Author: Paul A. Bartz
People find many different reasons for opposing creationism. Some are simply ignorant of the scientific and Biblical points that support the creationist worldview. Very often people really believe that evolution has been proven as fact. But beneath all the reasons which those who oppose creation might give, there is one root reason why creation is so strongly opposed – evolution provides the intellectual justification to evaluate one’s life without considering responsibility to a Creator. This reasoning becomes clear in some writers, while others may not even realize why evolution appeals to their old adam.
When we Christians realize why people oppose the creationist view of the world, and how their thinking works, we will be better equipped to speak to them about God’s concerns for them in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Lucretius, who lived in the first century B.C., was clearer than most as to why the idea of a Creator God Who has ownership claims on us must be combated. At the very beginning of Book 1 of his On the Nature of the Universe he condemns the “hocus-pocus” of prophets who lead the people to believe in a God or gods who judge men’s actions. “As it is, they have no power of resistance, because they are haunted by the fear of eternal punishment after death. I must therefore give an account of celestial phenomena, explaining the movements of the sun and moon and also the forces that determine events on earth. In tackling this theme, our starting point will be this principle: Nothing can ever be created by divine power out of nothing. The reason why all mortals are so gripped by fear is that they see all sorts of things happening on earth and in the sky with no discernible cause, and these they attribute to the will of a god. Accordingly, when we have seen that nothing can be created out of nothing, we shall then have a clearer picture of the path ahead, the problem of how things are created and occasioned without the aid of gods.” (Emphasis in the original.)
Lucretius set his mind to do this even though he was aware of the testimony about God’s existence in the creation, and he knew that his readers were, too. “One thing that worries me is the fear that you may fancy yourself embarking on an impious course, setting your feet on the path of sin. Far from it. More often it is this very superstition that is the mother of sinful and impious deeds.” That “superstition” is, of course, religion.
Humanist Manifestos I and II repeat Lucretius’ sentiments of rebellion against God: “Promises of immortal salvation and fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. Rather, science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces. Man will learn to face the crises of life in terms of his knowledge of their naturalness and probability. Reasonable and manly attitudes will be fostered by education. We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking.”
Since these are the most obvious statements of the purpose behind “proving” a naturalistic origin for the creation, many people who defend evolution have not consciously reasoned things out to this point. Nevertheless, our sinful human nature knows more about this reasoning than we dare admit. In Genesis 8:21 God reflects on the evilness that is part of man for our whole existence. In Psalm 51:5 David confesses that evil nature on his own part. In its most basic form this evil is an inward drive to do away with God in any way possible. The most common way we have to do this is to simply refuse to think about Him. A more formal form of this activity is seen in evolution, which attempts to explain His work by known and unknown natural forces – and a desire to believe these explanations!
In 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 God lays it all out very clearly for us. The sinful nature of man clearly makes him incompetent to offer the conclusions about God and spirituality which are offered by Lucretius and the Humanist Manifestos. So, verse 14 predicts that such individuals will conclude that God’s intimate involvement in the world, which is the central teaching of Scripture, is foolishness and alien to the ways of men.
For though, because of the sin of Adam, we are all sinners, now because of the atonement of the second Adam, Christ, we are washed clean of our sin. The old man of sin remains in us, but now Christ is to rule our hearts and minds. So we are encouraged, in Romans 12:2: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
This means that we should do more than avoid compromise with this rebellion against God. We need to be able to clearly see the source and danger of evolution for human thought so that we can help those, including our own young people, who are being misled into it. We need to be able to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that those who fear to recognize God realize that He comes to them with an open, inviting hand in the Gospel. We can show them how judgment against sin now (which is better than later) is meant to drive us to the realization of forgiveness by a loving Heavenly Father.
The hardest blow we can strike against evolution will be struck when, through the Gospel, another person’s thinking turns from the ways of sinful man to the things that are taught by the Spirit of God. Then they will be most convinced that God can never be excluded from the world!
Copyright © 1985 Bible Science Newsletter, Pastor Paul A. Bartz. Creation Moments, Inc. PO Box 839, Foley, MN 56329 800-422-4253 www.creationmoments.com
Photo: Bust of Lucretius.