Lot Masiane

Lot Masiane is a member of the SDA Church. An accountant by profession, he is also a self-confessed bookworm and his interests include football. He supports Chelsea Football Club.

Can a Christian be an evolutionist?

“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” “For He spoke, and it was;” “He commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:6, 9). He “laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever” (Psalm 104:5).

As the earth came forth from the hand of its Maker, it was exceedingly beautiful. Its surface was diversified with mountains, hills, and plains, interspersed with noble rivers and lovely lakes. God called into existence animal and vegetable life to fill the earth.  Then enter man! The crowning work of the Creator, and the one for whom the beautiful earth had been fitted up; he was brought upon the stage of action. To him was given dominion over all that his eye could behold; for “God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over . . . all the earth. . . . So God created man in His own image; . . . male and female created He them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

Here is clearly set forth the origin of the human race; and the divine record is so plainly stated that there is no occasion for erroneous conclusions. God created man in His own image. Here is no mystery. There is no ground for the supposition that man was evolved by slow degrees of development from the lower forms of animal or vegetable life. Such teaching lowers the great work of the Creator to the level of man’s narrow, earthly conceptions.

Men are so intent upon excluding God from the sovereignty of the universe that they degrade man and defraud him of the dignity of his origin. He who set the starry worlds on high and tinted with delicate skill the flowers of the field, who filled the earth and the heavens with the wonders of His power, when He came to crown His glorious work, to place one in the midst to stand as ruler of the fair earth, did not fail to create a being worthy of the hand that gave him life.

The genealogy of our race, as given by inspiration, traces back its origin, not to a line of developing germs, molluscs, and quadrupeds, but to the great Creator. Though formed from the dust, Adam was “the son of God.” It is God Himself who gave Adam a companion. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self, showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that should exist in this relation. “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it.” (Ephesians 5:29) “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one.”

God celebrated the first marriage. Thus the institution has for its originator the Creator of the universe. “Marriage is honourable” (Hebrews 13:4); it was one of the first gifts of God to man, and it is one of the two institutions that, after the Fall, Adam brought with him beyond the gates of Paradise.  The other institution is, of course, the Sabbath. When the divine principles are recognized and obeyed in this relation, marriage is a blessing; it guards the purity and happiness of the race, it provides for man’s social needs, it elevates the physical, the intellectual, and the moral nature.

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? “

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” That was the fall of man.

The fall of man filled all heaven with sorrow. The world that God had made was blighted with the curse of sin and inhabited by beings doomed to misery and death. There appeared no escape for those who had transgressed the law. “For the wages of sin is death.”(Romans 6:23) Therefore, the broken law of God demanded the life of the sinner. In the entire universe there was but one who could, in behalf of man, satisfy its claims. Since the divine law is as sacred as God Himself, only one equal with God could make atonement for its transgression. None but Christ could redeem fallen man from the curse of the law and bring him again into harmony with Heaven. Christ would take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin – sin so offensive to a holy God that it must separate the Father and His Son. Christ would reach to the depths of misery to rescue the ruined race. He would tread the winepress alone. And He did walk that lonesome journey up Calvary’s mountain to atone for not only Adam and Eve but also the generations yet unborn.

The plan of salvation had been laid before the creation of the earth; for Christ is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).

From the beginning to end, the Bible claims that God created the heavens and the earth, that God is the creator of the entire universe, that God created the animals, and that God created man in God’s own image. If the Bible is wrong in these claims, it is not a trustworthy witness, and none of its other claims are credible.

Those Christians who would so casually discard the doctrine of creation do not seem to appreciate its centrality to the core doctrines of the faith. It is central to the doctrine of Christ, because, first of all Christ is the Creator. “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:2) “In these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.” (Hebrews 1:2)

Yet If Darwinism is correct, the universe created itself, and Christ created nothing. Darwinism demotes Christ from His office of Creator.

Second, the doctrine of creation is central to the doctrine of Christ, because it is central to the purpose of Christ’s death on the cross. The central belief is that Christ, through His atoning sacrifice as the Lamb of God, is the Redeemer of mankind. But why does mankind need redemption? Mankind is sinful and is in need of redemption because of Adam’s sin and the resulting fall of the human race. The Bible specifically teaches that Christ was the second Adam, who overcame where the first Adam failed.

According to the basic tenets of Darwinism, there never was an Adam. Darwinism teaches that man evolved from lower primates. Since there was no Adam, Adam never sinned, and there never was a fall of mankind. Far from suffering the effects of a “Fall,” mankind has experienced a spectacular rise from bacteria to Beethoven, from microbe to Mozart, from single cell to Shakespeare, from amoeba to Einstein. Mankind has somehow managed to separate himself from the rest of the animals by developing self-awareness and civilisation, with its government, religion, commerce, law, science etc.

Since there was never a Fall, mankind does not need redemption or atonement. Christ’s role as redeemer of a fallen humanity is obliterated. One commentator on the relationship between science and theology put it this way: “The traditional (Biblical) view of redemption as reconciliation and ransom from the consequences of Adam’s fall is nonsense for anyone who knows about the evolutionary background to human existence.”

Since Darwinism destroys Christ’s role as Redeemer, it effectively destroys Christianity. The creation, the Fall, the plan of salvation, the sacrificial system are all founded in the first ten chapters of Genesis. Without this foundation, none of the rest makes sense. Jesus pointed out that Moses’ writing were about Himself (Luke 24:25-27; John 5:39) and that faith in Moses’ writings was a prerequisite to faith in Himself: “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:46-47).