(This is a reaction to the January 9 bible study lesson at http://ssnet.org/lessons/13a/less02.html.)
The discussion question at the end of this lesson basically said that what evolutionists believe is absurd. But I wouldn’t like to say it that way. I would say that what we believe makes sense to us, and we believe it strongly and lovingly.
But evolutionists don’t think that evolution is absurd. They believe that it makes sense, that it’s the best explanation for life based on their worldview. They’re not saying, “I know this is absurd, but I’m going to believe it anyway.”
My point is that “absurd” is just a label. It doesn’t really describe a situation or give insight into what’s really happening. It’s like calling someone “stupid,” which is not a useful or helpful thing to say. Evolutionists believe what they believe, and we believe what we believe. None of us have outright proof that we can put in a test tube; if we did, this fierce debate wouldn’t have been raging for more than a century.
So we can’t assume that people who believe differently than us are silly or stupid or wicked or deluded. They believe something that we think is not right; we think it is a counterfeit system formed for the Enemy’s purposes. But that doesn’t mean that people who believe it are idiots. They’re often very intelligent people who don’t have access to the same ideas as we do and who base their thinking on different assumptions than we do.
And I also don’t believe when people say, well, God has made Himself so very apparent in Nature that people have no excuse for not believing in Him. Yes, I know that Paul in Romans says something like that. And I think that was true back when he wrote it. But now we have this very subtle system of thought set up that teaches people that science is more true and important than anything else and then tells them that “science says” that evolution is true.
And people are so harried and hurried with work and problems in the economy and divisive political ads and many other distractions that they don’t have the time to study what science really is and what evolution is all about–nor do they even realize they could.
So we are part of this vast system that makes evolution very plausible to many people, and they would feel dishonest and “unscientific” if they didn’t believe it. People who believe in Young Earth Creationism are accused of leading us back to the Dark Ages, and no one wants that.
And also, there are very ugly things in nature, such as bugs who lay their eggs in other animals so that their young are born inside of the other animals and eat them alive from the inside out. I can understand if someone chooses not to believe in a God who allows that type of thing to happen. That isn’t showing a nice image of God; that doesn’t make it so obvious that God has made nature; that doesn’t automatically show that evolution is absurd.
Am I defending evolution? Do I believe in it? No. Here’s my point: we have a more difficult task than these simple, quick dismissals of people who don’t agree with our beliefs. Only the love of Christ shown to them through you and through the Cross can soften someone’s heart (if they let it!) so that they can start desiring something more, something supernatural. And if they start learning some of the basic truths of the Bible and start wanting more of God in their lives, then someday some of those deep beliefs might change that could lead them toward Creationism.
But it’s difficult for them to just give up evolutionism immediately, because it’s part of a whole system of teachings about science. So just calling their beliefs “absurd” isn’t going to help them. It’s great that we believe in Creationism, and it’s great to marvel at how awesome God is as the Creator. But we should remember that that is our personal belief. You wouldn’t just suddenly give up your belief because someone called you a name or something, and other people aren’t going to change suddenly, either.
(Praise Team Leader at New Horizons SDA Church in Republic, MO)