Evolution Undermines Faith
1. Why does it surprise some persons to learn that many of the clergy of Christendom endorse evolution?
THE teaching of evolution is not designed to build faith in God. It does not encourage one to view the Bible with deep respect. So it comes as a surprise to some persons when they realize that large numbers of the clergy of Christendom freely endorse evolution and that it is advocated in the textbooks used in their church-supported schools.
2. (a) What have Catholic spokesmen said about belief in evolution? (b) How does their view conflict with the Bible?
2 As to the development of this trend in the Roman Catholic Church, the New Catholic Encyclopedia says: “In 1950 the encyclical Humani generis [issued by Pope Pius XII] marked the starting point of a new development . . . evolution was expressly recognized as a valid hypothesis.” In line with this, A. Hulsbosch, a seminary teacher in Holland and a member of the Order of St. Augustine, has said: “We can no longer deny that, on the biological side, man originates in the animal kingdom.”* And Peter Schoonenberg, S. J., a visiting professor at Duquesne University, a Catholic school, wrote: “When we now consider the genesis of the human species we meet with the lowest grade of parenthood, for the first men had no human but animal ‘parents.”’* However, this is in direct conflict with the Bible, which plainly states that Adam was the “son of God” and that he was made ‘in the image’ of God.—Luke 3:38; Gen. 1:26.
3. To what extent do some Catholic schools push the teaching of evolution, and with what effect on their students?
3 These Catholic teachers of evolution are not passive about it, but want to make sure that their students have it thoroughly impressed on their minds. This is indicated by the fact that the preface of one edition of the biology textbook used at Iona (Catholic) College says: “The most general principle of all in biology is evolution. Most treatments of the subject make such a statement, but fail in conviction that it is really true. . . . In this book we have tried to make evolution as pervasive as it really is in the world of life. Every topic has its evolutionary background and aspects.” Can there be any doubt as to how such instruction affects the students? Not long ago U.S. News & World Report, when featuring “Growing Unrest in the Catholic Church,” said: “A St. Louis priest estimated that 25 per cent of his Catholic students definitely doubted the existence of God and another 25 per cent were agnostics. Notre Dame University officials were taken aback recently when a graduate complained that ‘as I was exposed to the best that Notre Dame had to offer, I grew farther and farther away from Christianity.’”
4. What do Protestant spokesmen and publications say about this faith-destroying teaching?
4 It is not only the Roman Catholic Church that, by its support of evolution, is undermining faith in God and his Word. The Protestant churches are doing the same. In a letter dated “18 October, 1949,” the archbishop of Canterbury freely said: “The Christian Church as a whole has accepted the theory of evolution as scientifically established.” In the noted Protestant publication The Christian Century, Dr. Paul Holmer, professor of theology at Yale University divinity school, writes: “I confess to deep appreciation of the talents and labors that have made evolution a prevailing scientific conclusion in our time.” It should be kept in mind that, when these writers refer to evolution, they do not mean simply the fact that there is variety in life forms or that land areas undergo change as a result of the forces that work on them; they are talking about the origin of man and other living things. The Protestant Interpreter’s Bible bluntly stated their view in this way: “The reptile was content to stay in the swamp; man wanted to climb out of it. He had and still has primitive instincts against which he must struggle, for he began on the plane of the animal; but he has not been content to dwell there.”
5. On what basis do clergymen who endorse evolution contend that they are not repudiating the Bible by doing so?
5 Despite such statements, some clergymen contend that they are not repudiating the Bible. But on what basis? A. Hulsbosch, of Holland, claims: “The earthly man taken as a whole is a two-sided being; on the biological side he is related to the animal, and on the personal he is the image of God.” In this way the body is viewed as a product of evolution, but there is said to be another part of man that did not evolve. On this point, Rudolph Bandas, a member of the Roman Pontifical Academy of Theology, has written: “The soul is outside the process of evolution. The soul is rational, simple, spiritual and immortal—it cannot evolve out of mere animal life.” Similarly, Raymond Nogar, a Catholic priest, in his book The Wisdom of Evolution, says: “Biologically, man like the lynx, is a special kind of animal. He belongs in the animal kingdom with all the rest of the animals. . . . The soul of man (and woman) was created immediately by God and is spiritual and immortal.” Those who make such statements are either grossly ignorant of the Scriptures or they are deliberately deceptive.
