Evolution and Overcoming the Flesh

I was telling my wife this morning that my belief in evolution may not jive with the traditional model of the fall, but it meshes perfectly with the Biblical teaching that we are to overcome the world and "the flesh."

What brought it up was a recent article I read suggesting that people are evolutionary wired to be persuasive rather than to love the truth. It is more beneficial in a social, speech-capable society to be able to persuade others to your point of view than to find out what is really so. It should be obvious to anyone who’s been alive for more than a decade that people would rather defend their position than find out what’s true; the scientists are just guessing (um, hypothesizing) why.

People don’t love the truth by nature. That is just one more aspect of our flesh that we have to overcome.

Evolution has trained our bodies (flesh) to be selfish. Evolution is all about survival, and survival has taught our bodies that these things are important:

  • Eating
  • Reproducing
  • Shelter
  • Comfort
  • Our own families
  • Defending what is ours
  • and, it appears, our point of view

The Gospel, however, calls us to forsake the flesh. The Gospel is all about dying, not survival. So, instead of the things evolution has taught our flesh, Jesus teaches us to:

  • Consider others before ourselves. (Matt. 20:25-28; Php. 2:3-4)
  • Feed our spirits before our flesh. (Jn. 4:31-32; 1 Cor. 6:13)
  • Deny our lusts and live in purity, both in thought and action. (Matt. 5:28; Gal. 5:24)
  • Count our comfort as unimportant. (Php. 4:12; 2 Tim. 2:3-4)
  • Put God’s family and spiritual DNA above our biological family and natural DNA. (Matt. 10:37-38; Luke 14:26)
  • Share everything (Luke 14:33; Acts 4:32; 2 Cor. 8:13-15; 1 Tim. 6:17-19)
  • Deny our urge to be right (protect our tradition) and love the truth instead. (Matt. 15:1-9; Jn. 5:39-40; 2 Tim. 2:24)

About paulfpavao

I am a church historian and pastor, but I do occasionally play APBA baseball for fun.
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