Saturday, February 18, 2006
Background Thought: Carry out your theology to its logical ends... be consistent.
I was walking down the stairs from my classroom yesterday (I'm a fifth grade teacher), and my mind sort of switched on to a make believe argument with a Christian who is stuck on the issue of evolution vs. creationism. My mind sometimes does this. I hear an argument again in my head and I almost verbally respond to it as if it is really taking place, but it's all in my head. Anyways enough commentary on my thoughts. It seems to me that there are two main reasons why Christians think evolution is evil, a grand scheme of the devil to eradicate the Christian religion (you know, something like Harry Potter). I want to address these two reasons and ask some questions at the end.
The first reason is that it eliminates God from the picture and is an alternate explanation of how things came into being. So a Christian would want to argue in such a way as to prove that God exists and that everything came from him, instead of natural processes. That is not a hill that any of us can climb, and who are we to be God's advocate? The evidence of creation is clear enough to me- God can defend himself, and I'll hide behind him. Arguments from this reason are not very convincing because they take a changed heart to believe.
The second reason is one that I have heard often. Evolution places people on the same level as every other organism. By saying that we are just another species of mammal, we are denying God's special plan and design for humans. I think that Christians would like to preserve the dignity of humans so they can be saved - Christ came to save people, so we better make sure we aren't just a higher species of ape, we're people, and so we can be saved. The other day a person told me that a reason why suicide rates among young people are increasing all the time is because they are saturated with the ideas of evolution and so their lives are considered as meaningless. If they are just an animal, then what is there to live for? I agree with the diagnosis that their lives are purposeless, so they turn to suicide, but not because of evolutionary thought. Another friend said that it might be more dangerous to watch the Discovery Channel or read National Geopgraphic than watch MTV. I have never thought that humans have very much trouble placing themselves on "top." The human propensity to being godlike is incredible. Do we think that a century of evolutionary thought can change the human so much? I think that this is where evolutionists and Christians agree. Evolution places humans on the top of creation, and so does Christian thought- Christ came to save us, so we are the "top" reason he came. It is here that the Christian argument against evolution actually works against them. The gospel only penetrates the heart when it is softened and turned outwards to God, away from itself. Humans are by nature hard-hearted and self-exalting. Suicide can even be called the highest act of selfism or defiance there is- you took your own live, you are alone in the universe, you take orders from no one but yourself, God is not in charge of life and death, I am. My point is this: humans have no problem placing themselves on a pedestal. Lots of Christian thought also places them on a pedestal- the centerpiece of creation. What I'm saying is that the Christian arguments put people just as far from God as evolutionary arguments do.
Let's think where our arguments might lead before we begin them. For example, why are many Christians afraid that homosexuality will be proven to be genetic? Do they think that our genetic codes are free from the bondage and decay of the fall? No, let's not be surprised if sin is proven to be genetic, lets rejoice that God's word is true- we are sinners by nature. The truth is much deeper than we think. Let's be careful as we handle the truth, let it shape us, and not us wielding and shaping us.
What do you think? Do the common Christian arguments against evolution keep people in their prideful state and far away from Christ? If you agree, do Christians do this with other issues as well?