Many Christian leaders, pastors and teachers, have surrendered to the so-called “overwhelming evidence for evolution” and settled for a culturally safe “middle-of-the-road” position. Don’t you wish someone would stand up and give a very clear answer to the confusion? ♦
I’m convinced that many people, including many Christians, can’t quite talk themselves out of a belief in evolution because they are bullied into it by the media/press, their peers, their professors, or the mere weight of apparent cultural consensus. In truth they don’t know the subject well enough to refute or argue an alternative.
Who wants to come across as an anti-science Neanderthal?
Many will therefore be attracted to a comfortable belief in theistic evolution (“God could have used evolution”). In my college years I held this belief for awhile myself – it seemed to allow me the ability to keep my Christian faith and yet not have to combat the growing tide of evolutionary dogma. I never really studied the subject; it just sounded good and kept me socially acceptable. It ultimately did take personal study and research to realize the weak and untenable position of theistic evolution. It’s a compromised view of Almighty God and His creative revelation and an exalted view of fallible man and his ever-changing theories and justifications.
Nevertheless, many people and iconic institutions have fallen prey to God-guided evolution and humanistic, Darwinian evolution itself. Liberal theological schools (e.g., Harvard, Yale) and various church denominations (e.g., Methodists and Episcopalian) have now clearly over time shunned orthodoxy and adherence to the Scriptures. Even the Roman Catholics now count some form of theistic or progressive evolution to be their official doctrine of the origin of man. Gallup’s Values and Beliefs Survey (May 2014) finds that just over 4 in 10 Americans continue to believe that God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago. Half of Americans believe humans evolved, with the majority of these saying God guided the evolutionary process.
Unfortunately many, even devout Christian leaders, pastors and teachers, have surrendered to the so-called “overwhelming evidence for evolution” and settled for a culturally safe “middle-of-the-road” position. They believe that God created natural laws which would cause evolution to take place. Thus, in this guiding principle, God can be said to be the author of life. It’s a perfect out.
The problem is that evolution is only half true. And the inability to clearly articulate the distinction between what’s true and what’s false is what’s causing all the confusion, for both Christians and non-Christians.
Don’t you wish someone would stand up and give a clear answer to the confusion?
The Evolution Question in Politics
Of course in the brutal realm of politics, the topic of evolution is a gold mine for opponents of Christian political candidates, particularly in the hands of a shrewd and predominantly secular press.
It’s a land mine for the unprepared politician.
Recently Scott Walker, Indiana Governor and presumed candidate for the US Presidency in 2016, was asked by a British reporter the following question: “Do you believe in evolution.” His answer “I’m going to punt on that one…” brought much ridicule and criticism by both the British and US media for “being unprepared, evasive, and scientifically uninformed, or anti-science.”
Apparently he and his staff tried to recover the next day with a statement that said weakly “he believes in both God and science.” He was criticized for that statement too.
Regardless of his political stance, Walker is a Christian and an articulate political executive. He was nonetheless caught flat-footed here while trying to stay out of dangerous ground.
So What Would You Say?
Many articulate Christians will fare no better when backed into the same corner. “Well, I really don’t believe we came from monkeys… I think actually God could have used evolution over millions of years… You know, the Bible says a day could be like a thousand years… I’m really not sure what I believe… I really don’t know… I just believe in God…”
We really can and should do better than that.
Here’s how I would have answered the reporter’s “Do you believe in evolution?” question asked of Walker:
“Yes, I believe in evolution. But let’s be clear on definitions. I believe in microevolution or organic change over time within a species (like changes in dogs, cats and birds). I do not believe in macroevolution or wholesale changes between species (fish to frogs, monkeys to man). There is absolutely zero credible evidence supporting macroevolution and many scientists now doubt the creative power of natural selection and random mutation. Even Charles Darwin doubted his own theory and I’m sure, if he were alive today, would welcome an open debate and the teaching of all facts associated with the origins of life and man.”
Evolution is just like the king in the children’s tale, The Emperor Has No Clothes. While the king has been manipulated by clever men to believe he is clothed in splendor, the public around him is too afraid to call out the truth that he is, in fact, quite naked and exposed. How ironic that a child states the obvious and removes the veil pulled over the eyes of everyone in the kingdom.
Have you been deceived on the topic of evolution?
“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.” – Nehemiah 9:6