6. From the Bible, show that these clergymen are completely wrong when they argue (a) that man is biologically related to animals, and (b) that possession of a “soul” makes man differ from the animals.
6 The Bible makes no allowance for biological relation of man to animals. As to fleshly organisms, the apostle Paul was inspired by the Creator to write: “Not all flesh is the same flesh, but there is one of mankind, and there is another flesh of cattle, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.” (1 Cor. 15:39) Nor is it possession of a “soul” that makes man differ from the animals. The Bible shows that animals are souls even as men are souls. (Gen. 1:21, 24; Lev. 24:18; Num. 31:28) Furthermore, the Scriptures do not say that when God formed Adam and gave him life, God gave man a soul, but, rather, that man “came to be a living soul,” that “Adam became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:7; 1 Cor. 15:45) Thus man himself is a soul. So, if, as the clergy say, the soul did not evolve, then man did not evolve.
7. (a) How do some evolutionist clergymen view that Bible account about Adam? (b) What facts show that the Bible does not allow for that view? (c) By trying to fit the Bible to evolution, what are these clergymen actually doing with the Bible and with “science”?
7 In their endeavors to fit the Bible in with the theory of evolution, it is common for clergymen to argue that the Bible account about Adam is simply an allegory, a parable, but not historical fact. Says Dutch Jesuit Trooster: “Let us first of all become completely aware that the story of paradise is not history in our modern sense of the word.”* He reasons that Adam here was not “the first man” but that he represents every man, and that every man, though he has the opportunity for communion with God, commits his own act that alienates him from God. But the Bible does not allow for this view either. Adam is said to be “the first man,” not every man. (1 Cor. 15:45) The Bible writer Luke lists Adam along with seventy-four other men in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. (Luke 3:23-38) If one was simply allegorical, what about the rest? Also, Jude, a half brother of Jesus, wrote that Enoch was “the seventh one in line from Adam,” but Enoch certainly was not the seventh in line from every man. (Jude 14) And Genesis 5:3 says that Adam fathered a son by the name Seth at the age of a hundred and thirty years. Is that true of every man? Of course not! By accepting evolution as fact, and seeking to interpret the Bible to fit evolution, they are downgrading God’s Word and exalting materialistic “science.”
8. In advocating evolution, with whom do the clergy ally themselves, and what published statements show this?
8 Whether they are aware of it or not, religious advocates of evolution thus join hands with atheistic communists whose avowed aim is to root out faith in God. Karl Marx was so pleased with Darwin’s work on evolution that he wrote him a letter asking permission to dedicate the English edition of Das Kapital (called “the bible of the Communist movement”) to him. Openly a ninth-year school textbook published in the Soviet Union declares: “The study of the laws of evolution of the organic world assists in the working out of the materialistic conception . . . In addition, this teaching arms us for the antireligious struggle, by giving us the materialistic interpretation of the appearance of purpose in the organic world, and at the same time proving the origin of man from lower animals.” Additionally, an essay by evolutionist Julian S. Huxley on “Darwin and the Idea of Evolution” states: “To begin with, if evolution is accepted as a fact, much of the theological framework of the world’s major religions is destroyed, or is conveniently . . . represented as significant myth.” Yet, the clergy are out front in proclaiming that evolution is a fact and that the Bible accounts are merely myth. Why do they do it?
9, 10. (a) What shows that clergy support of evolution is not motivated by overwhelming proof in support of the theory? (b) Why do they advocate evolution even though this requires downgrading the Bible?
9 It is not that evolution is solidly founded on fact. At the conclusion of a recent UNESCO conference in Paris, France, a published news report announced: “The only certainty about the origins of modern man (homo sapiens) is that they are ‘uncertain.”’ And the book Creation and Evolution, by Ulrich A. Hauber, a Catholic monsignor whose publication bears the imprimatur of the bishop of Davenport, acknowledges the uncertainty of it, saying: “The theory of evolution does not explain all the facts, it seems to run counter to some of them.” Despite this, he goes on to say: “But it is an eminently reasonable theory.” Plainly these religious spokesmen have fallen into the trap against which the Bible warns: “Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry you off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ.” (Col. 2:8) Their choosing evolution in preference to the Word of God is because they want to be acceptable to the world, really a part of the world. Even the scientific community realizes this. As reported in Le Monde et la Vie, March 1964, a French biologist and professor of zoology at Strasbourg University, said: “I am well aware that the most stubborn supporters of evolution are nowadays recruited among priests, monks and every kind of clerical dignitaries; they thus believe that they put themselves in the know.” But in so doing they also make it plain that they are not disciples of Jesus Christ, who said that his followers would be “no part of the world.”—John 17:16.
