Whenever I talk with a person far from God about crossing the line of faith, inevitably I get asked one question: Do I have to become one of those nutty people who believe in creationism in order to become a Christian?
They have good cause for asking.
It seems like everyone is jumping on the “Make fun of intelligent design and the idiots that believe it” bandwagon.
Dr. Richard Dawkins, an Oxford Zoologist, and one of the world’s loudest (and most obnoxious) proponents of Darwinism, said, “If you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane.”
Tell us what you really think Richard.
What I typically do when I’m asked this question is clarify a few things before I give my opinion.
I don’t think science and The Bible are in conflict
I believe what astrophysicist Hugh Ross believes: “The work of secular scientists is the friend, not the foe, of Christians. Their efforts have given us some of the strongest evidences for our Creator.”
God knows exactly what did (or did not) happen at creation.
I don’t believe the earth is 6,000 years old
A 6,000 year old “young earth” theory was first proposed by Archbishop Usher in Ireland in 1654. Based on his study of the genealogies of the Bible he concluded, “God created the heavens and the earth on October 26, 4004 BC, at 9:00 a.m.”
Boom. There you have it.
The problem is these genealogies are incomplete. They were never meant to provide one continuous line back to the beginning. There’s no reason not to accept what the scientists say – the earth is 4.6 billion years old.
I don’t believe the earth was created in six literal “days”
Many people think the earth was created in six literal days based on a plain reading of the first chapter of Genesis,
God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. (Genesis 1:5)
That seems pretty straightforward.
The problem is the Hebrew word for “day” is “yom,” which is often used for a “period of time.”
There’s a difference between macroevolution and microevolution.
Microevolution is obvious—over time individual species change.
- People get taller.
- Animals physically adapt to their environment.
- People stop wearing mullets and skinny jeans.
There are all kinds of changes within a particular species that everyone agrees on regardless of religious convictions.
Macroevolution is what Darwinists champion.
They claim that life began millions of years ago with a single-cell creature that evolved over time through mutation and natural selection into the vast array of plant, animal, and human life that populate the planet today.
Once I clarify those four things, then I say to my non-Christian friend…
You CAN believe that God created humans through the process of macro-evolution and be a follower of Christ
Many people think it’s an all or nothing deal
- You either believe in evolution and don’t believe in God
- Or you’re a Christian, believe the literal creation account and you’re cool in God’s eyes
That’s absolutely not true.
I have a friend who homeschools his five kids for fear they will end up believing in evolution. He’ll quote to me people like biologist William Provine of Cornell University:
If Darwinism is true then there are five inescapable conclusions: there’s no evidence for God, there’s no life after death, there’s no absolute foundation for right and wrong, there’s no ultimate meaning to life. and people don’t really have free will.
Many Christians I respect believe God created human beings, but used the process of evolution to accomplish it.
Notice what C.S. Lewis thought about creation and evolution in his book The Problem of Pain (chapter 5):
For long centuries, God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself. He gave it hands whose thumb could be applied to each of the fingers, and jaws and teeth and throat capable of articulation, and a brain sufficiently complex to execute all of the material motions whereby rational thought is incarnated.
The creature may have existed in this state for ages before it became man: it may even have been clever enough to make things which a modern archaeologist would accept as proof of its humanity. But it was only an animal because all its physical and psychical processes were directed to purely material and natural ends.
Then, in the fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism, both on its psychology and physiology, a new kind of consciousness which could say “I” and “me,” which could look upon itself as an object, which knew God, which could make judgments of truth, beauty and goodness.
That COULD have happened.
God could have used the process of macroevolution to bring human life to the point where he breath into that animal’s nostrils what the Hebrew calls “Nesama”—the breath of life—a soul—and that animal could have become a human being.
Think about it. How else are you going to explain the presence of NASCAR and country music fans?
Creating humankind through the process of macroevolution would have been just as miraculous as instantaneous creation.
That could have happened for sure.
The original question was, “Do I have to believe in creationism to become a Christian”
The answer is NO. You don’t. You can believe God created us through macro-evolution and still be a faithful follower of Christ.
My problem is I’m just not so sure I agree with you though.