Many who consider themselves Christians believe that God guided the evolutionary process. Is that what really happened? And how does it concern you?
Evolution: “A theory that the differences between modern plants and animals are because of changes that happened by a natural process over a very long time.” That’s the definition provided by Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary.
This simple definition doesn’t truly sum up what evolution is. Evolution has become much more than a mere scientific theory—it has become a cultural force and the scientific foundation for atheism. Society is bombarded with evolutionary theory from the classroom to the news media to the movie theater.
It’s hard to fight a theory that is so widely taught that many consider it a fact. In the face of such opposition, many Christians have either given up the fight or reached a compromise with what some consider “the facts.”
Creation through evolution?
One of the most popular compromises for Christians is the belief system known as “theistic evolution” or “evolutionary creationism.” Theistic evolution basically says that though God created the universe and perhaps the spark of life long ago, He then let evolutionary processes produce everything else.
Theistic evolution attempts to do two things:
- Allow Christians to believe in a God.
- Go along with the theory of evolution.
However, the belief in theistic evolution is contrary to science and, more importantly, the words of the Bible. For more on how it contradicts the Bible, read “Can Christians Believe in Evolution?”
Why evolution doesn’t work
It is sad and ironic, but the attempt to accept evolution has caused many modern Christians to reject not just parts of the Bible, but also the scientific evidence. Despite what the schools and media declare, the weight of scientific evidence does not support the theory of evolution. However, a scientific movement known as “intelligent design” has support from both science and the Bible. For more on this scientific theory that opposes Darwinian evolution, read our article on “Intelligent Design.”
Here is a brief list of some of the scientific flaws in evolutionary theory:
- Mutations: According to the theory of evolution, beneficial mutations become part of a species’ gene pool and allow that animal to survive and produce more offspring. The problem with this aspect of the theory is that there have been many negative mutations recorded, but very few positive mutations.
- Irreducible complexity: Many things in the natural world are incredibly complex. For example, something as small as your eye involves millions of cells and complicated biochemistry that man couldn’t begin to understand until recent times. If just one of these numerous factors didn’t come into existence with the rest, then the whole system would fail and produce no beneficial effect. That doesn’t speak well for a theory that relies on gradual changes to develop one tiny part at a time.
- Fossil record: The theory of evolution states that living organisms changed in small ways through mutations and adaptations through the process of natural selection until they evolved into the living organisms that we see today. If this is true, then the fossil record should be full of a vast array of transitional fossils. But this is not the case for any species. Even in the case of mankind, the many “missing links” are still missing.
Man may be classified as an animal by science, yet in God’s eyes he is the pinnacle of creation. Of all that God created, man is the most special to Him—made in His own image.There are many more flaws with the theory of evolution, and thus with theistic evolution, than these three points. Yet these three alone are enough to convince many scientists that the theory of evolution is not a viable scientific option.
The insult of theistic evolution
Theistic evolution implies a serious insult to mankind and a rejection of one of the greatest truths of the Bible.
Evolution says that mankind came from lower life-forms, not directly from the Creator God as the Bible states. When you believe that a random process of natural selection brought mankind into being, you miss the special importance mankind has in the world that is evident in the creation account of the Bible.
Man may be classified as an animal by science, yet in God’s eyes he is the pinnacle of creation. Of all that God created, man is the most special to Him—made in His own image (Genesis 1:26). God did not create man to just live and die (and He definitely didn’t cause us to come from other organisms through a process of evolution).
Instead, God created humanity for a special purpose. God has given all mankind the opportunity to become a part of His family and to live with Him in His Kingdom. For more on humanity’s purpose, read our article, “Purpose of Life.”
In the end, compromise
Theistic evolution is based on a false theory, and it actually undermines trust in God and the Bible. Sadly, this is not the first time compromise has occurred in the history of Christianity. Mainstream Christianity is full of concessions made to pagan cultures and traditions through the centuries, including many popular holidays. (For more information about some of these corruptions of God’s way by false doctrines within Christianity, we encourage you to read the “Christ vs. Christianity” column in each issue of Discern magazine.)
There is a problem brought to the surface by these compromises within Christianity. It’s not just church organizations that corrupt God’s way. We can also individually betray God’s truth in order to appear more acceptable to the world around us or to escape persecution. This is a trap that God has warned His people about since the time of ancient Israel (Deuteronomy 12:30-31).
We need to be sure to never compromise God’s truth—be it with science, false religion or our own carnal desires. To avoid compromise, we must diligently study the Bible and stay firmly within God’s way of life (Proverbs 4:27).
Explore more about what God says about how He created everything in the articles in the “Is There a God?” section.