Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I suppose I should have seen the inevitable coming. With Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry running for the Republican nomination it was only a matter of time until the liberal media assaulted their world views. Because they adhere to conservative evangelical beliefs, including a literal reading of Genesis 1, therefore eschewing evolution, they are categorically labeled “anti-science.” No matter where you fall in the political spectrum of things this election year, or where you are in your religious beliefs, this should cause you concern as an American. Evolution should not be the litmus test for whether or not you respect the field of science.
Evolution itself has evolved. I’m not sure if we could have a talk with Darwin himself that he would approve how science handles his theory today. I’m not sure that he might not say, “I took the best stab at it with the tools and data I had, but perhaps I made too great of an extrapolation.” Now, evolution is not only a test for whether you believe in real science or not, it is a test of whether you are a viable political candidate. See, any Neanderthal that rejects evolution certainly has no place in the Oval Office. The only good science is science that supports the evolutionary theory, and the only good candidate is one that embraces that sort of science. Does this sound like America to you?
Evolution has evolved to a worldview, a paradigm and indeed a system of faith. Instead of scientists today approaching their work with an open mind for interpreting evidence, such evidence is instead forced through the filter of evolution to arrive at a conclusion based on evolutionary preconceptions. Instead of saying, “According to the evidence we found, we draw this conclusion,” we see evolutionary minded science saying, “According to evolution, this evidence fits in here.” Of course it’s impossible to approach research without some preconceptions, but I believe evolution has put dangerous blinders on the scientific community.
Despite well researched works of scientists such as microbiologist Michael Behe (“Darwin’s Black Box”) such scions of reason most often get labeled as quacks and black listed in their various fields of science. Science has developed an agenda: produce evidence that fits with the theory of evolution. I ask, is this true science? Does such a heavy handed pre-conception allow for true research?
Evolution is not a perfect theory. I’m sure even proponents of it would admit to that. However, perhaps what we need to understand is that evolution is not the only theory either, even though it is viewed that way. This view of evolution has shaped our very society. It is taught as fact in schools, accepted as fact in scholarly circles, and has for a fact had a dramatic impact on our society from the level of families to the upper echelons of government.
Evolution eliminates the need for a god of any type and exalts man as the pinnacle of creation. It is tied most closely to the philosophies of secular humanism, atheism and free thought. The explosion of evolution into our education system has resulted in an expulsion of the morality of our nation. As our children are taught that we are descended from instinctual animals, the moral fabric of our nation has become finely shredded. Evolution is a religion, Darwin has been exalted to the role of a prophet, and our schools and universities have become chapels where the praises of it are lauded daily.
A total belief in evolution requires that certain portions of it be taken in faith. Scientists believe one day that evidence will be found to corroborate the theory, but it is what it is: simple faith. A majority of scientists have put their faith in evolution. Their insistence on its invisible qualities will rival the dogma of the most fanatical conservative Christian you could run across. One thumps his Bible, the other thumps…well, his bible – a science textbook.
Religion is intrinsically tied to the creation narrative. All religions have sought to explain the origin of the universe and the origin of man. This in itself places evolution squarely in the field of religion. Many religions involve indoctrination, and this is true of evolution as well. From the earliest grades of public education our children are indoctrinated into its tenets. The behaviors we see in our schools and our society today are the decades long result of teaching our children that they are simply highly evolved animals. What do we see? School violence, teen pregnancies, self-centeredness and rebellion to authority.
Every day we tackle issues in our nation that have their roots in evolutionary thought. Abortion. Divorce. Homosexuality. Drug addiction. Domestic violence. The list goes on and on. If no divine authority exists to mandate right from wrong, then it is done so by man’s fiat. If one religion is considered mythology, then all religions must be considered mythology, except for the predominant religion of evolution.
Ultimately evolution is a close cousin of Gnosticism. It produces empty promises of a higher knowledge that delivers one into the custody of his own twisted desires. I love the way the Apostle Paul warns Timothy against such things:
O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called. (2 Timothy 6:20)
I am anti-evolution, but that does not mean I am anti-science. I like reading science fiction, but it doesn’t mean I want to read it as fact in science text books. It’s time we stopped trying to accommodate and incorporate the tenets of evolution into our Christian faith and call it what it is: a lie from the father of lies, a doctrine of the devil, and a flagrant insult to the creator of all things, the Lord God Almighty. It's like the title of a movie I remember from the 80s: "Wierd Science".
