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Origins: A Watershed Issue

Sunday, April 11, 2010

First, listen to this 7-minute clip:

Launch Player  |  Download  |  Full Sermon

Here's the topic for today's discussion:

To be clear, we’re not simply saying that people who believe in evolution have done bad things. People who have professed Christianity have done bad things too. But when people do bad things in the name of Christianity, it’s easy to see their behavior is inconsistent with the system of belief they profess. Simply compare what they do with what the Bible teaches.

Not so with evolution. People who commit wickedness as evolutionists act in a way that is consistent with that worldview. No God, no law-giver. No law-giver, no universal law. No universal law, no judgment. And no judgment means sinners feel free to commit sins with impunity. As John said, the consequences of one’s view on origins are far-reaching and hard to overstate.

As the dominant worldview of the scientific community, naturalism is an imposing and intimidating opponent of Christianity. These days many Christians are seeing another side to naturalism and evolutionary theory; they see a friend, not an enemy. Such Christians are increasingly comfortable (and vocal) with harmonizing evolution's insistence on long ages andbeneficial mutation with the Christian faith.

The question is why. Why do Christians want to make friends with evolution? Is the scientific evidence—actual facts—overwhelmingly in favor of an old earth and macro-evolution? Or, is something else going on here?


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#3  Posted by Orlando Delgado  |  Sunday, April 11, 2010at 5:23 PM

The question is why. Why do Christians want to make friends with evolution? Is the scientific evidence—actual facts—overwhelmingly in favor of an old earth and macro-evolution? Or, is something else going on here?

To answer the first question, “why do Christians want to make friends with evolution?” One must ask, what is a Christian, how do we define Christianity? I am convinced many have missed the target in defining Christianity. Please forgive my redundancy, but we go along we people that say are confessed believers in Christ, but can even set time apart to either pray or read Scriptures. One cannot know if they are not part of the body of Christ, or perhaps they are in the process of conviction as part of God’s sovereign election. Yet, we do not know.

What does one must do then? Evolution is a diabolical view no different from that of Oral Roberts ‘Christianity’, Benny Hinn, Paula White, or Joel Osteen, Marcus Witt, TBN. Before all this mess that Satan has been allowed to create there is no doubt in my soul we should continue preaching the Gospel of Jesus, the full counsel (Genesis to Revelation) to the world and let God do what he does best, exercise his will. Romans 8: 28-39 covers perfectly what the will of God is and his sovereign election, doctrine of imputation, justification, etc.

The second question about scientific evidence, the Apostle Paul deals with it in Romans 1: 18-24. On the follow question, yes, there is something else going on here and it is called the will of God, and him allowing things to take place because at the end everything boils down to His glory, and must of all his holiness. Cannot be afraid or amazed with what is going on, rather be firm in the word and study it well in order to teach it. God bless GTY and JMAC, amen.

#4  Posted by Jim Harris  |  Sunday, April 11, 2010at 5:32 PM

It's not complicated. Too many are more interested in being accepted than in being right. If there's any heat to be anticipated for standing for truth against error, pseudo-Christians and those who don't understand the issues at stake opt for whatever "common ground" they can find.

#5  Posted by Douglas Grogg  |  Sunday, April 11, 2010at 6:07 PM

Why do “Christians” want to make friends with evolution? Quite frankly the reason is to be found in the understanding of their true nature. The following is taken from the August 1887 Sword and Trowel where Charles Spurgeon writes about the “Down Grade” controversy of his day.

“A student from a certain college preached to a congregation we sometimes visit such a sermon that the deacon said to him in the vestry, "Sir, do you believe in the Holy Ghost?" The youth replied, "I suppose I do.", "I suppose you do not, or you would not have insulted us with such false doctrine." A little plain-speaking would do a world of good just now. These gentlemen desire to be let alone. They want no noise raised. Of course thieves hate watch-dogs, and love darkness. It is time that somebody should spring his rattle, and call attention to the way in which God is being robbed of his glory, and man of his hope.”

When I say that it is in their nature I refer to their fallen nature. They neither hate sin nor do they fear sinning. Theirs is the god of Marcion of the time of Polycarp a disciple of the Apostle John. They have an unbiblical view of God because they have never come to know Him. The scriptures reveal that God so hates sin that He poured out His wrath on His own Son as a substitute in order that He might save a people for Himself that He might deliver us out of this present evil age (Galatians 1:4), that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:27), that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds (Titus 2:14).

The scriptures also reveal that The Thrice Holy God so hates sin that He will pour out His wrath on the unregenerate not for an hour, not for a day, a year, a millennium, or an age but for all eternity. Hell will not only be a place of mental torment and an emotional torment but it will also be a place of physical torment. The Thrice Holy God so hates sin that He will create a new body for the unregenerate sinner that cannot be destroyed throughout all eternity in a literal lake of fire. These compromisers of God’s word have no concept of Biblical reality.

