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Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | Comments (31)

First, listen to this 8-minute clip:

Launch Player  |  Download  |  Full Sermon

Here's the topic for today's discussion:

Those are indeed strong words from John MacArthur; as you’ll see in the days ahead, there’s a lot to back them up.

Do you think the connection between evolution and social evils (e.g., murder, sexual sin, crime, drug use) is warranted? What’s the connection?


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#1  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Tuesday, March 30, 2010at 9:02 PM

Do you think the connection between evolution and social evils (e.g., murder, sexual sin, crime, drug use) is warranted? Absolutely, the connection is sin and Satan. Satan has endeavored to undo God since his rebellion in heaven. He is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and the whole world lies in his power (1 John 5:19). Those in his power also desire to undo God. That is what sinners attempted to do when they cried “Crucify Him”. It is an exercise in futility to attempt to convince an evolutionist of the existence of God. God has declared in His Word that His wrath “is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.” Romans 1:18, 19. We do not answer a fool according to his folly Proverbs 26:4.

We do have a duty to warn them of God’s wrath which is upon them, call them to repentance and faith in Christ and warn them of the consequences of rejecting the gospel. The church needs to regain an understanding of what it is to be innocent of men’s blood Acts 18:6 and Acts 20:26, 27. The god of this world has blinded those who are unbelieving (2Corinthians 4:4). If you saw a blind man or woman about to fall from a cliff or walk into the path of an oncoming car or truck would you not warn them? Why do you hate sinners so much that you would not warn them? If you warn them perhaps they will persecute you or even seriously harm you. Is that the real reason you fail to warn them? “Do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28 His unworthy Slave

#2  Posted by Jason English  |  Tuesday, March 30, 2010at 10:02 PM

I'll actually paraphrase what Pastor MacArthur spoke about in an earlier sermon on Creation...the world is trying desperately to remove God from its origins. Removing God from the beginning makes removing Him from the end more palatable -- i.e, if there's no Creator, then there's no Finisher. If there's no Finisher, and God is effectively removed from the equation, people are then freed from the accountability of their actions; they no longer have to feel there will be an ultimate judgement on what they do. This encourages the social evils we have seen grow to colossal proportions in our time. Additionally, if you remove God, you remove the idea we were created in His image and for the purpose of His glory. With no "real" purpose of our being and without an eye on eternal praise to our Creator, we are left with a myopic view of our lives that we must live for the present because this is all we have. "You only have one life to live", we often hear being said, "live it up."

#3  Posted by Gty Guy  |  Tuesday, March 30, 2010at 10:05 PM

I am currently reading "The Big Three" by Henry Morris lll, great book, crucial topic.

#4  Posted by Rick White  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 5:50 AM

If we are, as the Evolutionists claim,just another animal in the struggle for survival what could we possibly use as a moral restraint? What could we possibly use as a guide to what is right or wrong? So,yes there is a connection between evolution and social evils. A good example would be Nazi Germany and the social Darwinism Hitler espoused. There is no way he could have accomplished what he did without the underlying philosophy of Darwinism. If a man is taught and believes that he is just another animal in the struggle for survival,he will act accordingly.

#5  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 9:55 AM

I try not to be the cynic, or the nay-sayer, but sometimes it just comes to the surface...

Rick (#4), I agree that the view of being created by God is critical to a moral life, but it is not a GUARANTEE of moral behavior. How many "Christians" have made heterosexual marriage a joke to the point homosexual marriage will likely become legal in the entire US? What about the "in the news" Christian militia group the FBI raided the other day? What about the millions who have been murdered over the centuries in the name of God and Christ? I realize all of these people are in error, but that is the point. Even with a claim of a Christian world view, we still have to cling to the Word of God, good preaching, and the Holy Spirit in us guiding us to live holy lives...without that, even a supposed Christian world view is nothing but dung!

#6  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 10:11 AM

Yes, that is true.  God is the only grounds of justification for morality, but the only guarantee for moral behavior is a heart changed by God. 

