The “Sin of Creationism”

by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on February 11, 2012
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The Christian Post blog: “Is it Sacrilegious to Believe in the Big Bang and Evolution?—'Evolution Weekend' Organizers Seek to Bridge Religion and Science Evolution Weekend slated to tell about “the sin of Creationism.”

Darwin Day is here again and with it the seventh annual Evolution Weekend sponsored by the Clergy Letter Project. Darwin Day originated in the mind of atheist Robert Stephens in 1993 to commemorate Darwin’s contributions to science on his birthday, February 12. Over 500 churches of various denominations1 plan to participate in Evolution Weekend, the brainchild of evolutionary biologist (and atheist) Michael Zimmerman.

Over 13,000 clergy have signed the clergy letter.2 Zimmerman writes, “Evolution Weekend [like the Clergy Letter] makes it clear that those claiming that people must choose between religion and science are creating a false dichotomy.”3 While the theme of this year’s Clergy Letter Project is “an interfaith discussion of religion and science”4—which would include those of non-Christian faiths too—many participating clergy are from Christian denominations. For example, Episcopal minister Betsy Monet in Sacramento states, “It's important for people to know that the loudest Christians do not represent all Christians.”5

Many participating clergy emphasize the compatibility of science and Christianity, which is interesting, since creationists—such as ourselves—teach the same thing!

Many participating clergy emphasize the compatibility of science and Christianity, which is interesting, since creationists—such as ourselves—teach the same thing! The observable principles and facts of science do not contradict biblical Christianity. But unverifiable evolutionary interpretations do. Despite assurance from Rev. Dr. Jeffrey DeYoe that we should trust science because “science operates from complete objectivity in its pure pursuit of knowledge,” observable scientific facts must be gathered and interpreted by fallible humans who are all biased and all limited in knowledge. Scientists—being human—are also limited by time and are therefore unable to make repeatable scientific observations of the origin of life or the universe. Origins science requires the acceptance of reliable eyewitness testimony (if available, which we indeed have in the Bible) and the comparison of that eyewitness testimony with scientific findings observable in the present.

DeYoe also says, “If it is through literal devotion to stories such as these that we believe we are going to find true knowledge of our Creator, we are going to be sadly disappointed. This is the sin of Creationism (aka Intelligent Design) in Church and Society today: The belief that through the limited storytelling of an ancient people we think we have in our possession everything God wants us to know.”

Of course, no creationist believes that in the Bible we possess everything God wants us to know. The Bible in fact teaches us to study the creation to learn things (e.g., Psalm 19:1, 97:6; Job 12:7–10; Romans 1:18–20). We maintain, however, that God’s Word is true from the very first verse and that Genesis 1–11 is history, not fictitious “storytelling” by ignorant, primitive people. If we are to trust Jesus Christ—to whom the entire Bible points—shouldn’t we believe what He tells us? He repeatedly demonstrated that He took the early chapters of Genesis as literal history. For example, He clearly taught that Adam and Eve were created at the beginning of creation, not billions of years after the beginning (Mark 10:6). (See Learning from “The Great Debate” for more about this passage.) In fact, Jesus pointed to the writings of Moses—which include Genesis—and said, ”For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46–47). Since He—according to John 1:1–3 and Colossians 1:16 and Revelation 4:11—is our Creator and our Savior, shouldn’t we expect “to find true knowledge of our Creator” in His own words? How can it be a sin to trust the words of Jesus Christ?

The promoters of Evolution Weekend indicate, “Many Christians feel unequipped to debate the scientific feasibility of such events” as “stories like Jonah and the whale, Noah's ark and even Adam and Eve.” Some pastors use Evolution Weekend to “lessen the burden on Christians who feel inadequate debating these stories.”

At Answers in Genesis we seek to lessen that burden by equipping Christians to have answers for themselves, their children, and their Christian and non-Christian friends.

At Answers in Genesis we seek to lessen that burden by equipping Christians to have answers for themselves, their children, and their Christian and non-Christian friends. There is nothing scientifically unfeasible in the global Flood or the Genesis account of Adam and Eve as the first two humans and sole parents of the human race. This website is full of articles explaining, for instance, how the Flood model explains the geology of the world. To give up the historical Adam6 and Eve is to give up the very reason Jesus Christ came to earth to redeem sinful mankind. To deny the story of Jonah—about whom Jesus also spoke in Matthew 12:40—or, for that matter, the much greater miracle of Christ’s Resurrection, is to deny God’s power to act miraculously in this world He made. And according to 1 Corinthians 15:17–19, our hope for eternity depends on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Compromising clergy may not be able to see the utter incompatibility of biblical Christianity and evolutionary science, but the atheist who started Darwin Day certainly can. Dr. Stephens says, “An understanding of evolution destroys the myth of Adam and Eve, thereby also destroying the need for the myth of God having to send his only begotten son to redeem mankind from their sin.”7

Without the sin of the first Adam that brought the curse of death into this world, the sacrificial death of Christ—the “last Adam” of 1 Corinthians 15:45—and His victorious Resurrection would make no sense. The historical Adam and our redemption through Jesus Christ are explained in Romans 5:12–19; 1 Corinthians 15:20–23, and Acts 17. Stephens is an atheist who agrees and is pleased “to see how Darwin Day has evolved (pardon the pun) over the years into a major celebration for humanists, atheists, and freethinkers,”8 noting, “We humanists are all atheists.”9 Yet Stephens seems to understand this connection—the connection between our Creator’s account of His Creation and Christ’s crucifixion for our sin.

Stephens refuses to believe the gospel even though he understands it. Analogously, our refusal to believe evolution is not due to a lack of understanding. Rather, we understand the difference between historical and observational science and between fallible man and infallible God. We choose to trust the Word of the God who knows and always tells the truth, and who loved us enough “to send his only begotten son to redeem”10 us from sin. There is no contradiction between true science and the Word of the omniscient Creator.

God’s Word instructs Christians to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). So while compromised clergy are unburdening their congregations of the responsibility God has put on all of us, why not commit yourself to learn more about a topic with which you may be uncomfortable? This website’s “Get Answers” section (tab on top toolbar) is a quick way to find information to help you defend your faith in God’s Word. Why not take a little extra time this weekend while others celebrate Evolution Weekend to equip yourself to be able to explain to others how they can trust God’s Word from the beginning and trust His Son Jesus Christ!

For more information:

  • Be sure to read Ken Ham’s Friday blog discussing Michael Zimmerman. If we are to find any good news with Evolution Weekend, it’s that the numbers of churches participating has been down over the past three years.

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Footnotes

  1. ncse.com/news/2012/01/darwin-day-approaches-007147
  2. theclergyletterproject.org/rel_evolution_weekend_2012.htm
  3. ncse.com/news/2012/01/darwin-day-approaches-007147
  4. theclergyletterproject.org/rel_evolution_weekend_2012.htm
  5. www.sacbee.com/2012/02/11/4255443/sacramento-area-churches-participate.html
  6. “The Search for the Historical Adam” and Population Genomics
  7. darwinday.org/profile-dr-robert-stephens
  8. darwinday.org/profile-dr-robert-stephens
  9. darwinday.org/profile-dr-robert-stephens
  10. darwinday.org/profile-dr-robert-stephens

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