The Implications of Evolution
As I have mentioned this morning, tonight I'm just really going to talk to you. I've been doing a lot of thinking in the last few weeks and some pretty extensive reading, continuing to read on the subject of evolution and creation and I really don't want to sort of gild the lily, I don't want to overdo this.
Several things struck me. I picked up a copy of Time Magazine and the cover said, "How man evolved, amazing new discoverings reveal the secrets of our past." And the article is titled, "Up from the apes." It talks about remarkable new evidences filling in the story of how we became human. And it's just more of the same old impossible fabrications that have been debunked again and again and again and again. They continue to force the issue.
This is a concerted anti-god, anti-Bible effort. In fact, as I was reading through the dating here, four point four million years ago, five point five million years ago, two point three million years ago, and all of these, they have a new way to identify time. They reject very overtly in Time magazine, B.C. which stands for Before Christ, and A.D. which in the Latin is Anno Domini, or the year of our Lord, and they have come up with a new one, B.P., Before the Present. Now this is again...this is like giving away your whole agenda here, let's just not only not acknowledge God, but let's not acknowledge Christ either. And so what you're going to start seeing in science now isn't going to talk about A.D., it's...or B.C., it's going to talk about B.P., Before the Present.
The thing that struck me was I noticed on the cover of Time magazine that Stephen J. Gould had written an article in this edition on the creationism wave, reacting to the pro-creationists decision in Kansas that you might have read about where the Kansas State Legislature struck down evolution from the curriculum in the public school system, which is pretty monumental. Don't know how long that will hold up. But this has really infuriated the atheistic leftist liberal evolutionist crowd. And in Stephen J. Gould's case, he's a formidable professor of geology at Harvard and New York University and he is a rabid anti-Christian, he says, and I quote, "No scientific theory, including evolution, can pose any threat to religion. For these two great tools of human understanding operate in complimentary fashion in their totally separate realms. Science is an inquiry about the factual state of the natural world. Religion is a search for spiritual meaning and ethical values."
I don't know this man, I don't know much about him, I know he's not an honest scientist, that much I do know. And whatever level of scientist he might be, he is even less a philosopher because there would be few people who would affirm that one's view of the origin of the world has no implications in terms of morality, values or spiritual life.
He further says, "No factual discovery of science," that is statements about how nature is, "no factual discovery of science can lead us to ethical conclusions, that is how we ought to behave, or to convictions about intrinsic meaning, that is the purpose of our lives."
So what he is saying is that there is no connection between science and nature or how nature exists and why it exists. Or, how we ought to behave, or how we ought to find meaning in our lives. In other words, he is completely free as a scientist to do whatever he wants and to claim that it has absolutely no ethical implications whatsoever.
Frankly, nothing could be further from the truth. And without begging the issue, I just want to make a suggestion of some things that are implications of an evolutionary view. Here are some very serious matters that have to be considered. They are corollary, they are immediately corollary to one's view of origins.
Now let me review what I said a couple of weeks ago in the final message because some of you weren't here then. Go back to Genesis 1 for just a moment. For those of you who haven't been a part of the series or didn't get the comments I made last time, you have three options as to the origin of the universe. Option number one is the materialist's view. That is the idea that we are seeing and experiencing a universe that came about out of nothing. That it is simply the result of random forces acting on nothing...nobody times nothing equals everything...would be the equation. That once there was nothing and then there was something but there wasn't anyone who made the something. That is the materialist's view, that somehow energy and matter came into existence without any cause. Now that view is impossible and unacceptable. It is irrational. It is idiotic.
The second possible view is what is called theistic evolution, that is that evolution is true but there was a first cause, namely God who not only must have created the original matter and the original energy, but along the way it punctuated the evolutionary process with some other creative acts. We know that can't be true because since evolution can't happen at all, theistic evolution can't happen at all either. We have gone over that in detail. If evolution can't occur, if it's impossible, and it is impossible because things cannot move upward, they all move downward in decay, that's the law of thermodynamics, called entropy. It's easy to illustrate. If you take your car or somebody's car and put it out in the desert and leave it there for 50 years, you'll go back and you'll find a rotted out, rusted out, dilapidated, collapsing pile of junk. It would be idiocy to conclude that if you just left it there for another hundred years it would start running.