A couple of responses to the illustrations you noted.  The so-called "militia" group, which is more of an end times doomsday cult than anything else, doesn't reflect biblical values and it would be fairly easy to demonstrate this fact by just contrasting their ideology with a cursory review of the NT. 

As for the "millions murdered over the centuries in the name of Christ," this is a grossly inflated number.  Best estimates according to known world populations in those various centuries is in the hundreds of thousands, more like around 250,000 to 300,000 total, but that is over the course of 1000 years if we begin with the Crusades.  Compared to the 20th century where we do have in the millions of murders in the name of atheistic regimes and totalitarian dictators.  (Excluding those lives aborted since the passing of Roe v. Wade).

#7  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 10:57 AM

Fred, I am talking about the reality of public perception, and personal delusion. MILLIONS claim to be Christians and get divorced. MANY claim to be Christian and abuse children. MANY claim to be Christian and are racists, etc...I heard every news report about this militia group mention they were "Christian" militia...the gospel takes a hit for that whether we like it or not. Scott Roeder caps Dr Tiller (the abortion doctor) in Wichita, KS, the gospel takes a hit.

A "worldview" is not enough. It is a daily, moment by moment decision to follow Christ. The "church" over the years has not presented it that way. Hence, we arrive at the present realities.

I am thankful for faithful preachers like John MacArthur to present to truth of a moment by moment decision to follow Christ...

#8  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 11:00 AM

Mark, can you flesh out what you mean when you write, "A 'worldview' is not enough?"

Just curious to read your thinking.

#10  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 11:11 AM

I think I understand Mark's thinking...

The difficulty in this discussion is the reality that we have hundreds of millions (even billions?) of people naming the name of Christ, but the vast majority not truly knowing Christ. So when we discuss abortion killers, militias, and crusaders, we use the name Christians but only because they do. The reality is they are not truly Christians, or at least they are not exemplifying true Christianity.

So we must distinguish between the true Christian worldview and "popular" Christianity. In light of this, I agree with Mark (if this is what you're saying) that the "popular" Christian worldview is not enough, we need to live out true Christianity.

When the world thinks of Christianity, they think of "popular" Christianity. Ever notice how they tend to refer to conservative Christians as right-wing kooks? It's because they don't consider true Christians (as we would define them) to be the representatives of Christiandom.

#11  Posted by Randy Johnson  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 11:13 AM

Who shapes your outlook? If you negate God, your way of thinking is shaped by the flesh no matter how many advanced degrees you have. The mindset of the flesh is hostile to God, and it is unable to submit to the law of God. Evolution is just a way to negate God so that a person can "eat to their heart's content". If you continue to feed that fleshly appetite, it grows larger. It becomes harder and harder to satisfy. This leads to even more "eating" and more "fill-in-the-blank".

All the while people think they are on the path of changing human nature into a "higher form". Instead of learning moral wisdom God's way, they want to blaze their own trail by taking a shortcut to the divine level. It's the same scenario that occurred in the Garden, but on a much larger scale. But, you cannot become God by disobeying God. Instead, you become someone that God says will never fit in, no matter how hard you try or how many people you persuade to join in. The only thing you accomplish is to further defile yourself and the Earth, which leads to more "groaning" as the weight of sin increases.

#12  Posted by Mark A Smith  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 11:14 AM

What I am thinking is the "average" Christian who says, yeah, I believe God, I read the Bible on Sundays, I believe God created to Earth...etc. That is NOT enough to live a moral life. As John MacArthur talks about, actions are important too. Do you love your spouse? Do you sacrifice for your children? Do you avoid evil etc...Those decisions determine our morality.

This lazy approach we have made in the contemporary church is causing too many problems. Half of the people at strip clubs would probably "claim" to be Christian. Shoot, many would probably deny evolution and claim to believe God created them...

