptures: Myth or Divinely Revealed Truth?
If one's faith is to be really decisive in personal, practical life, it must be logically consistent. And as the Bible is the source of authority and of truth for the Christian life, let us first see what effect acceptance of evolution must logically have upon our view of the Bible.
It should be clear from these contrasting doctrines that, if one believes in the evolutionary world view, the Bible record of creation becomes myth. consequently, a serious question is cast upon all of the Bible, because the objective, historical veracity of the Genesis creation account is implicit throughout the remainder of the Bible and is specifically acknowledged at many points in the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, one who accepts the theory of evolution is automatically denying the claim of the Scriptures to be the verbally inspired, inerrant Word of God.
2. Doctrine of God
The God of the Bible is the eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, infinite-personal Spirit who is the Creator and Sustainer of all things, sovereign Lord and Judge of all His creatures. In total contrast, the god of the evolutionary world view is either non-existent or at least helpless to influence or intervene in the real world. Thus, any God an evolutionist may have is useless except to think about. This is not the God Christians worship and serve.
3. Doctrine of Christ
The Christ of the Bible is the Son of God--God the Son, and the living Word of the Father--who created all things, providentially upholds all things, became man, the perfect man, and suffered on Calvary's cross to redeem Adam's race, rose from the grave, ascended into heaven, and there awaits the Great Day of the Lord when He will return personally, in His body, to receive His own believers and to judge the unbelievers. The Christ of evolutionists is, at the very best, only a particularly good example of an improved ape who made it to the top. An evolutionist cannot really believe and understand the Christ of the Bible.
4. Doctrine of Man
Created man was made in the image of God, perfect in holiness, a personal being possessed of intellect, affections, moral responsibility, and will. Now fallen in Adam into a state of sin and misery, the race is under the wrath and curse of God, facing judgment and eternal loss at the end of this age. The man of the evolutionary doctrine is the product of blind, spontaneous processes of nature and has, therefore, no moral responsibility before any God, for his will is captive to his environment and the traits he inherited as the result of adaptation to the environment while evolving from animal existence. Human nature is held to be not corrupt and sinful, but good. This is a totally anti-Christian view of man.
5. Salvation Doctrine
Created man is the object of divine grace and compassion in the offer of pardon and regeneration through the gospel of Christ, to be received by faith, grounded entirely in the merits, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The man of evolutionary doctrine can hope only for self-improvement in this life through personal struggle that ends in total dissolution of personality at death. The species might improve after he is gone, but for what purpose or goal is unknown since death supposedly ends all. Moreover, without divinely revealed moral law, what constitutes improvement is problematic. How infinitely better is the Christian hope and assurance in Christ.
6. Doctrine of Human Life and Goals
Created man was made to glorify and enjoy God for all eternity. the man of evolutionary theory does his own thing, for his own pleasure and glory, in this life only. Thus he really has no worthy purpose in living or dying.
In all the areas of doctrine we have just considered, there is nothing but stark contrast between the creation view and the evolution view. Creation and evolution are fundamental concepts of two totally contradictory world views between which there can be no compromise, no melding together. So to the Christian creation and evolution do make a difference. It does matter which we believe, for all of the basic areas of biblical Christian faith are radically transformed by evolutionary theory. Therefore, it is necessary for every Christ to make an intelligent choice to reject the evolutionary dogmas and to believe the biblical record of creation. This faith must be literal faith, accepting each statement of the Scriptures in the most straightforward and direct sense possible in the context of the whole teaching of the Bible concerning the doctrines of creation. There is no advantage, only confusion for the Christian who insists on being double-minded about creation and evolution.
B. Does belief in evolution or creation have practical consequences for Christian life and action in society?
Yes, for the Word of God tells us concerning man, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7
It is certain that the doctrine of evolution, because it requires the complete reversal of the foundational doctrines of the biblical Christian faith which we have summarized above, will have profound influence upon our responses to the practical issues of life and action in society.
1. Confrontation Between Christianity and Humanism
If a Christian submits his mind to the doctrine of evolution, he espouses the most important foundational principle of Secular Humanism. Also, as we have seen, he opens all of the most vital principles of the Christian faith to refutation. The Christian warrior has chased away his powerful war horse and discarded his sword. He will be easily overcome by the enemy humanist warrior, who sits firmly astride his materialistic, evolutionary war horse and vigorously wields his humanistic doctrinal sword. The Christian evolutionist has repudiated his biblical basis for Christian judgment concerning the vital issues at stake in the cosmic 20th century confrontation between biblical Christianity and Secular Humanism. He will probably end up aiding the enemy on many of these issues.
2. Law, Crime, and Punishment
Under evolutionary doctrine there is no moral law, no right and wrong, and no personal responsibility, for humans are only highly evolved animals, products of the environmental influences acting during the millions of years of their rise from lower animals. Thus their environment is responsible, and this means that society is principally to blame for the anti-social behavior of criminals. In fact this inverted reasoning lays guilt on the victim and transforms the criminal into a victim. Influenced by such foolishness, legislators soften the law and the consequences of law-breaking, and judges let criminals off with minimum sentences or no punishment at all. The long-term result is a steady rise in the crime rate.
3. Capital Punishment for Capital Crimes
Following the above reasoning, murder is simply one animal fatally injuring another. There is no offense to the righteous and holy God because His image in the victim has been despised. It is unreasonable, then, for other men to punish the murderer for an act which has no eternal consequences. Furthermore, why should guilty society act so self-righteously anyway, so the ranks of living murderers swell, unrestrained by any meaningful penalty?
4. Abortion, Infanticide and Euthanasia
Since under evolutionary theory man is the product of purely materialistic, spontaneous processes and therefore possesses no spiritual nature, the living who have power to promote their own benefit, are free for their own advantage to do away with those burdensome persons who cannot protect themselves, namely, unwanted fetuses, infants, and aged persons. As in the case of capital punishment, the crime of murder in these three forms is no longer heinous, because that which was killed had no eternally continuing personal existence, for it was not created in the image of God. It has no value except that accorded to it by other humans who have arrogated to themselves the authority to make that evaluation on the basis of their personal opinions. Thus evolutionary beliefs help to justify the murder of innocents.
5. Pornography, Prostitution, and Homosexuality
In harmony with evolutionary theory about the nature of man, the individual should be free to do with his body and mind what he pleases, without hindrance by moral laws or by parental or societal authority. This is because moral laws and traditional family and societal restraints on individual behavior are supposedly only the products of cultural evolution, having no lasting authority or value. Furthermore, the evolved human being possesses no spiritual nature bearing the divine image, nor is his body the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, there are no sexual sins of thought or action. Human society should be open, with nothing barred.
Without doubt many who accept evolution, both Christians and non-Christians, will repudiate the above analysis, because they do personally submit their behavior to traditional norms. However, they have a difficult task justifying their self-imposed restraints to a libertine who justifies his license on the basis of evolutionary doctrine.
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