There are some serious, serious faults in human logic at that point. Daniel Lapin in his remarkable book, America's Real War, Daniel is an orthodox rabbi, written a remarkable book called America's Real War, I just finished reading it this week, he says that there was an old rabbi flying on an airplane and he had some of his students around him. And Rabbi Lappen was flying and sitting next to some passenger who was curious at the way the students of this old rabbi treated him. They were constantly asking him if he needed something to drink, if his pillow was comfortable, if he needed a blanket, could they put his chair back, could they get him something to read, is there anything they could do? And this guy was struck by the doting students.
And so he finally asked Rabbi Lappen, "What is this? It's astounding to see how they pay attention to this man. Why are they so attentive to this man?" I can't remember all the details of the story but it was something like..."Because they're not evolutionists," was his reply.
Well that's a strange reply to that kind of a question. But he went on to explain. You see, if you believe in evolution you believe that you're just one step better than the prior generation and they ought to serve you. It's little wonder that children don't have any interest in their parents, they're just one step closer to monkeys, the children are actually further down the chain. Those kinds of things are silly ways to look at the absurdity of evolution but point up its irrationality.
So we can't believe in materialistic evolution, it's irrational, it's impossible and it has never been proven it doesn't occur. DNA, genetic information, sees to it that it can't occur. It has never been seen to occur. Jumping from species to species in an upward fashion does not happen, cannot happen, has never happened. We can't accept theistic evolution because we can't accept any kind of evolution because evolution can't happen.
Which leaves us with only one other alternative and that is divine creation. The only possible explanation for the universe is that God created it, that an infinite mind with infinite power created the universe the way it is. And wonderfully since that is the reasonable thing to conclude, we have a record that that is in fact what happened in Genesis chapter 1. It says in verse 1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." And it tells us how the universe came into existence. God made the heavens and the earth. That's verse 1 and verse 1 simply says that as a fact and then from verse 2 to the end of the chapter it shows how He did that. And we have already learned that God created the universe, as we know it, in six 24-hour days, identified by the constant phrase, "And there was evening and there was morning," that is there was a period of day and a period of night which constitutes a normal solar day. In six normal solar 24-hour days God created the entire universe. And as we've noted in our study, He did it about six or seven thousand years ago. That's how old this entire universe is.
That may be shocking to some of you who haven't been with us in the series, I would recommend you get the series. You'll never be able to read this kind of silliness again with any kind of conviction that it is remotely connected to reality.
We believe that it is reasonable to assume a creator for the complexity and variety of this creation. We don't have to just trust our rational understanding because we have a record in Genesis 1.
We have been talking about also the fact that it's such a sad thing to see evangelical Christians deny the truthfulness of Genesis 1. They just flatly say it isn't what it says. They deny the Scripture. Now you're treading on some serious ground when you strike a blow against your reason, but you're treading on much more serious ground when you strike a blow against the revelation of God. It is blasphemous to deny the reality of Genesis 1. This is God's inspired, inerrant record of how He created the universe. This is it.
Now if you accept an evolutionary view, you then go against your reason which is a faculty that God has given you. It's part of personhood. And more importantly, you violate revelation because God has clearly indicated that He Himself created the world. Genesis 1 lays it out in absolutely clear and explicit terms. And we've gone phrase by phrase, word by word through that entire chapter.
But then to say I'm a materialistic evolutionist, I believe in evolution but it doesn't have any implications is another act of idiocy. Of course it has implications. If we are nothing but the end of some evolutionary process, if we're just another kind of animal, if we're just educated apes, if we're just one step removed from a baboon, if we've just come out of the slime in the evolutionary animal chain by sort of natural selection, if we've been in this battle and happen to survive...as progeny of the fittest along the way, if we're just part of what is material, it has tremendous implications...tremendous.
Let me just suggest some of the categories of implications. First of all would be the implication in the field of criminal punishment. The implication in the field of criminal punishment. If we are the noble product of the survival of the fittest, then how could anybody possibly be punished for killing somebody? Isn't that how we got here? We don't...we don't hold a trial for a cougar that goes into the ranch and kills the farmer's sheep, do we? We don't have a trial for the killer whale that gobbles up the tuna fisherman's crop. We don't execute the coyotes that come down and eat the rabbits in the back yard that you're trying to raise. We don't go to Africa and kill all the lions because they eat up all the antelope. In fact, we do the opposite. We try to preserve all of those quote/unquote noble species.
