FROM ROCK TO CHRISTLIKENESS: Christians Caught in the Crossfire
No one should disagree that good science moves from fiction to fact or theory to reality, however, it is also true that before the theory can be considered a reality it must be proven by observation through verifiable tests that are repeatable. The light bulb became a reality after it was produced, until then it remained a theory.
Today, men interpret what they see on the basis that the earth is old, which is the scientific method in reverse. Was the Grand Canyon made by small amounts of water over long periods or was it created in days by a worldwide deluge? Fact: there are scientists on both side of the argument equally accredited and accomplished with observations to their satisfaction that substantiate their theory, but at the end of the day neither side was there when it happened. The two sides can argue as to which way seems right but in reality origin must remain a matter of faith not fact because no one observed it. Any theory without an observable model must remain a theory if science is to have integrity.
Is it fact that man evolved from the ape?
Here is the problem from the Christian perspective. Believers are taught from the bible to forsake the world and trust in the teachings of Christ, “And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Furthermore, all worldly ideologies that are contrary to the explicit teachings of scripture are to be abandoned in light of revealed truth. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds) Casting down imaginations (Reasoning, conceit):— thought)…” (2Corinthians 10:4-5) Such imaginations would include any pseudo science disguised as an authentic method of proven theory; legitimate science is perfectly acceptable for Christians to believe, however, worldly ideologies disguised as science are not. In order to decide whether it is acceptable to believe in evolution one must consider if evolution is legitimate science.
We will begin with what we know to be true about animals from the bible, that is to say animals are without understanding or verbal communication, “But these (false teachers), as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not.” (2Peter 2:12) Peter made the analogy that false teachers are like animals that have no understanding. Animals are purely physical and instinctive; they react according to their God given nature without reason. Because they cannot reason and think in any conceptual way neither can they speak in an intelligible language. How then did animals evolve into a man created in the image of God with the capacity to reason, conceptualize, and communicate ideas?
Walt Disney made it possible for us to visualize animals speaking; our pets react to us seemingly with personality and because of these things, we can be misled that animals think. However, God made animals purely instinctive though they have differing traits. Male and female animals differ; alpha (leader) animals differ as they dominate the pack, etc. The person with a pet may think that because of differing traits animals can reason but that is not so. The ability to reason can be observed by man’s ability to communicate through language; we know that animals do not reason is because they do not speak. Parrots can articulate words, they can even be trained to repeat words, but a parrot will never articulate an idea of its own. The ability to form words without coherent communication does not prove intelligence.
Animals do not have a language of their own, which can be understood by man; they can make gestures and use body language, which is a form of communication, but that is instinct placed in them by God. Reason is creative, imaginative, and self-aware; which is why men have been able to learn new languages and cross cultural norms among men. No animal has ever crossed the language barrier of humans because animals do not have language based on reason.
So how did animals evolve into man who can conceptualize, reason, and communicate his thoughts through language? It is not legitimate to say men came from animals therefore animals must have evolved; legitimate science offers a working model, proof and not conjecture, and verifiable facts not elegant theories.
Biblically speaking animals are not made in the image of God; therefore the death of a man is regarded different than the death of an animal in God’s sight. An animal does not bear God’s image, which in part is the reason why they are unable to communicate with Him. God is a communicating God within the Trinity, where there is love and righteousness, etc. Animals bear none of these characteristics, even though they may appear to do so at a surface level. Should the Christian be willing to toss out such great truths as man bears the image of God because evolutionary scientists make the outlandish declaration that man is nothing more than a higher form of ape? I am painfully aware that some Christians are completely convinced that scientists have proven that man has come up the ranks from a rock to homosapien but the question we all need to ask is, is it Biblical?
The Biblical Perspective of the Created Order
Is it feasible to intermingle animals with men given they were created as different? “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” (1Corinthians 15:39) The words in the Greek for flesh have the same meaning,
“(the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul [or spirit], or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred).”
When the bible refers to the physical bodies of men and animals it says they are different, but does evolution say the same thing?
Darwin wrote about the differences between species, but suggested intermediate forms, which of necessity blurs the lines between species. Time does not fix the problem, if monkeys were changing into men over millions of years then there would have been monkey/men for millions of years, in fact, it exacerbates the problem. To take this situation a step farther it is necessary to consider that during the process of chimps becoming men there would have to be the development of soul, and spirit, which animals do not have.
Furthermore, God created all things to reflect their own glory,
“There are also celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differs from another star in glory.” (1Corinthians 15:40-41)
If I believe that what man is, animals are becoming, given enough time that would diminish the glory of man and increase the glory of animals – in time. The fact that God created the sun to reflect one glory and the moon another, the animal one glory and man another, celestial bodies one glory and terrestrial another ceases to have relevance as planets change into stars, fish into animals, and monkeys into men. The well-known evolutionist statement becomes true, “a rock is a rat, is a dog, is a boy” and Biblical revelation about the differing glories in the created order loses its relevance.