Most “Christians” in America today have a faith that has cost them nothing. On judgment day they will find that their “faith” benefited them nothing but will have cost them everything. It was the false prophets of Jeremiah and Ezekiel’s day that spoke smoother things than God would allow. They spoke “peace, peace” when in the end they found out there was no peace (Jeremiah 8: 10, 11 and Ezekiel 13: 9, 10). Unregenerate “professors” and unregenerate “pastors” and “preachers” have been common in the days of the prophets, the days of our Master, the days of Luther, Calvin, Whitefield etc. What makes us think we are so special?

If you see yourself as being lost in sin and in need of a Savior to deliver you from sin, flee to Christ. He will not turn such sinners who flee to Him for mercy away as it is written “He came to save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Lord, grant that souls be snatched from the flames. –His Unworthy Slave

#6  Posted by Michial Brown  |  Sunday, April 11, 2010at 9:58 PM

There are a few reasons why so-called evangelicals want to adopt evolution and other forms of higher criticism. It could be pure ignorance. These men have spent too much isolated time in their lofty theological halls studying their niche specialty to notice a counterfeit. They just have not studies it enough This may be granting too much though. I fear some of these men who move about in only elite educated circles are blinded by their love of the educated elite. These so called evangelicals for fear of another copernican revolution and galileo incident are inclined to cast their vote ignorantly with the darwinian "scolastics" and "edicated" scientists of the world. They may see this support as not associated with the gospel and thus not worthy of a Pauline anathema. These men think they are actually doing a service to the gospel by showing the world that Christianity doesnt just believe in the fanciful in the light of "respected scholarly wisdom"(though we know it is not). They then craft poetical frameworks and odd linguistic and literary theories to show God never intended to have the genesis account be taken literally. Thus they think they are upholding the inspiration and authority of scripture in its intended genres on the one hand and gain weight and sympathy of the scholarly scientists on the other hand.

We both know unfortunately the creation/fall account is linked to the gospel/ recreation of the new covenant, and that all of the Bible is to be taken at face value and literally unless the text itself says to do otherwise. So this compromise is dividing what could be a united stand of christianity against darwinianism and humanism. It also weakens our witness to the world by these false teachers leading many of the flock astray or telling them to view creation/fall as a less important subject. It also teached them that God's word can be tweaked and twisted "all in the name of biblical literary fidelity to the God-given inteded genre" It tells them we can re-interpret whatever seems too hard to understand, and yet still be a christian. It is alright they say to not take creation, or the millenium or the olivet discourse literally. God didnt want us to they say and then they show us with their exegetical hopscotch how the genre demands we dont believe it at face value. This is Lucifer at his best. He loves to infiltrate and masquerade. Lastly I also fear these evangelicals so called simply do not leieve the miraculous and Divine works any longer as it is too much an affront to the intellect and the intellectual cirles they move in and aspire to be praised by in the world. All of these reasons are leading many astray and weakening and lessening the message God intends us to proclaim with authority. This is and has been an inroad to reinterpret the gospel narratives, miracles and deity of our Lord and Savior. It is a virus and the only cure is faithful biblical pulpits, seminaries, and saints in their vocations to thwart it. I pray this blog be a herald to take up a defense of the word of God in its fulness.

#7  Posted by Mary Elizabeth Palshan  |  Monday, April 12, 2010at 9:14 AM

# 4 Very wise words, Pastor Harris. Very succinct, and very, very wise.

God bless you. :)

#8  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Monday, April 12, 2010at 11:37 AM

Perhaps a significant reason is the volume and assertiveness of evolutionists claiming the truth of their theory. Because most people, especially theologians, are not scientists, who are we to contradict the scientist? The logic goes some like: the scientist has no business telling the theologian what is true in the spiritual realm, so also the theologian has no business telling the scientist what is true in the science realm.

Of course that is faulty logic because each can study other disciplines and discover the truth for themselves. Just for an example, I listened recently to a geneticist explain in painful detail how the DNA in chimps is extremely similar to humans. The point this Christian geneticist was trying to make is that there is clear evidence that humans evolved from chimps, so Christians shouldn't be afraid to believe in evolution.

After an hour of listening to this lecture I came to the following decisive conclusion: this scientist proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that chimps and humans have remarkably similar DNA. He did nothing to prove that therefore humans are descended from chimps. This scientist merely assumed that similarity means common ancestry. Because he offered no other evidence, his entire argument added nothing to support his premise.

But some Christians would listen to that and because most of it is over their heads, they accept the assumptions the scientists make, rather than thinking it through logically. In other words, most Christians naively accept the conclusions of science in the same way they naively accept all the Christian "fads" that come and go. They just don't think.