Now, Fred. To you, a worldview probably means what guides us in daily decisions. This is true, but a century of weak preaching and believing by too many has produced people who claim Christianity, and then don't act it out. That is what I mean by a worldview not being enough.

#13  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 11:34 AM

Mark,

I pretty much agree with your assessment of American, Red-state evangelical Christianity.  I think we are sort of speaking past each other.  My main concern is when we address this belief-behavior disconnect , as you point out,  that is so prominent among the typical American church goer, is that we do so accurately and factually. 

You write, To you, a worldview probably means what guides us in daily decisions.Well, it's more than that.  I have actually written on the subject else where when addressing apologetic methodology fwiw,

http://hipandthigh.blogspot.com/2006/11/apologetic-evangelism-methodology-101_10.html

In a nutshell, I wrote, "a worldview is a person's philosophical outlook on life consisting of the most foundational faith commitments a person uses to interpret the world and the life we experience."  Certainly as Christians there is a spiritual dimension in that our hearts are changed by the power of God.  And as you point out, our behavior and heart attitudes MUST reflect our being filled with the spirit as we respond to the biblical commands we claim to accept as authoritative.   

#14  Posted by Corey Fleig  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 12:06 PM

I used to work with Henry Morris III, who is now CEO at icr.org. Henry and I worked with a colleague who is now at Nasa's JPL, and has an absolutely impressive website called http://crev.info. I can't recommend thjis website enough - not only is its author a solid believer, but his daily discussions come from a astrophysicist's background and training, and he reveals all the faslehoods concerning modern scientism. Its heavy reading, and so well worth it!

#15  Posted by Corey Fleig  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 12:20 PM

By the way, as you read through crev.info, keep in mind that many government employees routinely endure persecution and threats to their job position. You understand...

#16  Posted by Kurt Hutchison  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 2:05 PM

I checked out http://crev.info, yes fantastic! Book him as a speaker at your church and do the scientists and engineers (like me) in your congregations a favor (they tend to be left out in the cold by apologists uneducated in science).

I have read some natural process advocacy at scienceblogs.com (warning, they are atheists there), and they smugly assert that the absolute proof natural processes created us is simply that we are here. Such extreme circular thinking is pervasive in science today, blind faith in what they cannot test, observe, or prove. Pretty good argument for presuppositional apologetics too.

To get a bit more on topic, I don't believe common criminality can be adequately explained by a darwinistic viewpoint, since most people don't know or don't care about such things. It was proposed that the darwinistic viewpoint would lead us into every kind of immorality imaginable, yet even the most simple minded atheist will likely admit that anarchy is nobody's friend, our civilization brings many advantages and it requires our collective cooperation to endure.

I believe that enlightened self-interest can be used to derive most of the golden rule, social cooperation, don't lie, don't cheat, don't steal, and so on But that viewpoint it leaves you defenseless against arguments that justify holocaust in the name of survival of the species.

I believe total depravity (or as naturalists would call it, our animal nature) better explains why humans are generally selfish, greedy, egotistical, short-sighted, and self-destructive (even when they know better), and more so when gathered together in groups (think nations).

#17  Posted by Darla Wormuth  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 6:24 PM

I do believe that social ills are somewhat connected with the teaching and preaching of evolution in that if you take God out of the equations then you can remove the social norms of do not lie, do not steal, and so forth. Since even those who were not and are not real born-again Christian's can and do hold to some moral values, because they believe these acceptable social rules or norms. However, evolution gave permission to some and pushes the door open even further so that total depravity could run wide open. I do believe firmly that God himself contains even the depravity of man.

Excellent arguement Kurt.

#18  Posted by Randy Johnson  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 9:09 PM

"A man who has no assured and no present belief in the existence of a personal God or a future existence with retribution and rewards, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are strongest or which seem to him the best ones." - Charles Darwin

Do we not observe this already happening at a faster rate than ever before? Something is causing the breakdown of morality to intensify. Why do people argue that traditional marriage was developed by men in a past age that is no longer relevant to this one? Are we naive enough to think that this moral relativism will stop with same-sex marriage? Morality is no longer an absolute. It is "evolving" through human experience. Pretty soon the pedophiles will be window dressing themselves as first-class citizens and fighting for "moral freedom".

