by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
March 21, 2012
Most Bible-believing Christians are not particularly interested in—and perhaps not even aware of—the fact that February 12 is the birthday of Charles Darwin, originator of the Theory of Evolution. To honor him for his "vast contribution to science," an atheist named Robert Stephens concocted what he called "Darwin Day," to be kept on Darwin's birthday each year. In 2006, evolutionary biologist Michael Zimmerman began what was then known as "Evolution Sunday," but which is now called "Evolution Weekend" to accommodate those who do not keep Sunday as a day of worship.
Backing Evolution Weekend is an organization called the Clergy Letter Project. This effort encourages clergy from all religious faiths to sign a letter stating that they have accepted "evolutionary theory and have embraced it as a core component of human knowledge, fully harmonious with religious faith." Now for the potentially dismaying part of all this: 13,000 clergy—mostly American and mostly from Christian denominations—have signed the letter, and about 550 churches have planned to participate in Evolution Weekend this year.
While this may seem to some like the downfall of Christianity, it is not as bad as it looks. However, it does show that secular humanism—pushed as it is in the public schools and universities—is slithering into nominal Christianity and creating in too many minds a false synthesis of evolution and Scripture.
As many expositors have shown, the observable principles and facts of science are compatible with biblical Christianity, but evolution contradicts the Bible at nearly every juncture. Pure science is based on the pursuit of knowledge—call them "facts" or "truth"—but unfortunately, what scientists observe must be interpreted by fallible human beings, all of whom, Christian or secular, are biased and limited in knowledge, experience, and time.
In particular, to be confirmed, the science of origins requires the acceptance of reliable eyewitness testimony—which is available only in the Bible, if one believes it—along with expertise in comparing that testimony with present, observable scientific findings. But humanists do not accept the Bible, dismissing divine testimony and relying on their own suppositions and reason, and thus we have evolution.
In this vein, Dr. Jeffrey DeYoe, a clergyman, states:
If it is through literal devotion to stories such as these [Bible accounts] 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.
This hardly sounds like something a Christian minister would say!
Of course, creationists do not believe that the Bible contains all knowledge, but what it does contain about science and the origin of all things is true. Christians accept what the Bible says because Jesus tells us to live by God's every word (Matthew 4:4) and because "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (II Timothy 3:16). We can also easily see that Jesus, being the Creator (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2), believed and taught the seven-day creation (Matthew 19:4-6) and the account of Noah's Flood (Luke 17:27).
To believe evolution, then, is to deny Christ, His mission, and His message. In fact, the account of Adam and Eve and their sin has a direct correlation with the reason Jesus had to come as a Man and die to redeem us from our sins. In that account, in Genesis 3:15, is the first prophecy recorded in the Bible, foretelling the coming of a Savior to defeat the serpent, Satan the Devil. Therefore, Christians who believe in evolution have no excuse (see Romans 1:18-20).
Earlier, we saw that 13,000 members of the clergy have signed the Clergy Letter Project statement, but it is really not as bad as that number seems to suggest. While 13,000 men and women of the cloth professing their devotion to evolution seems high, there are well over a half-million clergy in the U.S. alone. Thus, these humanist ministers represent no more than 2.6% of all ministers in the nation.
Additionally, the roughly 550 churches planning to participate in Evolution Weekend is down nearly 50% from the high of 1049 in 2009. There are about 270,000 congregations in America, so 550 churches represent only 0.2% of churches, a quite insignificant number.
Further, we should note the kind of churches these 550 are: the most liberal, leftist, and humanist churches in the nation. Most hail from the liberal wings of the mainline Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches. Seventy-nine of them list Unitarian Universalist as their umbrella denomination, and 74, United Church of Christ. Three are Metropolitan Community churches, a sect built upon homosexuality. Forty-four are not even Christian! Of these, one is Muslim and the remainder claim Reform Judaism, the most liberal branch of Judaism, as their denomination.
Other non-church organizations plan to celebrate Evolution Weekend too. These include the Gardenia Center ("bringing the metaphysical community together"), the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, The Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism, and the Officers of Avalon ("providing a community and network for Pagan first responders").
How true the adage, "You are known by the company you keep"!
Evolution Weekend is confined, thankfully, to a small number of ultra-liberal churches and secular humanistic organizations. However, we need to be aware that anti-God groups are always pushing to advance their agendas, and clearly, they have made significant headway over the past few generations in America and abroad. Their influence will only increase as Christ's return nears, so God's people must stand firm (Ephesians 6:13).