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The Huffington Post on Churches Who Celebrated Evolution Sunday

March 4, 2010

Preaching Darwin from our very pulpits!

A few days before Creation Sunday 2010, the Huffington Post’s Clay Farris Naff wrote a piece about Dr. Michael Zimmerman’s Evolution Weekend. Entitled “Praying for Darwin: Hundreds of Churches Set To Celebrate Evolution Weekend,” it began with a credulous affirmation of evolution coupled with a lop-sided portrait of Creation.

After this rather obligatory rant, he gets on to actually touching upon his stated topic:

And [embracing evolution] is just what congregations all over these United States will be doing in the next few days. More than 800 churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship have signed on for “Evolution Weekend.” They come from all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, and a dozen nations abroad. Congregants will gather this weekend to demonstrate that each in their own way puts the lie to the claim that a person of faith must choose between God and science.

The 850 congregations who have signed on represent only a tiny fraction of the total that embrace the compatibility of science and religion. The church that I attend with my wife, First-Plymouth UCC, is not on the list, yet I know it to be in full sympathy with the compatibility stand. (Full disclosure: I am not a member of the church. As I’ve previously stated, I am a nonreligious agnostic.)

…What a powerful statement! It would ease Darwin’s oft-troubled mind to know that his ideas have not only vaulted science into the Third Great Age of Discovery but helped draw religion out of its embattled us-versus-the-heathen past and to the dawn of a new age of tolerant universalism. For if scriptural literalism cannot be true — and it plainly cannot — then what the late Sir John Templeton called “the humble approach” to truth must prevail.

Happy 201st birthday, Darwin. We owe you, and we honor you.”

My first thought is that his church is perhaps too seeker-friendly. Seriously, an admitted nonreligious agnostic can attend this church with his wife without the slightest bit of Spirit-powered conviction? This is what an abandonment of Biblical authority will do for your church, friends.

My second thought was “Nevermind Darwin; Do the churches that compromise the historical veracity of God’s revealed Word in favor of the word of fallible men in lab coats who weren’t there, don’t know everything and are statistically antagonistic toward religion – these churches who embrace evolution and denigrate the Word of God to mere teching stories like Aesop’s fables – do they realize they’re ushering in “the dawn of a new age of tolerant universalism?” Specifically, a new age where all religion is universally irrelevant? Think about it.

If you can’t trust the Bible when it speaks of earthly things like the Creation Week and the Worldwide Flood, how can you trust it for spiritual things like a prayer-answering God, the Gospel and Heaven? These churches are straining at the gnats and swallowing camels, or do they realize that these same lab coats who oppose a literal Genesis also dispute the existence of God, the reality of miracles and the historicity of the Resurrection.

Face it: These churches who compromise are simply being used. Do they suppose that the evolutionists who applaud them, like Mr. Naff the nonreligious agnostic here, for their stand on Darwin equally esteem their views on the literal, historical Resurrection of Christ Jesus? Mark me, they will not be satisfied with this compromise. The evolutionists and atheists will not be satisfied until they have surrendered every last piece of territory that they dispute with Christian orthodoxy. I daresy, these ministers and churches who so compromise will not satisfied until they’ve abandoned Christianity in all but name!

In any case, I left a response on their site, but space did not permit me a full rebuttal:

While the pro-evolution Clergy Letter claims to have signatures from “Christian clergy from many different traditions,” most of its signatures are from liberal mainline denominations. Zimmerman also includes signatures from cults like Unitarian Universalists, Mormons and Unity ministers. As a point of irony, his Christian letter includes the signatures of at least 300 Unitarians, while his Unitarian letter has only 211 signatures.

But what does the Clergy Letter say? Haven’t there always been clergy who were willing to compromise orthodoxy and the plain meaning of Scripture to win the approval of the antitheistic intelligentsia of their day?

The Clergy Letter is based on the principle of non-overlapping magisteria [NOMA], an principle of supposed separate, but equal status for religion and science, where science gets the real world and religion gets spritual truths and morality. When these ministers sign the pro-evolution Clergy letter, they specifically denigrate Genesis as mere “teaching stories” akin to Aesop’s fables. In doing so, they forget that Jesus refuted NOMA in John3:12 when he asked, “If I tell you of earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of spiritual things?” The Bible isn’t a science textbook, but as the revealed Word of a perfect, infallible God, it is accurate in all it records. So we ought to judge the fallible, grasping word of men [even if made in the name of the current consensus of science] who weren’t there and largely reject God and revelation in favor of the revealed Word of an eternal Creator God who was there – not the other way ’round! Let God be true and every man a liar! as the Scripture says.

We also ought to judge evolution by its fruit. The majority of children who are taught evolution as scientific fact go on to reject religious truth wholesale, especially in an educational system that prohibits any mention of a Creator, even though Darwin himself noted in Origins that “a fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”

Finally, we ought to judge evolution on its scientific merits. Evidence for its claim of common descent via gradual modification of successive forms is still elusive. We have a handful of debatable candidates for transitional forms that could as well be mosaics like the platypus. Kinds of animals appear in the fossil record suddenly and fully formed with no evidence of ancestral forms [a dog is still a dog and recognizably so, despite the variation canines display]. And most inportantly, speciation and natural selection offer no evidence of microbes-to-man evolution since no new genetic information is added as would be required for the theory to operate.

More criticisms of the errors of the Clergy Letter Project can be found at http://CreationLetter.com, the Biblical Creationist response to the Clergy Letter.

Allow Compromise No Quarter!

-Sirius Knott

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