Evolutionary theory is spreading from college and university campuses where it is taught and is feeding this growing spirit of anarchy and lawlessness. If you cannot see this, I suggest you try an experiment. Try placing some external restraints on a group's desires and conduct and watch what happens. You might be charged with a hate crime.

#19  Posted by Rick White  |  Wednesday, March 31, 2010at 10:41 PM

Mark,

I should have been a little clearer in the point I was trying to make. The "Christian" must violate the precepts of his worldview in order to commit mass murder. The Darwinist doesn't violate the precepts to his worldview. In fact there are no precepts to violate. It is all just a matter of survival and superiority. A Darwinist may actually be very moral.But to do that he has to borrow that morality from another worldview.

#21  Posted by Todd Domer  |  Thursday, April 01, 2010at 6:22 AM

It's a sad thing that we have to defend the literal 7 days of creation in many churches. I taught a lesson on creation in a church bible school. They had a class for adults. I had a woman keep questioning the literal 24 hour days of creation, question the age of the earth - approximately 7,000 years, and why we didn't believe in evolution. After class she came up to me and said that she learned a lot from the lesson, that her church taught that there were millions of years between the days because the days weren't actual days. They taught that evolution and creation went together. What I see is that many in the church don't hold to sound Bible study techniques and so they fall prey to these false teachings. It's an uphill battle, but it looks as though we are in the days spoken of in Jude.

#22  Posted by Roger Christiansen  |  Thursday, April 01, 2010at 7:29 AM

What an insane argument. Effective, but insane.

The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it going; so is everyone who is born of the spirit. (John 3:8)

Either you are born again, or your not. Simple as it sounds, everyone has heard John 3:16 and never listen to John 3:8.

Men love to live in darkness. They look for anything or anyone who can perform some kind of miracle so they they can follow him seeking their own glory.

"I have come in my Fathers name, and you do not recieve Me; another comes in his own name, you recieve him. (john 5:43)"

The answer to the question is why? What better methed could Satan use to hide the Word of God. Wither it be science, or religion men like the darkness.

#23  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Thursday, April 01, 2010at 8:04 AM

John Calvin wrote in the first chapter of book 1 of Institutes of The Christian Religion the following:

1) Without knowledge of self there is no knowledge of God

2) Without knowledge of God there is no knowledge of self

Paul wrote to the saints at the church of Philippi the following: Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,...(Philippians 1:27 NKJV)

If we could simply grasp who God is and what He has done for us from before the foundation of the world (the Gospel) we would gain a knowledge of who we really are and could truly see that we must walk worthy of our calling in response to that Gospel.

By distorting who God is as Creator and Sustainer of everything (as Acts 17:28 says: for in Him we live and move and have our being) we miss the crucial portion of Calvin's equation...knowledge of God. This, in turn, distorts the truth of who we are and ultimately results in the mess we see around us now.

May God help us see Him for who He really is and grant us the understanding of who we are in Him.

#24  Posted by Lynda Ochsner  |  Thursday, April 01, 2010at 8:24 AM

Great way to put it, Rick -- the Darwinist has no precepts to violate, and he has to borrow morality from another worldview.

Yes, I agree with the original topic question, that there is a strong connection between one's worldview / philosophy, and the great evils such as the holocaust. But it's more a case that the person's mind is already depraved and hostile to God (natural man), and an evolutionary worldview merely accomodates and agrees with the person's pre-existing attitude. Evolution becomes an excuse and a justification for them to indulge in even greater evil. It's like Richard said in the previous blog topic, "People who want to believe in evolution, WANT to believe in it."

#25  Posted by Kurt Hutchison  |  Thursday, April 01, 2010at 10:50 AM

"the Darwinist has no precepts to violate" - yeah, I agree.

