‘Why do you just bash evolution?’
Published: 18 December 2018 (GMT+10)
The above is a question we occasionally receive. Answering it goes to the heart of why we do what we do—why does CMI even exist?
First of all, we should note that the question is ‘loaded’ by making an implicit assertion: that all CMI does is bash evolution. However, CMI’s Statement of Faith has these explicitly stated “Priorities”:
- The scientific aspects of creation are important, but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer and Judge.
- The doctrines of Creator and Creation cannot ultimately be divorced from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So, we are a focused ministry, but not in the way many think!1
The two-fold biblical approach
Now that we have established our mission statement, how should we approach it? Following Scripture, CMI’s thrust is two-fold: both the positive and negative poles of the same thing: we give reasons for believing in biblical creation, and reasons against believing in evolution. For the positive, here are some of the biblical reasons:
- Jesus Himself said that the “great and first commandment” is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:34–38). Note that He doesn’t expect Christians to check their brains at the church door! Also, in the Bible, the ‘heart’ in most cases meant what we call the ‘mind’, e.g. “intention of man’s heart” (Genesis 8:21), “plans of the heart” (Psalm 33:11)
- The chief apostle Peter commanded Christians: “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15). So, we are to make a defense of our faith, which has reasons.
- Jude’s inspired epistle said: “I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3).
We also have admonitions for the negative side:
- The Apostle Paul said: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Now this is quite shocking for some when they read this for this first time. Well, it doesn’t say “destroy people”, but just “destroy arguments”, but even so! Yet this is what the Prophets, Apostles, and Jesus Himself did frequently. Often, whatever was the strongest rival belief system would be attacked, because beliefs are the foundation for one’s worldview or philosophy of life.
The prophets and negative arguments
After the Israelites came out of Egypt, the main opposition to worship of the true God YHWH was idolatry. First, many retained the idol worship of the land they had fled, and later on, they copied the Canaanite religion of worshipping many gods, including Baal.
In a famous contest, Elijah, the forerunner of the prophetic ministry, showed up the absurd falsehoods of Baal-worship (1 Kings 18:16–40). He even mocked the silliness of them worshipping a nature god with ordinary limitations, like needing to sleep, couldn’t hear prayers, couldn’t be in two places at once, and even needing to heed the call of nature. This was a contrast to the true God who made everything, and could not be limited by anything He created—His fire even consumed vast amounts of water. This is an example of where we see both the negative and positive aspects of Elijah’s arguments.
We are not told of any religious leaders who rebuked Elijah for the negative arguments, on the lines of, “Just present a positive case for YHWH worship; don’t bash Baal worship. Don’t claim that Baalism is a theory in crisis; there is evidence for it—gobs and gobs of it.” No, clearly God blessed Elijah’s approach, I suspect because the false idolatry was leading people astray and straight to hell. In reward, both Elijah and Enoch were the only two people we know who were taken to heaven without dying.
Later on, Isaiah likewise contrasted the true God with the idols (Isaiah 40–45), again with the twofold approach. For the positive, the true God made the heavens and the earth, is the First and the Last, so is not limited by time. This means that He owns the past and the future, so could tell what is to come (44:7).
It’s notable that Jesus makes the same claim to deity by declaring, “I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he” (John 13:19). To make it clear, Jesus even uses exactly the same language as YHWH revealed to Isaiah 43:10 as translated in the Greek Septuagint:
Hina … pisteusete … hoti ego eimi (Isaiah 43:10)
Hina pisteusete … hoti ego eimi (John 13:19)
“That … you should believe … that I am”.2
It’s no accident that His enemies wanted to stone Him “for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God” (John 10:33). Jesus never corrected them for how they understood His claims, and as we see above, three chapters later, He made it even clearer.
But with this powerful positive evidence, Isaiah used negative arguments against idol worship. One of the most cutting is how a man plants a cedar tree, and half he burns as fuel to warm himself and cook, while he fashions the remainder into an idol and prays to it for deliverance (Isaiah 44:14–20). Isaiah condemns the blindness and ignorance of such beliefs—“a deluded heart has led him astray.”
The prophets used both positive arguments for the true God and negative arguments against the leading competing false belief system. Today, the leading false belief system is goo-to-you evolution, teaching that humans are not made in God’s image but are rearranged pond scum. This is an anti-God belief and the foundation for atheism. The biblical precedent clearly calls for both positive arguments for creation and negative arguments against evolution.
References and notes
- .Hughes, E., Is CMI only focused on one thing? Yep, and it’s Jesus Christ! February 2017; creation.com/focused-one-thing. Return to text.
- .James White, The Forgotten Trinity, ch. 6, Bethany House Publishers, 1998. Return to text.