The High Place of Evolution: Sacrificing Scripture on the Altar of “Science”
The high place where Jeroboam put a golden calf for Israel to worship.
In Judges 18 we read, that after the death of Solomon, the kingdom of David was divided in two parts, Rehoboam the king of the North in Israel and Jeroboam the King of the South in Judah. Jeroboam thought that if the people went north to Jerusalem to worship they would forsake him, and because he coveted the kingship he made two golden calves for the people to worship. One calf he placed in Bethel and the other in Dan.
“Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. And he made houses on high places, and made priests from among all the people who were not of the sons of Levi. Jeroboam instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast, which is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus, he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves, which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.” (Judges 18:30-32)
In the days of Israel, false gods were made of wood and gold and fashioned into whatever the people wanted them to be. Therefore, man who was originally created in the image of God, created gods in his own image. Today the gods men make are not of wood and gold but ideologies, philosophies, beliefs, creeds, and ideas.
“For, although we are in the flesh, we do not battle according to the flesh, for the weapons of our battle are not of flesh but are enormously powerful, capable of destroying fortresses. We destroy arguments (ideologies) and every pretension raising itself against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive in obedience to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, emphasis added)
The Danger of Compromise
At a conference, I heard the sentiments that to hold on to our assurance of “the” faith (the body of truth contained in the scriptures) is not in our power, it is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We owe everything to the Holy Spirit and if we grieve or quench Him, we can have our convictions lost. “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall,” anyone who thinks he can hold to his convictions by himself is delusional. Friendship between faith and unbelief is fatal to faith. If we compromise with the enemies of the truth, then we will grieve the Holy Spirit, which can cause us great grief as we leave ourselves open to battle the lies of the world and the devil alone. Why if the truth is more powerful than error will truth be defeated by unbelief? If we fellowship with the enemies of the truth then we will grieve the Holy Spirit, loose communion with Him, and we will deny the truth by living in our own strength. When we grieve the Holy Spirit, there are consequences!
The Bible is replete with examples of just this type of error on the part of God’s people. Only one example is needed to prove the point and that is found in the life of the wisest man who ever lived – King Solomon. Solomon compromised by inviting women into his house who by the end of his life had stolen his heart away from the Lord and gave it to foreign gods. If the wisest man who ever lived could not stand under the weight of compromise how can we?
One area where Christians are losing faith and conviction today is right where the Scripture begins, the very place where reliability, inherency, and infallibility should be first established. The conviction that the Gospel begins with the words, “In the beginning God created…” is being turned on its head by evolutionary theory that denounces God, His creative act, and His redemptive work. If Christians are to stop equivocating with satanic ideologies it must be accepted that fellowship with the world is deadly to faith and conviction.
The bait that ensnares men in a deadly lie sounds like this, “Not all truth is contained in the Bible; we can learn from other fields of study.” However, often times what is not considered in connection with this truism is that while the world can be very intelligent concerning many fields of study they do not have a renewed mind and the spirit of their mind cannot comprehend spiritual realities. “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” (1Corinthians 2:14). What governs the world’s philosophy is always self, the desire to escape God by self-justification, and a flat out willingness to deny God’s existence. In the case of evolution, this propensity away from God drives the conclusions they reach concerning the origin of the earth. Factors like the decreasing size of the Sun, the moon’s movement away from the earth, the slowing down of the earth’s rotation and many others, which limit the age of the earth are ignored or not rightly considered because they want to believe in an atheistic evolution that denies the existence of God.
Sometimes Christians allow themselves to believe they can accept what they hear because some of what they hear is true; the art of compromise is the art of combining a little lie with the truth. Rat poison is 99.9% good food, however, in the end it kills the rat. All the lies in Theology, Psychology, Soteriology, Ecclesiology, Biology, etc., are combined with some truth, which makes them all the more dangerous. Some form of evolution as told by professing Christians is always combined with some truth, even if it is only the belief that God created the world, but then it is combined with the extended time He took to do so.
The high places were already in the land when Solomon began to rule and of him, we read these words,
“And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.” (1Kings 3:3) This practice would become a staple in Israel’s history, practiced by virtually every king, a fact that should be severe warning to us because it involved the godliest kings. “But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect with the LORD all his days.” (1Kings 15:14)
“Yet the high places were not removed” becomes the resounding phrase of compromise so that all the kings except for a couple fell prey to this devastating and most deceptive sin.
One such King who did not fall prey to compromise was Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, of him it is written,
“He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it” (2Kings 18:4).