I guess I see idealogies as having varying levels of restraining effects on our sinful natures, and would agree Darwinianism ranks pretty low on the restraint scale. Not quite the same thing as being a cause of immoral behavior. But is there a correlation? Yeah.

#26  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Thursday, April 01, 2010at 3:15 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

The cause of immoral behavior is sin, so Kurt is correct that Darwiniansm doesn't CAUSE immoral behavior. What Darwinianism does do is provide JUSTIFICATION for ones immoral behavior. License. And that is precisely what evil dictators (and others) have done - to use Darwins tenants not only to excuse but justify their behavior as acceptable.....indeed even 'worthy' to their corruptible minds.

I am so thankful that my justification is found in Jesus Christ alone!

Shauna

#27  Posted by Randy Johnson  |  Thursday, April 01, 2010at 5:29 PM

Today the dominant explanation for the origin of the universe is naturalistic evolution. Everything can be explained in terms of chemical and physical processes. One result we can observe today is the replacement of the objective moral law of God with the subjective political laws of men. On the one hand this leads to optimism in that science and technology will allow man to overcome his problems by widening his horizons to the universe. However, there is a problem. Secular Humanism lacks motivating power. This is overcome by comprehensive, binding social planning and by (compulsory?) education . To be effective, this education must elevate reason and the ideas of men to the same, or higher, level than God's Word. Thus, only "intellectual elitists" can control the course of this nation and the world.

The following is my opinion. You are watching this take place today in government, in the media, in education, and in religion. I do not believe for one minute that this could have happened without the proliferation of evolutionary theory. I also believe this is the reason Christianity is constantly under attack. Another foundation is being laid to provide the necessary beliefs to raise human potential and to control human destiny. The cords are being cut, and we are watching it happen. What a time to be alive and to be a Christian! (Psalms 2)

method to the business of realizing individual potential and to control human destiny. It is the only method, which will provide a satisfactory foundation for beliefs

#28  Posted by Lois Dimitre  |  Thursday, April 01, 2010at 6:36 PM

Do you think the connection between evolution and social evils (e.g., murder, sexual sin, crime, drug use) is warranted? What’s the connection?

Yes, I believe the connection is warranted for the many excellent reasons others have suggested. I've read some interesting papers over the years which examine the increase in rates of those 'social evils' listed (including abortion) correlated with the introduction of teaching evolution in public schools.

Can we say with certainty that evolution is the only - or the first - cause for these increases? No, I don't think so but I would say it is a major contributor. While I am by no means an expert in the following matters, consider the 1) state of education in this country (and in Europe) prior to the introduction of Darwin's 'worldview' until now. Likewise, examine 2) 'church' history (and leaders thereof) prior to that time through today. The timelines of changes within both 'teaching' and 'preaching' are very revealing...

1. Follow the changes in textbooks from the mid- to late 1800s and compare them to those of the first, and then the last half of the 20th century and of course, today's. Prior to the introduction of evolution (and also, old-earth geological theories), children were taught from primers/readers (someone previously mentioned the Puritan influences, the NE primer; I'm also thinking McGuffey's for instance) which were based on the Bible with God as Creator. Even if a student came from a 'non-religious' family background, he would be exposed to Bible-based teaching in morals and ethics at school. God's Absolute standard was still being taught in the classroom. Eventually, even the McGuffey Readers went through a sort of 'transformation' in the 1879 edition and became more secularized.

By the early 20th century and most definitely by its middle years, references to the God of the Bible were being removed and gradually replaced with secular humanism - the "You can be good without God" mantra of the American Humanist Association, for instance - and of course, the theory of "Goo to You By Way of the Zoo" (great book by Harold Hill, btw) infiltrating not only school science textbooks, but capturing children's storybooks. No need to mention the texts of today as being atheistic/humanistic. It's overt and the educators who write and publish the books are proud of it! It keeps the unchurched youth of today from being influenced by God and fills that void with humanism ("you are your own god, the master of your own fate").