If it's noble then to survive and if it's noble in the process of survival to kill, why all of a sudden when we get to humanity do we make it a crime punishable by incarceration for life and sometimes death? Why? How is it any different? How is it any different if I'm just a glorified baboon? In fact, if you want to be rational about the whole thing, there's a whole lot of people in this society who could be categorically put in the...in the segment of society called debilitating, having a retarding influence on the progressive nobility of man and they should be summarily executed. You wind up with Adolph Hitler being your greatest hero.
That's pretty severe implications, don't you think? If you're nothing but an animal, if you got where you are by the survival of the fittest, then why do we punish criminals? And on the basis of what law? Where does law come from? And where does justice come from? Do you know anything about courts among monkeys? Do you know anything about lawyers among monkeys? Judges? Policemen? Jails? The whole understanding of criminal behavior is transcendental to a material world. The reason the Bible advocates punishment of criminal behavior, the reason the Bible advocates capital punishment is because man is created in the image of God and to take his life is to commit a crime against Him is to malign the image of God. It is to intrude upon the wonderful and glorious freedoms which he enjoys having been created in the image of God. Take away the image of God, make man into an animal, you have no justification for punishing him for any kind of crime.
Another area with tremendous implications is the whole area of family...the whole area of family. Only human beings understand family. We're the only ones who understand parenting. And it isn't surprising to me that leftist liberal evolutionists, anti-god people are also anti-family. Oh they may go to church, they may pretend to be religious, but they don't believe in the family. And one of the indications they don't believe in the family is that they believe homosexuality is an alternative life style and that homosexuals ought to be able to raise children as well. In fact, they believe that we ought to legislate homosexuals as legally married. You're going to see that, by the way, on the ballot in California. There's going to be a referendum to try to stop the state of California from legalizing same-sex, quote/unquote, marriage. When you see somebody who advocates homosexuality, who advocates homosexuality as an alternative life style, somebody who exalts feminism to the point where they exalt the single mother, the single parent, God intended families with fathers and mothers to raise children. But if we are simply moving along in the evolutionary chain, family plays no role. I hate to tell you this, folks, dolphins eat their own young. Yeah, Flipper...it's not a big issue to them and so do many other species of animals. Only among humans is there family, that's part of the image of God. Remember how important it was and when we talked about the image of God? We talked about that. We were created...,"Let us make man in our image," and God uses a plural pronoun because God is a plurality of three persons in one, and when He made us in His image He made us not only with personhood but He made us to have relationships even as the trinity has relationships.
Family...wherever you have evolution in a society you're going to have the death of the family. Family doesn't matter cause relationships don't matter, parenting doesn't matter. The state will try to convince you that they can do a better job raising your children. That's what Hillary Clinton tried to say in her book, It Takes a Village." It doesn't take a village, it takes a father and a mother and some grandparents and aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters. God's design, one man/one woman together for life raising their children. You come up with an evolutionary view and you convince people that we're just on an evolutionary cycle trying to survive and you destroy the family. And believe me, the liberal agenda is anti-family. They can talk about family all they want, they only know one thing and that is to throw money at people who have made such bad choices that they've destroyed their families and take the money from hard-working faithful families to do that.
One of the implications, also, and I'm not saying all that I might have said, but another one that obviously strikes you is morality. Now if you tell your teenager, if he goes to high school, and you say to your teenager, "You're just a glorified baboon, you've just...you've just come out of a muck and you were floating around in some primordial slime and eventually you wound up in the sea in some form and then you as an amphibian crawled up on the land and eventually you evolved into some kind of primate and here you are," how are you then going to say to him, "Here's the standard of morality by which you must live?" On the basis of what do you tell that teen-aged boy that he shouldn't go and impregnate every female he can find who will bow to his advances? On the basis of what? I mean, do monkeys ask? Do monkeys get parental permission? Do they get marital documentation? I mean, if we're just animals...if that's all we are tell me that doesn't have implications. That has massive implications. If there is no God there is no law, there is no morality, there is no standard...so why not? How do you tell the criminal not to steal? On the basis of what? On the basis of what law? What morality? What standard if he's nothing but an animal? We have to have something transcendental, we have to have something beyond the material.