We should take the warning seriously that anything can become an idol, even those things that were once used for good, as the bronze serpent. How much more something that has done much harm, as in the case of evolutionary theory that was used by radical dictators in the twentieth century to kill millions of people, the most notable Adolf Hitler.
Israel was taught to worship the Lord their God and to destroy all the idols of the land.
"These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully observe in the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess as long as you live on the earth. "You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. "You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place. "You shall not act like this toward the LORD your God.” “…"Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every cultic place you see, but in the place which the LORD chooses.” “…When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?’ (Deuteronomy 12:1-4, 13-14, 29-20)
Compromise was not in Jesus’ Credo
"He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with
Me scatters.” (Matthew 12:30)
The following are quotes from the Encyclopedia about Progressive creationism and Theistic evolution.
“Progressive creationism is the religious belief that God created new forms of life gradually, over a period of hundreds of millions of years. As a form of Old Earth creationism, it accepts mainstream geological and cosmological estimates for the age of the Earth, but posits that the new "kinds" of plants and animals that have appeared successively over the planet’s history represent instances of God directly intervening to create those new types by means outside the realm of science.”
The world recognizes that all such thinking is outside the realm of science, only Christians or “Christians” don’t get the fact that such compromise does not improve the relationship the world has with the church. All that such compromise does is to rub the egos of Christians who feel they don’t properly fit in with the world and its philosophies.
“Progressive creationism is distinct from theistic evolution, in that God is seen to regularly involve himself in the process of species development through special creative acts.” “Proponents of the Progressive creation theory include astronomer-turned-apologist Hugh Ross, whose organization, Reasons to Believe, accepts the scientifically determined age of the Earth but seeks to disprove Darwinian evolution. Answers in Creation is another organization, set up in 2003, which supports progressive creationism. The main focus of Answers in Creation is to provide rebuttals to the scientific claims of young earth creationism which are widely regarded as a pseudoscience.”
The Danger of an inaccurate view of God
In Theistic evolution God is projected as a creator who sets the universe in motion, sets the laws and parameters by which all things will progress and then allows the natural laws to work. This error is easy to detect for anyone studied in the Scriptural description of God, as we can see in the following two verses.
The New Testament view of Christ
“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17
The New Testament view of God
“’For in him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28
The Bible never describes God as anything other than completely, permanently, and continually involved with His creation; if He were to step aside for a millisecond the universe would cease to be. One need only study carefully the name of God “I AM” to understand God is all we need, and that all things pertaining to creating and sustaining life come from Him. “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” Romans 11:36 It is vitally important that we camp on the idea that God only receives the glory in creation when He is seen to work in all three aspects as stated in Romans 11:36, namely, “from” Him, “through” Him, and “to” Him. “From” Him refers to God’s work in creating the universe, “through” Him refers to God’s work in sustaining the universe, and “to” Him refers to all things as subject to Him and for His glory.
The Greater Compromise of Progressive Evolution
The history of the church has been a battle for truth! When heresy arises, the church goes to work to verify what the Bible teaches, in this way the truth of Scripture is upheld, and the church is protected from the destructive influence of false teaching. We are commanded to do the same, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus … preach the word… For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine… and will turn away their ears from the truth.” (2Timothy 4:1-4)
The heretical Christian monk Pelagius taught that people can earn salvation through their own efforts, without relying on the grace of God, and rejected the concept of original sin. This error was historically opposed by Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo, leading to its condemnation as a heresy at the Council of Carthage in 418 A.D. Unfortunately, heresies never remain dead but are resurrected more subtle and acceptable than before. Pelagianism morphed into its present form, which is called Semi-Pelagianism. Semi-Pelagianism was developed as a compromise between Pelagianism and the teaching that man cannot come to God apart from the grace of God. In Semi-pelagian thought a distinction is made between the beginning of faith and the increase of faith; the increase of faith, they said, is the work of God, while the beginning of faith is an act of free will. It too was labeled heresy by the Western Church in the Second Council of Orange in 529.
This process of developing false doctrine and then resurrecting it in more subtle forms has been repeated many times in many areas of study. Naturalistic evolution teaches there is no God, that all things came into being “by chance,” a phrase that is repeated in textbooks like a mantra. Naturalistic evolution is evolution in its purest form, the way it was first conceived in the minds of those who preceded Darwin, for the stated purpose of doing away with God. As men saw the need to develop this teaching further, because they could not reconcile it with the Bible but thought they needed to reconcile the Bible with “science,” they developed alternative views.