2. Examine 'church' history (European and American) of the era of Darwin and his contemporaries. See how many clergy eventually slid into compromise, accepting the theories of 'millions of years' geology and then, the 'primordial soup to humans' biology. In turn, they convinced many in their congregations of the same. (I was personally saddened to learn that our beloved Spurgeon accepted old-earth geology; I understand the Scofield Reference Bible has references the gap theory.) As the 'church' grew lax in its commitment to the inerrant Word of God and its absolute Truth, its witness to the world became less effective.

Fast-forward to today and the numbers of Christian leaders and congregations willingly compromising on this issue is on the increase, to the detriment of their witness. If Christians are so easily swayed on this issue, what other issues do they consider 'negotiable'?

Well, enough of my rambling thoughts. One more item which may be of interest - the following article written by ICR's Jerry Bergmen, PhD "The "Baby Doctor" Benjamin Spock on Darwin and Morality". Interesting to read how this influential doctor eventually saw the folly of his thinking. Unfortunately, it was "too little, too late":

http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=129

#29  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Saturday, April 03, 2010at 3:41 PM

# 19

"A Darwinist may actually be very moral.But to do that he has to borrow that morality from another worldview."

I agree with that.

I am still reading this topic, but a question came to my mind... if believing in a God-Creator has to do with people having any sense of moral, what exactly Christians who don't believe in creation but accept evolution standards of moral be?

Morality, for me at least, has two sides: the outward morality (certain behaviours that accomodate to a certain worldview - which is very much related to the cultural environment and times), and an inner morality - which doesn't come from us but from a new birth - this one is expressed in an outward morality, but not dictated by the cultural environment nor times.

do I make any sense? guess I have to think more about this issue.

Peace,

E.

#30  Posted by Rick White  |  Sunday, April 04, 2010at 4:48 AM

Elaine,

You bring up a great point. True morality comes only from a regenerated heart,which comes only from God. You also ask what is the source of morality for those Christians that accept evolutionary standards? What a great question. If a "Christian" is willing to set aside the history of the Bible to accomodate the culture,what is to stop him from setting aside the morality of the Bible to accomodate the culture? Why trust the moral teachings if you don't trust the historical teachings? John 3:11,12. Obviously Jesus believed Genesis was accurate history Matthew 19:4-6;Luke 17:26-29;Luke 24:27;John 5:45-47.

#31  Posted by Richard Turner  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 12:22 AM

Hello,

I'm new to this and don't understand the procedures well. I've not been one to always quote a passage of Scripture correctly and I find myself going back many times to grasp the meaning of what the Word is saying. Being an old (71) and nearly all of it (44 years) in the cab of a semi-tractor/trailer I am not noted for flowery speech. As an introduction from myself to you members, I can say this very clearly: The Bible is not only a Holy Book but its a Practical Holy Book. I am opinionated about many things Scriptural and have looked to Dr. John for years for answers. His dedication to Truth has brought tears more times than an old man can count. His passing at the age of 150 years (I hope he's around that long) will be as stressful for me as was the passing of Dr. Walter R. Martin. How about a howdy from someone, I'm a little shaky here!

#32  Posted by Jim Neal  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 8:48 AM

If evolution is true then there is no god. If there is no god there is no accountability. If there is no accountability then men do what is right in their own eyes. Always has been that way. Always will be that way. If there is a God we are accountable to Him. If we are accountable to Him then we will fear Him and see sin as He sees sin. Nothing complicated about it.

#34  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Monday, April 05, 2010at 7:47 PM

Reply to Jim #32: Well said! Comprehensive & concise! May I post that in my cubicle?

Reply to Richard #31: Howdy & Welcome aboard, Good Buddy! I’m new at this too but have been listening to Pastor MacArthur for the better part of 20 years am still enjoying the ride & learning all the time! 10/4? J