I don't know where Stephen J. Gould thinks morality came from. And I don't know what he would want to tell somebody about how they ought to behave if all we are are animals. It has immense implications.
Another one is in the area of selfishness. We've talked about law and criminal punishment. We've talked about family, relationships. We've talked about achievement. We've talked about morality. Let me talk for a minute about selfishness or pride.
If I'm just an animal, folks, and it's survival of the fittest, then sorry, you don't really matter, I do. I'm the one that matters. And the only reason that you matter to me is because if I can do something good for you I can elevate myself in my own mind and in the minds of other people, right? You don't really matter, after all, you're only protoplasm waiting to become manure anyway, just like me, so the sooner you become manure the less of a problem you're going to be, what's the point? Nobody really matters.
If you don't matter then all that does matter is me. And this certainly fits in to the me-ism of our society today. You see how contrary to everything we know this is? Not only in the Bible is all of this stuff clearly indicated to us, there is law in the Bible, there is a very, very, very finely tuned criminal justice system laid out on the pages of the Word of God. Family is defined in very explicit terms. Relationships are very clearly defined.
When it comes to morality, the Bible lays out a very clear standard. It's primarily summed up in "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, your neighbor as yourself." It's expanded into the Ten Commandments and expanded yet into the fullness of the Mosaic Law and expanded even beyond that by Jesus in the New Testament as He reinterpreted the Old Testament law, its true meaning, and throughout the New Testament enriched, enhanced, and clarified that great law. You see, all of that is predicated on the existence of God, the creator and sustainer of the universe.
And just two other things I would mention to you. Another implication if you believe in evolution is there's no meaning in life...there's absolutely no meaning in life except the moment. And so you must become existential. There can't be any future. There isn't any future. Death is just the blank end, that's it. And so you have no purpose, you have no value. Have you ever asked yourself, "What does a child think? What does say a ten-year-old child sitting in a class in science in elementary school or in junior-high school, twelve or thirteen-year-old being told that he's just a part of an evolutionary process and one day he's just going to die and be buried and it will all be over?" And that child has built into the fabric of his thinking a sense of eternity.
One of the early presidents of Yale University was asked how he could explain the hunger in the human heart for eternity? And he explained it by saying it's like a little blind boy holding a kite in a high wind, he can't see the kite but he can feel the tug in his hand. And I really believe that as human beings we feel the pull of eternity. The very fact that we can conceive of eternity is transcendent beyond anything material or animal. We feel the pull of eternity. There's hope in the human heart about a life after death. Every ethnic system on the face of the globe has some understanding of life after death, except those pure materialists who think we just go back to fertilizing the cemeteries.
And so, life has no meaning. How do you convince a young 17-year-old, 16-year-old, 15-year-old kid or a college student that if that's all there is that life has any meaning at all? Any meaning? We don't view it like that. Everything you do in this life for a Christian has implications in eternity, right? It has implications in terms of your eternal reward. Every time you influence another life that has implications in eternity. Every time you lead someone to the knowledge of Jesus Christ you've purchased a friend forever, haven't you? Every time you invest in the Kingdom of God in your ministry and your service, you've laid up treasure in heaven, treasure which cannot corrupt, cannot be stolen, cannot rust. We live in the light of eternity.
And that leads to maybe the last point and it ties with that...life after death. Somebody said to me the other day, this was...I was mentioning this to our faculty, they said, it was a marital context, "Well, I'm just not fulfilled." Really...really, you're not fulfilled. You know something... maybe I'm abnormal, I never had such a thought in my life. What does that mean? I'm not fulfilled either, I'd like to get out of Romans 7, I don't like this...I don't like this law warring against the law of my mind that constantly drags me into sin. I find myself resenting myself more, far more than I approve of myself. Are you like that? I'm not fulfilled. Of course I'm not fulfilled. In fact, I should have said to this person, "Well I'm glad you're not fulfilled because if you are fulfilled I'd be really worried about you. Who's fulfilled?" Not only am I a sinner, I'm married to one. She's not fulfilled and together we're not fulfilled. And then my kids and grandkids are all sinners too, and so none of us are fulfilled. You can't be fulfilled in this life. What are you talking about? Well, we don't live in the light of this light, do we. You take all that God gives you in this life, you rejoice, you embrace it, you...you embrace it with gratitude whether it's joy or whether it's pain, whether it's happiness or whether it's sorrow, whether it's triumph or whether it's defeat, whether it's the great gain or a great loss, you embrace it all and you just file it in the purposes of God, count it all joy when you fall into all these trials because you never will be fulfilled in this life. It doesn't matter.
