Atheistic Evolutionists, Animal Rights Activists and the Church
by Dan Adler
Atheism is becoming a pretty trendy worldview these days - especially amongst college age and a bit older types. Evolution is no longer taught as hypothesis or theory, but as fact - just ask Public Television. I guess this trend is understandable when more and more people are attending college while more and more professors are espousing atheism and evolution as the only real scientific and intelligent approach to life. They point to how all the world's troubles are caused by belief in God, and I'm sure they must wrap up most of their classes with a sing along of John Lennon's hymn to humanism, "Imagine". I heard famed atheist Richard Dawkins say (my paraphrase), "A lot of us just don't like the idea of some all powerful being looking over our shoulder and deciding what we should and shouldn't do." Well, that sentiment fits very well into the worldview of lots of little tiny humans who deny God while making themselves God. So it's understandable that this Godless worldview is being so readily embraced. It deifies self and removes accountability and humility.
As I've been pondering the strong atheist push in our culture, I've also been struck by the logical contradictions of these beliefs that are so praised by academia and applauded in contrast to Christian beliefs. For example, it seems odd to me that atheistic evolutionists would ever be environmentalists and animal rights activists. If evolution is the result of random genetic mutations and the survival of the fittest, and if humans have survived to become the top of the food chain, why would an evolutionist be concerned about "endangered species" or the rights of animals? I mean, if humans are all just animals that are more highly evolved because we are the most fit, and if the only thing driving us is "nature" - whatever that is - then aren't we doing what we're supposed to do to propagate our species - even if it's at the expense of other species or the habitats of other species? Hasn't that simply been our evolutionary, cellular nature and function since we accidentally obtained life from the chance collision of chemicals and crawled out of the primordial soup - to reproduce ourselves and survive at all costs? How could there be some sort of "morality" that says we should then "care for" the environment - if it doesn't directly endanger our species' survival? And why should we "guard" the endangered species unless they serve some purpose in our further survival such as being a significant food source? Isn't the extinction of another species - by whatever means - simply a mechanism of random evolution? And why would we affirm the innate value of any particular species if its very existence is simply a matter of random mutation and chance? And yet ironically, in a generation that is making atheism popular and normative, "environmentalism" and "animal rights" have taken on a dogmatic religious fervor - with an often equally religious new morality and self-righteousness accompanying them. Hmm.
But even more contradictory than these issues, is the very nature of working so hard to convert people to atheism and spending so much effort in developing and exporting arguments against the existence of God. How can this make sense? If atheistic evolution, in its central teachings, promotes the idea that life on earth is random and accidental, how then can someone's words, thoughts or arguments bear any meaning or value at all? If my very life is a random accident, how are my thoughts and beliefs and arguments that there is no God anything but random and meaningless firings of electrical impulses from my randomly, accidentally assembled brain? The argument for atheism and evolution neutralizes itself by its own core teachings. Atheistic evolutionists assemble these grand intellectual arguments for the randomness and meaninglessness of their very same grand intellectual arguments! They fight desperately to convince others, using their meaninglessly organized thoughts, that others' lives and thoughts are as random and meaningless as theirs are. And all the while, they look down their intellectual noses at the ignorant, arrogant, self-righteous Christians who say that there is a God above the universe, who created the universe, who created us and knew us before we were born - with intention, knowledge, order, purpose and love. They despise those ignorant, arrogant Christians who pour out their poisonous message of the sinfulness of man and the love the Creator had for them while they were still sinful and who was willing to make atonement for them through His own sacrifice. They feel disdain for those small minded Christians who speak of a God who claims to number the hairs on their heads and knows when even a sparrow falls to the ground. They bristle when these narrow-minded Christians speak of a Savior who provided a way of salvation from our sin and this fallen world - for both the rich and poor, small and great, smart and not so smart, and for every tribe, tongue and nation. What pathetic beliefs these Christians have! How ignorant and dangerous they are! Hmm....
But you know, sadly, many of the reasons for this rush to atheism have come from simply observing those of us who call ourselves Christians. Unfortunately, many of us have lived out a message proclaiming that Christianity is a farce through our very behavior. Tragically, we've caused many to stumble and turn from this amazing God and His Gospel because of how we live.
I was recently having lunch with a close friend of mine and a guy he works with. This guy grew up as missionary kid and attended a Christian school overseas. He's about 50 years old now and he doesn't go to church anymore. He hasn't gone so far as to reject Christ completely, but he's close to it and he's definitely rejected most Christians. At one point in the conversation he spoke about how free he is now to just be nice to everyone and not have to try to evangelize them or tell them the truth. Then he got pretty animated and said, "Truth?! Who do Christians think they are telling others what the truth is?! They're so divided, they can't agree about anything! How can they tell anyone else what the truth is?!" Whoa! Ouch! But yeah, I had to agree with him. It's a logical conclusion. If Christians divide denominationally over peripheral doctrinal differences, and if Christians demonstrate themselves to be intolerant of one another based simply on style of worship, and if Christians model prejudice, intolerance and lack of love across racial lines, why would someone look to us for the proof of the existence of God? Why would they choose to believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world if the fruit of our belief in Him is demonstrated in this way? Why wouldn't they migrate toward atheism or our culture's version of tolerance where all paths lead to God? It's something we've been talking about for years at all of our worship celebrations before we break up into small groups to pray for unity in the Body of Christ. This divided state that Christians remain in - across race/ethnic lines, denominational lines and our individualism from congregation to congregation - cries out those very questions this disillusioned man is asking. How can we claim to have the answer and know God if we can't agree and we can't live out love for one another? It's an important question and the implications are a big deal - not a little thing as in "we're all going to be together in heaven so we might as well try to get used to each other here now." I've heard that cutesy approach to this issue way too many times and it makes it seem like this is a nice little optional thing we might perhaps want to pursue on this side of heaven if we feel like it. Jesus prayed that we would be one as He and the Father are one SO THAT THE WORLD WOULD KNOW THAT HE WAS SENT BY THE FATHER! As we've said so many times before, our division sends the opposite message and therefore countless people are turning from their only hope of salvation because of the message we are sending. We must take it seriously! There is not easy fix to this situation. But you know what, we'd better approach this subject as a "we" and not "them" as in - "the messed up organized Church", "those left-wing liberals", "those judgmental conservatives", "those embarrassing Pentecostals", "those hypocritical Evangelicals" or whatever title of "those Christians" we don't want to find ourselves affiliated with. If we're in Christ, the Church is you and me. We're responsible, and we must humbly include ourselves in the need for change. Bashing each other and looking down our noses at each other is a big part of how we got this divided in the first place. We must become part of the SOLUTION rather than constantly complaining about the problem. We have to humble ourselves before each other and God and repent so that we'll see real change and will begin to demonstrate the Truth of the Gospel through our love for one another.
The Church has serious issues caused by our sin. And that sin has hidden the light and marred our message to the world. But the message is so, so amazing - especially in light of the implications of atheistic evolution! In Psalm 14:1, the fool says in his heart "There is no God". And Romans 1:22 says that professing to be wise, they became fools. Atheism means meaninglessness and hopelessness. Receiving Christ means hope, meaning, redemption and so much more! Let's do all we can with our meaningful, purposeful lives and thoughts to unite in submission to God and one another and show the unbelieving world the meaning, purpose and mercy their lives can receive through Christ, the Maker, Redeemer, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End!