As stated in the Encyclopedia, the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) was founded in the early 1940s as an organization of orthodox Christian scientists. Although its original leadership favored Biblical literalism and it was intended to be anti-evolutionary, it rejected the creationist theories propounded by George McCready Price (young Earth creationism) and Harry Rimmer (gap creationism), and it was soon moving rapidly in the direction of theistic evolution, with some members "stopping off" on the less Modernist view that they called "progressive creationism." It was a view developed in the 1930s by Wheaton College graduate Russell L. Mixter. In 1954 evangelical philosopher and theologian Bernard Ramm (an associate of the inner circle of the ASA) wrote The Christian View of Science and Scripture, advocating Progressive Creationism, which did away with the necessity for a young Earth, a universal flood and the recent appearance of humans.
We should notice the thinking of the (ASA), which was intended to be anti-evolutionary but at the same time rejected creationist “theories.” There was a time when Theology was king of the sciences because the Bible was considered absolute truth and could be trusted absolutely. However, compromise took place in the name of “truth.” God was injected into the theory of evolution, thereby, doing away with the necessity of a young earth, a universal flood, and the recent appearance of humans. This was not short of devious!
HOW COMPROMISE DISTORTS THE GOSPEL
By definition, purity is freedom from anything that debases, contaminates, or pollutes with any admixture or modifying addition. The Bible states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It does not tell how He did it; it was a miracle, by which He created all things out of nothing, by fiat (speaking it into existence), “And God said.” Any addition to this simple yet complete statement is to corrupt the purity of Scripture. To incorporate the teachings of avowed Atheists, who labored to remove God from the thinking of the populous, and bring their heresies into the Bible is to compromise with pagans.
In all the sciences there has been a twisting of the facts for the designed purpose of teaching that the earth is very old. Among theologians, if you want to call them that, the scriptures have been corrupted to accommodate modern science thereby distorting the Gospel, which begins with Genesis 1:1. Such distortions in the Gospel are man was not created but evolved by “chance,” there is no divine purpose in life, man was not created in the image of God, there is no designer, and especially no moral judge. Any incorporation of “scientific” evolution into Scriptural teaching is to include their designed purpose, as previously stated. Evolution teaches that the material universe is the source of its own beginning, though never directly stated, which is opposed by God, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator…” (Romans 1:25).
In the writings of Darwin and his contemporaries we can read of their avowed purpose to do away with God, this is not a secret, nor is it contrived. The end of all such thinking is clearly stated by God,
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…” (Romans 1:21-22)
When it says they knew God, it is clear that they knew God by evidence in creation; when something has been created we naturally assume, by reason, there was a creator. The pinnacle of rejecting God is not choosing to worship a false God, which men have done throughout history, but to devise a system by “scientific” means to state there is no God. The end of such an endeavor is a loss of one’s mental faculties as seen in the words “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…”( Romans 1:22.)
Fools from the Greek means (moraino from morós = foolish and root of our English moron = very stupid person) can refer to physical sloth or dullness, but mainly is a reference (and especially in the present context) to one’s intellectual life. It means to cause the content of certain thoughts to become devoid of meaning or even to cause them to become nonsense. The intellectuals of our day who deny the existence of God have been made morons by the decree of God as stated in Romans 1. Why then would a Christian accept any teaching regarding origins from such people? I am not saying to refuse true scientific facts, however, because evolutionists have rejected God, He has turned them into morons, and without sound reason they pervert true science. It would be foolish to consider origins from those without understanding and sound reason.
The Gospel always begins with the existence of the one true God, and to deny His existence and/or to distort who He is, and how big He is, is to distort the Gospel. Remember it was God who became a man; the God of creation is the God who redeemed the world in the person of Jesus Christ. There is no Gospel without the God of creation. Anyone willing to accept evolution rejects the plain truth of scripture concerning origins and incorporates evolution into the teachings of Scripture, and no matter how sanitized they are compromises the truth and jeopardizes their own spiritual Health. Keep in mind some very good kings fell prey to this subtle error of compromise.
During a summer picnic, I spoke to a cousin of mine about religious matters. My cousin is a deacon in his church; he is “religious.” You would think it would not be necessary to spend any time talking about the existence of God; however, we spent one hour and a half on the certainty that God even exists. I do not believe I convinced him that evolution was dangerous to his soul. It is a Gospel reality that,
“The god of this world has blinded the eyes of those who do not believe, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)