Would Jesus Christ be an Evolutionist?
There are numerous promotions, political arguments, advertisements, and movements that invoke the name of Jesus Christ. They seem to want to probe the psyche of the Messiah, enlisting Him in any number of activities on their behalf. It appears they are fixated on dropping His name in support of their favorite particular haberdasher, political party, or mode of transportation. “What would Jesus wear?” “Would Jesus be for or against?” “What would Jesus Drive?” Even the redeemed have jumped on this bandwagon with the recent “What would Jesus do” query.
I am not disturbed when I see people wanting to invoke the name of the Most High in their lives. I realize that most people want to be able to say, “I am doing what God wants me to do.” After all, one of the promises of God is found in this rhetorical question, If (or since) God be for us, who can be against us? Rom. 8:31. The question at hand is not merely a gimmick or technique to cause people to think more lucidly about a particular social or political position. It is not wrong to seek godly wisdom when making decisions. We should consider how much to spend on transportation, food, and shelter, etc. The problem stems from an lack of honest discussion concerning two extremely important, albeit antithetical, positions that are rooted in diametrically opposed worldviews, e.g. Evolutionism and Creationism.
It’s not, “What would Jesus do?” It should be, “What did Jesus say?”
That is the real issue at hand. Not, would Jesus be an evolutionist? But rather, what does the Word of God say concerning His views on this, or any, subject. Does the Bible teach that materialism or what we can understand via our five senses is all there is? Is that the highest form of truth or the ultimate gauge for what is real or right? Or does that worldview, as the Bible indicates, lead to idolatry? Is it, as the Bible indicates, the Creator and His Word that are the definitive authority, the place mankind can look to for answers to the really big questions of life such as, why are we here, where did we come from, were are we going, is the material world all there really is, etc.?
God entrusted His ancient covenant people Israel with the oracles of God Rom. 3:2. The promise of the coming Messiah, Deut. 18:17-19; Is. 53; and the New Covenant, Jer. 31:31; Ez. 36:26-27; John 3:3 where promised to them centuries before Jesus come on the scene. The prophecies concerning God’s Son, the promised Messiah, Ps. 2; Prov. 30:3-4, appears throughout the Tanakh (Old Testament). After the institution of the New Covenant, the Apostles did their best to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone as the Messiah instructed them to do in the Great Commission, Matt. 28:18; Acts 1:8.
What exactly did Jesus of Nazareth say with regard to the Evolution versus Creation controversy? Remember, the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is the God of Creation who was manifested in the flesh 2000 years ago. He is the living Word of God who, prior to His incarnation, spoke the universe into existence in six literal 24-hour days. Since the Bible proclaims Him to be both Creator and Savior, what He has to say concerning this controversy is of primary importance. The Apostle Paul, writing to the body of believers at Colossae, said of Jesus Christ:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers.
All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence, Col. 1:15-18.
It is very clear from the biblical record that God is not a man. He became a man so that He could accomplish our redemption, but He is not merely a human being. The prophet Isaiah explained, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts, Is. 55:8-9. God’s plan of salvation goes against our human intellect. Left exclusively to our own understanding; we will always come to the wrong conclusions concerning the things of the Lord.
Without divine intervention, human beings are lost and incapable of saving themselves. God’s prophet proclaimed, “We all like sheep have gone astray, everyone has turn to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all,” Isaiah 53:6. God’s way is contrary to all humanistic philosophy. Often man’s common sense is born out of his foolishness. Because he has already rejected God’s Word, he is left with only half-truths, and lies. If you reject the truth, you will believe a lie. God’s ways are truly not our ways. God’s way is victory through complete surrender to Him; crucifixion with Christ leads to an abundant, everlasting life; and God’s salvation is a free gift of His grace (even the faith to believe the gospel is a gift of His grace). All of these truths seem to defy human logic; they stand in sharp contrast to worldly wisdom.
So what does Jesus really say about the message of special creation? His earthly ministry took place almost two millennia before Charles Darwin was born. The real question should be, did His teachings support or contradict the Theory of Evolution?
Is it ‘Love One Another’ or ‘Survival of the Fittest?’
The Messiah taught people about the primacy of love. He told them about a new commandment. He told those who would place their faith in Him to “Love one another, as I have loved you,” John 13:34. What was “new” about this commandment to love was the measure of love, i.e. “as I have loved you.” Now have the full measure of God’s (agape) love. God’s love is a love that extends even to His enemies. How does that square with Darwin’s concept of natural selection? The proposed mechanism for the Theory of Evolution that grew in popularity as Herbert Spencer coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” to describe Darwin’s idea that species adapt and change by natural selection with the best-suited mutations becoming dominant.
The message of the gospel is not one of hundreds of millions of years of violence, death, and extinction. The gospel is a message of reconciliation and redemption, sacrifice and the offer of new life in Christ. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught, “Blessed are meek for they will inherit the earth,” Matt. 5:5, and when speaking of His future kingdom He explained, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first,” Matt. 19:30. The teachings of Jesus Christ clearly oppose the materialistic and godless worldview espoused in Darwin’s theory. Darwin tells us only the strong survive and the weak must cease to exist. That is the message of a godless, hyper-naturalistic worldview, and it is not in agreement with the biblical injunction to be fruitful and multiply.
In His own words, Jesus confirms the Genesis account!
It is clear from the testimony of Jesus, the words He spoke nearly 2,000 years ago, that He confirmed the Genesis account several times by referencing the book of Genesis when defending the marital covenant, Matt. 19:4-5. He spoke of the great Flood of Noah as a real event when He characterized the sudden nature of His return, “But as the days of Noah, so also will the coming of the Son of Man,” Matt. 24:37-39. The Messiah’s own words indicate that the Genesis account of special creation and the great Flood of Noah’s day were not fictive allegories. The histories of patriarchs (and other Old Testament saints) were not make-believe characters experiencing made-up events.
The testimony of Jesus of Nazareth clearly confirms that He was, and is, a Creationist. Could the Creator of the universe be anything else? After all, He is the living Word of God. He is the way, the truth, and the life. As His children, we can let His light continue to shine by boldly proclaiming the truth of His Word and the message of the good news of His amazing grace. If that is the desire of your heart, we have some wonderful resources that will enable you intelligently and powerfully communicate God’s plan for mankind. It is not a message of continuous death and failure; it is a message of life, abundant and everlasting. It is a message filled with hope and promise found in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe and the Savior of the world.
Submitted by Steven Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D.