#9  Posted by Corey Fleig  |  Monday, April 12, 2010at 11:58 AM

I like what Paul Copan had to say on epsociety.org, because I think this is what is missing from fruitful discussions: for every argument for creation, the atheist has an answer from natural mechanisms alone. I don't think for a moment that Satan will sit idly by, without a clever retort. The real desire here, on the part of the atheist, is the desire to avoid bowing the knee, not winning a debate. Peter Hitchens said as much when talking about this brother! I just love the study of apologetics and religious philosophy, but at the same time I am developing the observation that, even if we had a failsafe, drop dead put down defense of the faith, unbelievers will still choose to go their own way (Isa. 53:6). As Gabriel said, there really is no valid response for the atheist, only evasion, misdirection, or complaining.

#10  Posted by Greg Gallant  |  Tuesday, April 13, 2010at 10:32 AM

Those "Christians" who would like to cozy up to this doctrine of evolution, suffer the same malady the early interpreters of Bible suffered from; embarrassment & shame.

They are ashamed of the anthropomorphisms and embarrassed by literal interpretation of Gods Holy word.This is why the early interpreters allegorized scripture.Because it’s literal meaning embarrassed them.It’s not “cool” to believe in a literal 6 day creation, so they allow for allegory in order to make friends with the world.

#11  Posted by Darla Wormuth  |  Wednesday, April 14, 2010at 5:29 AM

The question is why.

Man is fallen

Why do Christians want to make friends with evolution?

False Christians, lukewarm perhaps. Christians who are ignorant to the Word of God, since they are disobedient in reading it as commanded in 2 Tim. There's just no excuse for not knowing the word of God today. False teaching from false teachers: Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyers, Pat Robertson, etc.

Is the scientific evidence—actual facts—overwhelmingly in favor of an old earth and macro-evolution?

I do not believe the evidence is overwhelming, but it is cofusing and inconsistant.

Or, is something else going on here?

Few preacher's are preaching, and even fewer parents are parenting. Accountability begins within the house of the Lord.

The world could peddle their oils day and night, but if God's people are obedient to His word, then even the gates of Hell will not prevail against it -- the Truth. The truth about creation.

#12  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Wednesday, April 14, 2010at 3:05 PM

Few preacher's are preaching, and even fewer parents are parenting. Accountability begins within the house of the Lord.

False Christians, lukewarm perhaps. Christians who are ignorant to the Word of God, since they are disobedient in reading it as commanded in 2 Tim. There's just no excuse for not knowing the word of God today.

Well said, Darla! Many preachers are neglecting their responsibilities to sheppherd their OWN flocks; Christian parents are negligent in THEIR responsibilities to raise up Godly children (it's NOT the Sunday School teachers' responsibility), & Many Christians in general are lazy in their commitments to Christ & personal Bible STUDY (NOT just reading for pleasure, but STUDYING to show oneself approved!) We can all share some of that blame, I know I have failed many times, but THANKS BE TO GOD for HIS UNENDING LOVE FOR HIS ELECT! THANKS BE TO JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOR!

#13  Posted by Lois Dimitre  |  Friday, April 16, 2010at 6:10 AM

The question is why. Why do Christians want to make friends with evolution? Is the scientific evidence—actual facts—overwhelmingly in favor of an old earth and macro-evolution? Or, is something else going on here?

The following article was posted on Answers in Genesis. I believe it is tangential to the subject of this thread and related to a previous subject as well. If Dr. MacArthur and GTY Blog Staff think it is inappropriate to post it here, I will understand its removeal. I think it addresses potential consequences of Christians 'mak[ing] friends with evolution'.

"Seminary Prof. [Dr. Bruce Waltke] Resigns over Pro-Evolution Comments"

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/04/15/seminary-prof-resigns-pro-evolution

#14  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Friday, April 16, 2010at 6:37 AM

Lois, we did have a long discussion about Waltke in this post:

http://www.gty.org/Blog/B100401

Some additional resources on this subject for your's (and others) consideration:

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2010/04/intolerant-tolerance.html

http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2010/04/theistic-evolution-a-hermeneutical-trojan-horse.php

#15  Posted by Lois Dimitre  |  Friday, April 16, 2010at 1:43 PM

Thank you, Fred. Yes, I enjoyed that discussion and participated in it. However, I must have missed the information posted there that told us of Dr. Waltke's recent resignation. My apologies for lack of attention to detail.

#16  Posted by Dan Commini  |  Saturday, April 17, 2010at 10:38 AM

False Christians, lukewarm perhaps. Christians who are ignorant to the Word of God, since they are disobedient in reading it as commanded in 2 Tim. There's just no excuse for not knowing the word of God today. False teaching from false teachers: Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyers, Pat Robertson, etc.

