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Evolution and the breakup of Christendom1

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Published: 27 November 2012 (GMT+10)

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Evolution, in its challenge to biblical authority, can be likened to a ‘battering ram of unbelief’

Evolution, in its challenge to biblical authority, can be likened to a ‘battering ram of unbelief’

Over eighty years ago, a book was written by one Rev. C. Leopold Clarke, a lecturer at a London Bible college.2 Not only is that book ‘bang up-to-date’, but I believe it is more relevant now than when it was first published in 1930.3 The bulk of this short article (except the subtitles) is extracted and assembled from Clarke’s own words (with minimal editing), to bring the admittedly ‘in-your-face’ message to us afresh. Although we are living in the ‘enlightened’ and technologically advanced Twenty-First Century, Clarke’s words have a very contemporary ring about them. In fact, if we consider the moral and spiritual disintegration that has occurred over those intervening decades (and the ongoing breakup of Christendom in the once-Christian West), his words are strikingly prescient.

A battering-ram of unbelief!

Evolution [is] the greatest and most active agent of moral and spiritual disintegration. It is a battering-ram of unbelief—a sapping and mining operation that intends to blow Religion sky-high.4 The one thing which the human mind demands in its conception of God, is that, being Almighty, He works sovereignly and miraculously—and this is the thing with which Evolution dispenses.5

Evolution [is] the greatest and most active agent of moral and spiritual disintegration. It is a battering-ram of unbelief—a sapping and mining operation that intends to blow Religion sky-high.

Already a tremendous effect, on a wide scale, has been produced by the impact of this teaching—an effect which can only be likened to the … collapse of foundations. … The faith of the Christian Church and of the average Christian has had, and still has, its foundation as much in the [truth] of the account of Creation, as in that of the person of Christ …6

Helping people lose rather than find God!

But how horrible a travesty of the sacred office of the Christian Ministry to see [church leaders] more eager to be abreast of the times, than “earnestly contending for the Faith once for all delivered unto the saints” [Jude 1:3]. … It is high time that the Church separated herself from the humiliating entanglement attending her desire to be thought up to date, and to escape the charge of ignorance. What, after all, have the custodians of Divine Revelation to do making terms with speculative Biology, which has, and can have, no message of comfort or help to the soul?7

The trend of present day science is not to help men find God, but to lose Him. … Having decided for us that we have no objective Spiritual certainty, [certain evolutionary scientists] are kindly formulating plans by which we may keep the vestiges of the Church and the motives of virtue without [spiritual certainty], … busy telling us in what light we are to regard Jesus Christ, other than as the “express Image of the Father’s Person” [Heb. 1:3]. … And these [evolutionary scientists] are the men that organised Christianity delights to honour, and to give the chief places at its feasts!8

Authority of Christ and His Word challenged!

The essence of [unfaithfulness] is to contradict the Divine Redeemer, and that most assuredly is done in the [modernist Bible] Commentaries. That it should be done while reverence is professed, is an illustration of the intellectual and moral topsy-turvydom of Modernism. … “He whom God hath sent speaketh the Words of God,” claimed Christ of Himself [John 3:34], and no assumption of error can hold water in the face of that declaration, without blasphemy.9

There is no evidence against the Bible, but there is the violent prejudice of the modern spirit and the modern cast of mind—the spirit that reckons God Himself to be out of date.

It is obvious, of course, that the “falling away” of Christendom from the faith of God could not proceed while the Bible held its rightful place in the judgment of the generation. It has been displaced, as was foretold [2 Thess. 2:11], by the invasion of the modern intellect with the “strong delusion that shall believe a lie.” There is no evidence against the Bible, but there is the violent prejudice of the modern spirit and the modern cast of mind—the spirit that reckons God Himself to be out of date.

A sobering assessment

If the teaching of Evolution … is inconsistent with the Revelation of God in the Deity of Jesus Christ; if it is another Spirit, teaching another Gospel; if it is a frank apostasy from “the Truth as it is in Jesus”; no considerations of Christian charity, of tolerance, of policy, can exonerate those Christian leaders or Churches who fail to condemn, and to sever themselves from such teachers and such teaching. Under the shelter of “scholarship” there stands a compromising, cowardly, shilly-shallying company of men today … 10

C. Leopold Clarke’s words are a clarion call to the church today. True Christians must choose whom they will serve, whose word they will believe, whose cause they will follow. We must all remain motivated and ensure that we are well equipped to boldly take our stand. CMI exists primarily to serve the Christian community, helping to stop the evolutionary rot and its baneful influence in peoples’ lives, like Matt D. who recently sent me this message,

“I wanted to express my gratitude for your work at CMI-UK. I used to class myself as a consistent atheist … God rescued me from self-destructive darkness roughly 2 years ago. I then classed myself as a theistic evolutionist for a time, before finding CMI seven months ago. I am overwhelmed by the quality of information you guys put out and overjoyed to have discovered what a fraud the unbiblical theory of evolution is. I can now read and understand scripture without all the unnecessary ‘mental gymnastics’. Praise God!”