10 They give their support to evolution, not because it is fact, but because their desire to be acceptable to the world far outweighs their love of the truth. (2 Thess. 2:9-12) This is also true of many scientists. Their education gives them status in the world, and if they want to be well thought of in the world they go along with what is popular. Just as the Bible’s moral standards are not popular in worldly circles, so, too, belief that man was created by God and so is obligated to conform to those standards is not popular. Thus personal pride coupled with fear of man becomes a snare to them, and it is the Devil who lays that snare.—Rev. 12:9; 2 Cor. 4:4.
11. On this issue, in whom has the governing body of the Presbyterian Church chosen to put faith? Explain.
11 In April of 1969 it was reported in the New York Post that the governing body of the Presbyterian Church in the United States had also gone on record as endorsing evolution. They took the position that “it is not necessary to understand the Genesis account as a scientific description of creation.” Opponents of the report that was presented for adoption strenuously argued for the literal truthfulness of the book of Genesis and denied that it was compatible with the theory of evolution. One of them declared: “We make serious accusations against the integrity of the Apostles and Jesus Christ himself if we accept the theory of evolution.” Nevertheless, another speaker rose and declared: “I am a geologist and I would like to bring to the Assembly the established fact that evolution exists and that no action by this General Assembly can rescind this fact.” In whom did that religious body express its faith—the Creator, who made all things, or men who have studied some of God’s handiwork but who say that they know more about it than God? To their shame they overwhelmingly voted in favor of imperfect men and their theory of evolution.—Ps. 40:4, 5.
12. What position have the Jesuits taken on the teaching of evolution, and are they really following through on this?
12 About four years earlier, Le Figaro, a Paris daily, in its religious news of June 15, 1965, took note of an event of similar significance. It reported that the general of the Jesuit order, Pedro Arrupe, in his talk following his induction and in which he defined the new policy of this religious body, said they would put emphasis on the knowledge of the books of Jesuit evolutionist Teilhard de Chardin. “The importance of this declaration,” notes Le Figaro, “is stressed by the fact that there is no doubt in the clerical circles of Rome that ‘Father’ Arrupe’s point of view completely harmonizes with the sovereign Pontiff’s.” That this news report was no misinterpretation of matters is evident from the facts, already examined, showing that Catholic spokesmen definitely are among the foremost advocates of this faith-destroying dogma.
13. What rebuke from God’s Word well applies to the clergy of Christendom, and why?
13 To those who professed to worship the true God but whose devotion was merely a matter of tradition, Jehovah issued a strong rebuke through his prophet Isaiah: “Woe to those who are going very deep in concealing counsel from Jehovah . . . The perversity of you men! Should the potter himself be accounted just like the clay? For should the thing made say respecting its maker: ‘He did not make me’? And does the very thing formed actually say respecting its former: ‘He showed no understanding’?” That rebuke applies with equal force today to the clergy of Christendom for their “perversity” in concealing the truth of God’s Word and denying the works of God.—Isa. 29:15, 16.
RESULTS OF BELIEF IN EVOLUTION
14. If a person accepts evolution, what position is he taking toward the first portion of Genesis?
14 The whole process that undermines one’s faith starts with what seems to many people to be such a small thing: simply taking the position that a portion of the first book of the Bible is not strictly historical. But if the account of creation, and consequently what is said there about Adam and Eve, is not historical, what is it? “Myth,” replies the United Church of Canada. As the Jesuit writer S. Trooster put it: “We must even bear in mind that Adam as ancestor has been as artificially invented as other legendary tribal ancestors.” Now, if a person is willing to accept that viewpoint, is that all there is to it? Can one go right on believing the rest of the Bible?
15. When anyone accepts that viewpoint of the clergy as to Genesis, to what conclusion does it lead as to Jesus Christ and his apostles and the things that they wrote? Why?
