Evolutionary theory has always been hotly debated. It’s existence in science classes is seen as an affront and attack on Creationism and Bible-believing Christians. Every fish with legs is personal insult to Christians. Charles Darwin might as well be satan himself to Six Day Creationists, his theories conceived in the dark bowels of hell.
But for all of the scientific discussions, all of the angry protestations to the contrary, it is clear to me that while we may publicly decry Darwin, we secretly love him.
What has come to my attention is that while there are plenty of Christians who denounce Darwin in their beliefs, everything about our society, our culture, our churches demonstrate the opposite. Jesus might be nice, but Darwin is our real teacher.
There’s nothing left to do but own up to it:
our Darwinian Christianity.
Survival of the Fittest
The foundation of Darwinism is, of course, the concept of survival of the fittest or natural selection. By this phenomenon, the strongest and best genes survive and are passed to offspring, while weak genes are eliminated from the population. In this way, incremental changes can happen in a species over very long periods of time. (Whether you believe this phenomenon can make a fish evolve into a dog, I’ll leave to you to decide.)
But the idea of survival of the fittest is quite observable in nature and among people. Weak, sickly animals die and don’t have as much of a chance to reproduce. Strong animals dominate weak animals and produce more offspring.
Survival of the fittest is the way of human society too. The strongest, most resourceful humans thrive in difficult circumstances, while people who lack resources or advantages struggle in life. Strong societies with lots of advantages thrive and dominate weak societies. It’s not about who “deserves” to survive either. It’s just about racing to hoard the most resources and advantages.
Why Jesus Is the Anti-Darwin
What makes Jesus the antithesis to Darwin isn’t that He created the fish without legs, or the suggestion that Adam and Eve were white-skinned, hairless Europeans with perfect teeth, or that the Earth was created in six literal days and all the dinosaur bones were placed in the ground by God to make the Earth appear to be old.
Jesus is the un-Darwin precisely because of his rejection of the survival of the fittest phenomenon that governs nature.
Everywhere Jesus went, he was concerned about the people who nature, society deem unfit. These were the weak, the marginalized, the disenfranchised, the disadvantaged.
And everywhere he went, Jesus is confronted by the fittest, the powerful, the leaders, the wealthy, the people who nature has seemingly arbitrarily selected to thrive.
By natural selection, the weak and disadvantaged are playing their role quite well, making room for the fittest to rise to the top. But Jesus is not content to let nature take its course. He reverses natural selection, healing the sick, embracing the outcast, defending the weak and powerless.
And in upsetting the natural balance, he pissed off a lot of really “fit” people.
The Essence of Darwinian Christianity
So can we just admit that we may preach Jesus, but secretly we live Darwin?
Let’s be honest. Most of you, as well as I are among the most advantaged people in the world. We are the “fittest” by way of the resources available to us. We were “selected” by nature. And we like it that way.
We may pay lip service to Jesus, but our actions shout Darwin…
…When we consistently give the benefit of the doubt to the abusers and hush the victims, that’s Darwin.
…When we are so outraged about our own rights, but can’t be bothered to care about the rights of people who are undeniably oppressed, that’s Darwin.
…When we hoard power and influence, just to restrict the freedom of others, that’s Darwin.
…When we collect suspicions about our neighbors instead of compassion, that’s Darwin.
…When we believe that God loves us because of how great our faith is rather than how great He is, yes, that’s Darwin.
We preach a God who seeks out the weak and unfit, but we worship a god who favors the fittest.
What do you think? Do we have a “Darwinian Christianity?” How do you observe it?