With the 7th annual “Evolution Weekend” being upon us, we should take a moment to carefully consider where the concept that evolution and Christianity are compatible and try to understand why Christian clergy would endorse the teaching of evolution from the pulpit. If you don’t know what Evolution Weekend is, you probably should (since it is yet another of the Enemy’s attempt to place a wedge between God and His Kingdom). Evolution Weekend started out of a letter (“The Clergy Letter“), written in 2004 by Michael Zimmerman, a doctorate-level scientist who is now vice president for academic affairs and provost of The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. This letter was ostensibly directed to clergy (initially just Christian clergy, but there are now Jewish and Unitarian Universalist versions) and maintains statements that support the teaching of evolution and oppose the teaching of creation in schools.
According to the official webpage, there are 12,798 Christian clergy signers of the letter. The first Evolution Weekend (2006) was actually called “Darwin Sunday,” but has since morphed to include the entire weekend. Along with signing the letter, clergy can choose to participate in official evolution teaching in their church services this Sunday. In 2006, participation was 462 congregations, which peaked at 1049 in 2009 and is now down to 554. Realize that there are at least 268,000 congregations in the United States, so this year, about 0.17% of available congregations are participating in Evolution Weekend…. not exactly taking the US by storm.
So, a brief word on the originator of “The Clergy Letter,” because looking at his background provides a smaller scale argument for the critical understanding that evolution is absolutely antithetical to Christianity. Dr. Zimmerman is not a theologian, nor is he even “religious” (unless one considers evolution a religion, which many evolutionary scientists do). He is an atheist, and has been a key scientific leader in trying to get “religionists” to accept that evolution and the Bible are totally compatible ( but, why would an atheist even care? That is a critical question to answer.). He lives in the interesting dichotomy – at least publicly – that he is as against “religionists” claiming that one cannot be both “religious” and believe in evolution (the position most fundamental Christians take) as he is against “proselytizing atheists,” like Richard Dawkins (who tends to make his pro-evolution points in a very negative and belittling way). To Dr. Zimmerman’s credit, he just wants us all to get along and be nice to each other, regardless of what we believe. His message seems innocent enough and, if you read much of what he has written and said, he almost sounds like a Christian as far as the currents of his messages – getting along (“brotherly love”), acceptance, very kind messages, etc. Almost.
But, that is where the real problem of Evolution Weekend comes into play. It is not innocent. Evolution Weekend is an all out assault on the Sovereignty and Deity of God. Why? Because it is IMPOSSIBLE to reconcile the Bible and evolution and anyone – especially the clergy – that try to do so are the wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Mat 7: 15-20. 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Gosh, seems kind of harsh, doesn’t it? No, because if the universe and all that is in it can be explained without God – which is EXACTLY the cosmic conclusion of evolution – then there is no God and, subsequently, no Jesus Christ, no atonement of sins, so salvation and no resurrection.
It is a tragedy that so many Christians do not understand the history of evolution. If they did, there would be a much grander recognition that trying to marry evolution with the Bible is not possible and all Christians would reject it. By the time Charles Darwin developed the theory of evolution, he was an agnostic (and, from the perspective of an agnostic, what is the difference between an agnostic and an atheist? To both, God does not exist.). Darwin developed the theory of evolution specifically to explain the existence of life in the absence of an Almighty God. Darwin was a trained theologian who, when he was developing his theory, wrote time and again that he was extremely aware of what he was doing and of the implications (that nature doesn’t need God to explain it) his theory would have not only on science but of society in general. His own correspondences with fellow scientists, particularly his letters to Thomas Huxley (“Darwin’s Bulldog,” who was not totally on board with Darwin’s theory but WAS totally on board with eliminating God from society) indicate that the introduction of evolutionary theory was done very carefully and methodically because the logical conclusion of the theory was that God doesn’t exist (or, at the very least, God is not the Creator). Darwin was not certain that society was ready for that message and so he chose allies very carefully and developed a well-thought out publicity plan of attack. To underline his desire to eliminate God, by the time he published later versions/editions of Origins of Species, he dropped all pretence of deference to God because he felt that he could proceed full speed ahead with his atheistic theory and so removed all content that included God. Evolution was NEVER, EVER meant to be interpreted in light of the Bible. It was meant to interpret life in absence of the Bible.
Fast forward to now. Until the past 20 years, or so (when some clergy have also been duped by this non-scientific philosophy), all major proponents of evolution have been atheists. Dr. Zimmerman is an atheist and he wrote a letter to clergy encouraging them to support evolution. Why would he do that? Why would he – or any other atheist – want to try to get evolution integrated into the church? Atheists specifically deny the existence of God. Why would clergy be willing to accept that a concept based upon a thought process that specifically denies the existence of God? Matthew 7:15-20 is the answer. God predicted things just like this would happen.
If your church is involved in Evolution Weekend, I pray that you will realize that it is against the Bible and is a theory of the origins and variety of all life forms that is not only incompatible with the Bible but is antithetical to it. As such, it is evil.