In evolutionary theory given enough time monkeys change into men, which subtly alter the divine revelation. It does not matter that basic elements are the same in all created things, God created things different to give degrees of glory for His divine purpose. God did not create each individual thing as only a small part of the greater whole by an evolutionary process; He distinguished one flesh from the other and one kind from another for the sake of revealing differing glories. “The first man was from the earth, earthly; the second man, from heaven. As was the earthly one, so also are the earthly, and as is the heavenly one, so also are the heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthly one, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly one.” (1Corinthians 15:47-49)
We are told by the writer to the Hebrews that “By faith we understand that the worlds were set in order at God’s command, so that the visible has its origin in the invisible” (Hebrews 11:3).
“They were set in order,” in the Greek that is to say, “they were fit or framed for one’s self.” That is to say, that everything has its own part to play by the design of God. Furthermore, each thing whether man or animal was created by the invisible God. Evolution makes the created order the creator of all things not yet created but must yet evolve. Evolution makes the monkey the creator of man by means of the process, instead of all things individually created on its appointed day by the invisible God.
“The Word was with God in the beginning. 1:3 All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.” Or so says the Apostle John in his Gospel chapter 1:3. Each and everything was created as we now see them. Are there variations? Of course! But are they the same kind, with all the same traits, being what they were meant to be to God’s glory and for His satisfaction – yes. Not only is evolution not present in scripture, just the opposite is true. Scripture proclaims the creation of each individual heavenly body, the earth, each kind of animal, and man by God directly.
Furthermore, creation by evolution does not properly reflect the glory of God; God is not evolving! God is the same yesterday, today, and forever! God is I AM, the eternal self-existent God, without beginning of days or end of life. Nor are we evolving into some different kind of thing or life! Neither are men evolving into God Himself; He has created us to reflect His glory but not by becoming Him. We are to share in His life as He imparts eternal life to His elect, but we will never be Him. God created us a certain way, earthy, and He will recreate and resurrect us a different way, heavenly; ultimately God will transform us into sons who will reflect His glory perfectly. But this needs to be perfectly clear, we are being perfected not changed into something other than what we were originally created to be. These things are said to happen not over eons of time but in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump of God. Creation itself, as recorded in Genesis 1 and 2 reflect the manner in which God creates and the time He took to do so – for His glory. It is not wise or acceptable to say you hold to creation and describe evolution!
NATURAL SELECTION: Mortal Animals cannot Ascend to the Image of God.
1. The evolution of the material part of man could not include an immortal spirit.
“God not only deigned to give life to an earthen vessel, but also willed it to be the abode of an immortal spirit…” 1
The impartation of the immortal spirit in man was an act of God at creation; it was not the result of random events as the physical creature naturally rose higher and higher.
2. The mortal body could not give rise to the immortal soul that transcends it.
“For the body is not affected by the fear of spiritual punishment, which fall upon the soul only; from this it follows that the soul is endowed with essence. Now the very knowledge of God sufficiently proves that souls, which transcend the world, are immortal, for no transient energy could penetrate to the fountain of life.” 2
Man became a living soul when God breathed into Adam the breath of life; the soul of man was an act of the creator at the time we call creation.
“The many pre-eminent gifts with which the human mind is endowed proclaim that something divine has been engraved upon it; …for the sense perception inhering in brute animals does not go beyond the body, or at least extends no farther than to material things presented to it. But the nimbleness of the human mind in searching out heaven and earth and the secrets of nature, and memory, in arranging each thing in its proper order, and in inferring future events from past, clearly show that there lies hidden in man something separate from the body. …we grasp things that are right, just, and honorable, which are hidden to the bodily senses. Therefore, the spirit must be the seat of this intelligence.”
(John Calvin, Book 1, ch.15, pg.185)
Evolution would be nothing apart from the sovereign hand of Almighty God, henceforth, a process of evolution could not create a living soul. Even the natural laws as we know them cannot exist apart from God’s presence; God did not begin the universe and then walk away. Such thinking is not Biblical, neither is it true to the Gospel that understands God to be sovereign and in control of His creation at all times. “He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.” Colossians 1:17
3. The soul is something essential and separate from the body.
“Unless the soul were something essential, separate from the body, Scripture would not teach that we dwell in houses of clay [Job 4:19] and at death leave the tabernacle of the flesh, putting off what is corruptible so that at the Last Day we may finally receive our reward, according as each of us has done in the body.” 3
Because the soul is something essential and separate from the body it could not come into being as the body evolved naturally; it had to be a separate act of creation by God at the time of Adam. That being the case, there is no purpose for a long line of monkey-men that could not evolve into a man anyway, who is created in the image of God and possess an immortal soul.
