Does evolution turn people into Christians?
Does creation cause people to lose the faith?
Mark M. from the UK commented on the article Compromising chaplain castigates creation, round 2 as follows:
May I congratulate Rev M for his stance and for articulating so comprehensively the damage CMI and its followers, and all creationists, are doing to Christianity. Do you all honestly not realise that many Christians are horrified at how you are destroying the credibilty of Christ from within. I too have seen many leave or refuse to consider Him because of the very real damage being done by creationism. People need God. God whose works and creation are being revealed through real science and real understanding of the nature and beauty of Genesis, not your false, simplistic versions of His created works and overly simplistic lack of understanding of His words. You need to face up to facts before you destroy the whole church. You need to stop and take on board the criticisms levelled. You need to stop before it is too late
Gary Bates responds:
These are interesting comments but, to be frank, they are full of emotional rhetoric, and what we might phrase as ‘elephant hurling’ (that is, making assertions that assume huge amounts of debatable assumptions). Despite the weighty sounding claim there is no demonstrable evidence that ministries like CMI damage the Christian faith. How can there be? After all, we just believe the Bible in the same way that the Lord Jesus and his apostles did (see use of Genesis in the New Testament). If one professes to be Christian, or a follower of Christ, then one should believe what He has to say. However, if He is wrong when it comes to Genesis, how could one logically trust anything that He says, including “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6), especially if He is not speaking the truth. Jesus Himself said, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12). Of course, you could subscribe to the view that theistic evolution groups like Biologos profess. They simply say that Jesus and the apostles were wrong when it came to Genesis. Now try using that approach to unbelievers! If you believe that we should interpret the very words of the Creator based upon ever-changing scientific opinions then quite simply, the Bible is not your authority, secular scientific interpretations are. So one wonders what sort of Christian that makes one.
I cannot accept or believe your charge that lots of people leave the church because of Biblical Creation. In my some 22 years of working in this ministry (with probably a lot more firsthand experience than yourself, respectfully—at least hundreds of people in different churches every single month), I have never met a single individual who came to Christ because he ‘discovered’ he could reconcile evolution with the Bible. Of course, there might be some, but we are drawing comparisons here. By contrast, we have received thousands of testimonies over the years from people who became Christians because they came to understand that the alleged science of evolution is nothing of the sort. Sure, there will always be people who deny Christ for all sorts of reasons—and they may use creation arguments as an excuse, but at the end of the day this is only to justify their atheism and their willful sin condition. If someone claimed to be a Christian and was in the church, and was taught that Creation was true, and then left the church, then I would have to question if they were really saved in the first place. It is not logically consistent for any professing Christian to say they left the church after they were exposed to information that the Bible is true, and the Words of Christ are trustworthy. After all, the Lord Jesus reminded us that, “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead” (Luke 16:31). By the way, the ‘Moses and the prophets’ he refers to wrote the first five books of the Bible (the Torah), which includes Genesis.
Evolution does not make Christians out of unbelievers
Moreover, well-known evolutionists actually agree with us that evolution and the Christian faith are incompatible. The high priest of evolution, Professor Richard Dawkins, believes that biblical creationists are at least being consistent and that we “have got it right” in seeing evolution as an enemy (please click the link to watch the video of Dawkins). He goes further by describing those ‘sophisticated theologians who want to add evolution to the Bible’ (theistic evolutionists like the chaplain you are defending) as “deluded” (his words, not mine). I might ask you then, “Who are you actually winning over by adding evolution and millions of years to the Bible?” Obviously not anyone who properly understands what evolution means. This is why I can say that your comments are really not based upon any objective analysis. It would be worth reading 10 dangers of theistic evolution by a world famous ‘real’ scientist, Professor Werner Gitt.
You also comment that our views are simplistic (not ‘sophisticated’ perhaps as Richard Dawkins describes). Why is that a bad thing? We just believe what the Bible says and then attempt to back it up with a lot of ‘real’ science. Logically, your view says we can’t trust God at His Word. Or at best we need secular scientists, who don’t believe the Bible to start with, to help us understand the ‘hidden’ meanings in there, and then allow them to interpret God’s Word for us? Yet, the ‘author and finisher of our faith said, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Mark 10:15). Simple faith seems to be virtue, not something to be ridiculed for.
With regard to your comments about how many Christians are horrified at what we are professing, it appears you did not take the time to read the comments below the article. It’s not surprising because it would once again demonstrate that your claims are a work of fiction. Overwhelmingly, the feedback from Christians supported our stance in upholding the authority of Scripture.
I’m surprised that any professing Christian could think that a loving God is revealed in an evolutionary scenario of millions of years of death and struggle. If so, then one is sorely mistaken and obviously doesn’t really understand the philosophical basis of evolution. Even Charles Darwin believed that evolution and Christianity were incompatible. It seems ironic then that lay commentators like you seem to understand evolution better than the modern father of evolution himself. May I recommend you read Did God create over billions of years? to comprehend why evolution is a problem for the Gospel.
Also, one of the most asked questions or reason people reject the faith today is because they see a world full of death and suffering and even blame God. How would you answer that? Theistic evolutionists have never provided a satisfactory explanation of why a loving God would use such a cruel and wasteful method of death to create. But by taking a biblical stance, the glorious Gospel of Christ is revealed in the fact that He did do something about all the death and suffering in the world. Please read Understanding death to understand why. When we see bad things happen in the world it should be a reminder that something is wrong with Creation. I fail to see how God can be glorified, as you suggest, by claiming God ‘did it that way’.
We criticized the chaplain because he was actually subscribing to a form of censorship by only wanting little ones to hear evolution and no evidence for Creation—not even allowing them to hear all the information and make up their own minds. Yet, the statistics about children leaving the church (and their reasons for it) are well-substantiated. Leading little ones astray is a grievous offence in the eyes of Christ who said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea” (Mark 9:42). So rather than criticizing us with fact-free assertions, I recommend, for the health of your own faith, that you spend some time finding out what creationists actually believe (like researching the almost 9,000+ articles on this site, at the time of writing), and you might find your own faith energized when you come to realize that God really is the Creator per His Word. For instance Stephen C. wrote to us and said:
“When I came to this website [creation.com] a year ago and after reading a few articles answering my most difficult and curious questions, I thought to myself, ‘Finally! No more smoke screen treatments!’ It’s so nice to get real information and a healthy dose of actual, clear, conclusive science rather than a false religion being shoved down my throat (Evolutionary Theory: A religion whose followers have to keep changing their theories and coming up with new explanations when facts point against it)! You guys rock! God bless, and I hope you all keep up the good work.”
Or Fredje J. who emailed to say:
“Your (CMI) work was very important for me in becoming a faithful believer in the Bible … I was an atheist (and convinced of evolution) until a year ago, then I started to listen to those “crazy young earth believers” trying to disprove them, and here I am now. Praise the Lord! Through YouTube I got to know CMI and it made a big difference.”
A demonstration of how people actually came to the faith because of Creation teaching—not the other way around! In all seriousness, how many examples could you supply of evolutionists becoming Christians because of evolution?
I understand that I’m using very direct language in this message. This is because we have so much evidence of how much harm theistic evolution has caused in the Church—i.e. if the Bible is wrong when it talks about God creating, then how can we trust the rest of the book? Moreover, assertions were made that do not have any basis in reality. Conversely, we see people strengthened in their faith and more enthusiastic about evangelism when ‘the lights switch on’ and they realize that the Bible can be trusted from the very first verse.