Darwin and Darwinism: A Thought

I took a little risk and wrote a post on Charles Darwin his 200th “birthday.” Why would I do that?

Darwinism is blamed for turning people away from God. I don’t believe there is any truth to that accusation. In fact, I believe it’s a scapegoat, turning our attention away from what does turn people away from God.

Jesus said that the world would know the Father sent him because of Christian unity. Paul said that people who say “I’m of Paul” and “I’m of Apollos” and “I’m of Peter” and even “I’m of Christ” are carnal and divisive (1 Cor. 1:10-13; 3:3-4).

Despite these clear Biblical statements, it is very difficult to find a Christian who is willing to do anything about the fact that it is normal for us to say “I’m a Baptist,” “I’m a Pentecostal,” etc.

It’s hard to find a Christian who even cares.

Scientific Accuracy of the Bible

Instead, we haggle on about whether on about whether Genesis one is scientifically accurate when it’s obviously not. Unless the sky is a hard dome holding up water and containing the sun, moon, and stars, Genesis one is either not literal or it’s in error scientifically (Gen. 1:7-8, 14-18).

This is just true. You and I can like it or not like it, but it’s just true.

Amazingly enough, while we fight for a literal Genesis, we forget all about fighting for obedience to the teachings of the New Testament.  Where are the people clamoring that Luke 14:33 is literal, so we need to give up all our possessions if we are going to call ourselves Christians?

I’m speaking (writing) a bit harshly, which I don’t want to do because I can’t see my audience. There is a love that is shed abroad in the heart of disciples by the Holy Spirit. That love makes them long to be together.

That love will change the world. By it, the world will know that we are disciples (Jn. 13:34-35), and by the unity it brings, the world will know that Jesus is from God (Jn. 17:20-23).

Two things stop that love.

  • “Christians” don’t take Jesus seriously.

Jesus only takes disciples who lay down their lives, take up their cross, obey him, and forsake their possessions and the world (Luk. 9:23; 14:26-33; 1 Jn. 2:3-4, 15-17). If that’s not your attitude in following him, you can’t be his disciple. He won’t give you the Spirit, and you won’t have the love that makes unity in your heart.

  • Disciples are deceived into devoting themselves to fellowship with those who are not disciples.

They attend churches consisting mostly of non-disciples, and they give themselves to those churches thinking they’re doing what God wants.

What an awesome success that has been for the devil!

He couldn’t separate the disciples by force in the early days of Christianity, so he released all his children to become Christians en masse. The actual disciples of Jesus were so mixed up in the mass of the devil’s children that their unity dissolved.

That happened when most of the Roman empire became “Christians” during Constantine’s reign.

Despite a few bright, shining group of disciples, Christianity has never recovered.

Doing Something About It

It may seem cold to walk away from non-disciples, but there will never be a testimony to the world until that happens. God wants a city set on a hill to shine to the world, not a bunch of “this little lights of mine” all separated.

When that unity happens, we may still argue and exchange harsh words over Genesis one. Disciples, however, are moved by the Spirit of God to love one another with a love that astounds the world. We’ll agree or disagree on Genesis one as God wills, but either way we’ll be guided by God, we’ll stay together in remarkable love, and the world will notice.

Until that happens, we can fight for a scientifically accurate Bible all we want, but the world will keep reading about the hard as metal sky in Job 37:18 and think we’re stupid.

P.S. A Comment from a Reader

I could have put this in the comment section, but this deserves mentioning. Someone wrote me to point out that the world thinks we’re stupid for laying down our lives for one another, denying ourselves, and all the other things that mark disciples.

Basically, he was saying, “Who cares if the world thinks we’re stupid.”

Valid point.

Okay, I should change what I said above. Let’s not actually be ignorant. (And let’s drop the pejorative word “stupid.” Sorry for bringing it up.)

