Thursday, December 22, 2005

Irritated about Decision Concerning Intelligent Design

Let me start first by stating that I hope to never fall in the camp of those who think that America will somehow become a converted nation. I do not subscribe to the false belief system that if Christians elect the right people the Church will be saved and we will somehow have some sort of responsibility to usher in the millenial kingdom. The world is gradually getting worse, not better, contrary to the amillenial position. In short, the world will continue to worsen every day until eventually the Father decides that it is again time to send the Lion of Judah to call us homeward. (I will not hide my premillenial convictions).

Having said this, I also would like to acknowledge that I seldom choose to fight the legal battles that are supposedly geared towards reinstating God's authority in our lives. This is a futile fight to say the least. An unregenerate soul will not bow before the Lord on this earth until His coming again at such time that "every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phil 2:10-11 ESV). Thus, no amount of lobbying, law passing, or picketing will cause the authority of God to be visibly present in our society. Do not confuse this with a denouncing of God's Sovereignty over all His creation. His is indeed in control at all times over all things. Period. However, in the minds and hearts of all individuals who have populated the earth, this is simply not the case.

A lengthy introduction to a simple irritation and irritation is just the right word to describe it. A few days ago a federal judge has ruled that the Dover Area School Board in Pennsylvania may not offer Intelligent Design as a possible theory for the creation of the world. Rather, it insists that evolutionary theory is more than just a theory and should be accepted as scientific fact. I am irritated at this decision and it certainly is plausible that my reasoning for aggravation may not be the most spiritual, but they are real nonetheless.

First, this is a direct violation of a student's educational right. In an educational system that is ransacked with the liberal view of, well, everything, he is left in the dark on certain theories that are prevalent. I will affirm that I am a six-day creationist, but I am not necessarily concerned that creationism is not taught in schools. Contrary, I'm a little thankful that my future children (should we be blessed to have them), will not learn their theology from their science teacher, but from my wife and I, who are called to fulfill this obligation. In our dealings with our future tykes, it will certainly be essential to present them with competing worldviews that are alive in our society. Should we attempt to enclose them in a bubble and deny the very existence of beliefs that are contrary to ours is simply preposterous. I would like to believe that educators are truly on a quest for truth and to acknowledge all sides of an argument. Obviously, I am mistaken.

The other irritation that persists stems from the notion that Intelligent Design is simply religious creationism and that Secular Naturalism is no religion whatsoever. Secular Naturalism is indeed a religion although it may not hold Sunday services or have an established statement of faith. Walden was not merely referring to a peaceful pond that was pretty to gaze on in his "masterful" work. His "pond" was nothing more than a naturalistic society built upon the ideal that the individual is the governor of self and that we were created by products of chance. Every individual has within him the thoughts of eternity for the Lord has set them there (Eccl 3:11), and with eternity also come the questions of origins. All individuals have at one point or another asked themselves the questions, "Where did I come from? Why am I here? and Where am I going?" Our answers to these questions determine our convictions in regards to life and will categorize ourselves with others who share the same system. Webster's defines religion as "a set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader" or "A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion." Thus, those who subscribe to the theory that there is a lack of Intelligent Design in their origin are in essence obligated to say that life was birthed as a result of natural occurrences coupled with a twinge of random chance. This is what is formally known as Naturalism.

So, my irritation persist without much of a resolve. That's OK...I'll get over it. As Matthew Mead wrote in 1661, "Knowledge may fill the head, but it will never better the heart if there is not something else [...] Alas, how many have gone loaded with knowledge to hell!" (Matthew Mead, The Almost Christian Discovered. Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1993. 17.)

I guess that's enough to wish us all a Merry Christmas.

For further reading, check out Baptist Press' article here, or Christianity Today's coverage here. As always, be sure to see Dr. Mohler's take on things here.


TJ said...

Here at the new year I am forced to remember that we are one year closer to the end of this present age. And you are right. The Lord has promised that things will only continue to get worse (and worse) (and worse still) before Christ's return to make everything better. I believe His word and so, I also believe that with each year, it will become more and more difficult to be a Christian in our society. We will be oppressed and persecuted, and our voices will be drowned by the masses. We will draw strength as always from the Lord and America will become, eventually, I believe, a place like so many others where it is not completely safe to speak the name of the Lord. With this in mind, do you believe that we should not take any action at all to keep the voice of the Christian in America heard as long as possible? I'm not talking about big, long, legal battles that only serve to make lawyers rich. But something, at least, so that our voices are not drowned before their time? I have my opinions and I know what I think but if you also believe there is at least some action we can take, I would love to hear your perspective on what it is.


KC Armstrong said...

Action should indeed be considered in order to keep the Christian voice heard in America as well as around the globe. My point is simply that this is not going to be accomplished through litigation and law passing. American currency dons the phase "In God We Trust", but do we, as a nation, truly trust Him? I know Christians, including myself, that have trouble trusting the Lord. Not that He has EVER ONCE proved Himself to be unreliable, but simply because my faith is weak. Having said this, there is no amount of Ten Commandments monuments, prayer in schools, or having "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is going to ensure that America becomes Christianized again.

However, the Christian does have the responsibility to let the voice for Christ be heard. Not necessarily in a legal court, but on the basketball court. Not only with the Ten Commandments on the wall; but while we are strolling at Wal-Mart. The reality is, whether we like it or not, from the point of salvation until the time we go to be with the Lord we are being watched. Our conduct will be measured in the eyes of believers and unbelievers alike and I believe that we are held to a higher standard. Augustine once said, "Always preach the Gospel; use words if necessary." I have heard it also said before that if I were to sin in public and my witness is not tarnished, I did not have much of a witness to begin with. We will always be a witness for Christ. The question is whether it will be affective or divisive.

All this said, fight the good fight and run the race. But do it with your conduct, not your congressman.

Grace & Peace