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)
Back in March, while recovering from back surgery, I found myself caught up in blogs, comments on various blogs and facebook. With nothing better to do than lay around and let my body heal, it became an engaging way to pass the time. My intense tour through the blogosphere revealed something to me: it's a hard world out there. I found that especially true in the Christian corner of things where I was hanging out. One of the areas I explored deeply were the "discernment" blogs - those that point out alleged heresies, apostasies and other colorful aspects of the modern church. If you thought Jesus' note to the church in Loadicea was scathing, you ain't seen nothing yet!
I found myself in agreement with some bloggers, at odds with others and just plain confounded by some. It didn't help that at the time Rob Bell's bestseller on the doctrine of hell, "Love Wins", was hot off the presses and stirring things up even more than usual. Controversy, condemnation and righteous indignation was the name of the game.
As I returned to my normal routine, I found I had little time for the crazed exchange of words. My opinion has become this: just because I have an opinion, a facebook page and/or a blog doesn't really legitimize my belief, make me right or give me carte blanche to spout off whatever I want. Just when I thought I was free of it all, I found myself drawn back into it again - this time over the doctrine of Calvinism.
My wife simply shook her head and said, "How do you let this happen? Do you really have time for that?"
I had to check myself again and ask, "Randy, what are you doing here?" I thought back to the reason I created this blog. What is The Resistance all about? Who and what am I resisting. I read over the verse at the top of the page to find my answer: "Um...Satan. Yeah, that's it." Why did all the resistance, all the battles seem to involve Christian on Christian savagery of words?
I'm not saying it's wrong to point out dangers in the church. I'm certainly not saying Satan does not work from within against us. I am questioning our motivation and success if we are leveling all of our guns at each other. If we fire all of our ammunition at our brothers in arms, what is left to launch a volley at the enemy? Old Scratch can just kick back in his recliner, sip from a cold one, and watch us shred each other with a smile of contentment. He and his demons can wager on who is going to score more points today: the Calvinists or the Armenians? The Baptists or the Pentecostals? The Methodists or the Lutherans? The KJV only crowd or the fans of the new NIV2011?
What are we doing here? I had to open up to a verse I became very familiar with in raising my oldest girls - Ephesians 4:29. You see, I was an only child and I never understood sibling rivalry. I didn't know that sisters could be so downright mean to each other. As I saw my girls saving their finest fighting finesse for each other, I knew I had to find a way to teach them as a family, we should be building each other up, not tearing one another down. God led me to this verse. It contains some powerful words:
"corrupt communication" - The word translated as "communication" is "logos." I bet you've heard that one before as it is one of the words used in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ (check out John 1:1). Words are powerful - they can build up or destroy. Jesus is the embodiment of God's word. This living logos is a manifestation of grace, truth, mercy and justice. How do our words compare?
"use of edifying" - The word translated "edifying" literally is an architectural word indicating erecting an edifice. Our words are to be used to build each other up, not tear each other down. I don't mean to sound redundant, I just want to express my point. Are our words a wrecking ball? A jack hammer? Explosives that are demolishing others?
I am coming to see the greatest enemy we face is each other. We can take the simplest thing, the death of Christ on the cross for the sin of mankind, and turn it into a brutal argument that divides believers into various camps seething and gnashing at each other. We bash each other over whether we wear ties or t-shirts, whether we listen to Christian rap or hymns written a hundred years ago, whether we read from the lofty language of the King James Translation or the modern vernacular of the Message. Why can't we rejoice that we are saved by the blood of Christ? Why can't we worry more about clothing ourselves in love and mercy? Why can't we just agree it's a joyful noise to the Lord no matter what the genre? Why can't we just be glad somebody is reading the Bible?
Why am I here? Who am I resisting? How can we build each other up and stop tearing each other down? What if we dedicated as much time and effort to fighting the true enemy, Satan and his nefarious schemes, as we do defending our particular take on an area of theology? What if we prayed for our brothers and sisters in Christ as much as we criticized them? Can you imagine just what might be accomplished?
Ultimately, as I look across our Christian blogs, facebook pages and flocks and leaders, I see we have one massive case of sibling rivalry. If we aren't careful, the family line may end with us.