On Monday, October 24, 2022, I flew out of country for a mission trip. On the first leg of my flight, I sat by a fellow resident of Destin where I live. He was previously unknown to me, but we quickly exchanged greetings. One statement led to another and I informed him that I am a minister in Destin. He then looked at me askance and said, “I think evangelical Christians are the biggest hypocrites in the world and I would never go inside an evangelical church.” Those were not the most winsome words that anyone has ever spoken to me! I was not deterred, though, from engaging him in conversation to find out why he feels that way about evangelical Christians. He really did not reveal the source of his problem, but he alluded to it. He grew up in an evangelical Christian household and his parents were missionaries to Brazil. Something happened that terminated his father’s missionary work after a few years and that “something” probably left this man scarred. After he made several derogatory remarks about evangelicals and the Scripture, I informed him that I am in agreement with everything in the Bible- Sola Scriptura. He then looked me at as though I was a cave man and incredulously asked, “So you believe in the creation account in Genesis?” I informed him that I most certainly do believe in the Genesis account of creation. That was when our discussion really took off.
This man—named Judah—told me about his view of the earth’s beginning. He said there was a central power force that expanded outwards until everything else developed. I asked him where that central power force came from? He said, “No one knows.” Ha! I then asked him to explain the beginning of life. He said that man is composed of the various elements of the natural world. I pressed him further, “But how did those elements come together to form a human or a number of humans?” He could not explain how that supposedly happened, but he asserted that it did. Of course, he referred to Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species. I pointed out to him that Darwin referred to human cells as ‘simple cells’ whereas there is nothing simple about them. Viewed under a microscope, a human cell more resembles the intricacy of several factories linked together. Once again, I asked him to explain how chemicals and the elements of earth could all collide together in such a way as to form human life or animal life or even insects. He could not answer, Then, I asked him a question that really stumped him. I asked if these minerals and elements of nature could all come together to form a human with all its complexities, including two separate electrical systems that operate it, then why have not those same elements been able to converge to build something like a house? Modern homes and buildings are very complex, but not as complex as the human body. If these elements could all converge and make the more complex, then why could they not or why have they not converged in such a way as to make the buildings in which people live? If they could converge to make reproducing life forms, then why could they not converge to make reproducing buildings? Or to make automobiles or clothes or watches? Then, he was really dumbfounded. He had no answer except to acknowledge the elements had never done so. He tried to change the subject. I kept pressing him on this point. He also told me that he did not like the evangelical church’s response to LGBTQ+.
Then, he tried to put me on the defense. He said, “I turned away from evangelicalism because I found evangelicals to be narrow-minded and I wanted to be a free thinker.” I didn’t fall for that trap. But asked him again to explain his theory in terms of the fact that earth’s elements have never spontaneously come together to form watches or cars or houses or clothes. Yet, he contends that they were able to spontaneously come together to produce all the intricacies of the human body and all other life forms with the ability for all species to reproduce. I pointed out to him that we know that houses, watches, cars, clothing all come from the minds of humans who produce them. A greater mind takes the raw materials and produces things from them. Thus, by the same analogy, for the various forms of life to come into being with the ability to reproduce, there must have been an even greater Mind behind the creation of those forms of life.
At that point, he changed his approach. He tried to convince me that he really is a follower of Jesus and, therefore, he said that he supposed he is also an evangelical. So, I challenged him. “If you want to call yourself a follower of Jesus, then you need to agree with Him on everything He teaches. Jesus believed in the Genesis account of creation. In Matthew 19:4 Jesus answered the questions of the Pharisees concerning divorce by saying, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female?’” He had no response to that quote. Our plane then landed in Atlanta and our conversation came to a conclusion. I encouraged him to read the Bible and believe what it teaches.
One thing that struck me about this conversation was that people often take positions because they think it is more enlightened or the better course of action without thinking through matters carefully. I think a lot of pastors and theologians have adopted Darwinian approaches to the origin of the world without carefully considering how inconsistent that makes their world view. Some pastors only go a few steps with Darwin. Others follow him a long way down that unscientific path. It is better to stick with the Bible. Everything came from somewhere. Nothing eternally existed except God. The Lord created all things. Why does it seem incredible to our modern world that God created all things out of nothing in the space of six days and all very good? Did the Lord of the universe need more time to create the world than six days? If Jesus could speak the word and heal the royal official’s son, then why would it take the Lord of the Universe more than the time it took to say the words, “Let there be light”, to create light? The six days of creation are for our benefit. The Lord did not need a full 144 hours to create the world. He spoke the word and all things came into existence.
Dewey Roberts, Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Destin, FL
www.vanguardpresbyterianchurch.comPlease send any contributions to: PO Box 1862, Destin, FL 32540.