4. The soul is the principle part of man.
“for surely these passages and similar ones that occur repeatedly not only clearly distinguish the soul from the body, but by transferring to it the name “man” indicate it to be the principal part. …this is expressed even more clearly in Christ’s words, when he bids us be afraid of him who, after he has killed the body, can send the soul into the Gehenna of fire [Matt. 10:28].” 4
As stated previously, there would be no need for the evolution of man from a line of monkey-men because the principle part of man is not his body but his soul, which is clearly distinguished from the body. The monkey has no part in the soul nor does a process of evolution by natural selection derived from the monkey add anything to the development of the soul.
If evolution did happen and is still happening then when was creation completed and when did God rest from all the work that He created?
HOW EVOLUTION DISTORTS THE GOSPEL
The Gospel begins in Genesis 1 with man created perfect and separate from the whole of creation because he alone was made in the image of God. At the fall in Genesis 3 man went from his exalted position, which was free to rule the earth in the very place of God to alienation and an enemy of God, and enslaved to the lusts and passions of his own degenerate soul. In the beginning man perfectly reflected God’s glory but by an act of his own independent will he distorted God’s image and changed the nature within him that God created. The nature within man became more like the brute beasts that God created, which are unable to reason, blind to spiritual realities, and unable to reflect God through holiness. Man began to live for temporal things and not for eternity; what became important to man was the gratification of his fleshly desires. Man began well and degenerated into something unapproved by God.
In Genesis 12 God reveals, that He is calling out of the fallen world a people for His own possession that will again reflect His glory, and love and obey Him. In the book of Exodus God gives the law to further reflect the glory that man was meant to image, and all through the Old Testament are injected statements of the coming Messiah who will saved God’s people from their sin. In Matthew the Messiah appears in all His grace and glory, God in human flesh to save men from their sin by taking their place under the holy wrath of an infuriated God. Beginning in the book of Acts it is revealed that God planned from before the foundation of the world to make a new order of things and to create man anew. Man would indeed be a new creation and that old things would pass away. There is no process involved in the second creation, no eons of time to make man into what he will become; it is all done by the sovereign Word of the living God. The written Word of God and the Word of God incarnate alone are responsible for the new creation, time and process has nothing to do with it. Sanctification is a process, but we must note that while on earth the elect only receive the down payment of the Spirit and the process is slight when compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us when we in an instant receive His fullness.
The Gospel is the work of God in creation as He makes all things according to the way He designed them and in the day (literal 24 hours) that He created them. The work of God is then lost in the Garden by His sovereign design, and the coming messiah is promised who will rectify that which was lost at the fall of man into sin. God by an intercessory act changes what man has lost by his disobedience and rectifies his fallen condition by changing his nature and heart to love and obey God. Through man’s act of disobedience and Jesus’ life of obedience God is revealed to man as both Just and loving. In the Gospel man proceeds from exalted to degenerate and then from good-for-nothing to recreated anew – the divine order is unbroken and the purpose of God is clearly revealed.
In evolution, the most basic elements over eons of time morph (by an unspecified process) into what we now know as man. In evolution, the entire universe is one, which is another form of pantheism or the belief that God is the whole of creation. In evolution, nature and not the Judeo/Christian God is the creator of all things. The divine order of things is clearly distorted in evolution, all things merely progress from simple to more complex getting better in time. Nothing is created perfect in evolution, no falling from glory, no clear distinctions in the divine created order, and most importantly no rectification by the work of Jesus Christ.
Pantheism is an ancient and false religion that is the true basis for evolution; why would anyone want to inject it into the Bible? It is not acceptable to take the true tenants of evolution and simply interject “God” into them, and think that somehow it can then all work. God can do anything, but God has revealed was He has done, and is doing, and it is not evolution.
The third point of the Humanist Manifesto says, “Holding an organic view of life, humanists find that the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected.” Mind and body or soul and body raise man to a level morally responsible to the holiness of God. It is clear from Holy Writ that men were endowed with intelligence unlike the mindless beast so that they could conceive of, fellowship with, and imitate God. Because evolution cannot produce the human spirit or soul, which is necessary to fellowship with God, neither does it allow for the fall of the soul into sin. If there is no sin, there is no fall, without the fall there are no consequences in time and eternity, if there are no consequences there is no judgment, and if there is no judgment there is no need for a Savior. The person who carries evolution to its logical conclusion must conclude that the Gospel becomes a mute point.
1 Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1, ch.15, pg.184
2 Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1, ch.15, pg.184
3 Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion, book 1, ch.15, pg. 185
4 Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1, ch.15, pg.186