At large sporting fixtures (such as the recent London Olympics) teams of trained, disciplined sportsmen and sportswomen represent their home countries. What more could you personally be doing on the ‘Creation team’, going not merely for gold but for God? Now is not the time for ‘shilly-shallying’ and inaction.

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Further Reading

References and notes

  1. This is a slightly modified version of a Creation Extra letter, CMI-UK/Europe, June 2012. Return to text.
  2. He was tutor in Church history and comparative religions at Wickliffe Bible College, Finchley, London. Return to text.
  3. Clarke, C. L., Evolution and the Breakup of Christendom, Marshall, Morgan & Scott Ltd, London, 1930, 271 pages. The capitalisation of words throughout the quoted text is taken from the original and only a minimum of editing has been done to improve readability. Items in [square brackets] are added. Return to text.
  4. Ibid, p. 36. Return to text.
  5. Ibid, p. 57. Return to text.
  6. Ibid, p. 47. Return to text.
  7. Ibid, p. 66. Return to text.
  8. Ibid, p. 67. Return to text.
  9. Ibid, pp. 84–85. Return to text.
  10. Ibid, pp. 86–87. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments
R. D., United Kingdom, 27 November 2012

It's good to know that however many spineless leaders the Church may have and have had down the years, there are people like the esteemed Rev. Clarke (and others such as Doug Wilson and Charles Haddon Spurgeon who are quoted elsewhere on CMI) who are prepared to stand firm in the name of the Lord in the face of false teachings. And even if such leaders are in a minority, they certainly still exist in plenty, throughout Christendom. And it's no surprise that it's their Churches which tend to stand firm and boom while those which cave in to compromise wither.

While there is - understandably enough - much lament on CMI for the number of Churches and leaders which have capitulated, let's not forget to celebrate the many who stand firm.

Jeffrey C., United States, 27 November 2012

I thank God to read this -- Clarke's enduringly relevant message. I find it full of phrases I hope to remember.

"a battering ram of unbelief"

"more eager to be abreast of the times, than "contending for the faith once for all delivered" ... ["your most holy faith" as Jude says (v. 20)]

"The trend of present day science is not to help men find God, but to lose Him"

"the violent prejudice of the modern spirit and the modern cast of mind--the spirit that reckons God Himself to be out of date"

As it is written:

"Truthful speech abides forever, A lying tongue for but a moment" (Proverbs 12:19 Tanach).

John L., Australia, 27 November 2012

Right on! The lie of evolution has done more damage to the Christian church than we can ever imagine. It needs to be opposed by all Christians, and not given any quarter whatsoever. You at CMI are doing a great job. God will bless you for your courageous stand on His truth.

Karen E., United States, 27 November 2012

Thank you very much for this article. I really needed this validation today.

Peace in Yeshua, Karah

Mark A., United Kingdom, 28 November 2012

There seems to be an underlying assumption that it is somehow the "goal" of evolutionary science to undercut religious beliefs. It's not. Secular (unconcerned with gods) is different from atheistic (excluding gods).

Evolutionary scientists go where the evidence leasd them; they don't aim the evidence at gods and pull the trigger.

Philip Bell responds

The article especially draws attention to those professing Christians who embrace evolution and end up denying the clear teaching of the Bible as a result. The article does not say that it is the goal of all evolutionary scientists to undercut faith, yet it is certainly true that a number of prominent evolutionary scientists admit this to be an explicit objective. 'Going where he evidence leads'? This website is replete with articles that show a failure to do precisely that; just one example must suffice, the incontrovertible evidence of unfossilised soft-tissues (and associated biomolecules) within dinosaur bones. Use the search engine to find out more.

David G., Australia, 29 November 2012

From what I read of theologians and Christian teachers who absorb evolution into their understanding of the Bible, they seem to think that it is something that can sit within a basically Christian understanding of the world. This instantly reveals a failure both of critical thinking and biblical understanding; evolution is a total way of thinking about life, the universe and everything that is completely alien to the biblical structure of the world and relationships. The evolutionary conceptualisation of the world displaces the biblical when it is taken into Christian thought: love and relationship cease to be at the root of being, instead material and non-love are there; the personal becomes something within the creation, instead of something beyond the creation (God's person-hood, obviously); and the ultimate reference for our thinking about life finds its place in material randomness, not in the words of God.

Marc K., Australia, 30 November 2012

Mark A. is apparently unaware of the high priest of evolution Richard Dawkins' words, to wit, "Darwin[ism] made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist."

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