Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Can you be a Christian and believe in evolution?

I would say a definite yes to this question. It is a clear demonstrable fact that most Christians do believe in evolution but there are a vociferous minority of fundamentalists who do not, and who intend to convert other Christians to a belief in creationism (a belief that the earth is 6500 years old and was created in six days with all its life forms fully formed).

Therefore in the tradition of Plato's conversations I present this fictional discussion between a fundamentalist and an enquirer which is based on the sort of reasoning that I heard regularly during my time as a fundamentalist.

Enquirer:
Do you have to believe in creationism in order to be saved and go to heaven?

Fundamentalist:
No, you just need to have faith in Christ. This is all that is required.
See Acts 16:31 and Romans 10:9.

Enquirer:
Most professing Christians do believe in evolution. For example, the teaching of the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Methodist churches all allow for belief in evolution, so why do we need to believe in the biblical account of creation?

Fundamentalist:
Those people are not true Christians.

Enquirer:
So you would say they are not saved then?

Fundamentalist:
It is possible they are saved, but it is not certain as they have rejected the bible as being the word of God.

Enquirer:
So you are saying that I do have to believe in creationism to be saved?

Fundamentalist:
No, I didn't say that.

Enquirer:
Yes you did!

Fundamentalist:
Well its an issue of living the best way possible.
Those who are closer to God and more conformed to his will for their lives will receive a greater reward in heaven.
See Matthew 16:27 and 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.

Enquirer:
So there are different classes of salvation?

Fundamentalist:
No, I didn't say that.

Enquirer:
Yes you did!

Fundamentalist:
Well if you want to be a true Christian and be absolutely sure of receiving your maximum reward you do need to believe in a lot more than the basic gospel message. This includes creationism, premillenial dispensationalism, the special status of Israel and a number of other things. Believing in these things is God's will for the Christian. They are revealed in his word and will be confirmed to you if you get into a church that preaches the whole word of God and you pray about it.

Enquirer:
So if I don't believe in those things I am not a proper Christian?

Fundamentalist:
No, I didn't say that.

Enquirer:
Well you seemed to imply it.

Fundamentalist:
Well its what I believe, and what all my friends believe. The bible does seem to say these things so they must be true. Therefore if you don't accept them you are rejecting the whole counsel of God and not living in truth. You therefore run the risk of being rejected by God.
See Matthew 7:21-23.

Enquirer:
That's very interesting but I am not sure I agree with you.

Fundamentalist:
I will be praying for you, that God will reveal the truth to you.

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