False Christians? Really? You really consider people like Tony Evans, and Jack Van Impe to be false Christians because they believe in an old earth? They may not necessarily believe all the facets of evolution, but they do believe in millions of years and that the day so creation are not literal 6 days. Can you really deny their love for the Lord and that they preach the gospel and accuse them of being false Christians? (Come to think of it, do you really consider Pat Robertson to be a false Christian? I agree, he's bit of a flake, but he preaches Christ, unlike Osteen and most [if not all] of the so-called "faith teachers").

You won't find this Christian believing anything other than 6 literal days of creation and that that is the foundation for the truth of the gospel. However, just because someone may not have a solid foundation in his philosphical viewpoint of the gospel, doesn't mean he doesn't believe the gospel to be just as true as you believe it to be. They may not have a philosophical leg to stand on (LOL), but they may be just as Christian as you or I. They may not "rationally" be Christian, but still be Christian nonetheless. I think it's hardly fair to judge someone to be a false Christian who obviously has the works of Christ to back their faith and when they preach the gospel, the Incarnate Christ crucified and risen from the dead for each and every one of us who are all sinners, His ascension and return one day without watering it down, or mixing it with other mumbo jumbo such as works, or mysticism, or whatever else. They may not have a sound foundation for why they believe the things they do (sadly), but can we deny them based soley on that?

Although it annoys me to NO END when people believe the way they do about things like creation and millions and millions of years (that's fun to say - it makes me laugh every time, it's just so silly!!), my concern is with those who pervert the gospel!!!, mix it with works, or change it in some way, or change who Christ is in some way, or whatever!

You know, in a way the evolutionists are kinda right about millions and millions of years; they're just wrong about when because they haven't happened yet. And to think we'll just be getting started, not even so. Trillions and trillions and trillions of years from now we won't even have spent our first moment in eternity. Phew!! Sure hope I have saving faith!

#17  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Saturday, April 17, 2010at 11:32 AM

 

It would be interesting to compare how many men beginning to cave in on a literal, historical interpretation of Genesis 1-3 reflect the same kind of hermeneutic regarding the Second coming of Christ (and the ascension for that matter).  I know this has already been touched on in the blog, but I found these comments by John MacArthur from his exposition of 2 peter 3 to be related.  He said the following: 

"Let me give you something you might not understand at first, but think it through. I believe that liberal theology is not the product of intellect, it is the product of immorality. It is the direct child of passion. It is an effort to deny spiritual accountability. ..

[Liberal theologians] want to ignore the inexorable law of Romans 1:18, that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness. This shows up nowhere more clearly than in evolution...Evolution is not the child of science, it is the child of sexual liberation. It is not produced by people who have come to it purely from the intellectual, it is produced by people who wanted no meaning to culture, no meaning to behavior, no judgment, no accountability, no God; so they could live any way they want to live. It's a moral issue, not an intellectual issue…

There is the real reason for believing in atheism, evolution, or liberal theology. Eliminate accountability, eliminate judgment. And if you believe in God, then God is a loving God who just sits up there and smiles at everything. You have to deny that God will judge sin if you're going to free yourself up to sin to the max, right? Don't kid yourself for a moment, these people parading themselves around as intellectuals are not intellectuals, they are moral midgets. They want liberation for sexual freedom and they want an accommodating philosophy."

 

#18  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Saturday, April 17, 2010at 12:46 PM

Dan #16, I don't think that is what the commenter meant.  I would imagine what was more in mind is the notion that the similar theological error that propels individuals like those in the health and wealth movement, a severe lack of biblical authority, is also present with many of those individuals who promote old earth views of Genesis. 

I am not sure if you saw it, but we addressed this situation under this post:

http://www.gty.org/Blog/B100401

I actually had a few exchanges with others who saw the compromise with evolutionary deep time ideas as being pertinent to a person's salvation.  You can read my comments which specifically address your concern under #10, #37, and #49

 

Fred

#19  Posted by Darla Wormuth  |  Saturday, April 17, 2010at 2:21 PM

Tommy,

It is bothersome for me to classify Pat Robertson along side Osteen and Meyers; however, he has gone down the road of name it and claim it, read his book The Secret Kingdom, and a few others. He and his staff claim knowledge in healing those watching his TV show.

Mr. Robertson is an intelligent man. He has a been educated at some of the finest schools in our country, Harvard I believe. He comes from a prominate family etc etc. Nevertheless, I cannot ignore some of the things he preaches. Besides, at his age, and with his knowledge he should no better even than I.

#20  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Saturday, April 17, 2010at 2:33 PM

Darla:

I think you intended to address Dan, from post # 16.  Thanks for your comments--well said.       

#21  Posted by Darla Wormuth  |  Saturday, April 17, 2010at 3:25 PM

Tommy -- you're right and you are right in your post #17. It truly is about accountability.