If the world thinks we’re stupid for obeying Christ, great. However, if the world thinks we’re ignorant because we’re ignoring things the Bible says (like Job 37:18 and 1 Sam. 2:8), twisting the word of scientists (<a href=”http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/patterson.html”>A tale of Two ‘Cites'</a>), and refusing to look at the very nature that God says is a testimony to his majesty–well, then I think we’re  making a big mistake.

About Paul Pavao

I am married, the father of six, and currently the grandfather of two. I run a business, live in a Christian community, teach, and I am learning to disciple others better than I have ever been able to before. I believe God has gifted me to restore proper foundations to the Christian faith. In order to ensure that I do not become a heretic, I read the early church fathers from the second and third centuries. They were around when all the churches founded by the apostles were in unity. I also try to stay honest and open. I argue and discuss these foundational doctrines with others to make sure my teaching really lines up with Scripture. I am encouraged by the fact that the several missionaries and pastors that I know well and admire as holy men love the things I teach. I hope you will be encouraged too. I am indeed tearing up old foundations created by tradition in order to re-establish the foundations found in Scripture and lived on by the churches during their 300 years of unity.
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3 Responses to Darwin and Darwinism: A Thought

  1. Shammah says:

    Hi Britt. I guess I should get caught up on your blog!

    I traveled over the weekend, and last week was amazingly busy. I wasn’t reading much at all, so I hadn’t seen your blog on Darwin’s birthday. (Read it now, though.)

    Ever since dealing with the whole evolution thing ten years ago, I’ve been under the impression that it’s we Christians pitting the Bible against science that’s the problem.

    Answers in Genesis has an attitude of “if Genesis isn’t literal and scientifically accurate, then the Bible isn’t the Word of God, and God’s message is invalidated.”

    Personally, I don’t believe God’s message has anything to do with science or evolution at all. I’m a full believer in evolution as rather obvious based on the evidence in science, but the idea that everything happens by accident still seems unbelievable to me; always has.

    Yes, atheists find justification in having an explanation–believable or unbelievable–for life as we know it, but we’re not going to win them by standing on things that obviously aren’t true. We’re going to win them the way Christ said, by a demonstration of the life and power of God.

    I remember a guy on an evolution debate board–an atheist–who had heard all the Christian arguments on that board, good and bad, against evolution. However, it was not to them but to me, a theistic evolutionist, that he said that the testimony of our village “shakes my atheism.”

  2. Something I have been thinking about. I have to admit that I am tempted to walk away from the Christian religion altogether. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about my faith in Jesus, just the religion. Already I am mostly free of it, and the better for it thank you.

    My thinking is that just because some slaps the label Christian on their forehead doesn’t make them a follower of Christ.

    Not going to change how I treat people. Won’t make me respect anyone less, just means that I will not try and have the relationship that exists between followers of Christ with them.

  3. Britt Mooney says:

    Seeing as how some of this might be a response to something I’ve recently written, I’ll respond.

    I completely agree with what you’ve written. I just think there are two different fruits of two different phenomena.

    Our lack of love and unity keeps people from believing our message and buying into the Truth enough in order to follow the way Christ demands, not to mention we are disobeying God by doing so. But, in general, while some might turn to atheism as a response to these things, people are not turned off to a general belief that God exists, only that Christianity isn’t the way.

    Not all of Darwinism, but the belief that evolution and natural selection were the methods of creation of life does actually lead to atheism, the belief that no higher power exists at all. I’m not using it as a scapegoat; actual atheists use this as a primary reason. And honestly, it is the nature of the tree that bears atheistic fruit. Again, not all of Darwinism, just the creation myth of evolution and natural selection.

    We obviously disagree on this point. I think no less of you if you think I’m wrong by believing what is the testimony of many atheists I’ve read about and personally met or what I believe to be something God has revealed to me. I love your perspective on many things and count your counsel as wise and valid. I’m not seeking to split hairs, only to speak what God has shown me to be true.

    But we can definitely agree that much of this is pretty academic if the testimony of the Body is insufficient to truly lead others to a true revelation of Christ.


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