15 By his accepting the philosophies of men in preference to the Word of God on even this one point he will find that the stage has been set for the complete ruin of his faith. Why so? Because Jesus Christ quoted the Genesis account concerning Adam and Eve as historical fact, referring to it at the same time that he talked about Moses, who was also a genuine historical person. (Matt. 19:3-9) Jesus’ apostle Paul, who wrote fourteen books of the Christian Greek Scriptures, likewise showed in his writings that he believed in the literal truthfulness of those early chapters of Genesis. (1 Tim. 2:13, 14) The same is true of the Christian Bible writers Luke and Jude. (Luke 3:38; Jude 14) A willingness to go along with the idea that part of Genesis is “myth” or “artificially invented” legend thus leads one to the conclusion that Jesus Christ was deluded and that his apostles too were in error. It thus becomes obvious that one who is willing to accept the currently popular viewpoint of many of the clergy concerning Genesis is having his faith seriously undermined.
16. Those who go along with evolution must take what view of the sin of Adam and its effect on mankind?
16 Of course, if a person allows evolution to guide his thinking and classifies the Scripture record of creation as “unhistorical,” it means that he does not believe that Adam broke God’s law, as reported in Genesis chapter 3. Nor does he believe that mankind is born in sin because of the transgression of Adam. It is not only outright atheists who say they do not believe in these Bible teachings. Says Newsweek of August 22, 1966: “Canadian Jesuit Biblicist Father David Stanley points out, . . . ‘If you accept evolution, Adam . . . was only a primate. The myth of a fall doesn’t fit at all.”’ Also, the book Evolution and the Doctrine of Original Sin, published in 1968 with the imprimatur of the archbishop of Newark, takes the same view. It first states the fundamental Bible belief that “every human being begins his life in a sinful state because of the sin of Adam,” but then adds: “Those who take the scientific doctrine of evolution seriously can no longer accept this traditional presentation.” And the book shows that its author definitely does take that “doctrine of evolution” seriously. So seriously does he take it that he is willing to mold his viewpoint of the entire Bible to conform to it.
17. (a) How does this influence one’s attitude toward the ransom? (b) So, how does the teaching of evolution affect one’s faith?
17 Now, how does this affect one’s attitude toward the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ? Belief in the sin of the first man Adam is directly related to belief in the ransom, as the apostle Paul explains at considerable length in his inspired letter to the Roman Christians. (Rom. 5:12-19) And to the Corinthian congregation he wrote: “Since death is through a man, resurrection of the dead is also through a man. For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:21, 22) Obviously, when clergymen classify as “myth” what the Bible says about the reason for the ransom, they sow seeds of doubt about validity of the ransom itself. The 1970 edition of World Book Encyclopedia, in its article on evolution, realistically observes: “The reality of sin, and of redemption from sin, is held to be essential to the Christian faith. But if man is in the process of evolving from a lower state, sin tends to become mere imperfection, and the Gospel of redemption from the guilt of sin tends to lose all meaning.” When that has happened, where is one’s faith? It is gone.
18. (a) What are church members encouraged to do in order to find out what their minister believes? (b) What action must such persons take if they are to gain Jehovah’s approval?
18 If you are a member of one of the churches of Christendom, some of the things that you have read here may have come as a shock to you. You may feel that your minister is different, that he does not believe and teach such things. But would it not be wise to find out? Ask him whether he believes that the Bible account of Adam and Eve is historical fact. If he says that he does not, then you know that he disagrees with Jesus Christ and the inspired writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures. Ask whether he accepts the teaching of evolution. If he does, it makes little difference whether he professes to believe in Jesus Christ as mankind’s ransomer, because such belief has no meaning if man is evolving, moving upward; it only has meaning to one who recognizes that the first man, by disobedience, fell into sin. What will you do if you find that the minister of your church endorses evolution? Will you stay with him, as a follower of man? He cannot give you eternal life. But God can, and he will if you exercise faith in his provision for eternal life through his Son Jesus Christ and if you carry on worship now in association with those who worship him “with spirit and truth.”—John 4:24.
God in Creation and Evolution, 1965, p. vii.
God’s World in the Making, 1964, pp. 55, 56.
Evolution and the Doctrine of Original Sin, p. 43.
[Picture on page 50]
Can one who rejects belief in Adam and Eve still be Christian?