I'll tell you one thing though, in this sense I am fulfilled. I certainly am getting far more than I deserve. Right? So don't come up and say...I'm not fulfilled. Of course you're not. Who is in this life? I'm not even trying to find fulfillment in this life. I don't believe that if I had a different kind of car I'd be fulfilled. I don't believe if I had a different house I'd be fulfilled, if I had more money I'd be fulfilled. I don't think there's anything in this world that could possibly come to me that would make me satisfied with life here, do you? If it will, then you're not viewing it the way I view it because, you see, the real issue for fulfillment in my life is to be like Christ. Paul said to his Galatian congregation, "I'm in travail until Christ is fully formed in you." There's not going to be any fulfillment here.
Oh the Lord has given me so many wonderful gifts and I don't want to be misunderstood. He gave me the most precious wife a man could ever have, the most beloved children a man could ever have, the sweetest grandchildren you could ever want, and they bring tremendous richness into my life and joy, constant joy. But also there are struggles and sorrows just like everybody else. But that's okay. I just have one concern really, and that is that they all know Jesus Christ so that some day we together can enjoy the fulfillment that God has planned for us, right? That's how I live my life.
But, you see, if you're a...if you're an evolutionist, if you believe there's nobody out there, that has immense implications cause you don't have any future. You don't have any meaning. You don't have any purpose. There really is no value to your life. That's sad.
Now we believe in God who is creator, sustainer and Savior. He's given us His Word and because of that we have a standard to live by and we know how to fill our lives with meaning and purpose. We know how to maximize the present in the light of the future. We know how to prepare for the future so that we can live forever in the glories of eternal heaven. We know what the responsibilities of family are. We know what's involved in parenting. We understand relationships. We understand that others matter more than we do. We understand that all around us people are dying and going to an eternal hell and they will be there without God in punishment forever. And we've been given the responsibility to communicate the saving message of Jesus Christ to them and we care a lot about that. We have been blessed with creative powers, with unique gifts and talents that have been given to us genetically, as well as experientially, that have developed us into a snowflake, the likes of which there is no other. And we fit wonderfully into God's world, able to create and produce things in a way unique to us.
Isn't it wonderful how all of us as Christians influence other lives creatively and spiritually and productively in so many ways? We have a moral standard. We understand what it is to live for others and not our own self and our own pride.
You know, really this is like taking us back into Romans 1. I won't do that, we've done that a number of times. But when you say no to God and you worship the creature more than the creator, all the lights go out and you profess to be wise but you are a fool. And don't say it has no implications, it has massive implications.
Are you grateful that God in His mercy and His grace delivered to you the knowledge of the truth? Amen...I am as well. Let's pray.
Father, we do thank You. We wouldn't know You if You hadn't designed to know us. We would be just like the rest of the world thinking we came up from the apes and were headed for oblivion, nothingness. We would be flotsam and jetsam floating down stream completely at the mercy of the rushing water. We wouldn't know where we came from, why we were here or where we were going. We wouldn't have any moral standards. We wouldn't know what to accept and what not to accept, what to believe and what to reject. We couldn't tell the truth from a lie. We wouldn't understand our obligation to one another in a marriage. We wouldn't understand our responsibility to our children or our parents. We wouldn't know what You expected of us in terms of work and productivity and achievement. We'd be so lost. We wouldn't know what it was to give our lives away for others because it has eternal consequences, maximizing time for the sake of eternity. But, Lord, we do know those things because You have brought us to the light. You have saved us. You have renewed our minds. You have planted Your Spirit within us. You have given us Your holy Word. You have instructed us. You have taught us. And, Lord, we have the mind of Christ. We view the world the way You view it because we know Your Word. And we ask what the Apostle Paul asked, "Where is the wisdom of the wise?" For what appears to be wisdom to them is foolishness with You. But we who appear to be foolish to them have the true wisdom. How can we thank You for that? It is all of grace, it is all of mercy and we praise You for it. In our Savior's name everyone said, Amen.